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News Release —
County Plans More Support for Small Businesses

A service provider is sought for a program tied to equity efforts.
A female store clerk stands in front of small glass bins of foods.
 April 30, 2024

Body of News Release

San Rafael, CA – As part of an ongoing effort to address racial disparities, the Marin County Office of Equity is working on strategies to support traditionally marginalized local microenterprises and entrepreneurs, a group more negatively impacted by and least likely to have received help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two public listening sessions are scheduled for May so County staff can collect feedback on how financial support to lower-income businesses should be organized and distributed.

Microenterprises are defined by the state as businesses operated by less than five people and generating less than $2.5 million in annual receipts over 3 years. The County of Marin is creating a $250,000 microenterprise support program this summer designed to assist small businesses in Marin City, Novato, West Marin, and the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael. Applications for the support are expected to open by August 2024.

Registration is open on the County website for the Microenterprise Support Program listening sessions. Staff from the County Executive's Office will facilitate the conversations. Videoconference captioning in Spanish will be provided. 

There will be two free online listening sessions  for potential service providers, microentrepreneurs, and community members to share their insights on microenterprise support: 

  • Wednesday, May 8, 1 to 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, May 15, 4:30 to 6 PM 

The County’s updated Race Equity Action Plan, approved in January by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, includes economic opportunity as one of its top three priorities along with mental health services and housing. In general, equity measures and economic well-being are some of the Supervisors’ top ongoing focus areas.

County Equity Director Jamillah Jordan said the Race Equity Action Plan is a “clear vision and systemic approach to addressing identified racial equity gaps.” Marin consistently ranks among the healthiest and wealthiest communities in California, but it is also the third most racially disparate according to the 2023 Race Counts report. Economic mobility is one of the equity indicators that prove communities of color in Marin are experiencing deep and pervasive disparities.

For more data about equity measures in Marin, check the Health Equity Zone Dashboard.


Page updated May 1, 2024