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Laguna COVID-19 matching grant relief fund for residents and employees has been launched

To provide direct financial assistance to individuals and employees living or working in Laguna Beach who have been impacted by COVID-19, the Laguna Beach City Council set aside a $300,000 matching grant for Phase 2 of the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund as part of the City’s $1.4 million in economic assistance for restaurants, bars, retail, and community members.

Launched yesterday, January 11, the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund, administered by the Laguna Beach Community Foundation (LBCF), will provide Emergency Assistance Mini-Grants up to a maximum of $1,000 per household to individuals living or working* in Laguna Beach, with emphasis on those in the restaurant, hospitality, retail, and personal services industries. 

All donations made to the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund are tax deductible and will be matched by the City of Laguna Beach up to $300,000. The fund has already pre-fundraised $30,000, which was matched by the City of Laguna Beach via check this week.

Mayor urges the community to help too

“Right now, we are in the darkest days of this pandemic and hundreds of local workers and residents have been laid off again,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “They are stretched to the breaking point to pay their rent, keep their utilities turned on, and feed their families. 

“I urge our community to do what it always does in times of crisis, which is to rise to the challenge and raise $300,000 to match the City funds. Please dig deep and give what you can to help the cause.”

The Emergency Assistance Mini-Grants will be awarded to applicants consistent with the mission and focus of the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund. Applications will be reviewed by the Laguna Beach Community Foundation COVID-19 Fund Advisors and Community Committee, and grants will be awarded to support those most affected and in need.

Laguna Bob Whalen

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Mayor Bob Whalen encourages community support for the relief fund and the wearing of masks to reduce spread of the virus

“Our mission is to assist as many of our neighbors as we can during this pandemic by providing emergency assistance mini-grants to individuals and families to pay for the necessities of life,” said Tom Davis, chair of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. “We want to thank the City of Laguna Beach for stepping up by providing up to $300,000 in matching funds for this program. It is up to the rest of us to raise the funds to meet this challenge.”

Once selected to receive assistance and financial support, payments will be received in the form of checks, gift cards, or other means as determined appropriate by the Fund Advisors. The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is partnering with the LBCF to provide practical assistance in the process of application submission and grant delivery.

Boys & Girls Club assists with implementation

“The Boys & Girls Club is proud to partner with the Laguna Beach Community Foundation and the City of Laguna Beach to help those who have been hit hardest by the economic impact of COVID,” said Pam Estes, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club. “The people we are helping make up the fabric of our community and have been there for all of us in good times. We are grateful to be able to be here for them when times are tough.” 

The Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund was formed in April 2020 to provide up to $1,000 to individuals living or working in Laguna Beach who had suffered hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. During the program’s first phase, $475,000 was distributed to 850 Laguna Beach residents and employees through the contributions of 75 individuals. 

“The City Council has approved a $300,000 matching grant to again provide for the City’s workers and residents as the pandemic has again forced businesses to close. We hope that those who are in a position to help will again contribute to the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those in need,” said Bob Mister, co-chair of the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund.

To donate to the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund, click here or you may donate via PayPal.

You may also donate by sending checks to: Laguna COVID19 Relief Fund, 580 Broadway St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

For grant application information, visit the program’s website at www.lagunacovid19relief.com. For further questions, please call Tom Davis, Chair of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, at (949) 416-2822.

*Please note that City of Laguna Beach employees, appointed officials, and their immediate families are not eligible for the Laguna COVID-19 Relief Fund.