SANTA CLARITA — The state community college system has granted $30,000 to a local small business center to provide long-term assistance to businesses still suffering from the Northridge earthquake, a city official said Monday.
Officials said that during the next three months, the center at College of the Canyons, at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, will offer free individual counseling sessions and 10 special workshops aimed at hundreds of local business owners who are attempting to recover from the temblor.
"Anybody who wants help should get in on this," said Gail Foy, city spokeswoman. "This counseling can help people get back on their feet."
The grant from the Chancellor's Office of California Community Colleges will pay for two additional workers at the center, which was jointly launched three years ago by the city and The Newhall Land and Farming Co.
The recently hired accountant and financial adviser will provide assistance in applying for state and federal aid packages and give financial advice on operating small businesses, said Mike Haviland, city economic developer.
"There is a flood of people going for (Small Business Administration) loans right now and what we're doing is trying to build up the capacity to handle that," Haviland said. "There are lots of questions on how to fill out forms and on how the system works in general."
Haviland said the grant would pay for the two new workers to focus on such questions for the next six months. He said that so far there has been no sign of a slowdown in people requesting help.
"I don't know how long this will last," he said. "But it's not done yet--I can see that."