The Woodside Town Council took steps to help shore up local businesses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic at its April 28 meeting.
Via teleconference, the council also unanimously approved the most recent quarterly budget review and adopted a resolution amending the current year's budget to fund a fire safety clearing project on town property.
The council voted 6-0, with Councilman Sean Scott abstaining, to approve an $80,000 donation to the San Mateo County Strong fund, with the funds designated for small businesses based in Woodside. The fund, administered by San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association and San Mateo Credit Union, provides emergency support for individuals, nonprofits and small businesses in the county that need assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of its total $3 million, the fund allocated $1 million for small businesses, with the average grant amounting to $10,000 per business. That will provide support for about 100 businesses across the county, according to a staff report.
Town Manager Kevin Bryant said that Woodside has around 42 businesses, but that not all of them are likely to meet the San Mateo County Strong fund criteria, which includes having the equivalent of 10 or fewer full-time employees as of Feb. 15, or less than $2.5 million in annual gross revenue over the past year; demonstrating a 25% reduction in gross revenue due to COVID-19; and operating an office or storefront open to the public in San Mateo County.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis is not reflected in the town's latest budget review because stay-at-home orders were issued close to the end of the third quarter, according to a staff report. But in spite of the crisis’ significant impact on many other communities, Bryant said that Woodside is “very well positioned to absorb this hit,” in part due to the fact that the town’s single largest source of revenue is property taxes, which account for 40% of the general fund.
An amendment to the 2019-20 adopted budget approves an agreement with contractor SP McClenahan, Inc. for a fire safety project to create defensible space at the town’s Joan Olsen Natural Preserve. The work, which is not to exceed $79,926, includes raising of tree limbs and removal of dead wood and brush to create a 100-foot perimeter of defensible space around the 6.8-acre preserve, following a January 2020 recommendation by the fire marshal, a staff report said.