The New Year
By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold
The New Year is off to a good start. Most of the Central Coast saw significant rainfall in December, making the threat of a severe drought less likely. While the total seasonal rainfall is expected to be below average, the water situation has improved.
The County Board of Supervisors spent their first meeting of the year discussing how best to distribute federal dollars that have come into the County to help alleviate some of the problems caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), a federal stimulus bill designed to send money to local governments to aid public health and economic recovery, provides $1.9 trillion in nationwide funding.
Small businesses have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. I understand everything from health regulations, difficulty in hiring workers, families struggling with child care availability, and closed schools have contributed to the struggles we will address with the ARPA funding.
The County is in the process of distributing $9 million to be split between small businesses, non-profits, and the child care industry. Supporting our businesses and non-profit organizations helps create jobs, and puts our workforce back to work. There will soon be money available for small businesses while grants for non-profits will continue to provide needed services, and money for expanding child care availability for children of all ages.
Sometimes called the Covid-19 Stimulus package, the American Rescue Plan Act was designed to boost the economy. It has, however, contributed significantly to the national debt, which is now over $28 trillion. The debt service on our national debt has also grown to approximately $413 billion/year, and could rise significantly if interest rates go up.
Our community needs to put these dollars to work, as do the all the communities across the nation, so we can get our economy back on track. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and hopefully this stimulus money will help them grow while their success will help lower the national debt.
For information on what funding is available and how to apply, feel free to call my office at (805)781-4339. It is an honor to serve as the 5th District Supervisor.
5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold
Debbie Arnold moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1973 to attend Cal Poly, she fell in love with both her husband, Steve, and the farming and ranching values that had been a part of the Arnold family way of life for more than 5 generations. While raising two children, she owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for more than 17 years. She then had the privilege of advocating for local families as a Legislative Aide at the County Supervisor’s office and as a San Luis Obispo District Representative for the State Senate. During these years, she worked with a broad range of community groups and interests, bringing people together to solve problems. Debbie Arnold now serves as the 5th District Supervisor for San Luis Obispo County.