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Mayor Faulconer announces over $300,000 in private donations, launches new effort to help small businesses

The announcement comes less than two weeks after more than 9,000 small businesses submitted applications to the City for micro-loans and grants.

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry on Monday announced over $300,000 in private donations to launch a new partnership that will expand the City’s Small Business Relief Fund and allow the community to make donations of any size to support local businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and these businesses need our support more than ever,” Mayor Faulconer said.

Cal Coast Credit Union, GoFundMe and Qualcomm have each contributed $100,000 to launch a new initiative between the City, Cal Coast Cares Foundation and San Diego Grantmakers to encourage corporate partners and individual San Diegans to donate to the Small Business Relief Fund.

“Cal Coast is honored to partner with the City of San Diego to help local small businesses that are struggling with the fallout from the pandemic,” said Todd Lane, President & CEO of California Coast Credit Union.

The fund was created at Mayor Faulconer’s urging to provide grants and micro loans to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the help of generous corporate partners and San Diegans alike, we are expanding our Small Business Relief Fund to keep more businesses afloat during these turbulent times.”

The announcement comes less than two weeks after thousands of business owners flooded the City’s website to apply for economic assistance made possible through the Small Business Relief Fund.

More than 9,000 small businesses submitted applications for economic relief recently. The funds raised through this partnership will supplement the City’s contribution of more than $6 million.

Corporate partners and San Diegans are encouraged to make a contribution in any amount to the Cal Coast Cares Foundation and the funds will be distributed to small businesses in partnership with SD Grantmakers.

The Cal Coast Cares Foundation is making its online giving platform available at no charge so 100 percent of the money collected goes to eligible businesses in need.

San Diego Grantmakers will evaluate unfunded grant applications and administer the funds on behalf of Cal Coast Cares Foundation, in partnership with the City.

“Right now, it's important to enhance the city's economic relief package to help more small businesses, the backbone of our economy, and to include those who are based and operated from their homes. COVID-19 is a health emergency that has created a financial emergency for many small businesses. That is why I'm asking those who can to consider donating to this fund. By uniting to help those in need, we set the foundation for a stronger San Diego,” said Councilmember Barbara Bry.

Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry’s complete remarks available here.

GoFundMe, the online philanthropy platform founded in San Diego, will amplify the initiative on its site to increase awareness and encourage more giving.

Deloitte has contributed $25,000.

Sweep, a local scooter management company with just 25 employees, has pledged $500 per month for a year.

Chatmeter, another local small business, has also contributed $1,000.

“In times like these, philanthropic efforts lift up the generosity of our region,” said San Diego Grantmakers President and CEO Debbie McKeon.

The joint effort allows the City to expand the eligibility criteria for businesses who would otherwise not have been eligible under the City’s initial program due to stringent state and federal requirements. 

This new program will honor the eligibility criteria with several new options to allow relief for entrepreneurs and sole proprietors without employees.

Financial assistance for the new program will range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will be allocated to eligible small businesses based on the availability of funds and program guidelines.

To be eligible, businesses must meet the following requirements:

· Employ less than 100 Full-Time Equivalent employees or independent contractors

· Have a City of San Diego Business Tax Certificate

· Provide documentation that shows the business has been operational for at least 6 months

· Provide proof of economic hardship due to COVID-19

· Not have engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations

San Diegans interested in joining the California Health Corps are encouraged to visit www.sandiego.gov/coronavirus.

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