Green Bay Packers quarterback and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has donated $1 million to help 80 locally owned businesses in or around his hometown of Chico, California.
The businesses that Rodgers is helping are on the whole either in Chico or in Butte County, where Chico is found. Restaurants and retail businesses with 20 or fewer full-time comparable employees could apply for help through this fund.
Each of the 80 of those businesses will get grants through the Aaron Rodgers Small-Business COVID-19 Fund at North Valley Community Foundation in Chico. The grants will add up to more than $1 million.
These grants will help cover rent for an average of a quarter of a year or more, and they likewise will aid other operational expenses.
“Small, locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a community,” Rodgers said in a statement. “In the applications and the videos, it was heart-wrenching to hear about all the obstacles facing restaurants and retail establishments. So many of them are struggling just to stay in business but remain hopeful that there’s an end to this.”
Rodgers began the fund by making a $500,000 donation in early February. He later decided to expand his donation to $1 million. The fund likewise has received donations from different sources adding up to more than $200,000.
This comes after Rodgers donated $1 million to the recovery of the fires that hit Butte County in November 2018. Rodgers made that donation through a North Valley Community Foundation fund that in the end raised more than $3 million with help from fans and corporate partners.