CENTRAL COAST — Businesses in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties less than two years old can apply to compete in the 2021 Startup Challenge before the March 8 deadline. Startup Challenge is an annual competitive acceleration process that teaches, coaches, mentors, networks and connects entrepreneurs to knowledge and resources they need. For more information, visit, where participants will compete virtually on the new, online event platform.


MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Workforce Development Board is administering a second round of grants through the Monterey County CARES Small Business Relief Program in order to assist more local businesses that have suffered financial losses due to Covid-19. The deadline to apply for the grant funding has been extended to March 8. In this round, $825,000 will be distributed to 83 or more eligible businesses in the form of grants of up to $10,000. Eligible businesses must be owned and operated in Monterey County, have two to 25 full-time equivalent employees, were in operation on or before Oct. 1, 2020, and have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic. To apply, or to check eligibility, go to the MCWDB website.


CENTRAL COAST — Caltrans District 5 is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan, which will identify locations where bicycle and pedestrian improvements might be needed on the state highway system. The public can play a key role in establishing the community priorities for plan implementation by participating in a review, which is available for comment on the District 5 website through March 9. The final plan will be available in May.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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