Well, 2021 is sure starting off with a bang, so to speak. Let’s just hope that things moderate in the coming weeks and months. We sure don’t need another year like the last one! But on the bright side, things in Lafayette are moving forward. Here’s a little rundown of just how the new year has started out around Lafayette.
Open for business: This month, the Lafayette Business Assistance Program (BAP) launched its Phase 2 to provide free COVID-19 closures relief assistance to local businesses and nonprofits. In just the first couple of weeks, the program has 143 verified applications with more coming in every day.
To participate in BAP, you must have a business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees or be a self-employed individual and be in Lafayette. BAP will work with your business or nonprofit to identify COVID-19 restriction relief funding that best meets your current and future needs. The program will also provide detailed information on what to gather and how to apply for funding programs and assist you in addressing issues with your submitted application.
Major funding programs BAP will assist with include the SBA Paycheck Protection Program Round 2, which provides direct incentives for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis. Loans will be fully forgiven if 60% of funds are used on payroll. This program is anticipated to close March 31, so find out more about it and the Lafayette Business Assistance Program on their website at lovelafayette.org/businessassistance.
Gimme shelter: Curious about housing in Lafayette? Check out Lafayette’s General Plan website at planlafayette.org, where you’ll find background and resources about housing laws as well as answers to some of the frequently asked questions about housing in our semi-rural town. Like so many cities in California, the housing laws governing what can be built are changing quickly. Keep abreast of how all this affects Lafayette and Lamorinda.
And, speaking of housing, the preapplication period for new Lafayette homes below market rate at Woodbury Highlands is now open. Offered will be two- and three-bedroom homes priced to be affordable to households at or below 50% to 120% of area median income. The preapplication period ends Jan. 25, so visit hellohousing.org now to sign up for this local affordable housing opportunity.
School enrollment: Registration for new students to the Lafayette School district in 2021-2022 for transitional kindergarten through fifth grade is open. All new incoming registrations will be completely online at lafsd.org. Follow the links in the “Enrollment” icon. If your child has been a student in the Lafayette School District and is expected to return in 2021-22, you’ll still need to register your child as a new student. Registration for new students to Stanley Middle School in 2021-22 who have not been previously in the district will open on April 1. Please email [email protected] for any questions. Get to class!
Calling all (young) artists: Registration is open for the 18th annual High School Visual Arts Competition (HSVAC). All entries must be received by midnight on Feb. 19. The Artists & Awards Recognition Show will be held online on March 11. Entries accepted for HSVAC will be on display online for public viewing starting March 1.
The HSVAC showcases and acknowledges art in four categories: 2D, 3D, Photography and the Lamorinda Arts Alliance Digital Art category. All work is by high school students who live in or attend school in Lafayette, Moraga or Orinda, including all schools in the Acalanes Union High School District. The competition features cash awards, merit citations and an online public exhibit of entries on the Lamorinda Arts Council’s website at lamorindaarts.org.
Stay safe, and I’ll see you next month with more stories from around Lafayette.
Jeffrey Heyman can be reached at [email protected]org. Follow him and the city of Lafayette on Twitter at @JeffHeyman and @LoveLafayette.