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Ripon considers more COVID bail-out funding
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The Ripon City Council will look at approving Small Business Assistance Grant Program Phase 2 at tonight’s 6 o’clock monthly meeting.

Elected leaders discussed another round of COVID-19 bail-out money prior to the latest shutdowns and the regional stay-at-home orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Nov. 24 special session.

The money from the Paycheck Protection Program relief fund made possible by the CARES Act allowed 72 businesses to pay rent and other operational costs during the first stay-at-home orders several months ago.

About 108 businesses qualified but not all applied for the funding.

“Council directed staff to bring back a draft version of a Phase 2 Small Business Assistance Grant Program to once again assist struggling small businesses due to the ongoing economic impacts surrounding COVID-19,” said Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart.

He noted the following criteria for funding assistance eligibility:

  • Businesses that were mandated to be fully closed such as bars.
  • Businesses that were forced to close all indoor operations such as gyms and sit down / dine in restaurants.
  • Businesses that are considered non-essential and therefore are allowed to operate indoors, but in a limited capacity (service industry and non-essential retail).

Those applying for the grant will be required to indicate their experienced decline in revenue due to the results of COVID-19 along with state and/or county health orders.

Certain businesses – non-profit organizations, real estate, financial entities, home occupations, fast food restaurants with drive-thru windows in a highly commercial zone, and medical industry, to name a few – are exempt from these funds.

Businesses receiving the Phase 2 grant will also benefit by having the City of Ripon waive their 2021 business license fee.


Meetings again

closed to public

Ripon City Council meetings will again be closed to the public.

That decision is based on the guidance from the state Department of Public Health and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

In recent months, the City of Ripon had limited attendance to the first 25 at the Council Chambers.

As for elected leaders, they’ll have a choice to attend the meeting virtually or in person while practicing social distancing and other safety protocols.

The open session will be available on livestream at

Public comments on agenda and non-agenda items can be made via e-mail ( by 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting. The reading of the e-mail comments will be limited to 250 words or less and will be entered for the record of the meeting.

Council will welcome a new member in local businessman Tim Wheeler. He’ll take over for the outgoing Jake Parks, who opted out of any re-election plans after serving two terms.

Wheeler, who has a CPA office in downtown, was third in the Nov. 3 elections behind incumbents Daniel de Graaf and Leo Zuber.

Council is on tap to make it official by voting to certify the election.

For de Graaf, he’s scheduled to take over as mayor after serving the past year as vice mayor. This will be his first time at the top rung of the Council’s rotating seats. Dean Uecker would then take over as vice mayor.

Additional information on the Council meeting is available online at