The Sonoma Valley Rotary Foundation still has about $10,000 left of the $200,000 in grant money available for small businesses serving the valley that sustained financial and operational impact from the Covid pandemic.
“We’ve awarded grants typically between $500 and $1,000 to nearly 200 local businesses,” said Dub Hay, Rotarian and development co-chair of Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund. “Some businesses have asked for second grants and we’ve met those requests, too.”
To date, the foundation has awarded about $190,000 from $200,000 pooled for the effort. Sonoma’s two Rotary clubs contributed $50,000 and raised another $50,000. Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund matched that with a $100,000 contribution.
“The grants are for local businesses in Sonoma Valley – from Schellville to Kenwood – with 20 or fewer employees that have been hit hard by the various virus shutdowns and changes to their operations,” said Hay. “Companies receiving money include retailers, wine-related companies, catering or food services companies, restaurants, massage therapists, fitness professionals, trades people, and more.”
The Sonoma Valley Sun was one such beneficiary. “The infusion of cash helped pay our printing bill earlier this year, keeping The Sun on the street,” said Val Robichaud, the publisher. “Huge thanks to Rotary. It’s a fantastic program.”
To request a grant for the first or second time, businesses can download and complete a simple one-page form from the Rotary club website, SonomaValleyRotary.org. Then businesses can submit the application to [email protected] along with a copy of the business license or other document that proves the requesting entity is a business. The Rotary grants committee typically meets twice each week to review applications. The committee emails recipients the following day regarding the amount granted, and mails checks to recipients that day, as well.
The local Rotary group is a network of volunteers dedicated to improving life for residents of and visitors to Sonoma. Nearly 100 residents and businesspeople contribute their time and treasure to projects in Sonoma Valley. The group also works with local schools for Purple Pinkie Day to raise additional money to eradicate polio. Learn more at http://www.sonomavalleyrotary.org.