It’s a new day for Churchill Economic Development Authority. Despite COVID-19, the shutdown, and pandemic-related restrictions, CEDA is as busy as ever working with area business – and on their image.
Not only has CEDA been there to help local entrepreneurs develop business plans and apply for small business loans, but they have also helped launch 16 new businesses, either from the ground up or for newly purchased ventures. They helped business owners employ or retain 87 employees – just in Fallon.
While there is no doubt COVID brought with it many challenges for the small business community, CEDA was able to reshape crisis into opportunity. They helped 25 area businesses apply for and received $200,000 in CARES Act funds (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). Additionally, they help area merchants and retailers apply for $1,646,143 in PPP loans (Payroll Protection Program), also part of the CARES Act relief funds.
According to CEDA Director of Operations, Sara Beebe, they recently decided it was time to re-brand. After over 20 years working for businesses in Churchill County, they were ready to take a fresh look at they can best serve the community. “We wanted to have a clearer focus on what we are supposed to be doing,” said Beebe.
As a result, CEDA recently began work on a strategic plan. With input from the City of Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford, Churchill County Manager Jim Barbee, and the CEDA Business Council, their first mission was to define what the community and local leaders wanted to see coming from CEDA. Beebe stated that a top priority for CEDA is to be a point of support, resources, and business development for existing Fallon business owners. With the installation of the new office of Churchill Fallon Economic Development (CFED), Churchill Economic Development Authority is free to focus on local small business needs, while the primary focus of CFED will be to attract larger businesses and industries to the area.
One exciting new development for CEDA is a partnership with the CEDA Business Council, Oasis Academy, Western Nevada College, and Churchill County High School to create a workforce development and internship program for students. “The partnership and plan are in the early stages,” said Beebe, “But we plan to be a resource and point of contact to help connect students with local employers.” Not only will students earn credit for their employment, but they will be actively participating in building their own career pathways. Ideally, the partnership will benefit both the student and the employer while improving the local skilled workforce. A community win-win.
More information on the CEDA strategic plan will be released in early June, as well as updates on the work-study program. Additionally, explained Beebe, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will soon release information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. According to the SBA, as a result of COVID, the “American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and up to $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.” More information on this will be made available as it is received.
To contact CEDA, call (775)-423-8587 or email [email protected]