Small Business Grants Due in January


The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant will OPEN DECEMBER 30. A total of $475 million will be available in two rounds. Round one will distribute $237 million and opens December 30 at 6am and closes January 8 at 11:59pm

Sierra Business Council’s Small Business Development Center is working with our statewide SBDC network to provide information and technical assistance to applicants. A daily webinar with updates to the program including eligibility requirements, application process, required documents and who to contact for assistance will be conducted daily at 11am starting December 24. Registration information for these webinars are available at

Lendistry will act as the intermediary to administer and distribute the funds. The application is not available yet, but information can be found at this link

Brief highlights of the program:

·      Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000 based on annual revenue.
·      Minimum annual revenue $1,000
·      Maximum revenue $2.5 million
·      Eligible entities include small businesses and nonprofits (501c3 and c6) with yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less
·      In operation since at least June 1, 2019
·      Businesses must be currently operating or have a plan to reopen in the State of California
·      Must have a physical location in the State of CA.
·      Business must have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
·      Business must be able to provide most recent tax return (2018 or 2019), evidence of business formation/organization such as articles of incorporation, fictitious business name registration or business license.
·      Applicants with multiple businesses are only eligible for one grant.
·      Awards are NOT first come first serve
·      Awards will be selected based on a weighted lottery with priority given to most impacted communities, industry sectors and disadvantaged businesses.


Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an allocation of $100,000 to support small, locally-owned businesses most impacted by the State’s orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Apply today! Applications close Jan 6th, and awards will be announced by Jan 15th. Link here:


Nevada County Arts Council is inviting professional artists whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis to apply for relief funding.

Artists who wish to apply for micro-grants can do so by visiting Nevada County Arts Council’s Artist Relief Fund page at, where guidelines and eligibility criteria are outlined, and where a link to apply can be found.

The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 15, and the fund will support up to 30 micro-grants for its first round.



As 2020 draws to a close Nevada County Arts Council is inviting professional artists whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, to apply for relief funding.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at the Council, says: “We are grateful that, with the support of our coalition of local arts organizations, we have now reached a critical sum from which to launch the application phase of the Nevada County Artist Relief Fund, and we invite artists in all disciplines to apply for a micro-grant.”

Nevada County Artist Relief fund will disperse $500 per successful applicant, with artists meeting criteria in order to apply. They must reside in Nevada County, be over 21 years of age, work professionally or vocationally in the arts, and have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, whether by cancelled performances, exhibitions, programs, classes, or organizational closures, or loss of non-arts supplemental income or jobs.

Tudor says: “Priority will be given to artists whose livelihoods are dependent on a fractured local creative sector.”

Jesse Locks, who serves Nevada County Arts Council’s board of directors, says: “We are grateful to the many contributors to our fund, as well as to those artists who supported the summer festival which launched our fund, ‘WHAT A RELIEF!’ As we turn the corner on a year of loss and devastation, we know our journey to recovery will be a long and winding road. But it’s in sight, and Nevada County Artist Relief Fund is one of several initiatives aimed at supporting our creative economy.”

In addition to its Artist Relief Fund, Nevada County Arts Council is simultaneously running two other initiatives, both connected with its work in support of Nevada County’s two California Cultural Districts during the pandemic. Shopping with Artists is a local, online shopping experience designed for a holiday season like none other, at the same time as supporting local professional artists. Artists in Storefronts is a revitalization project bringing to life six otherwise vacant storefronts with the work of eleven artists.

Says Tudor: “The resounding message these inspiring installations share is, ‘Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District is alive and well – our downtown spaces are beautiful, innovative and industrious.’”

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on America’s arts sector. According to the latest estimates from Americans for the Arts, the total economic impact to date of COVID-19 on the creative economy nationwide is $14.6 billion, with 96% of arts organizations reporting canceled events, 62,359 reporting staff lay-offs, with a further 49,559 in furloughs. Yet 89% of the same organizations have been delivering artistic content in order to raise community spirits and morale during the pandemic, and a third volunteering their time to coronavirus mitigation efforts.

Tudor says the Nevada County creative sector is reflective of the national picture, with struggling arts organizations “continuing to operate, despite unbelievable pressures, for the benefit of our community during dark times.”

“It speaks reams that our longest standing arts organizations – themselves battling to survive and thrive – are so supportive of our artists,” says Jon Blinder, Board President at Nevada County Arts Council. “It points to the healthy respect of one part of our sector for another, and the knowledge we all share that the arts have a critical role to play in driving our economy beyond COVID-19. What’s good for the arts is good for us all!”

Artists who wish to apply for micro-grants can do so by visiting Nevada County Arts Council’s Artist Relief Fund page at where guidelines and eligibility criteria are outlined, and where a link to apply can be found. The deadline to apply is Friday, January 15, and the fund will support up to thirty micro-grants for its first round.

BriarPatch presents a virtual film screening of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste 

BriarPatch presents a virtual film screening of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste

WHO: BriarPatch Food Co-op
WHAT: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
WHEN: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29 – 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30
WHERE: online
COST: $10
Proceeds benefit Sierra Harvest’s Gleaning Program

As conclusion to a year-long initiative to bring community awareness to the social and environmental impacts of food waste, BriarPatch Food Co-op is bringing back the award-winning documentary film, “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.” This time it’s going virtual.

The event hosted by the community-owned Co-op will take place from 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30. A portion of the online event’s proceeds will benefit Sierra Harvest’s Gleaning Program.

“After a rousing response to our sold-out screening in February at Sierra Cinemas, we thought it would be appropriate to conclude our year-long campaign, Food Too Good to Waste, by bringing back this impactful film. This time we are streaming it, so folks can watch at their leisure during a 24-hour window. The message is an empowering one – we can all make small changes to make a big difference in our world,” said Marketing Manager Rebecca Torpie.

“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle and eat food. Told through the eyes of culinary heroes like Anthony Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura and Danny Bowien, audiences observe how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food.

Chefs transform what most people consider scraps into tasty dishes that create a more secure food system. The film shows how everyone can make small changes to solve some of the most challenging social and environmental problems – from world hunger to climate change.

Each year, volunteers from Sierra Harvest’s Gold Country Gleaning Program harvest seasonal produce from local farms and gardens that would otherwise go to waste. The gleaned food is then donated to Interfaith Food Ministry and distributed to more than 8,000 people in need. In 2019, volunteers harvested 21,237 pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Learn more about BriarPatch Food Co-op and Food Too Good to Waste:


New Book: Over the Henness Pass

New Book: Over the Henness Pass

A 19th century version of the 20th century’s Route 66, the legendary Henness Pass Road moved people, goods and gold between California and Nevada. Now you can enjoy the excitement and experience the challenges of the pioneers by driving your 4-wheel vehicle along the partly unpaved actual wagon route. The field guide takes you to most of the early stage and hotel stops, from Bridgeport, California to Virginia City, Nevada. Along the way, you can learn about the road and bridge builders and robber barons who built the road and many of the other transportation facilities that enabled the Gold and Silver Rushes of the 1850s and 60s. They sped up the opening of the West and helped develop modern day California and Nevada.

Written by Chuck Scimeca, a retired California state park ranger, the ebook contains over a hundred maps and images as well as mileages and GPS coordinates to more than 25 of the original hotel and stage stops.

Available from Apple Books at an irresistible price: free! Click here to go directly to the book on Apple Books.

Or you can download a free pdf by clicking here.

WM Free Christmas Tree Drop Off for Nevada County

‘Tis that time again! Waste Management is providing Free Christmas Tree Drop Off for Nevada County Residents. Feel free to share with your network.
Waste management will be providing Free Christmas Tree Recycling for Nevada County residents at the following locations:
Dec 26 – Feb 2 Eric Rood Center
Dec 26 – Feb 2 McCourtney Road Transfer Station (8 am to 3 pm)
Jan 2ndth 2020 from 9 am to 3 pm: Lake Wildwood Water Treatment Plant, Lake of the Pines Water Treatment Plant and Alta Sierra Fire Department.
All trees must be cut up and free of all tinsel, snow flocking, decorations and metal stands.
*If you subscribe to green waste service, you can place your cut up tree into your cart for curbside pickup. Please make sure the lid closes all the way.

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Join Wild & Scenic Film Festival this January 14-24, 2021 for more than 100 environmental and adventure films, including 13 world premieres! This year the festival is taking place as an entirely virtual experience over the course of eleven days and will feature activist workshops, an art exhibition, youth programs, as well as opportunities to interact with filmmakers and special guests.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is bringing our films to you this year, where you can watch curated sessions of shorts and features on your favorite devices from the comfort and safety of your own home. Through our virtual platform, you will be able to purchase tickets and passes that suit your budget and schedule then decide which film sessions you’d like to experience.

Each year, Wild & Scenic unites top filmmakers, activists, and social innovators to inspire environmental awareness and action through film and art. This year’s program combines superb filmmaking, breathtaking cinematography, and second to none storytelling to inform, inspire, and help actualize change. With the event going 100% virtual, this is a great year to give your friends and family the opportunity to experience the magic of Wild & Scenic. Passes and tickets can be purchased as gifts so we hope you will consider giving the present of inspiration this year!

We are ecstatic to share our 2021 Official Selections with you! Click here to explore the full list of films.

In exploring this year’s theme of Resilient by Nature, festival-goers can expect to see award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, and more.

Throughout the programming, you will see the theme reflected and be reminded that, as individuals and communities, we are inherently resilient, drawing on our strengths, talents, and lived experiences to innovate and inspire positive change for a better world. The theme also offers a lens to help us look to nature as a model for resiliency and seek to create solutions to environmental challenges through nature-inspired designs and strategies.

There are so many wonderful films this year it’s hard to choose which to highlight, but below are a few favorites.  Stay tuned for other film highlights and synopses along with trailers, filmmaker interviews & more in the forthcoming newsletters throughout December and January.

In Pedal Through, you are invited into the world of director-lead Analise Cleopatra as she discovers the healing and joy of mountain biking. Analise had never camped or ridden a bike off the pavement when she decided to plan a week-long mountain biking adventure with an all-black female team. Together, they traverse the backcountry on an adventure full of exploration, curiosity, waterfalls, old-growth forest, sparkling starscapes, and deep healing.

Resilience Is In Our Nature is a snapshot of the Portland, Oregon community during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter uprising, Resilience Is In Our Nature captures resilience that can be found within us and around us. Whether it’s putting a mask on and enjoying outside, learning how to thrive and grow in quarantine, maintaining balance physically and mentally in nature, or a small business adapting and staying afloat – this film centers the fabric of what makes Oregon’s neighborhoods, cities, and state a special place to live.

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes – In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild. In The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, Anne (now 86) retraces her steps and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first-hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today.

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Hosted and produced by South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), our flagship festival is the largest fundraising event of the year for SYRCL, helping to sustain integral programs such as River Water Monitoring and River Ambassadors. ​If you are a SYRCL member please keep your eyes out for another separate email with a special member-only discount code! Not a member? Click here to learn about the huge impact our members make in the Yuba River watershed and buy your membership to receive your pass discount.


Community Comes Together for Virtual Night of Giving

Community Comes Together for Virtual Night of Giving

The 15th annual Night of Giving took place virtually this year on Saturday, Dec. 19, with attendees streaming the event from home to raise awareness and support for Hospitality House. Thousands of people watched from the shelter’s website, Facebook page, YouTube channel and on Public Access television, but more than just watching, the community responded.

Throughout the evening, online and phone-in donations were received, and thanks to angel donors who offered a triple match donation incentive to inspire deeper giving, just over $60,000 was raised to help homeless men, women, children, seniors and Veterans in need.

In response to the pandemic, back in March the single overnight shelter expanded into a 24/7 operation across multiple locations with no lapses in services. Food needs alone have tripled and nearly 600 people in crisis have been helped year to date.

“We’ve streamlined our services and partnered as much as possible to create greater impact, but there are still hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Nevada County right this moment who need help,” said Nancy Baglietto, executive director at Hospitality House. “Because our community continues to stand strong with us, we will not stop or slow down. People who gave during Night of Giving and who helped make Night of Giving possible should feel good knowing that they are changing lives for the better.”

Night of Giving began 15 years ago when local man, Mikail Graham, wanted to do more to help homeless individuals and families. Through music and entertainment, Night of Giving has helped countless people get back on their feet. In addition to raising much needed financial support, Night of Giving also serves as an opportunity for the community to hear directly from individuals struggling with homelessness and this year, virtual attendees also went behind the scenes of the shelter for the first time to learn more about its vast services.

Event feedback thus far has been overwhelming positive, in which many community members expressed appreciation not only for the music but in having an intimate opportunity to learn more about Hospitality House and its impact. Those who were unable to attend Virtual Night of Giving may still watch the show on the homepage of through Dec. 31.

Hospitality House would like to thank and acknowledge producer Mikail Graham, show co-host and Hospitality House co-founder Joanna Robinson, this year’s artists, business sponsors, angel donors and volunteers, all who collectively make Night of Giving possible, as well as the greater community who gave during the event.

Business sponsors: County of Nevada – Better Together, SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream, B & C Ace Home & Garden Center, KVMR, The Union, YubaNet, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Clientworks, Coldwell Banker, Sweetland Garden Mercantile, Caseywood Construction, MWA, Inc. and Law Office of Minor & Keene. 

Amazing Talent:  Alasdair Fraser, All in the Family Trio, Beaucoup Chapeaux, Boston Ravine, Brett Shady, Dakota Sid Clifford with Travers Clifford & Homer Wills, Darol Anger with Rob & Christine Bonner, Everything & Beyond, Golden Shoulders, InConcert Sierra Master Chorale, Joe Craven & Hattie Craven, Lolo, Lorraine Gervais, Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald, Sands Hall, Rita Hosking, Ryan Murray & the Music In The Mountains Chorus, and a variety of “best of” clips from a dozen or more past Night of Giving artists. All performers donate their time and talents to make Night of Giving possible.

To help further services to those in need, the community’s support is always welcome and appreciated. Donations may be made at, by calling 530-615-0852, or by sending a donation made payable to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

Community Members Gift Hospitality House Full-Building Generator for Increased Safety and Power Outage Preparedness

Community Members Gift Hospitality House Full-Building Generator for Increased Safety and Power Outage Preparedness 

When a small group of donors learned about the challenges that Hospitality House faces in operating a shelter during a public safety power shutoff (PSPS), in addition to other outages that might come about throughout the year, they listened, learned and took action to help Hospitality House acquire a much-needed, full-building generator.

“When you have a group of people without options who are depending on you for food and lodging, uninterrupted power becomes a critical need,” explained one of the project donors, who wished to remain anonymous.

Collectively, the project donors provided the financial support needed to help Hospitality House introduce a new 70kW commercial Generac generator at the shelter, which has the strength to power the entire building. Two operating transfer switches are designed to tell the generator to fire up and power the building immediately when it detects no electricity, ensuring the shelter continues to operate as safely as possible without disruption.

Throughout the pandemic, Hospitality House has been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing emergency shelter, food and related services not only at its physical shelter, Utah’s Place, but to multiple motels around town in partnership with County of Nevada, Sierra Roots, FREED, Adult Protective Services and Turning Point Providence Center. One hundred local homeless men, women and children are currently receiving shelter and services offered by Hospitality House and its partners.

“This is so much more than just a generator,” said Isaias Acosta, program director at Hospitality House. “We have people who depend on medical equipment and when the power goes out, this puts them in a vulnerable position. Our new generator will now help ensure that our homeless guests are as safe as possible when an outage occurs. Our heartfelt thanks to our project donors for making this possible.”

Installation for the generator began in late September and carried on throughout the fall. Today, the generator is fully operational, ready to respond when the need arises.

To help further services to those in need, the community’s support is always welcome and appreciated. Donations may be made at, by calling 530-615-0852, or by sending a donation made payable to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

New Year, New Career – Virtual Job Fair Employer Registration is now OPEN!

Alliance for Workforce Development is pleased to announce the return of our highly successful annual job fair ~New Year, New Career~! We have consistently seen over 200+ job seekers at each of our events, and expect a great turn out. Due to COVID, we have moved the event to an easy to use virtual platform that will provide participating employers access to job seekers throughout our 6 county region (Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas and Sierra counties). The virtual job fair platform is easy to use, offers access to multiple recruiters from each business, provides immediate engagement with job seekers and allows recruiters to accept resumes with a click of a button…. All at NO COST!

We will provide extensive marketing via social media, radio, digital print, newspaper, chambers, community partners and job seeker outreach.

New Year, New Career Virtual Job Fair Event – January 20th, 10am – 1pm

Registration deadline is December 31st.

Participating employers will be invited to a 30 minute virtual orientation 1 week prior to the event to ease platform navigation. AFWD staff will be available during the event as well.

Nevada City Safe

City Council recently launched the Nevada City Safe program to certify those businesses who are working hard to ensure customers, employees and our community at large are safe in the time of COVID.

Please consider supporting these small businesses this holiday season and beyond. Retail establishments are currently at 20% capacity and restaurants offer curbside pickup and/or delivery. Shop Local has never been more important to the future of our town- together we will get through this!

How to Certify Your Business
If you are a Business and would like to participate please send an email to City Code Compliance Officer Amanda Kysar.

Short Self Certification Form for businesses (this is for businesses who have the required written safety protocols and are able to show them to the City Code Compliance Officer)
Long Self Certification Form for businesses (this is required of businesses who currently do not have a Site Specific Plan (SSP))

You can submit a COVID-19 Compliance or Safety Concern here.



(Dec 16, 2020) Code Compliant Businesses

12/11/2020 Remedy Garden 412 Commercial St
12/11/2020 Three Forks Bakery & Brewing 211 Commercial Street
12/11/2020 Carrington’s Fine Wines 242 A Commercial Street
12/11/2020 Fudenjuce 815 Zion Street
12/14/2020 Abstrakt 228 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Novak’s 305 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Treats 210 Main St.
12/14/2020 Fur Traders 303 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Fred’s 224 Broad St.
12/14/2020 The Hat Store 314 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Java John’s 306 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Heartwood 237 Commercial St.
12/14/2020 The Pizza Joint 228 Commercial St.
12/14/2020 Gray Goose 230 Broad St.
12/14/2020 Nevada City Classic Café 216 Broad St.
12/16/2020 Bistro 221 221 Broad St
12/16/2020 Mama Madrones 307 Broad St.
12/16/2020 Kitkitdizzi 231 Broad St.
12/16/2020 Solstice 104 N. Pine St.
12/16/2020 Miners Foundry 325 Spring St.
12/17/2020 Tysa 300 Spring St.



The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation made a generous donation of $100,000 to the Nevada County Fairgrounds and will begin a membership drive for 2021 to continue raising much-needed funds for the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

The donation comes during a year when COVID-19 restrictions on events and gatherings have financially devastated the Nevada County Fairgrounds. With the cancellation of the annual Fair, the Draft Horse Classic, Country Christmas Faire, music festivals and more than a hundred events on the grounds, revenue at the Fairgrounds has been severely impacted.

“The Foundation plays a critical role in supporting the Fairgrounds, especially during this time of financial crisis,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We are extremely thankful to the Foundation for their support and advocacy efforts on behalf of the Fairgrounds. We are very fortunate to have a partner in the Foundation that was ready and willing to step up – in a big way – during a time of great need.”

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation was established in 2005 to fulfill the mission of “building a better Nevada County Fairgrounds through fundraising and contributions to the Fairgrounds.” Its mission is supported by individual memberships, the annual Cioppino Feed, beer sales from the Foundation Station during Fair, the pouring of cocktails at the Draft Horse Classic and County Christmas Faire, charitable donations, and the recent Fairgrounds BBQ Drive Thru Event. Additionally, there have been several fundraising events in support of the Foundation and the Fairgrounds, including a fundraising events hosted by West Coast Equine Sports Therapy, Emily Catering’s Cookie for a Cause, Three Lilies Photography, and Nevada Union FFA’s BBQ event.

“We are pleased to be able to support our community Fairgrounds in such a significant way,” said Robin Hauck, President of the Fairgrounds Foundation. “The donation represents many hundreds of hours of volunteer labor by the Board and member volunteers, all of whom work tirelessly on behalf of the Fairgrounds. We are also extremely thankful to the community and individuals for their donations and fundraising efforts, and their generosity, kindness and creativity to raise funds to preserve one of Nevada County’s most treasured assets.”

“Given that this substantial donation has almost depleted the Fairgrounds Foundation’s reserves, we are now asking the community to support the Fairgrounds and the Fairgrounds Foundation by helping reach the goal of 1,000 memberships in 2021,” said Eidman. “Please consider becoming a member today. Every new membership is an investment in ensuring the survival and viability of the Fairgrounds for future generations.

To become a member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation or to make a donation, visit



FOREST⇌FIRE: Nevada County Arts Council is announcing the launch of an online campaign to match state and local funds, in contributing to the movement to save our forests and watersheds.

Nevada County Arts Council’s groundbreaking project, FOREST⇌FIRE is a multi-partner project to raise awareness for the forests we live in and the connection between their little heard history, their current management and health, and the health of our watersheds and air.

Michelle Amador, Nevada County Arts Council’s Fund Development Chair, says, “Every dollar given via our GoFundMe campaign for FOREST⇌FIRE, will be matched with funds leveraged via state and local sources. The problems this project addresses have urgency for us all, and every cent contributed brings us closer to broad community awareness and real solutions.”`

The Council is working with local creatives, Michael and Heather Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Studio, who introduced UC Berkely’s Sagehen Creek Field Station as a leading partner for FOREST⇌FIRE. Sagehen has a long history of collaborating with artists, and hosts an artist-in-residency program in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art – Center for Art + Environment.

Jeff Brown, Co-Director for Arts at Sagehen Creek Field Station, says: “Our world has changed, the climate has shifted, humans place on this planet continues to blur, our forests are in peril. FOREST⇌FIRE provides us an opportunity to take pause, see how our forests were managed in the past, how they are now, and provides us an opportunity to imagine them as they could be. I believe that once we can see the future, we can then make the changes needed to shift to a more “eco-resilient” path, one that benefits us all.”

FOREST⇌FIRE addresses the fact that much of California is faced with the threat of catastrophic fire. This year four million acres have burned in California, the most in recorded history, while choking smoke has at times blotted out the sun, and scientists warning that if predictions hold, this year may soon seem mild by future comparisons. Together with its partners the Council is leveraging an unparalleled opportunity to create a shift in cultural perceptions of forest management.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “FOREST⇌FIRE shatters common misperceptions that art exists only in service to itself. Rather, it places art in service to fundamentally important issues of forest resiliency, the health of our land, water and air – and the impact of these on our watersheds and open spaces.”

Stacy Caldwell, CEO and President at Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, says: “As partners we view FOREST⇌FIRE as a public will campaign through which the public can be better educated in authentic, real solutions bound to regional needs – solutions that can then be shared with other regions facing similar threats.”

Llewellyn says: “FOREST⇌FIRE invites science-based solutions to catastrophic fire and an economically sustainable, hopeful future. It exposes the public to the 13,000-year history of our forest ecology, its relationship to fire, and the human role within that relationship. Our goal is to create a common understanding of our fire-adapted, forest ecology and a shared vision for the future of our forests.”

Heather Llewellyn speaks of the vulnerability of our forests and watersheds to fire, and of the exhibition itself: “Over the course of four months, Truckee Recreation Center’s public art wing will immerse visitors in the living evolution of their forest’s ecology.  In wandering through the art and story of the FOREST⇌FIRE exhibition, they will be able to imagine the old-growth forest as it was created and cared for by the Washoe Tribe and their ancestors, understand the volatile and vulnerable forest of modern times, and be inspired by a vision for a vibrant, future forest and the role they can play in making it so.”

Finally, FOREST⇌FIRE shares a vision for future forests where we all, once again, understand and support a resilient ecology that safeguards California’s precious watersheds and provides many other benefits, especially in the face of climate change.”

FOREST⇌FIRE’s exhibition will include Spanish and Washoe translations which Nevada County Arts Council believes is particularly important as we look at our forests and watersheds through the lens of history and its peoples. It is both a sign of respect and acknowledgement of all that it means to carry two of the state’s coveted California Cultural District designations.

Nevada County Arts Council and its partners, UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station and Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District, are grateful to the California Arts Council, for its generous support through a Creative California Communities grant. This is matched with support from California Humanities, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Queens of Hearts Fund, The Nature Fund and Tahoe Truckee Airport District. Excellence in Education Foundation is also funding an exciting partnership with Tahoe Truckee Tahoe Unified School District through Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships in partnership with the Council.

Community partners supporting FOREST⇌FIRE are the Truckee Public Art Commission and Truckee Arts Alliance. Says Eliza Tudor: “Nevada County Arts Council is now hard at work to raise additional matching funds to complete this wholly exciting initiative. We are on the last stretch – and the last stretch is the most critical.” More information on FOREST⇌FIRE can be found at

You can donate to FOREST⇌FIRE‘s online campaign using this link:


Nevada City Monthly Merchant Forum – Wed, Dec 30 @ 8:30am

Nevada City Monthly Merchant Forum – Wednesday, December 30, 8:30am

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce hosts a monthly online meetup for merchant and business owners to meet, discuss, connect and share. Agendas are set in advance by attendees.
Email your suggestions to in advance.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Meeting ID: 869 7281 0444
Passcode: 718450
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the community to “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is” and shop and eat local.

Now more than ever, it’s important to support local small businesses.  They make up the fabric of our community by providing jobs, investment in local charities, and bring life and vitality to our downtowns.

This year we’ve created our 2020 Holiday Guide to dozens of local shops and Victorian Christmas and Summer Nights vendors selling thousands of handmade and unique goods and wares. Many shops this year are offering online, to-go, and curbside pickup options! Don’t Forget Gift Cards! Everyone loves a Gift Card!

Click here for the 2020 Gift Guide!

Victorian Christmas 2020


nevada city at night

(Updated December 11, 2020)

On December 9, the State announced that Nevada County, along with neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region, would be moving into the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order beginning Friday, December 11th. The order will remain in effect for a minimum of three weeks. This means that retail shops are open with 20% capacity and restaurants are only able to offer take-out. Masks are also now required to be worn in downtown Nevada City. 

Recently Nevada City’s annual holiday market Victorian Christmas was nationally recognized by popular travel website Trips to Discover as the “Most Festive Christmas Town in California” and Conde Nast Traveler magazine also named the event one of the “Best European-Style Christmas Markets in the United States”.

Praised for the event’s “warm and welcoming” and “festive” ambiance, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s annual Victorian Christmas has been reimagined due to COVID-19 as a hometown Victorian holiday with an emphasis on showcasing Nevada City’s charming retail shops and restaurants, along with the town’s beautiful and festively decorated streets, homes, and buildings. There are no street closures or vendors, but Father Christmas will make his annual appearance on Sunday afternoons.

For those wishing to do curbside pickup from their favorite local small business, ten-minute parking spots will be designated for quick pick-ups and drop offs. For those who’d prefer to do their shopping online, participating merchants will offer an online tour of their shop via their website and social media, where you can then either purchase goods from their online store or call the shop directly.

The Chamber has created a Gift Guide which showcases local small businesses and merchants

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the various local Nevada City locations that served as the backdrop to the internationally popular Hallmark movie The Christmas Card, with comments by the film’s writer Joany Kane, and producer Lincoln Lageson.

Here is map of where to find the best christmas lights in Nevada County.

The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce understands that this year has asked more of us than we could have ever imagined. Our hope is that this low-key but equally warm, welcoming and joyous hometown holiday celebration will retain the historic charm and holiday spirit that brings so much joy to our community.


Supervisors Support Small Business Survival with $100,000 “Challenge Grant”

Supervisors Support Small Business Survival with $100,000 “Challenge Grant”

Nevada City, CA – Today, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an allocation of $100,000 to support small, locally-owned businesses most impacted by the State’s orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Board action, sponsored by Board Chair Heidi Hall and Vice Chair Dan Miller, supports the Nevada County Relief Fund’s efforts to raise at least $200,000, which will be distributed as grants to eligible businesses countywide.

“It is our hope that this ‘challenge grant’ will spur renewed giving to help those businesses who are not only struggling to survive but who have demonstrated their commitment to implementing the necessary public health guidelines to protect their customers, staff, and the larger community,” said Board Chair Heidi Hall.

Earlier this month, the Nevada County Relief Fund launched a “Small Business Winter Survival Campaign.” With the onset of colder weather and the holiday shopping season, many businesses find themselves battling to survive during these challenging times. This will be the fourth round of fundraising for the Relief Fund, which has raised nearly $800,000 for small businesses and nonprofits. (The Board allocated its original $100,000 “challenge grant” last April and another $250,000 in State Coronavirus Relief Funds in July, which has been matched by approximately $450,000 in local donations.) This round will be dedicated to for-profit businesses, who may apply for micro-grants up to $5,000 that may be used for rent relief or other critical business expenses needed to stay open this winter. The application period opens tomorrow and will be due January 6, 2021.

“I applaud the Supervisors for making this challenge grant – by matching public dollars with local donations, we are building a bridge to help our small businesses survive this winter until more state and federal assistance arrives,” said Sherry Bartolucci, co-chair of the Nevada County Relief Fund’s Community Advisory Council.

With Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation serving as the Relief Fund’s fiscal sponsor, donations may be made safely and are tax deductible. The grant application process will be administered by the Sierra Business Council, with oversight provided by the Relief Fund’s Community Advisory Council.

“Any size donation is welcome, but if 1,000 people each gave $100, that would make a significant impact on whether dozens of local businesses make it through the winter,” said Julie Baker, Community Advisory Council member.

About the Nevada County Relief Fund

The Nevada County Relief Fund was created through a partnership between the County of Nevada, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Sierra Business Council, Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and the Economic Resource Council.

The Fund was established in April 2020 with a $100,000 “challenge grant” from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis by directing vital resources to our most vulnerable neighbors and support our small businesses.

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today. For more information, please visit: 

To apply for grants, starting December 16, please visit:

California Small Business Emergency Relief Package

New state assistance is being made available to businesses and organizations within California’s creative field. Read below to learn more about these recently announced programs and services.

$500M in COVID Relief Grants for Small Businesses

Governor Newsom announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant, administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Grants of up to $25,000 will be made available to underserved micro and small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural institutions throughout the state. The program is currently being developed and will open for applications as soon as possible. For updates on the program’s launch, sign up here.

Tax Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Governor Newsom’s announcement for additional support for small businesses also included temporary tax relief for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The temporary tax relief entails an automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax, extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales, and provides expanded interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.

The announcement builds on the state’s ongoing business support throughout the pandemic, including the Main Street Hiring Tax Credit, which authorizes $100 million in hiring tax credit for qualified small businesses. The credit is equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer. Applications are open now.

Nevada County Arts Council Launches Shopping with Artists

Nevada County Arts Council has launched Shopping with Artists – a local, online shopping experience. It also supports local professional artists during challenging times, as we navigate a global pandemic with devastating impacts on our local creative economy. Find the work of dozens of artists or if you are an artist submit your work to be included in the shop.

If you are an artist wishing to be featured, please visit our Call to Artists page HERE, and follow the instructions on how to join our Shopping with Artists Initiative.

Nevada County Hospitals Receive First Shipment of COVID Vaccine

Nevada County Hospitals Receive First Shipment of COVID Vaccine

On Thursday morning Nevada County received the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine which included 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. These first doses are being distributed to our two hospitals, Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley and will be used to begin vaccinating our front-line health care workers. This first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine represents a significant milestone, and congratulations are warranted to the community, our healthcare providers and Public Health for getting us this far.

“Although our initial allocations will be small, we expect that soon we will begin to receive vaccine allocations each week,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “This is very welcome news, as the arrival of the vaccine indicates the beginning of a pharmaceutical intervention that will eventually end this pandemic and allow us to return to normalcy.”

COVID Vaccines Arriving at Tahoe Forest Hospital & Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

“This week is a huge, positive week for our region considering the past nine months in that this is the first step of Part B of our strategy which is to receive and begin administering vaccines following state and county guidelines.  We’ve all waited impatiently for this week,” said Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “It’s a small start so please stay tuned for advice as to when vaccines will be available for the general public”.

At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) preparation included acquiring necessary equipment to store and administer the vaccine, the training of staff, and developing relevant processes and procedures.

“At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, safety is our priority, and we only administer vaccines that are proven safe and effective. While there are always unknowns when a new vaccine is developed, data from the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials looks extremely promising, and the vaccines they are creating appear to be very effective,” said Dr. Brian Evans, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital President. “As we reach this historic moment in time, I do want to take pause to recognize our healthcare workers that have and will continue to do their part to keep our communities healthy and well – it is truly heroic work and we can’t thank you enough.”

As with all COVID-19 communications throughout this pandemic, Dr. Evans stressed, “Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has been very transparent and attempts to always communicate vital information to community members in the timeliest manner.” He explained they will be taking this same approach with the vaccine distributions.

Next Steps

Nevada County is following the  vaccine allocation guidelines developed by the California Department of Public Health. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has developed phases and tiers within those phases. CDPH continues to define/clarify who is included in which tiers. Nevada County’s first doses are going to front-line health care workers at our two hospitals. Congregate care settings such as Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities are also prioritized in Tier 1 of Phase 1A. As availability increases, vaccine will eventually be available via local health care providers and Nevada County Public Health.

While this is a tremendous milestone in the fight against this pandemic, it will be some time until the vaccine is widely available. Until our community is widely vaccinated, stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when out of the house, and maintain social distance from non-household members. If you are a healthcare worker with an active license and would like to volunteer as a disaster healthcare worker, you can sign up with California’s Disaster Healthcare Volunteer database. If you are a healthcare provider with a current practice, Nevada County Public Health is planning to hold meetings with providers to consult about the best way to ensure that everyone who qualifies for these initial doses has access to them.

If you have more questions about vaccine safety, efficacy, distribution, approval or other related questions, visit the State of California’s Vaccine page for up-to-date information. For more information on Coronavirus in Nevada County, visit or speak with a local call center representative at 211 Connecting Point by calling 1-833-DIAL211.

BriarPatch Food Co-op Signs Lease for Second Store at Auburn Kmart

BriarPatch Food Co-op Signs Lease for Second Store at Auburn Kmart

BriarPatch Food Co-op has signed a lease for its second store location at the former Kmart site at 2505 Bell Road in Auburn, California. The 44 year-old food cooperative has served as a community hub of Grass Valley and has moved locations five times, growing from a small storefront to its current 20,000 square foot lodestone for organic and local food. Its annual sales now top $35M and 10,000 people are member-owners, supporting the co-op by contributing a refundable lifetime $200 equity share and through their patronage of the store. The current location at Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley has reached its maximum level of sales capacity for its size, and with a large percentage of owners and sales coming from the Auburn trade area and even further south along the 49 corridor, the opportunity was prime.

In their due diligence work, the BriarPatch Board of Directors identified three top reasons to expand BriarPatch’s footprint beyond Nevada County.

Increasing the Co-op’s community impact is an important motivator for expansion, and close to the hearts of board members, employees and co-op owners. BriarPatch will offer more jobs in a values-oriented workplace- and more advancement opportunities for its Grass Valley employees. The co-op’s sizable donations and sponsorships budget will expand its reach to support mission-aligned organizations in the Auburn area. “We’ll make our mark as the area destination for finding delicious healthy foods to eat in a sea of conventional markets and fast food chains along the 49 corridor,” says Kwong Chew, BriarPatch board member.

Helping to improve the food system is a mission that the Co-op takes seriously. A second location gives local farmers and producers more opportunities to sell higher volumes to two stores.  “BriarPatch will be able to support organic farming even more by having opportunities to increase our organic purchases, and through our expanded footprint and branding, we’ll increase awareness of, and more importantly, access to good, local, clean food to more people,” says Rachel Berry, BriarPatch board member, as well as engagement director for Sierra Harvest, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing fresh, healthy food access to all, an organization with which the Co-op partners closely.

“Our Board believes that expanding the reach of the Co-op is the right decision to better serve our region, and remain a successful, viable and competitive business,” says Alan Weisberg, BriarPatch Board President. “Two years ago, we unanimously adopted a strategy to grow the Co-op by opening additional stores. After adopting that policy, our management team did a very thorough study of the best possible location in our region, and Auburn became the clear first choice. When the former Kmart location off Bell Road became a possibility, we pursued it with vigor. We believe we have entered into an excellent agreement that will bring great benefits to our member-owners, to our current and future staff and to both the Grass Valley and Auburn communities.”

In addition to supplying local and organic foods to the community, BriarPatch Food Co-op is known for its 99% organically grown produce department that works with local farmers to preplan their production to ensure market needs are met and farmers make a profit from their crops, deli and bakery departments offering fresh high quality, delicious options and a commitment to engage with, promote and give back to area nonprofits. The store is slated to open in mid-2022.