CHICO, Calif. - Green Bay Packers quarterback and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has donated $1 million to help 80 locally owned business in or around his hometown of Chico, California.
The businesses that Rodgers is assisting are all either in Chico or in Butte County, where Chico is located. Restaurants and retail businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees could apply for help through this fund.
All 80 of those businesses will receive grants through the Aaron Rodgers Small-Business COVID-19 Fund at North Valley Community Foundation in Chico. The grants will total over $1 million.
These grants will help cover rent for an average of three months or longer, and they also will assist in other operational costs.
"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 started the fund by making a $500,000 donation in early February. He later decided to increase his donation to $1 million. The fund also has received donations from other sources totaling more than $200,000.
This comes after Rodgers donated $1 million to recovery of the fires that hit Butte County in November 2018. Rodgers made that donation through a North Valley Community Foundation fund that eventually raised more than $3 million with assistance from fans and corporate partners.