Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau, with Lee Ann Eagers with the Fresno EDC to the right, speak at a press conference Friday morning. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors introduced the first two recipients of federal funding through the CARES Act, with 998 more businesses to be named soon.
Outside the Fresno County Hall of Records Friday morning, Supervisors, Steve Brandau, Brian Pacheco and Nathan Magsig announced that Star Indian Cuisine and J and J Vending would each receive $5,000 to help their businesses as the county reopens after the pandemic put California in lockdown.
The grant program, worth $5 million, was approved in May. Approvals were done by lottery earlier this week, with the money distributed by the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Over 1,600 applications were completed and submitted.
“The county government serves as a safety net for all things,” Pacheco said. “And we are proud today to offer that to our small businesses that would otherwise have slipped through the cracks and not receive funding through the PPP or the Fresno (Save our Small Business) program.”
William Jurkovich, owner of J and J Vending, said the grant was a godsend, having experienced a 50% gross loss in the pandemic as shut-down businesses meant unused machines.
“I started my own business to supplement my retirement income with my retirement income,” Jurkovich explained. “And with the upside of owning all of our own equipment, there’s the downside of I don’t have a relationship [with a bank].”
Further grants are on the way, with the EDC currently vetting more recipients.