The South County Economic Development Council has been working to support our communities and businesses throughout what has been a challenging year. Business continuity and retention has been a major focus of the work we have done this year. Over the past nine months we have partnered with our local cities to get much needed resources in the hands of businesses impacted by COVID-19, performed extensive outreach, and provided access to key community leaders.
The South County EDC in partnering with local communities has been able to put more than $400,000 of relief in the hands of businesses to help ensure continuity of operations. Nearly 100 businesses have been able to retain or re-hire upwards of 300 employees because of these grant and loan programs. Additionally, we have worked with individuals to access programs provided by the County and City of San Diego.
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic we have worked hard to ensure connections remain between all that make South County the community we know and love. Starting in April we launched industry specific forums where businesses could communicate best practices, needs, and lend support to one another. Most recently we have worked with our elected officials to provide a series of webinars allowing them to update the community and hear firsthand the needs of their constituents. Through all these mediums we have been able to connect several thousand people.
Our dedicated staff and board of directors identified key opportunities to provide resources and assistance to businesses facing unprecedented challenges. Partnering with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting we embarked on a direct connect campaign with our manufacturing community to educate a key segment of our economy on programs and resources available to them. In conjunction with several of our partner cities we have served as technological support to local businesses navigating a wide array of financial programs.
This past week we launched a new website designed to help retain and attract businesses in the South County. The site will afford member businesses the opportunity to highlight their offerings and programming. We have developed tools to assist businesses in locating incentives, employees, expanded locations, and resources needed to grow. Over the coming months the site will continue to evolve and provide tremendous data for use in key business decisions. This new web portal will serve as a resource for all here in the county and as a central point of information for those wanting to do business in South County.
We know this year has been challenging but the South County EDC wants you to know we stand by the businesses and communities of the South County. All of you are what make this community the place we want to live and work in. As we look to 2021, we will continue to explore programs and resources to better assist you in making a full and fast recovery.