"This grant helped keep us on our path. We opened A R E T E W A Y in 2019 to counteract the devastating effects of fashion on environment, people, and animals everywhere. We encouraged people to clean out their closets & bring their unwanted items to A R E T E W A Y for a great buy/sell/trade experience.
When COVID hit, buy/sell/trade just didn’t work any more. We relied instead on new gift item sales and online re-sale to try to get by. The Small Business Development Grant gave us just enough breathing room to begin developing an idea we’d been percolating for years, a line of reimagined/reconstructed tops and dresses, made from used and vintage garments and textiles like men’s shirts, tablecloths, scraps, & ends, items that would likely end up in the landfill otherwise.
We’re making heirloom quality classic feminine styles in modern comfortable iterations with details like puff sleeves, ruffles, and hand work. We’ll drop small collections of one-off pieces to be sold on aretewayshop.com.
Online sales are more practical & more prevalent now, and hopefully e-commerce sales of our reclaimed clothing collection will allow us to continue offering sustainable alternatives to the waste & destruction of traditional & fast fashion."
-Lily Luong & Mary C. Delany (Daughter & Mother, Co-Founders), A R E T E W A Y LLC
"My name is Miriam Medina, owner of Betty’s Taxes, I want to thank You for this grant, I have 3 years working on my own, and continue working hard to ensure the success of my company, with the help of this grant that I received I will cover part of my business expenses and to continue giving employment to my assistant.
Thank You for this financial support I highly appreciated."
-Miriam B Medina, Owner, Betty’s Taxes
"First off, I will like to take this opportunity to say thank you so much to all of you. I personally have been really stressed worrying about the future of my business and staff, I worked in the office doing clerical work and have staff working in the field. After the Covid in order for me not to lose my business and continue with new rule on paying 80 hrs the employee in quarantine, I have to worked double time office and field in order for me to come up with this extra budget to pay my sick employees. But after I received this grant it was a relief mentally and physically knowing that there was help for my business and staff."
-Regina, Owner, Diamond Quality Cleaning Services
"My name is Anna Ortega, and am the owner of Exclusive Spa in the heart of Downtown Santa Rosa, during this epidemic our industry in the Beauty industry has been tremendously impacted in this time of need. I am a sole prop with a couple of employees and 12 Independent contractors, everyone in our industry has been affected. The state has not provided enough help to us Small business owners and all my co-workers have been able to apply for the self Independent contractor help through EDD, which is great for them but we the owners it is not enough to help because we are responsible for the business itself. With my business being shut down for more than half of the year I am still responsible for the overhead of my lease and all the same current bills, have limited my space capacity to follow the state to allow us to keep working to obey state accordance to operating, and still having a hard time serving. By applying for additional help in our county it has helped because it allows us more time for our business to survive during these hard times. I am truly very honored I have received help from our county grants because it has helped me provide a little more time to keep my business running and currently shut down again I hope our county/state has a solution for us, small business owners because if there is not enough help we will see a chain reaction of business closing in our beautiful county. Once again Thank you Sonoma County."
-Anna Ortega, Owner, Exclusive Spa
"We at Morpheus Medical Aesthetics, are a team of women dedicated to the health and well-being of our clients. Our doors were completely closed from March through June this year and we have had to change the way we do business since re-opening in the world of COVID-19 contagiousness. That said, we have embraced using personal protective equipment and expanded disinfection routines to keep ourselves and our clients safe. We have re-organized the flow of people in the office so that there is nobody ever in the waiting room. Clients have separate spaces to check out and to reschedule their follow up appointments.
We deeply appreciate the support of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and have used our grant funds to help us transition our business practice to include more online interaction with our clients. Specifically, we built an online store that facilitates curbside pickups and home deliveries of our products, reducing the need for in-person shopping. Thank you so very much! #SonomaStrong #ResiliencyIsAMuscle"
-Marisha Chilcott, Owner, Morpheus Medical Aesthetics
"My name is Lourdes Rosales, and I am the owner of Rosales Catering. I received an economic relief of $2,500 that helped me pay the rent of my installation for a month. I appreciate it so much because it’s a lot of help for a business, since the first time the funds ran out very quickly, and this time they helped me and it was a great support. Thank you all very much!"
-Lourdes Rosales, Owner of Rosales Catering
“After the devastating loss of our home and home daycare business in 2017, it was various community partnerships that helped us put our lives back together.
The collective professionalism, compassion of the childcare community, and leadership that guided and advocated on our behalf. They were there with tools to help us through the fog of uncertainty.
We had to negotiate a new business model, while grieving our loss. After sheer determination, we opened an infant center April 2018. What was meant to be a six-month, temporary situation, turned into almost 2 ½ years.
When given the green-light to move forward with the remodel of our permanent space, set to begin Monday, March 16, 2020, we were faced with, yet another, devastating set-back. We would labor under the unknown, new regulations, and protocols, during a world-wide pandemic known as covid-19.
Relentless persistence, remarkable community relationship-heroes and many others share this victory with us. We realize this daily.
We appreciate the grant and services we have benefitted from because it is reciprocated back into the community; services we provide families during these days of seemingly relentless overwhelm.
Thank you for helping us to continue our work in the community.”
-Mrs. Cary Ann Rich, Director, SR Rise and Shine Child Care Center
"SOS Community Counseling provides mental health therapy to anyone who may request it regardless of their ability to pay. Our clients are experiencing a greater number of traumatic and triggering events in Sonoma County that are deeply affecting their mental health. Because we have received this grant, we are able to keep our clinicians staffing the agency in such a way that meets the demand of our community. We are grateful to receive this grant because we know that the long term effects of trauma are passed down from generation to generation. At SOS, we are promoting health not just for the individual in the therapy room; but also the family and community that surrounds them for years to come."
-Becky Ennis, Executive Director, SOS Community Counseling