San Francisco residents, property owners and businesses that were badly impacted from January’s series of winter storms may be eligible for financial relief, Mayor London Breed announced this week.
Since the beginning of the year, San Francisco has been hit by a series of storms that prompted flooding, mudslides and power outages.
“The severe weather we just experienced has impacted many of our small businesses and residents in heavily affected areas and these initial efforts will help as part of our City’s recovery,” said Breed. “While these flood relief programs will provide support in the storms’ aftermath, we are hard at work making improvements to our infrastructure as part of a $632 million investment to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future.”
Small business grants
Via the city’s Flood Disaster Relief Grant program, small businesses in the city’s “flood zone” — the regions most likely to experience severe flooding in a 100-year storm — are eligible for up to $5,000 in awards, and small businesses outside of the zone can receive up to $2,000.
The San Francisco Office of Small Business will lead the effort, prioritizing businesses in the flood zone that face the most severe damage.
Grants are available for registered San Francisco businesses with a physical location that have experienced physical damage from winter storms, retroactive up to Dec. 27, 2022. Damages due to wind or power outages are not eligible.
“The severe weather we just experienced has impacted many of our small businesses and residents in heavily affected areas and these initial efforts will help as part of our City’s recovery.”Mayor London Breed
Permitted and licensed home-based businesses, like daycares, are also eligible.
Businesses must have 100 or fewer employees and less than $5 million in gross revenue.
“We know that the recent storms have added additional difficulties to small businesses that have already been trying to recover from pandemic impacts,” said Katy Tang, executive director of the Office of Small Business. “While we recognize that this grant program will not solve all challenges, the City is offering support along with other resources and services currently available to businesses.”
A detailed map of areas determined the most at risk of flooding can be found online.
Applications open Friday, Jan. 20, and close on Feb. 10. More information on the application process can be found on the city’s website.
The San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts also plan to create a collaborative storm relief fund for San Francisco artists and art organizations. More details will be shared on the agencies’ websites once details are finalized.
Property damage relief
For those facing property damage, the city recommends residents and businesses to contact their insurance company to assess damages and purchase flood insurance.
Businesses and homeowners can also apply for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Floodwater Management Grant Assistance Program, which can provide over $100,000 in flood mitigation improvements on properties.
Tax relief opportunities
San Francisco property owners may also be eligible for property tax relief if they suffered over $10,000 in flood damage. A disaster relief form must be submitted to the Assessor-Recorder by one year of the date of loss.
“We know that these recent storms are unlike anything our city has seen in decades and have caused significant hardship for many property owners. Given the impacts of this severe weather, the Office of the Assessor-Recorder wants all San Franciscans to be aware they may qualify for property tax relief and that our staff is available to help walk them through the process from start to end,” said Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres.