Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced $39 million in state funding through the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF). The Fund, a cross-agency project administered by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency, was created to support communities with their transition to more sustainable, climate forward industries while strengthening access to good jobs.
Out of the $39 million, four CAMEO members are involved in projects totaling $19.6 million (50% of the funds!). Congrats to these four great organizations!
- Alchemist CDC was awarded $7.9 million for the Alchemist Public Market. This place-based infill project in Sacramento’s emerging River District will build a pipeline for under-served entrepreneurs to start new food businesses, provide workforce development for workers with high barriers to employment, create an attractive and energetic community gathering place, and offer access to quality food and produce from local producers. The all-electric campus will include a shared-use incubator kitchen, a social enterprise café, a retail store featuring products from small Sacramento makers and grocery staples, and a co-working office. It will also be home to eight small incubator restaurants with a shared outdoor food court, ample shade structures, a weekly farmers’ market, an inclusive playground, outdoor patio space, and more. The project will serve as an engine of equitable, inclusive economic development and a public gathering place abounding with retail, while filling a vital role in commercial anti-displacement strategy.
- PACE was awarded $5 million for the Green Loan Fund (PGLF). The project is a revolving loan fund that will assist approximately 20 green companies in the Los Angeles region with loans ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. The flexible financing will provide entrepreneurs with working capital and/or growth with particular focus on providing high quality jobs. PACE has a successful track record in providing access to capital to minority and marginalized entrepreneurs as an award-winning SBA Women’s Business Center, SBA Microlender, SBA Community Advantage Lender, the only U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Business Center in Southern California and as 2 City of Los Angeles Business Source Centers.
- El Pájaro CDC is part of the Latino Workers and Entrepreneurs Resiliency Pathway, which was awarded $3.5 million. The project, which includes Ventures’ Familias con Mas (FcM) financial capability model, will prioritize financial education and individual coaching as foundational stepping stones for underserved communities in San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. Supplementing FcM, El Pajaro CDC’s revolving loan program will support members of the target community to start cooperative businesses and engage in a sustainable, strong recovery after the devastation of COVID-19.
- West Business Development Center is part of the Noyo Harbor Revitalization Plan, which was awarded $3.2 million. This project will fund the development of a new ice facility and the Entrepreneurial Marine-Based Training Program & Community Fish Market. The development of a new ice facility will help stabilize and retain over 300 deckhand/captain, processor and shipper jobs in the Harbor, and transition 100 jobs to higher wage positions. The Entrepreneurial Marine Based Training Program & Community Fish Market will work to foster job creation, skill development, and improve job quality and access to capital for commercial fishers. This program would provide small business owners and emerging entrepreneurs with skill development and opportunities for revenue generation, peer-to-peer learning, and community partnerships to grow and expand their businesses. The establishment of a consistent and robust community fish market will act as an incubator to allow businesses to experiment with the new skills, tools and processes they acquire during training and mentoring.