Please, come take this bag o’ potentially life-saving stuff! Photos: Gregg Foster

Those pesky cones have been removed from Broadway, so if you’re a business owner there’s nothing obstructing your path to the Bayshore Mall where free, pre-packed bags filled with government-provided face masks and hand sanitizer await you! Come and get it!

The distribution of goods is being handled by the Arcata Economic Development Corporation while supplies last. In addition to the mall, there are pick-up locations spread across the county. Hell, in some communities they’ll drive this stuff to you. Learn more by scrolling the AEDC press release below:

Face masks and hand sanitizer, will be distributed to local small businesses under 50 employees, free of charge thanks to a contribution from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Office of the Small Business Advocate. Nearly 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 400,000 face masks were received in Humboldt County, to be distributed by Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC).

The equipment was sorted and sent to community partners within Humboldt to provide the easiest access to businesses. Each business will be provided supplies based on their number of employees. Materials will be distributed, at no cost, until supplies run out.

“This was such a nice surprise for the community,” said Susan Seaman, program director for AEDC. “It was also no small project. Fortunately, we have a great team of local business support services ready to step up to get this done quickly. From working with the City of Eureka who stepped in to store the materials which filled an airport hangar, to the chambers and jurisdictions who accepted the material to distribute in their own communities, to the members of the COVID Economic Resiliency Consortium (CERC) who stepped in to volunteer to do a lot of back breaking moving of boxes, we really got to see the best in our community.”

Each community will determine the most effective way to sort materials, but the majority will host distribution events on Wed. July 29. Businesses should attend the distribution site where their business is located. If the business is outside of the named areas, equipment can be collected at the site nearest the business.

Eureka: Arcata Economic Development Corporation will host a drive-through distribution event at the Bayshore Mall on Wednesday, July 29 from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enter the mall parking lot through Bayshore Drive.  For more information, call Susan Seaman at 798-6132 ext. 212. 

Arcata/Blue Lake: The City of Arcata will host an event for people to pick up materials at the City Hall parking lot on Wednesday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the city at 707-822-5955 with additional questions.

Ferndale: Ferndale Chamber of Commerce is distributing directly to their businesses beginning immediately. If you need more information, or to make a request, contact the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce at (707) 786-4477.

Fortuna: Fortuna Business Improvement District will have a distribution event for materials on Wednesday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Monday Club. For more information call (707) 725-9261.

McKinleyville: McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce will hosting their distribution event at Azalea Hall next to Pierson Park on Wednesday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Jesse at McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce (707)839-2449 or with questions.

Orick: Orick Chamber of Commerce will distribute directly to their businesses. If you need more information or to schedule a pick up call Donna Huffard at (707) 488-2885

Rio Dell: The City of Rio Dell is distributing signs to their businesses about the importance of wearing masks and will take the PPE equipment at the same time. For information, call City Hall at (707)764-3532.

Southern Humboldt: Materials will be distributed on the west side of Southern Humboldt at the Whitethorn Junction from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Southern Humboldt Chamber office will also have PPE for those not reached. For more information, email or follow their social media at Humboldtbureau #shbvb. 

Trinidad: The Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce will be distributing PPE and sanitization supplies on Wednesday, July 29th from 10 AM to 3 PM, located outside Town Hall. Call Allie Jones at 707-677-1610 for questions.

Willow Creek/Hoopa: Willow Creek will be delivering to businesses on Wednesday, July 29. For more information, or to arrange delivery, call Katie Strouse at (707) 616-8627 or email

The materials have been allocated to serve small businesses and the allotment does not include non profit organizations at this time. If there are materials left over after the distribution events, remaining materials will be available to non profit businesses. 

AEDC learned about this project from a contact at 3CORE in Butte County who was asked to distribute to the state north of Sacramento. A partner through the California Finance Consortium, 3CORE reached out to AEDC who arranged to get materials to Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino Counties.

Local partners who helped with the distribution included: Humboldt County Office of Economic Development, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, City of Rio Dell, College of the Redwoods Foundation, Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Fortuna Business Improvement District, Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce, North Coast Small Business Development Center, Orick Chamber of Commerce, Southern Humboldt Business & Visitor’s Bureau, Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce, Redwood Region Economic Development Corporation,  Don’s Rent All and more.