CARPINTERIA, Calif. - A community-based fund is coming to the rescue of small businesses in Carpinteria with allocations to offset impacts from the COVID-19 crisis.
The 93013 Fund has been collecting and distributing important financial help since last year. It was developed through the charitable foundation sector of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Sunset. CARP growers provided the original start-up funds.
Among the community gifts has been funding to help students with supplies they need for remote learning.
The organization has an advisory board to decide how the funds are allocated.
It has partnered with the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Girls Inc., The United Boys and Girls Club, and the Carpinteria Children's Project.
"We started because there was no help. Everybody's talking about helping but it took long in the beginning that's why we started so early on," said Hans Brand with the 93013 Fund, Rotary Sunset and Autumn Brands.
He says the need is still there and businesses are still hurting.
One was the California Gold Ballroom Dance studio which teaches children and adults an array of dances including Swing, Night Club, Latin, Hip Hop and Ballet.
"We have been mandated to be closed since March of 2020, and it has been very difficult financially," said owner Diane Meehan. "We haven't been able to teach any lessons at all so financially it's devastating to the community so any grant is welcomed."
At Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Executive Director Jaimie Collins says, "we've had an 80 percent reduction in hours or layoffs and so our scholarships have shot through the roof. The fact that we are able to support businesses and get parents back to work is hopefully a benefit."
Lorraine McIntyre with Rotary Sunset says she has written "hundreds of checks" supporting the Carpinteria Valley from the fund in the last year.
The organizers say the small-town effort to help its own residents and businesses has been a vital safety net when other sources fall short.
"We wanted it to be our town when we get out of this, the same way we went into it," said Brand.
In the last 12 months, the fund has distributed more than $200,000 in the Carpinteria Valley.
Small business grant recipients Feb. 19 include:
Elite Nails, Rincon Fitness USA, SPARK45, Traveling Pants, Chocolats Du CaliBressan, Tidepools, The Gym Next Door, Sante Pilates Studio, Curtis Studio of Dance, The Worker Bee Cafe, Seastrand, PacWest Blooms, SADE Turkish Coffee, ALI UZ Island Brewing Company, CA Gold Ballroom Dance Studios, El Payasito Party Rentals and Folly Home.
Small business grant recipients for December: Rincon Beach Bar, The Garden Market, Thario’s Kitchen.