BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Board of Supervisors held a meeting Tuesday to discuss a number of topics, including a new program urging more residents to donate convalescent plasma and the Kern Recovers Program.
The board asked county staff to make recommendations for a program in which the county would actively recruit recovered patients and encourage them to donate. Supervisor Mike Maggard said while over 4,000 people have recovered from the virus, only a small fraction of those people have actually donated convalescent plasma.
The board also discussed the forgiveness loan program and officials said out of the $25 million available, they have used more than $20 million so far. That's compared to a month ago when the program said it had issued around $4 million in loans.
"So that program is currently we have spent $20.66 million. So, $20.66 million has gone into our local economy in a way of supporting, financially supporting, Kern County small businesses," said County Chief Operations Officer Jim Zervis. "That is roughly 83% of our program total and I do anticipate being at program max within the next week."
Zervis said that money has supported 686 local businesses across 18 different industries. Some of those businesses include restaurants, bars, real estate agents, physicians, and nail and beauty salons.
Zervis said when they spend the entire money from the program within the next week they anticipate helping more than 800 businesses.
The current loan average is about $28,800 per business.
For small businesses, you can still apply for help from the Kern Recovers Program.
According to the county, the program will provide up to $75,000 dollars each to local small businesses. They include restaurants, gyms, salons and will directly mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The county's program will only be available to local small businesses with less than 50 employees and less than $5 million dollars in annual revenue.
According to an interactive map on the Kern Recovers website, a majority of those businesses that have received loans fall within the Bakersfield area.
For more details about the Kern Recovers program, click here.