The Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce held a live stream on Facebook today discussing city efforts to help local businesses during the covid-19 pandemic.
Lake Forest Council Member Dwight Robinson said the Lake Forest Economic Development team has been reaching out to businesses and is available for help and questions.
Lake Forest Economic Development Team
Lake Forest business owner, Steve Smith, President of Growth Source Coaching, asked council member Dwight Robinson what has been happening internally for businesses in Lake Forest.
“Our economy development team, Carlo Tomaino, is trying reach out to businesses and making sure were finding out what they need right now. Are you open? How can we push people to access the products and services you’re providing?,” Dwight said. “If you’re not open how can we let you know about things like the CARES Act cares that just passed, how can we let you know about potential SBA funding, loans and things like that may be available.”
Dwight also touched on the lack of city sales tax revenue due to business closures.
“There’s been a very significant drop in retail sales that generate sales tax; which are 32% of the city’s budget every year, sales tax revenue and that’s how we can fund roads, maintenance and pay for police and all the different things we do as a city,” Council member Robinson said.
Small Business Economy
Lake Forest small businesses are a valuable component to the city and with only 43 restaurants currently in operation the city needs residents to support local.
Council member Dwight encourages Lake Forest residents to kick start the economy starting in their own backyard.
“50% of the U.S. economy is driven by small business. These are our friends and neighbors who their livelihood has just been decimated over last few weeks. If we really love our neighbor, we care about our neighbor, we want to try to see what we can do to help their business survive.” said Dwight Robinson. “They provide us a valuable product and service each and every day, also, they are our friends we want to make sure they can continue to be successful. That’s what I think of when we talk about restarting the economy and trying to get it kick started again its those people. I’m not concerned about a wall street banker and their seven-figure commission or some billionaire and their portfolio.”
Lake Forest Shop & Dine is creating a directory of operating businesses during the covid-19 quarantine. To be included in our official city directory send us an e-mail at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Council member Dwight Robinson said that the city is currently giving business owners free ‘open for business’ window signs to let the community know which businesses are still operating.
” We have plenty of signs if your businesses are open. I know you can pick them up here at the chamber office,” council member Robinson said.
The signs come in two variations for food and service related businesses. The signs can be picked up at the chamber of commerce or the PM Group at 25 Rancho Circle in Lake Forest.
Now through April 30, the City is also allowing businesses to display banners and lawn signs. You can purchase these directly through the PM Group website: https://lf-signs.web2printorders.net/
You can contact Carlo Tomaino at the Lake Forest Economic Development Department at 949-461-3400