The City of Moreno Valley is a rapidly growing community, boasting more than 4,500 thriving businesses. The City’s Economic Development Department regularly offers a variety of resources, workshops and consulting to businesses at no cost. But in March of 2020, when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) turned the world upside down, “business as usual” became a thing of the past.
Recognizing this, the City of Moreno Valley quickly mobilized to respond to small business’ needs. Efforts to assist businesses included:
- Employment Resource Center: Moreno Valley’s Employment Resource Center, or ERC, is a one-stop resource center providing workforce development, recruitment and job fair support to connect Moreno Valley businesses with the right employees at no cost. While other business centers closed, the ERC remained open to the public, supplying vital services to businesses and job-seekers.
- Take Out Tuesday: City staff maintained weekly outreach with Moreno Valley restaurants and kept an online listing of businesses offering takeout, pickup and delivery services. Residents were encouraged to support local businesses.
- Senior Eats: A variation on the State’s Great Plates Delivered program, the City of Moreno Valley partnered with 10 local restaurants to provide meals to qualifying senior residents. 150 seniors received two meals per day, five days per week, for two months. This program protected an at-risk population while providing critically needed business for restaurants struggling to stay afloat.
- Forward MoVal: The City provided 45 grants to eligible small businesses; funds were made available through CARES Act federal funding. These grants, in the amount of $7,500, did not have to be repaid and allowed businesses to fund key expenses like rent and payroll.
- Outdoor Permits: To assist restaurants and retail, Moreno Valley created a simple, free permit to allow restaurants, gyms, services and salons to safely deliver services in an outdoor setting. And we ensured turnaround of this permit within 24 hours.
- COVID-19 Resources: Moreno Valley worked closely with State and County officials as well as public and private partners to provide up-to-the-minute information on funding opportunities, webinars and technical assistance. Visit https://www.morenovalleybusiness.com/coronavirus/ for more information.
- “We’ve Got You Covered:” With personal protective equipment in high demand and limited inventory available for purchase, community partners and local businesses donated masks, hand sanitizer and other equipment to the City. Moreno Valley created PPE packages and distributed more than 187,000 free facemasks to residents and businesses.
The City of Moreno Valley has a dedicated small business liaison, providing information and technical assistance online, via phone appointments, over email and by appointment at the Employment Resource Center. Moreno Valley continues to encourage community support of local small businesses. To learn more about these services, or for a list of businesses you can support, please call (951) 413-3460.