Aaron Rodgers, NVCF partner to create the Aaron Rodgers Small Business COVID-19 fund

Chico native and current Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the North Valley Community Foundation have partnered to help locally owned businesses in Chico amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rodgers went live on Instagram on Feb. 3 with NVCF CEO and President Alexa Benson-Valavanis. They announced the partnership on the live chat. 

Rodgers has donated $500,000 to the fund and the NVCF has donated an additional $100,000. 

Throughout the live video, Rodgers highlighted his desire to help small businesses in the Butte County area. 

“I think it’s important we don’t leave the middle class behind because that’s the backbone of our country,” Rodgers said. 

Rodgers announced the fund will focus on locally owned businesses who have 20 full-time employees or less. The grants will be between $2,500 and $15,000. 

The fund can be found on NCVF’s website. The foundation is currently accepting applications for the grants. A video submission of three minutes or less that explains how the pandemic has affected your small business is required. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 12. 

Donations can also be made on the site to contribute to the fund that will help these local businesses. There has already been over $100,000 dollars donated by the public. 

“I’m so thankful for people like Alexa the NVCF. Let’s get the word out and start helping people,” Rodgers said. 

“I think it’s amazing that he’s helping out small businesses in Chico and that he didn’t forget about his hometown,” said Chico State sophomore Connor Montgomery. “He sets a great example and kind of makes me want to donate.”

Rodgers and the NVCF also established the Butte Strong Fund back when the campfire was sweeping through the Butte County area. The fund played a major impact on the recovery of Paradise. 

Last month, Rodgers and the social media sports blog, Barstool Sports, partnered to contribute to the Barstool Fund, a fund set up to help small businesses across the country. Rodgers and Barstool Sports were able to donate $15,000 to Chico’s Burger Hut thanks to Rodgers and the Barstool Fund.

“I have so much love and nostalgia wrapped up in so many great places up in the North State and Chico area,” Rodgers said. “[These small businesses] make our town our town.”

Jacob Milligan can be reached at [email protected] or @champ_milly8 on twitter.