Economic Development News
From Ross Welch, Executive Director

Coming out of the Redwood Coast Economic Summit at the end of September, our October continued to to be a whirlwind of activity. 

October is the time when we finalize our audit, and this year the story that audit told was that we are in a period of growth! As of June 30, 2022, AEDC saw an increase of net assets by $1,353,507 for total net assets of $4,265,920. This is primarily because of some significant grants we received including funding from the EDA to serve Del Norte County, the ARPA Child Care Sustainability Funds and a grant from CDFI and the Opportunity Finance Network. This amounts to increasing our net assets by over 46% in one year. It's often overwhelming to think of where we were when I started in 2008 with net assets of about $270,000. This consistent growth can be attributed to our skilled, and growing, staff who have continued to build our loan portfolio, while being open to new programs and funding opportunities. While we can't keep this trajectory up permanently, we are looking forward to another prosperous year for AEDC, which means more opportunity for the region. Many thanks to Rob West, our auditor, who has a clear understanding of CDFIs and has been efficient and knowledgeable. AEDC came through with another finding free audit, as we have for over 10 years. 

In October, we also received the final approval of AEDC as the Fiscal Administrator of the Community Economic Resilient Funds regional planning grant from the State of California. We're looking forward to working with the CERF convener for our region, California Center for Rural Policy and our outreach and engagement partners at North Coast Opportunities in Mendocino to build strong collaborations for regional economic development plans. 

We have a lot to be thankful for and we are wishing all our best to you for the Thanksgiving season. 


-- Ross

Customer Highlight: Whale’s Tale Crescent City

Congratulations to our clients, Whale’s Tail Candy & Gifts on their grand opening at their Crescent City location! Just a couple years after taking over the Whale's Tail Candy & Gifts at the Brookings Harbor, business owners Amy and Andy Sale are opening a second location in Crescent City. Keep reading below to learn more about this fantastic new business and what it means for our community. 

“Amy and Andy Sale are bringing their handmade fudge and chocolates, saltwater taffy, ice cream and more to their new location between Safeway and the movie theater in Crescent City.

The couple says they are bringing a much needed niche to the community.

“We saw the success we were having in Brookings and we wanted to extend it to a new community that didn’t have a lot of the products that we offer. So we started looking around,” said Amy Sale. “We decided this would be the best place to start.”

Whale’s Tail Candy and Gifts in Crescent City features all of the goodies available at the Brookings store, and a little more.

“It’s a little bit bigger store so we have more flavors of taffy - which puts us up to about 45 flavors of taffy,” Amy said.

A new chocolate and fudge case is also set to arrive soon – so they will also be selling more varieties of these handmade goodies.

“There’s nowhere else that does chocolates and fudge in Crescent City and it’s a coastal town – so we thought it would be great for the community,” Andy said.

The business owners make their own chocolate with a large tempering machine that can hold 17 pounds of chocolate. They also hand make their fudge a single batch at a time.

“There are other places that use a mix and add flavoring to it. But for us we make each individual fudge – and it tastes phenomenal,” Andy said.

Another reason the business owners think Whales Tail Candy and Gifts has been so successful is the variety of nostalgic candies that they bring in – from Zots and Astro Pops to candy cigarettes and Abba Zabbas – “things you can’t really find at the store anymore,” Andy said.

The retro “old-school” candies are enjoyable for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter how young or old you are – it’s a fun experience,” Amy said.

Whales Tail Candy and Gifts also offers locally-made gift items from a variety of artisans at both of their locations.

The new Whale's Tail Candy & Gifts is located at 391 M Street Crescent City, CA 95531. The phone number is (707) 460-1747. The Brookings location is at 16350 Lower Harbor Rd. Suite 204 and they can be reached at (541) 469-5750. Both stores are open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..”

**Please Note: This article was written by Breeana Laughlin for the Curry Pilot. Find the full article here.

Child Care Fund: Provider & Employee Retention Bonuses

Since opening applications for the Provider and Employee Retention Bonuses, we’ve received 337 applications (167 employee applications and 49 provider applications), and distributed well over $296,000! 

Bonuses are part of the Humboldt County Child Care Stability Fund, a total of $4.41M provided to AEDC to administer ARPA fund for the County of Humboldt to the Child Care industry. 

The Child Care Retention Bonus program addresses the reality of a high turnover rate in the industry. By providing retention bonuses, we hope to stabilize the workforce and show appreciation for those who worked during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each licensed child care center or family facility that can show that they were open between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2023, will be eligible for the retention bonus. Bonus amounts are based on the size and type of facility and are as follows:

  • Child Care Centers - $6,000
  • Large Family Facility (up to 14 children) - $5,000
  • Small Family Facility (up to 8 children) - $4,000

The bonus will be paid in two installations, the first will be within 60 days of receiving the completed application. The second will be following the end of the eligibility period (June 30, 2023) once your facility’s operational status has been verified. 

If you are a child care provider and/or employee who was providing child care during the peak of the pandemic. Begin your application today, visit to get started. 

We are still looking for more applicants to distribute these bonuses to. While we are running out of funds, we encourage you to still apply and stay tuned as we will be rolling out additional programs in the coming months.

Redwood Coast Region Awarded $5 Million Economic Development Planning Grant

Funds to support community participation in planning an equitable economic recovery

AEDC has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Community Economic Resilience Fund to support a planning process developing sustainable industries that will create high-quality, accessible jobs for all. As the grant’s Fiscal Agent, AEDC will manage the funds on behalf of the Redwood Coast Region representing Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake Counties, and partner with the California Center for Rural Policy at CalPoly Humboldt who will serve as a Regional Convener to facilitate a diverse leadership collaborative, community engagement and research to inform development of the regional plan.

“AEDC has worked to provide financing for small businesses within these four counties for decades. These funds will allow us to collaborate and think even bigger, addressing infrastructure and community development projects and programs that support the entire region. We are thrilled to be part of it” said AEDC Executive Director Ross Welch.

The Redwood Region RISE (Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable Economy) planning effort will run from November through September 2024 and produce a plan recommending project investments across the region that will grow industries creating high quality jobs and support goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“CCRP is excited to leverage its long history of participatory research and engagement in the region in the service of CERF goals. Our mission is to set a table where people of all backgrounds, workers, business leaders, professionals and policymakers can collaborate towards a vision of a thriving, carbon neutral, and equitable future” said Dawn Arledge, CCRP Executive Director. CCRP is a research and evaluation center committed to informing policy, building community, and promoting the health and well-being of people living in rural California.  

CCRP will work closely with North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO), who will take a lead on community outreach activities. Established as a nonprofit in 1968, NCO’s mission is to strengthen communities through responsive advocacy, engagement, and services. As the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties, NCO has a strong history of local leadership, community organizing, and collaboration.

Thirteen regions across the state were invited to apply for funding to produce regional roadmaps prioritizing equitable economic recovery and transition to carbon neutrality. AEDC, CCRP and NCO, with staff support from the Humboldt Area Foundation, facilitated discussions this past June and July with a group of approximately 75 stakeholder organizations to obtain input on existing plans and priorities which contributed to the successful proposal, with 47 organizations across the region submitting letters of support and committing to play an initial leadership role in the project. The West Center, an early organizer and supporter of the application process, has posted the application, initial leadership collaborative and other information about Redwood Region RISE on its website: For updates about Redwood Region RISE and to get on a mailing list, contact CCRP:; (707) 826-3400. A Redwood Region RISE website is coming soon. For more information about the Community Economic Resilience Fund, visit the State website:

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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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