The Town of Mammoth Lakes and County of Mono sent the following letter on January 5, 2021, to State Senator Borgeas in support of Senate Bill 74 which proposes to provide small, local businesses with financial resources of $2.6 billion of its $26 billion budget surplus in small business grants
Dear Senator Borgeas:
The County of Mono and the Town of Mammoth Lakes are pleased to Support Senate Bill 74 (Borgeas and Caballero), the “Keep California Working Act.”
In a joint meeting on December 28, 2020, the Town Council and the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support SB 74. The impact on small businesses in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mono County and throughout California from the COVID-19 public health pandemic has been, and continues to be, substantial. As tourism destinations, Mammoth Lakes and Mono County rely on the economic activity generated by seasonal visitors.
As you know, the hospitality industry has suffered greatly under State lockdowns and travel restrictions. Many of our small businesses face the difficult prospect of closing their doors, losing their life’s investment or even declaring bankruptcy, impacting thousands of employees and family members.
SB 74 will provide small, local businesses with financial resources that are urgently needed now.
Under SB 74, the State would invest $2.6 billion of its $26 billion budget surplus in small business grants as one step in helping businesses who have suffered under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our local businesses have responded actively to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have invested thousands of dollars in mitigation measures, followed face covering / mask requirements, reduced capacities to meet distancing requirements and supported local COVID-19 testing efforts. Hotels and short-term rentals have reduced occupancies, and even closed during the Stay-at-Home orders.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County have provided business and housing assistance grants, partially offsetting the loss of revenue and business activity. After nine months, the Town and County are reaching the limits of their ability to provide financial assistance.
Appropriating 10% of the State’s budget surplus through enactment of SB 74 would bring direct relief to businesses now looking at all avenues to just survive until they can reopen. Many will lose the most profitable weeks of their year due to the ongoing Regional Stay at Home Order. Ironically, these most challenging weeks occur even as
distribution of COVID-19 vaccines had begun. The grant assistance contemplated under SB 74 is necessary to ensure that the structure of a local, small business economy will be present when our recovery can truly begin.
Thank you for recognizing the impact on small businesses of the public health response to COVID-19. Your efforts, and those of your colleagues, to provide financial assistance to small business may, for many, make the difference between survival and permanent closure. For these reasons, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the County of Mono express our strong Support for SB 74.