By LOUIE DIAZ
On Jan. 5, the San Benito City Commission held a regular commission meeting in which they discussed changes to the San Benito Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and expansion of the EDC Small Business Investment Program.
Rebecca Castillo, Executive Director of the San Benito EDC, came forth to seek approval for an amendment to the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year Budget to hire a part-time grant writer. The grant writer would be an employee of the San Benito EDC, and the money to hire the writer would come from the San Benito EDC’s fund balance which currently has $2.7 million, Castillo explained.
Commissioner Pedro Galvan questioned whether the grant writer would be helping the EDC or the City.
“We are factoring in both, external opportunity of bringing in economic opportunities to San Benito, but also the internal impact of quality of life,” Castillo replied. “We are also working internally with the quality of life: from parks and recreation improvements to parks, to sidewalks, and other infrastructure that may be necessary.”
A motion to approve the recommendation was made by Mayor Pro Tem Carol Lynn Sanchez and seconded by Commissioner Rene Villafranco. The item was passed unanimously.
A consideration was also made to expand a San Benito EDC grant from just the downtown area to make it city-wide.
Castillo explained that the grant, called the Small Business Investment Program, is offered to help small businesses willing to open or expand within the San Benito City Limits and has had high demand from businesses outside the downtown area including: Business 77, Oscar Williams Road, Stenger St., etc. She also explained some eligibility guidelines for small businesses.
“The business must be a small-scale business within a minimum of three employees during the application period and no more than a $350,000 of gross sales a year,” Castillo said.
Motions to approve the recommendation came from Commissioner Villafranco and was seconded by Commissioner Galvan. The motion passed unanimously.
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