Laguna Beach City Council Approves $1.4 Million for Restaurants, Bars, Retail and Community Assistance Programs
Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council approved a $850,000 Grant Program, “LB CARES”, from City reserves to assist restaurants, bars and retail businesses experiencing impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LB CARES will provide direct financial assistance to these businesses and organizations by offering a $5,000 grant per qualifying restaurant or bar and $2,000 - $3,000 grant per qualifying retailer, on a first come, first served, basis.
LB CARES is a one-time grant relief program for restaurants, bars and retail doing business within the City of Laguna Beach. To qualify:
- Restaurants and bars must have been ordered to change operations to take-out and delivery only, or to close
- Retailers must have been ordered to reduce their capacity to 20% (eligible to receive $2,000) or to close (eligible to receive $3,000)
- Businesses must be located in Laguna Beach and have a Laguna Beach business license
- Applicants must confirm that they have experienced a hardship due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions
- Businesses must confirm that they are complying and pledge to continue complying with all State and local orders
LB CARES grant applications will be accepted for a two-week period beginning December 23, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. Eligible businesses may apply until January 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. with awarded grants anticipated to be received by January 8, 2021. Grants will be awarded up to the funding amount of $850,000 on a first-come, first-served, basis.
The City Council also took action and approved $300,000 to be set aside as a matching grant for the Laguna Beach Community Foundation for a COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide assistance to residents and employees working in Laguna Beach.
A Message from Mayor Whalen on Tonight's City Council Action
The Economic Assistance Program approved by the City Council tonight provides an essential lifeline to our local businesses who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
A direct assistance program like this is a first for the City, but these are unprecedented times demanding new approaches and decisive action. Our objective in approving this program is to help keep our restaurants and retailers going until they can apply for additional assistance through county, state and federal programs in early 2021.
The $300,000 in matching funds approved by the City Council tonight to assist local residents and employees hard hit by the pandemic will provide much needed assistance to the neediest in our community.
I am appreciative of the unanimous City Council support on tonight’s actions. I would like to thank Councilmembers Weiss and Iseman for leading the way on the matching grant part of the plan and Mayor Pro Tem Kempf and Councilmember Blake for their help in designing the details of the economic assistance to businesses. It was a real team effort that will make a difference in our community.
-Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen
City Council Approves New Laguna Beach Business Assistance Services Program
In conjunction with LB CARES, the City of Laguna Beach is also pleased to announce the launch of the new Laguna Beach Business Assistance Services Program.
This new program is being established to help local businesses and non-profits access available resources offered by state, federal, and county government, help determine the best resources to meet each business’ unique circumstance, and to help businesses with the process of preparing and submitting applications. These services will be made completely FREE to all Laguna Beach small businesses.
City Council Funds Non-Profits and Cultural Arts Grant Programs
The City Council appropriated $250,000 Tuesday from the General Fund Reserve to fund the Community Assistance Grant program in 2021 and expedite the program to spring of 2021 instead of June 2021.
In addition, $200,000 in funding will be made available to provide Cultural Arts Grants in 2021.
For more information please contact Project Manager Jeremy Frimond at (949) 464-6673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santa's Caravan Brings Joy and Holiday Spirit to Laguna Beach Community!
Sunday, Santa rode in the vintage Marine Safety Jeep through Laguna Beach along the City's Trolley routes, while accompanied by a Trolley of 2-4 (social-distanced) singers from No-Square Theater singing holiday carols!
Santa's caravan did not make stops, and the community watched Santa from their front yards or sidewalk and did not gather in groups outside their own households.
Residents could view the location of Santa's caravan in real time by using the City's Santa Tracker!
Thank you to the Laguna Beach Public Works Department for their work in putting together this awesome event for our community! See more photos below!
(Above cover photo from 2019 Spark of Love event)
There's Still Time to Donate to the Spark of Love Toy Drive!
The Laguna Beach Fire Department, in partnership with Southern California Firefighters and ABC7, is again taking part in the annual ‘Spark of Love’ Toy Drive. The campaign collects new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for underserved children and teens.
This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Firefighters’ ‘Spark of Love’ campaign, which will run through Thursday, December 24th.
How to Donate Safely
Drop off your new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment to any of Laguna Beach’s four fire stations.
Please help us stay safe by following COVID-19 safety recommendations, including remembering to wear a mask when dropping off your toy donation, ringing the Fire Station doorbell and placing the unwrapped gift in the designated Spark of Love "Drop Box" which will be placed outside each Laguna Beach Fire Station.
- Fire Station 1: 501 Forest Avenue
- Fire Station 2: 285 Agate Street
- Fire Station 3: 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd.
- Fire Station 4: 31646 2nd Avenue
For more information on the event, please contact Firefighter Pat Cary at (949) 497-0700.