The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ efforts to provide critical funding to small businesses during the global pandemic has received national recognition.

The County’s Economic Development Department won a 2023 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for assisting microbusinesses in obtaining grant funding to help alleviate economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 45 percent of local businesses in the county are microbusinesses, which employ five or fewer individuals. Additionally, about 10 percent of those businesses are minority-owned. In total, the Economic Development Department awarded $1,782,500 to 713 local businesses.

According to Shaofeng Ding, a grant recipient and owner of Genetic Tools, LLC, the funding provided critical assistance during a time of economic uncertainty.

“The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted our small business,” said Ding. “We struggled to survive and temporarily closed for one year. When we reopened in July 2022, we applied for the San Bernardino County Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant and received it. We spent the funds on a professional expo, which attracted many new and past clients. The microbusiness grant really helped our small business recovery.”

Although the funds have been exhausted, the EDD continues to offer vital resources for local businesses.

“I would like to thank NACo for recognizing our efforts to meet the needs of small businesses in our region and the California Office of Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) for working with us to provide the funds,” said County Economic Development Director Derek Armstrong. “We are deeply committed to strengthening and empowering our small business community.”

As a part of NACo’s 2023 Achievement Awards program, San Bernardino County won 160 awards, nearly doubling the number of awards it won last year and once again winning more awards than any of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties. For more information, visit NACo’s website.

Additional County Update News – September 8, 2023

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