SAN DIEGO — County Supervisor, Kristin Gaspar and County Supervisor Jim Desmond held a news conference Monday, March 23, seeking recovery and resiliency for the San Diego business community devastated by COVID-19.  

As California has seemingly shut down overnight with the Coronavirus pandemic, San Diego's local business community has acutely felt the loss of its customers and community. 

County officials say they are doing all they can to keep residents safe and healthy through this crisis. Supervisors Gaspar and Desmond addressed the need to support the local business community as they navigate and rebuild after the COVID19 crisis. Officials say they will also direct County staff to explore relief efforts to resuscitate businesses once the public health order is lifted.

During the news conference Monday Supervisor Gaspar said her "heart was very happy" to receive a phone call from Steve Yeng, owner of Skrewball Whiskey, who announced that he and his wife, Brittany, donated $100,000 to the California Restaurant Foundation. Yeng also challenged other San Diegans to donate if they can.

San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate discussed the city’s $4 million dollar relief package coordinated with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Phil’s BBQ Founder Phil Pace talked about the real impacts on the local business community. 

"I came up with an analogy as I was letting employees go -- imagine the drain that is in your bathtub and the cash is just circling down, if we can keep that hole small we can afford to pay your health insurance and continue to serve to go food," he said.

CEO of the North San Diego Business Chamber, Debra Rosen shared the outreach effort which includes valuable resources, guidance, and information publicly released by local, state, and federal agencies.

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Jim Floros, CEO of the San Diego Food Bank shared how the organization continues to provide food assistance and resources to the 350,000 people it serves every month at the 200 food distribution sites available to the community. California Restaurant Association Chapter President Jeff Rossman presented an overview of how the community can support the restaurant industry and the thousands of food service workers who have lost their jobs. The San Diego Small Business Development Center Consultant Lynn Pittman provided an overview of guidance opportunities including applying for disaster recovery loans.

The news conference was also live streamed on the City of San Diego’s Facebook page and Twitter page.