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Aaron Rodgers gives $1M to help small businesses around hometown Chico, Calif.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff...
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 11:32 AM CST
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CHICO, Calif. (WBAY) - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has donated one million dollars to help restaurants and small businesses near his hometown that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North Valley Community Foundation in Chico, Calif., distributed grants to 80 locally-owned restaurants and retailers in Chico and surrounding communities in Butte County through the Aaron Rodgers Small-Business COVID-19 Fund.

Rodgers initially made a $500,000 donation to the community foundation in early February. He doubled that to $1 million after seeing how much the help is needed. The foundation and other donors chipped in more than $200,000.

“Small, locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a community,” Rodgers is quoted saying in a news release from the community foundation. “It was heart-wrenching to hear about all the obstacles facing restaurants and retail establishments. So many of them are struggling just to stay in business but remain hopeful there’s an end to this.”

To qualify for the grants, businesses couldn’t have more than 20 full-time employees. The community foundation says the average grant will help these businesses cover their rent for 3 months. They can also use the money for other operational costs. Restaurants are currently prohibited from offering indoor dining because of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Rodgers made another $1 million donation to the North Valley Community Foundation in 2018 to help Butte County recover from the Camp Fire wildfires. Fans and business partners also made donations, ultimately raising more than $3 million for wildfire relief and recovery. Rodgers was also a founding member of the Butte Strong Fund, which along with other Camp Fire relief funds have provided $37 million in grants to fire victims.

Here are some of the videos Rodgers shared from businesses receiving grants. You can see more on his Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/aaronrodgers12/.

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