It’s hard to believe we’re already one month into the new year! Though it seems like we’ve been living in this new normal for quite some time now, it certainly does feel as though time itself has been flying. As many of you may have heard, we are thrilled to have the second regional COVID-19 Vaccine Super POD located here in Aliso Viejo at Soka University. We are honored to be able to join directly in the shared effort of protecting residents against the virus. As a reminder, COVID-19 vaccines distributed at the Soka University Super POD are currently available to individuals who live and work in Orange County and fall within the State’s Phase 1A, including those aged 65 and older. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the new Super POD location at Soka University, head over to avcity.org.
Though we are making strides towards a better future across the state, the pandemic is not near being over and we must continue to do our part as individuals to slow the spread. With this in mind, Orange County has been placed back into the Purple Tier (widespread, most restrictive tier) under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Under this tier, services and activities including outdoor dining and personal care services are able to resume immediately with required modifications, and we are excited to announce that The Row and The Patio at Town Center have re-opened. As you venture out, I encourage you to continue wearing your mask and maintaining a safe distance between those who are not members of your own household, and please continue to keep your family safe and healthy with every precaution – your health and wellbeing is very important to us.
With the security and stability of our residents in mind, I am happy to share that the County has recently launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program for those living in rental households. This much-needed source of financial relief will offer up to $10,000 to qualifying households in Orange County for unpaid rent or utility bills due to COVID-19. If you would like to learn more or apply, there are three simple options for you to do so: either by visiting era.211oc.org, texting ERA to 898211 or by dialing 2-1-1. The application period is now open, and the applications will be accepted for the duration of this month until February 28.
I’d also like to remind our business owners of a wonderful opportunity to receive aid and funding during these difficult times. I encourage you to seek funding where needed to help your business stay afloat and continue operating as an integral part of our community. The State’s $500 million Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program has started accepting round 2 applications. Awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 will be offered to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions. You can find more information for the State’s Small Business Relief Grant Program listed on our website.
As we continue into 2021 with a renewed and hopeful outlook of what’s to come, I would like to assure you that I, along with City Council and City Staff, will remain by your side in an effort to help you thrive no matter what lies ahead. I am wishing you the very best in safety and in health, and I am looking forward to connecting with you very soon.
Mayor Tiffany Ackley
Any views or opinions expressed in this message belong solely to the Mayor.