ENCINITAS, Calif. — Many small businesses are waiting to hear if they have qualified for a federal, state, local, or private small business loan or grant.
For some small businesses in Encinitas, help could come sooner.
The economic fallout from COVID-19 has devastated the nation especially for small businesses who are the fabric of communities. Small businesses make up three-fourths of the businesses in Encinitas.
“Our beach communities are so special and they have been tremendously impacted,” said Annika Walden, Leucadia 101 Main Street Association Executive Director and President of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Foundation.
Surfhouse Adventures, a boutique hotel in Leucadia run by four employees, closed on March 20.
“Sometimes you are like, what am I going to do? There is no one to host or entertain, and talk to,” said Nikki Harth, Surfhouse owner.
Four Moons Spa had to lay off 20 employees.
“We haven’t had the grace from our landlord and all of our overhead is still being requested of us. Being forced to close and not being able to hear back from our grants is devastating,” said Four Moons Spa co-owner Letha Sandison.
The spa offers an intimate place to bring the community together through yoga, healers, bridal services, and private events. The owners said they applied for 11 federal and private small business grants and loans. They have not received word if any of them were granted.
“It’s disheartening to see the large organizations getting those dollars as well. It wasn’t really designed to support,” said Sandison.
Now that support is being launched by the Encinitas Small Business Support Fund to raise $100,000.
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for $2,000 to $10,000 grants.
“We are not going back to business as usual so that’s why it is so important to get the money in people’s hands right away because there is so much reassessing and pivoting that needs to happen. I want to provide some sort of comfort during that transition as well,” said Walden.
The Harbaugh Foundation pledged to match dollar-for-dollar of the first $30,000.
It’s reached that goal but $40,000 is still needed.
“It will be so interesting just because we still don’t know what the future is going to look like, just the immediate future and moving forward,” said Courtney Mars, Four Moons Spa co-owner.
With the predictions of 7.5 million small businesses to close in five months due to COVID-19, potential grantees said this fund gives them hope.
“It was like the light at the end of the tunnel because this community is so tight knit and everyone is here to support each other. It’s been inspiring to see how the community has banded together to help,” said Harth.
If you would like to donate or apply click here.