Chamber breakfast canceled
The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the First National Bank of Pasco, has canceled its Sept. 15 breakfast meeting.
“Even with slightly improving numbers, the safety and comfort level of our chamber members, attendees, volunteers and staff of both the venue and the chamber are paramount,” John Moors, the chamber’s executive director said, in a chamber posting.
“We had provisions to limit the number of attendees and ensure CDC guidelines are followed, but with the uncertainty and planning time, we felt it appropriate, and good leadership, to cancel this event and hope for a successful chamber breakfast in October,” Moors said.
Foundation makes donation
The Wells Fargo Foundation has made a $20,000 donation to the SMARTstart Microloan Fund, which is a program of the Pasco Economic Development Council. During the past decade, Wells Fargo has made 12 donations to the program, for a total of $163,000, according to a Pasco EDC news release. The Microloan Fund supports small businesses and start-ups in Pasco County that are not able to receive loans through traditional means.
“Small businesses are the fabric of our communities,” J. Bradley Smith, a Pasco EDC board member, said in the release. Smith also is manager of the Wells Fargo Pasco East District.
This fiscal year, four microloans have been awarded — to a delicatessen, packaged beverage manufacturer, online home health agency and a gourmet café. The loans totaled $147,500.
“Our SMARTstart program supports Pasco entrepreneurs and small businesses through a variety of resources,” Bill Cronin, president/CEO, Pasco EDC, said in the release. “This donation adds financial support for businesses when they are ineligible for traditional bank loans. The fact that Wells Fargo still sees the value in our small businesses and is willing to help through a private donation speaks volumes to them as strong partners in our community.”
Small business financial assistance
Hillsborough County has paused a business assistance application program — to make a process that’s easier and allows for larger awards.
The assistance is intended to help businesses in Hillsborough that have been affected by the sustained COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to a Hillsborough County news release.
The County’s Rapid Response Recovery Program (R3) is being reformatted so that more businesses can qualify for assistance.
The county expected to launch its new Phase 4 program on Aug. 31.
Through the first three phases of the program, the county has been working with more than 3,000 small businesses on requests for nearly $32 million in direct funding.
Phase 4 is designed to expand access to more businesses and increase award amounts, simplify qualifications, and make applications easier. Changes include: Increasing awards to up to $40,000 for operational/working capital expenses to provide an immediate infusion of capital to local small businesses.
The awards will be based the size of the small business, with tiers based on the number of employees. Eligibility has been expanded to businesses established before Jan. 1, 2020.
Applicants who were denied in Phase 1 through Phase 3 may now qualify under the Phase 4 criteria and can simply resubmit their existing application.
Habitat for Humanity help
Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco County with a $15,000 grant to build an affordable home in Dade City, according to a Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce posting.
The funding is part of an $8.1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International for capacity building and direct mission support to build, renovate and repair more than 350 affordable homes across the United States, according to information shared by The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce.
The grant is provided through Wells Fargo Builds SM and is part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $1 billion philanthropic commitment to create more housing affordability solutions by 2025.
New dental office coming
Dr. Jeffrey Barrazueta, DMD, and Samir Barsoum, DMD, soon will offer dental services to the community of Odessa at Dental Care at Starkey Ranch. The full-service, state-of-the-art family dental practice is set to open in a new facility on Sept. 18.
“We are excited to be joining the Odessa community to offer high-quality dental services to families and individuals of all ages,” said Dr. Barrazueta. “Our mission is to provide exceptional experiences to each patient who walks through our doors.”
“Dental health is vital to overall health, so we want to help our patients make the best decisions for their care,” said Dr. Barsoum. “We plan to educate patients on the importance of dental care and encourage them to adopt an ongoing preventative care routine.”
Dental Care at Starkey Ranch is at 2638 Gunn Highway in Odessa. The office is accepting new patients. For more information, call (813) 560-1264, or visit DentalCareAtStarkeyRanch.com.
Job security a big concern, survey says
A new WalletHub survey found that one in three Americans is worried about layoffs.
The survey also found that 74% of people think that Congress should continue to give extra unemployment benefits until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
The current rate of unemployment is 10.2%, according to WalletHub, which recently released a nationally representative Coronavirus & Labor Day Survey.
The survey also found that 77% of Americans do not trust others to be responsible with social distancing over Labor Day Weekend.
Also, the survey found that half of Americans think they’ve worked harder since the pandemic began.
Black business owners hit hard
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across demographic groups, and black business owners have shown the biggest decline in business activity, according to information released by the Office of Advocacy for the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The number of black people who were working and self-employed in July 2020 was 18.4% lower than in July 2019, while the decline for everyone else was 6.3%, the SBA reports.
Declines have been bigger for black women than for black men, with a decline for black women in July of 19.8% and a decline for black men of 17.6%.
Read the SBA’s “Small Business Facts: Black business owners hit hard by pandemic” to learn more.