At a special Sebastopol City Council meeting this Wednesday, Aug. 12, the city council members will receive a presentation from CoMission about the local business survey and microsurvey it conducted. The council will also be discussing direction and action relating to helping businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting, dubbed a “council study session” will be conducted virtually from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Details to attend via Zoom are located here.
CoMission, headed by former Sebastopol Mayor Craig Litwin, was hired on by the city in May to focus on community vitality efforts. The city opted for using CoMission instead of hiring an economic development director/community vitality specialist. The contract awarded was initially for $40,000, however, the council voted to grant the group an additional $40,000 during its meeting on July 22 to have it engage in additional business and community vitality-related efforts.
Though CoMission was hired to help revitalize the city’s downtown and encourage businesses and nonprofits to work together, its trajectory changed with the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it’s focus has been put toward trying to preserve Sebastopol’s small-town businesses, many of which are weathering economic blows related to the coronavirus. Included in its recent work, the group has conducted a business survey and launched the ‘Sip, Shop, Savor Sebastopol’ campaign.
According to the agenda for Wednesday evening’s meeting, the council will be discussing and considering items like a business loan program, sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom to support the uses of sidewalks and parking spaces for businesses, proposed road closures, online shopping support and sending a letter to the county advocating for the city to receive county funds.
The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting can be found here.