Economic Development News

From Susan Seaman, Program Director

Hello everyone!

I know you're used to seeing Ross's smiling face each month when you receive this newsletter, but he is on a very much deserved vacation. The man loves his job, but everyone should take some time to relax -- and we're a pretty good team here. Nothing broke in his absence.

This month meant a lot of non-vacation travel for our team, too. Ross and I had a meeting with our partners in Lake County, including Nicole Flora at Lake County EDC, Jeff and Andy Lucas from CDS and Laura Sammel at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce where we discussed opportunities for partnerships. We also had a lovely lunch with Pat Neighbors from Vocality Credit Union at the Saw Shop Public House, one of our AEDC clients. It was delicious. If you're ever near Kelseyville, check it out. Their new outdoor area is very, very close to completion!

We also met with the Hoopa Valley Tribe. First our Child Care Stabilization Team met with potential child care providers to help them learn how to start their own child care business. The following week, we met with some Tribal Council members, as well as key staff and the head of their various enterprises, the County of Humboldt and Humboldt Area Foundation to discuss development opportunities for the Tribe. We are so grateful that they continue to include us in their thinking about their future projects.

Our Loan Servicer, Tony Rodrigues and our new Loan Support Specialist, Michael Machado visited clients (or potential borrowers) in Humboldt, Lake, Del Norte and Siskiyou Counties, as well as Mendocino where they traveled all the way to Point Arena. Whew! That's a lot of miles!

Finally, Leadership Redwood Coast met in Crescent City for their third session in May. It was such a tremendous experience to see such a large group of people with little familiarity with Del Norte County fall in love with it. Crescent City is really blossoming right now, and the consensus by the Leadership group was that we're all optimistic about what's coming next.

Vacations are the best. Second best is living on the North Coast where every opportunity to visit with our partners throughout the region is like a little vacation.

-- Susan

Client Highlight: Humboldt Handwash

This month we’re highlighting one of our newest clients, Humboldt Hand Wash—a fantastic business that’s based in Mckinleyville, California. We had a chance to interview Owner, Manager, and Detailer, Bo Recchio, and here’s what he had to say…

How did Humboldt Handwash get its start?

A few years ago, I was getting ready to sell my car. I had it in my driveway and was in the process of detailing and cleaning it when one of my neighbors saw me out there and asked if I could detail her car too! Then, the rest of my neighbors started to notice and from there, it never stopped! It has been almost a year and a half of non-stop cleaning cars. 

What problem did AEDC help you solve?

We started out as a mobile car cleaning and detailing service which meant I would go to my customers rather than have them come to me. As the winter season started, I noticed we had fewer and fewer appointments being booked. I soon realized that being mobile was not profitable or sustainable for the business. 

I knew I needed to find a warehouse I could work out of any time of the year. I eventually found a warehouse that I knew would be the perfect place to be Humboldt Handwash’s new home but it was outside of my budget and I was still in the middle of a very slow season. That’s where AEDC came in. I was a small business that had only been operating for seven months and yet they took a chance on me. I got a loan and was able to secure a physical storefront for my business. Since then, our business has been steady and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help.

How has the loan impacted your business?

Now that we have a physical shop, our customers can just drive right in. They feel comfortable to drop by when it’s convenient for them. And, now that I don’t have to drive to each client, I have more time for more customers and more time for detailing! 

What do you want people to know about Humboldt Hand Wash?

Every vehicle is different and we’re ready to help you! We’re here to wash, restore, and assist you with all your automotive needs. Don’t be embarrassed to get your dirty car cleaned! We get a lot of people who feel ashamed of how dirty their cars are—but we get it! Your car is like your second home, you spend a lot of time in it, and chances are it’s going to get dirty and that’s what we’re here for! 

When can people come by to get their cars detailed? 

Humboldt Handwash, 2314 Central Avenue, McKinleyville, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Mondays are by appointment only! To make an appointment, call (707) 630 3133 or email us at

To learn more visit their website

Welcome to the AEDC Team JB!

We are delighted to introduce James "JB" Cisneros, our new Economic Development Administrative Analyst for the Community Economic Resilience Fund Grant, Redwood Region RISE.. JB’s expertise and collaborative approach will undoubtedly enhance our efforts as we work towards building a thriving and resilient economy. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to JB as he begins this exciting journey with us! 

Tell me about your new role at AEDC…

As the Economic Development Administrative Analyst, I am responsible for overseeing the preparation of monthly and quarterly reports for the CERF grant. These reports are crucial in providing insights and updates on our organization's activities and progress. 

Additionally, a significant aspect of my role involves coordinating communication between the state, EDD (Employment Development Department), and OPR (Office of Planning and Research). By ensuring a seamless and efficient flow of communication, I want to contribute to streamlining processes and fostering effective collaboration among these key entities. 

What was your past work experience prior to your new role at AEDC and how will that impact how you approach your work as an Economic Development Administrative Analyst?

Prior to my new role at AEDC, I had the privilege of working as a tribal administrator, where I focused on various aspects of tribal governance, economic development, and social service programs. This experience, which involved working towards growing the local tribal economy through economic development initiatives and providing housing solutions, has provided me with valuable insights and skills that will directly impact my approach. 

What aspects of being in Financial Services do you love the most?

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to establish a network with various Tribes and banks across the country. While I have a background in banking, my degree is in Organizational Communication. Within this realm, I constantly seek out ways to foster efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity within both the organizations and individuals I collaborate with. 

Within the Communication Department, we consider various elements such as logic, reasoning, rhetoric, and symbolism in our day-to-day approach. This multidimensional approach to communication not only enhances my skills but also provides me with a versatile toolkit that proves to be extremely helpful to those I work with.

When you’re not at AEDC, where can we find you? What do you like to do in your free time?

When I’m not working, you’re most likely to find me at the beach or on the course! Golfing is one of my favorite pastimes, I’m an avid golfer! In college, I caddied for one of my friends and we ended up playing in Canada and traveled all the way to Australia. My passion for golf also led me to start my own nonprofit where we taught over 1,000 children how to play the game of golf. 

Aside from golfing, I’m also passionate about screenwriting. In fact, I’m currently in the process of getting one of my films financed, so that’s really exciting. I’m also the author of several books available on Amazon. 

How long have you lived in Humboldt County? What do you love about living here?

I've been living in Humboldt County for about four years now. It's funny how much it reminds me of my hometown in Kansas. There's that same small-town vibe where everyone’s connected and people genuinely care for one another. And being so close to the ocean is amazing. It's my favorite place to go when I'm not working. 

The only thing that would make it even better is if McKinleyville was just 10 degrees warmer, then it’d be perfect! But overall, I really love living here. It’s a friendly community and the ocean is not too far from my doorstep.

We are absolutely thrilled to have JB on board with us. We know his presence on our team will help us make a positive impact on our region!

ARPA Board Of Supervisors Presentation

It was one year ago when the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors allocated $4.86 M from their American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize and revitalize the child care industry, which was severely effected by COVID -19. Our Child Care Stabilization Fund Program Manager Jade Hoff made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors to share the latest status of their investment.

Currently, we have rolled out three programs from the Child Care Stabilization Fund. Retention Bonuses supported 410 child care providers with bonuses totaling $617,390. We've also rolled out a Hiring Bonus for family programs and child care centers. Because of a collaboration with the Humboldt County Office of Education, those funds are being leveraged to provide larger incentives for new employees.

We have also rolled out a Loan Forgiveness program that will allow providers to make improvements to their centers by providing equipment and improvements that would not be possible without the program. Over 40 program plans have been approved and are in the process of underwriting.

This milestone wouldn't have been possible without the invaluable support of Sean Quincey from the County CAO office and the collaboration of our dedicated partners. Notably, we extend our gratitude to Mary Ann Hansen from First Five, Kerry Venegas from Changing Tides Family Services, and Dawn Arledge from the California Center for Rural Policy, who joined us at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

A special acknowledgment goes to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, who have emerged as exemplary leaders in the state in their commitment to supporting the child care industry. 

Stay tuned for further updates on our Child Care Stabilization Fund Program as we continue our journey toward creating a thriving and inclusive community for all! Click here to visit our website and learn more. 

CERF Job Opportunities: Project Coordinators Wanted!

North Coast Opportunities, in partnership with AEDC for Redwood Region RISE, is currently on the lookout for passionate individuals to join their team as Project Coordinators for the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) grant. And guess what? They have exciting opportunities available in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties!

If you're someone who thrives on making a positive impact in your community and has a keen interest in economic resilience, then this could be the perfect role for you. As a Project Coordinator, you'll be at the forefront of driving change and creating a more resilient future for the region.

Are you ready to take the next step? Click the links below to learn more about this amazing opportunity:

Don't miss out on this chance to make a real difference in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. Apply today and let your passion for community and economic resilience shine!


Register for the 3rd Annual Regional Economic Development Summit! 

Get ready for the highly anticipated 3rd annual regional economic development summit, the State of the Redwood Coast Region! This year, we're taking the excitement to a whole new level by bringing the event to you IN PERSON in the vibrant city of Ukiah, CA on September 21-22, 2023!

​​Secure your spot now by grabbing the limited Early Bird tickets available for just $135! Don't wait another moment—click here to register today and reserve your place at the forefront of the Redwood Coast Region's economic revolution.

Uniting businesses, economic development professionals, and visionary leaders from various industries, we'll embark on a journey to discover shared economic opportunities that will propel our region toward unparalleled growth and success.

You won't want to miss this incredible opportunity to connect, network, and build meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals who are passionate about shaping the future of the Redwood Coast Region. Join us at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, conveniently located at 200 S School Street.

Be part of the transformative discussions, engaging workshops, and enlightening presentations that will empower you with the knowledge and tools to make a lasting impact on our communities. Whether you're a seasoned professional, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a community advocate, this summit is your chance to be part of something extraordinary.

Visit our website to uncover more details about this unforgettable event that will shape the future of our region. Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and captivated by the incredible possibilities that lie ahead!

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Arcata Economic Development Corporation

Fax: (707) 798-6130
Tel: (707) 798-6132
707 K Street, Eureka, CA 95501

Newsletter produced by
Allie Jones, Illuminated Marketing
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