San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday unveiled a plan to provide immediate relief funds totaling $62 million for the city’s small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the plan, $12.4 million of the funding will go toward a relief grant program, offering grants of $5,000 to $20,0000 for small businesses, including long standing businesses and those that are owned by women and people of color.
The remaining $50 million will go toward a proposed community investment loan program, which aims to support “small community anchor” businesses by providing working capital. Businesses eligible for the program include those that generate more than $2.5 million in annual revenue, including restaurants.
The loans will be very low and zero-interest loans, ranging up to $250,000.
“These have been long, hard months on so many of us, but in particular our small business owners and workers have really struggled,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We have lost too many of our small businesses already during this pandemic, and this relief plan will help many businesses get through these next challenging months as the vaccine is distributed and we can begin our recovery.”
“With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, we are finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet, and these resources will make sure some of our favorite neighborhood businesses will still be around when we get there,” San Francisco Assessor and Co-chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force said Carmen Chu said. “San Francisco will rise again and we can do this together.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, the city has provided more than $24 million in grants and loans to more than 1,230 businesses citywide, as well as provided tens of millions of dollars in fee and tax deferrals.
Despite the financial support, several beloved San Francisco businesses have been forced to close their doors during the pandemic, including the waterfront Cliff House restaurant; the city’s oldest LGBTQ bar The Stud; and music venue Slim’s.