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SF Announces New $62 Million Relief Plan for Small Businesses

Mayor Breed announces the biggest relief plan the SF has pursued for small business since the pandemic started.
By - posted 1/12/2021 No Comment

Mayor London Breed Announces New $62 Million Relief Plan for Small Businesses

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Combination of grants and loans will triple San Francisco’s total direct financial support for small business during the pandemic

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced a new plan to provide immediate financial relief for small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19. The $62 million plan will provide a combination of grants and very low to zero-interest loans, which will complement and expand existing local, state, and federal initiatives.

Locally, San Francisco has already provided more than $24 million in grants and loans, and recently waived an additional $5 million in fees for our hardest hit small businesses.

Read the full press release

This new small business relief plan will triple the overall support provided by the City. This comes as the federal government has directed new funding in the expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the State has launched its own Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

Proposed Grant Program — $12.4 million

SF Relief Grants: The proposed grant program will provide immediate relief to help stabilize small business operations by offering grants of $5,000 to $20,000, based on the number of employees that each employer had in February 2020. The goal of this program will be to reach businesses across the City and in high need neighborhoods in particular. This program will support small businesses operated by people of color, women, long-standing businesses, those most impacted by Stay at Home orders, and those that were excluded from or otherwise unable to access state and federal programs. Businesses will be required to have a San Francisco location and/or a San Francisco business license to operate. These funds will be distributed quickly to help address impacts of the current surge, with more substantial loan funds to follow supporting businesses as they reopen and bring people back to work.

Proposed Loan Program — Up to $50 million

SF Community Investment Loans: This planned loan program is aimed at supporting businesses by providing working capital, especially to those left out of existing relief programs. This will include businesses that normally generate more than $2.5 million in annual revenue, including many restaurants. To meet the overwhelming need created by COVID-19, during the past year, the City has successfully leveraged investments to maximize available loans to small businesses. Working with the City’s established local community lending partners as well as federal and state government, the City plans to leverage this latest, unprecedented investment to make a $50 million loan program available, offering San Francisco small businesses very low to zero-interest loans ranging up to $250,000. By targeting small community anchor businesses that employ more people, with an ultimate aim of retaining and creating new jobs, the loan program will help stabilize San Francisco’s local workforce. This plan also includes a focus on microloans for businesses who may not otherwise be in a position to borrow capital.

The Mayor is working with Departments to analyze their budgets and spending in order to identify any possible savings that could be used to support our small businesses. This program will be funded by these departmental expenditure savings. This funding will require a supplemental ordinance to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, which will be introduced in January.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City of San Francisco has provided immediate and ongoing support for small businesses, including more than $24 million in grants and loans to more than 1,230 businesses, tens of millions of dollars in fee and tax deferrals, and assistance applying for state and federal funding. Additionally, just last week, the Board of Supervisors passed the Mayor’s legislation waiving $5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants, meaning that businesses that receive a waiver do not have to pay back the fees at a later date.

In addition to creating and supporting programs that respond to the urgent and ongoing needs of COVID-19, Mayor Breed has continued to invest in programs that regularly support small businesses in San Francisco, including the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative and Grants for the Arts. Lastly, the City has advanced numerous initiatives to make it easier to operate and open businesses during COVID-19 and beyond, such as the Shared Spaces program and the Save Our Small Businesses ballot measure, which voters approved in November 2020. More information about San Francisco’s support for small businesses is available here.

“This is the biggest relief plan the City has pursued for small business since the pandemic started, and will save thousands of desperately needed jobs and businesses throughout the City,” said Sharky Laguana, San Francisco Small Business Commissioner. “With a vaccine now starting to be deployed, making sure that everyone who needs it has a bridge to economic recovery is critical to getting back on our feet as quickly as possible.”



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