The organizer of a GoFundMe campaign to help Redwood City businesses which boarded up in anticipation of potentially destructive protests in June is inviting them to apply for a portion of the $13,000 that was collected.
Brett Weber, a longtime commercial real estate executive who lives in downtown Redwood City, made an impromptu decision to organize the GoFundMe effort to assist businesses he knew were already struggling because of months of coronavirus-related shutdowns.
Fearing the worst because of rioting and looting across the nation, most downtown businesses and some in the Fair Oaks neighborhood expended hundreds to thousands of dollars to get their storefronts boarded up in advance of a June 2 march—and then to have the plywood removed. Fortunately, those fears were not borne out and the march and rally were not violent.
“We are grateful that the protests in Redwood City were peaceful and on message,” Weber says, “however the costs incurred were an additional expense that nobody expected.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of the community,” he adds, “and contributing to the fund was a way for people to show support for the restaurants, stores and other businesses they patronize.”
Business owners who had to pay to board up their windows and doors are eligible to receive up to $750 grants from the fund, which means as many as 18 to 26 groups will be able to recover some of what they spent. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the money runs out.
Applicants need to provide the name and address of the business, contact information, proof of payment for boarding up and photos of the plywood installation. They should send the information to either Weber at Brett.Weber@me.com or Ernie Schmidt at Ernie@foxvenues.com; both can also provide more specifics about the requirements.
The application deadline is Sept. 7, and Weber’s goal is to have the payments made by the end of September.
Headline photo: Redwood City businesses board up before the demonstration/Jim Kirkland