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By Rylie Friesen–
The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce has joined with other area chambers to advocate for a reimbursement plan from the county that would give up to $2,000 to local businesses who incurred costs to comply with COVID-19 policies.
The proposal would take a different approach than a previous failed proposal that sought to impose stiff fines for businesses in violation of COVID-19 health requirements.
A request of $4.7 million dollars, generated from the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, would be used to reward local businesses for complying to public health orders, reimbursing them for any related expenses. Funds would likely come from CARES Act dollars that would be allocated by the county to chambers, who would then distribute the money to businesses.
“Many restaurant owners rented tents for outdoors dining just prior to the holidays,” said Jim Lofgren, a government affairs consultant for the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, in an interview with KFBK radio earlier this month. “Shortly thereafter, outdoor dining was prohibited by a public health order. Under the proposed program, these owners could seek reimbursement for that expense.“
Business owners would be asked to fill out a form, submit receipts, and certify compliance of public health orders, in order to be reimbursed up to $2,000 from Sacramento County.
According to an email acquired by The Sentinel, Lofgren has been working to lobby supervisors to support the proposal and have checks sent to businesses in a matter of weeks rather than months.
Businesses located in Citrus Heights would be eligible for checks, as well as businesses located in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Folsom, Galt, Rancho Cordova, and unincorporated parts of the county.
A spokesman for Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost’s office said Wednesday evening that Frost is supportive of the effort and “the board seems unified in passing it.” He said more CARES Act funds are expected to come from the federal government, after which the county will work to get funding for the chambers’ proposal.
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