Sentiments of an RSG Consultant: Assisting with the City of Westminster’s Emergency Small Business Grant Program

By Alan Alé, Analyst

alan eblast.jpg
alan eblast.jpg

During my two years as a consultant at RSG, I have been able to take part in many impactful projects in communities all over California. With our recent work for the City of Westminster’s Emergency Small Business Grant Program, I have had the opportunity to directly speak to people in the community who are struggling to keep their business alive in these difficult times. Being a part of this program has been a very transformative, albeit somewhat difficult, experience personally.

In working with the City of Westminster, I have had the privilege to approve applicants for a $5,000 small business grant.  To be able to let businesses know they are receiving this money and to hear their stories about what this money will be able to do for them is both humbling and simultaneously, heartbreaking. Reactions to receiving these grants that ranged from “I will be able to pay my mortgage where I provide a roof for my mother and children” to “I was going to lose everything if I didn’t receive this grant” are statements that one cannot take lightly.

While delivering the good news to businesses that they have been approved for the grant has been satisfying, I have found the toughest part to be informing applicants when they do not qualify.  As someone who understands the gravity of these matters and values my ability to play a role in uplifting and protecting the livelihood of the communities for whom I work with, I naturally want to tell all applicants that they are receiving grants to provide the help they so desperately need.  We are hopeful that more funding will be made available to communities to assist more businesses and people in need.

This opportunity, like so many others, to assist those in need demonstrates the unfortunate reality that sometimes the desire and want to help everyone is not comparable to the capacity to do so.  This experience has served as a reminder to not let the joy felt in helping some be shadowed by the disappointment in not being able to help all and to appreciate and be thankful of the position I am in.