S.F.: $4.5 million to be awarded in grants to over 560 small businesses to aid recovery

(Bay City News) — As small businesses in the Bay Area, the state and the country struggle to recover from the pandemic, San Francisco is awarding over $4.5 million in financial relief for more than 560 small businesses in the city.

Small Business Relief Grants between $5,000 and $25,000 per business will be awarded to help alleviate the impact of stay-at-home orders during COVID-19, Mayor London Breed and the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development announced July 23.

The businesses can use the money for rent relief, payroll, equipment, utilities and bills and any other expenses needed to stay open, operate the business, and continue to serve the community.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, when we had to lock down the city to keep our residents safe, we knew that it was going to have a major impact on our small businesses and their employees,” Mayor Breed said in a statement. “That’s why we’ve been doing everything we can as a city, from waiving millions in fees to passing important legislation like Prop H and Shared Spaces.”

The mayor said the city’s small businesses are going to lead its economic recovery, and these grants will help make that happen.

The San Francisco Small Business Relief Fund will offer grants of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. The fund targets small businesses that contribute to neighborhood commercial corridors such as the Bayview, Central Market/Tenderloin, Chinatown, Excelsior, Lower Fillmore and the Mission.

The fund also targets cultural districts including Japantown, Calle 24, SoMa Pilipinas, Transgender, Leather & LGBTQ, Castro LGBTQ, American Indian, and African American Arts and Cultural.

It also supports small businesses operated by people of color, women, long-standing businesses and storefronts, those most impacted by stay-at-home orders and those excluded from or otherwise unable to access state and federal programs. Over 50 percent of the grant recipients so far are women-owned, and nearly 80 percent are minority-owned small businesses

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