Economic Development News
From Ross Welch, Executive Director

March has been an exciting month here at AEDC. As the launch of Leadership Redwood Coast is in full swing, we can’t help but look forward to how these future leaders will influence the Redwood Coast. For over 40 years, AEDC has fostered economic and community development in cooperation with regional partners to build and maintain healthy communities. Through a joint effort with the Eureka Chamber of Commerce, we’re excited to serve the community and support entrepreneurial, innovative business and community endeavors. Keep reading to learn more about the launch of Leadership Redwood Coast and the latest happening in our region.

-Ross W.

Leadership Redwood Coast Launches

Leadership Redwood Coast has officially launched! At the beginning of March, 25 cross-sector leaders from across the region came together over dinner at Café Marina as the inaugural class of Leadership Redwood Coast. They then spent the next two days diving into topics designed to build their leadership skills and prepare them to explore the region’s biggest challenges, opportunities, and assets. 

A program of AEDC in partnership with Illuminated Marketing and the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Redwood Coast (LRC) is a five-month program centered on empowering diverse individuals throughout Humboldt, Del Norte, and adjacent Tribal Lands with the tools, connections, and insights they need to effect equitable and innovative change in their communities and across the region.

“Over the past year, our team has been working closely with our Advisory Board and literally dozens of leaders across the region to curate a masters-level class on all things Redwood Coast – from building a more equitable economy to protecting our environment, strengthening our infrastructure, and much, much more,” said Susan Seaman, Program Director at AEDC. “Coupling this with leading edge leadership development, over the coming five months we will prepare emerging and established leaders to go deeper with their commitment to our region’s – and their own – success.”

Loren Collins, an LRC participant from Cal Poly Humboldt shared, “I don’t know that I’ve been involved in training in a long time that is this intensive, and I enjoy it so much. The structure and the content of the program are really solid.”

The Leadership Redwood Coast Class of 2023 includes:

Alec Dompka, University of California Cooperative Extension, Del Norte

Alia Dunphy, College of the Redwoods

Amanda Kruschke, City of Eureka

Ashley Vellis, Ashley's Seafood

Brian Gonzalez, Redwood Capital Bank

Bridget Lacey, City of Crescent City

Crystal Morse, College of the Redwoods

Erin Dunn, Field Office of Assemblymember Jim Wood

Genevieve Marchand, Cal Poly Humboldt

George Schmidbauer, Schmidbauer Lumber

Hannah Joy, Arcata Economic Development Corporation

Jade Hoff, Arcata Economic Development Corporation

Jason Daniel “J.d.” Garza, Cal Poly Humboldt

Jose Serrano, College of the Redwoods

Josh Mohland, Bathrobe Dynamics and Flow Digital

Juan Pablo Cervantes, Humboldt County Clerk, Recorder & Registrar of Voters

Kayla Corder, Eddy Alexander

Lisa Gaetje, College of the Redwoods

Loren Collins, Cal Poly Humboldt

Maria Durazo, Open Door Health Centers

Megan Kenney, North Coast Growers Association

Santiago Menjivar, Cal Poly Humboldt

Sara Barbour, Yurok Economic Development Corporation 

Sarah West, City of Eureka

Stevie Luther, Humboldt County Association of Governments

Session 2 will begin on April 13th in Rio Dell, so stay tuned for updates! LRC is led by Nancy Olson, CEO of the Greater Eureka Chamber, and Allie Jones, owner of Illuminated Marketing. Anyone interested in participating in the Leadership Redwood Coast Class of 2024 may send an inquiry to To learn more about the program visit, or keep up with us on social media. Follow us on Facebook @Leadership Redwood Coast and Instagram @LeadershipRC.  

***Photo Courtesy of Evan Wish Photography

Client Highlight: Fringe and Folly Salon

A big congratulations to one of our clients, Fringe and Folly Salon, a new hair salon located at 219 Second St in Old Town Eureka. The salon is owned and operated by Arielle Englund, whose recent creative renovations give this former-salon space a fresh new look. 

Originally from San Diego, Arielle has been styling and cutting hair for 14 years. After moving to Humboldt in 2019 to finish her degree in Psychology at Cal Poly Humboldt, Arielle worked as a stylist at the Trim Scene in Arcata, where she built up a loyal customer base and fell in love with hair styling all over again. 

“Opening up my own business was never really a thought I had dreamed of before, but after seeing a for-sale ad for the space, I took a leap and applied. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve received so much support from my friends and family—it’s been really encouraging from the start. The community has been so welcoming. Even as I was just starting, I was receiving referrals from other hair stylists in the area.”

Fringe and Folly Salon provides an array of hair services, including but not limited to: cuts and fades, color and blonding, up-dos, braids, and extensions. They offer different salon-quality product lines for clients to purchase and take home.

Arielle also provides the opportunity for other hair stylists to rent booth space. Each stylist has the freedom to set their own prices and distribute their products, giving Fringe and Folly Salon’s new clients a variety of stylists and options to choose from. 

“I wanted to make sure my salon and stylists are educated on all types of hair. We want all community members to feel welcome, especially the BIOPC and LGBTQ+ communities. It was important to me to create a space that is not only welcoming but also supportive of everyone’s self-expression.” 

Starting your own business can feel daunting, but with the support and services provided by AEDC, Arielle was able to arrange her loan to cover the first 5 months of the lease. “Even if my booth wasn't filled and I didn’t have the income to make payment, the loan gave me the coverage I needed.” And now—4 out of 5 of her chairs are filled.

The startup funds helped Arielle purchase furniture, buy styling products in bulk, stock color lines, and tools. “The loan support I received from AEDC helped my dreams come to fruition. There were no limits for the space I wanted to create, and I was able to start really strong.” 

Today, Fringe and Folly Salon is open, taking on new clients, and excited to be a part of the community! While their website is currently under construction, you can visit to book your next appointment! Or call (707) 613-3244 to learn more.

Child Care Stabilization Fund Launches Two Additional

Programs for New Hires and Facility Improvement

After the success of last year’s retention bonuses for local child care workers, we rolled out two additional programs under the Child Care Stabilization Fund to support child care business owners looking to upgrade their facilities, as well as hiring bonuses for those who started working in child care this year.

To date, the Covid-relief retention bonuses have impacted 405 Humboldt County Child Care providers, with payments totaling $610,440. Three-hundred and ten of those recipients were child care employees, and another 95 were business owners. 

“Child care workers tend to be undervalued and are underpaid even though we are considered essential workers,” says Michele Palazzo, head teacher at Beginnings Inc. in Redway who received a retention bonus last year. “Receiving a bonus like this not only assisted each of us with our daily lives but was also a necessary boost for morale.”

Facility Improvement Forgivable Loans

One of the new programs to launch this year is the Facility Improvement Forgivable Loans. This new program offers child-care providers up to $10,000 in SBA loans to upgrade their facilities in ways that improve efficiency, safety, and learning. Investments in facility equipment, environment, and modernization are all eligible project plans for receiving the loan.

To be eligible for this loan, providers must complete a project plan outlining how they plan to use their funds by filling out a project template, and by providing an estimate of the project’s budget. Once the project is approved, AEDC’s Jade Hoff will follow up with a separate application and walk providers through the next steps to receive their funds. To learn more about Facility Improvement Forgivable Loans visit the website at

Hiring Bonuses

The second program is for new child-care employees who started working on or after January 1st, 2023. Similar to the retention bonus, these hiring bonuses are aimed at increasing the number of certified providers in Humboldt to create more access to child care, especially in Humboldt’s most rural communities. 

“It is a big relief to receive these extra funds to offset the losses I have experienced since the pandemic began. This generous additional support is very much appreciated and has been the essential factor keeping my daycare open…” said Diane Boutris, owner of Diane Boutris Family Child Care Home in Eureka after receiving her retention bonus last year.

This new round of hiring bonuses will offer up to $1,000 to full-time employees or $500 for half-time (12-29 hours) employees. However, employees must work a total of 90 days before they are eligible. To apply, fill out an application and send it to with the subject line Child Care Hiring Bonus Program or mail a hard copy of the application to 707 K Street Eureka, CA.

CERF's Up! Training in Sacramento

In mid-March, the Redwood Coast Region administrative team, including AEDC, California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) and North Coast Opportunities (NCO) met with California’s 13 regions which are all launching inclusive and equitable economic development planning processes charting their regions’ respective economic futures with the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) planning grant.  

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) hosted a CERF Kick-Off event at Sacramento City College from Wednesday, March 22 to Thursday, March 23, 2023. The event was structured to build excitement and momentum for the Planning Phase, foster a community of practice, and to explore some of the shared challenges with beginning such an ambitious project.  

The CERF planning grant is designed to build an equitable and sustainable economy across California’s diverse regions and foster long-term economic resilience in the overall transition to a carbon-neutral economy.  Redwood Region RISE, which is the name for the Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino and Lake County process, held their second community collaborative meeting on March 30th.

Pictured Above: Jesus Salazar, Senior Program Analyst, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; Tracy Taylor, Finance Director, AEDC; Dawn Arledge, Executive Director, CCRP; Susan Seaman, Program Director, AEDC; Jamie Winters, Redwood Coast Economic Recovery Coordinator, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz); James Cisneros, CERF Administrative Analyst; Roseanne Ibarra, Director of Community Projects, Mendocino County; and Amanda Pecanha Hickey, Director of Research and Policy.

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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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