Economic Development

Business of the Year Award

The City of Arcata established an annual Business of the Year Award program to recognize local businesses and nonprofits that exemplify the core values of innovation, resourcefulness, business collaboration, and business practices that support our community and protect the environment.

Congratulations to the recipient of the 2021 Business of the Year Award! 

Esteban's Restaurant

esteban pic

Business Support    

Welcome to a new City of Arcata page dedicated to supporting our business community!

We want this page to be a one-stop shop for information business owners need, and a place for new business information and current events.  If you have any suggestions about additions or corrections please let us know - email

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Use tabs to focus on areas of information.

Here is what you will find:

  • Information about, and applications for, Arcata loan and grant programs
  • COVID response information
  • Links to other local, state and national programs
  • Other types of information and links for business owners


  1. Arcata Loan and Grant Programs
Program General Information How to Apply
Job Retention Loan Program Assists for-profit businesses affected by COVID-19 to retain jobs for low-to-moderate income employees.
Loans from $25,000 to $140,000.
Loan must be used for purposes clearly related to business survival during COVID-19 restrictions.
If jobs are retained for 6 months the loan is forgiven.
If jobs are not retained loan is termed out for 5 to 7 years (depending on loan size) at 3%.
This is a CDBG Loan Program.
Use the link below for an application.
Application assistance is available through the North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Deliver the application and documentation to City Hall, attention Keala Roberts (736 F Street).
Applications may also be uploaded to a secure dropbox here.


Business Loan & Grant Programs

  1. Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Program
  2. Business Assistance Loan Program
  3.  Microenterprise Loan and Grant Program

Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Program

In response to business impacts related to COVID-19, the City of Arcata is committed to providing technical and financial support to Arcata’s businesses to help them weather the resulting economic downturn. Information about the new Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Program as well as our existing loan programs can be found below.

On March 26, 2020, the Arcata City Council adopted Resolution No. 190-63, which creates an emergency business loan fund for a rapid response to COVID-19 impacts on local businesses. 

  1. Loans of up to $10,000 are available to Arcata businesses that have a demonstrated reduction in income due to COVID-19 and are unable to secure a traditional bank loan.
  2. The loans require 2.5% simple interest.
  3. The loan has deferred payment for 6 months and then can convert to a traditional bank loan or the City will carry it with a 5 year loan repayment.
  4. Counseling with an SBDC business advisor is required to review the best use of funds to shore up their business
  5. This program is available to cannabis businesses.

Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Application (BRELP)

Complete the Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Application and email it to and

BRELP Flyer v3 04-03-20 Opens in new windowBRELP Application Page 1 Opens in new window


If you have questions about the Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Program or are ready to submit an application, please contact:

David Loya
Community Development Director

Susan Diehl McCarthy
Community Development Specialist II 

**Email for a quicker response.**

Supporting Local Businesses

Visit Arcata!

During this unprecedented time, it is now more important than ever to support local businesses.  When you shop local, you help support Arcata’s families, neighborhoods and community.

For information on Arcata businesses that are open for take-out, taking online orders, providing delivery services, offering virtual classes, and selling gift certificates, go to Visit Arcata!

Guidance for Reopening Businesses

View the Here’s What to Do for Reopening Your Humboldt County Business video created by the Eureka Chamber of Commerce to discover what steps employers and employees should take to reopen, resume operations, and move forward safely. 

COVID-19 Outdoor Dining & Retail Guidance for Arcata Businesses

The City of Arcata has released outdoor dining and retail guidance for local businesses located in the Arcata Plaza, Downtown and Northtown neighborhoods.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Arcata City Council unanimously voted to allow restaurants and businesses to offer outdoor seating for dining and retail operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance will remain in place until stay at home orders are lifted to allow unrestricted dining and retail operations, or until the City revokes these interim provisions.

Reopening certification from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is required for all Arcata businesses who wish to apply for an outdoor dining or retail permit, also known as an Encroachment Permit

  • Arcata businesses who have not yet applied for County reopening certification are advised to click here for more information.

The City’s outdoor dining and retail guidance are included below:

To apply for an outdoor dining or retail permit, complete an Encroachment Permit Application and submit it to the Building & Engineering Department at All permit fees will be waived for Encroachment Permits related to outdoor dining and retail operations that are obtained before Thursday, December 31, 2020. 

For additional information, please contact the Community Development Department by email at or call 707-822-5955.

Foodworks Culinary Center

Arcata’s food manufacturing businesses are world renowned, and the Foodworks Culinary Center provides rental space for many types of small and start-up food manufacturers.

EPA Brownfields Program

The City of Arcata was awarded a grant to cover certain costs of assessing brownfield sites through the Environmental Protection Agency.  Find more information here.