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Nevada County approves $100K relief fund

John Orona
Staff Writer

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the creation of a $100,000 emergency relief fund for small businesses and nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county will partner with the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation as a fiscal sponsor, allowing it to create the relief fund project under the hospital’s nonprofit status, in hopes of inspiring the community to come together in philanthropy.

“As a community we have a history of helping one another and I think this fund is in recognition of that history that Nevada County has,” Supervisor Dan Miller said. “We need to express our appreciation and our support for our small businesses and nonprofits.”

As the fiscal sponsor the hospital foundation will oversee the funds and disbursements in an independent bank account and report gifts going in and out of the fund, Executive Director Kimberly Parker said.

“We were honored to asked to be fiscal sponsors. The fund is set up and ready to go and will begin accepting donations as soon as the website is open in a couple of days,” said Parker. “It really does show you what an amazing community we live in that in a three-week period something can be pulled together that will be so meaningful for so many in the community.”

According to County Executive Officer Alison Lehman, the funds will be spread equitably between eastern and western county. Half of the $100,000 seed fund will go toward small businesses using general fund dollars and the other half for nonprofits will come from the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.

A 10-person Community Advisory Council — made up of community members nominated by the CEO’s office, the foundation, Sierra Business Council, the Economic Resource Council, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation — will help inform grant making and strategy decisions.

Because the eastern portion of the county already has a community fundraising infrastructure in the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, donations there will be routed through them to the Tahoe Truckee Emergency Response Fund. Funds raised countywide for small businesses will be administered in micro-grants through the Sierra Business Council.

“Some of these mechanics still need to be worked out and will be shared probably within the next couple weeks,” county projects administrator Caleb Dardick said at the meeting. “Our hope is to really launch today and focus our energies on outside facing, and raise money so we have sufficient funds and a meaningful amount of money that we can actually distribute it and make a difference.”

A community working group will also assist the Community Advisors Committee. People interested in volunteering can email Caleb.Dardick@co.nevada.ca.us.

People will be able to donate online when the fund’s website is up at http://www.NevCoRelief.org.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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