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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Mayor Faulconer, Councilmember Montgomery announce proposal to help small businesses in historically underserved communities

According to the city, the $700,000 would aid recovery efforts through specialized outreach, technical assistance and direct grants to hundreds of business owners.
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer held a news conference along with City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery and local business leaders on Wednesday where they announced a proposal that would reallocate $700,000 to the city of San Diego's Small Business Relief Fund in order to help businesses in historically underserved communities.

According to the city, the funding would aid recovery efforts through specialized outreach, technical assistance and direct grants to hundreds of business owners.

“With San Diego’s small businesses struggling to survive, we need to do everything we can to help them stay open safely and responsibly as we get through this pandemic together,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We also want to ensure that every small business in San Diego has equal access to the relief funds so we’re reaching out directly to our Black, Latino and Asian business communities to encourage their members to take advantage of this opportunity.”

During Wednesday's press conference, Mayor Faulconer and Councilwoman Montgomery called on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to match the $700,000 from the city to help promote inclusive economic recovery efforts.

“As policymakers, we have the responsibility to design and implement effective measures that support small businesses in these extremely challenging times,” said Councilmember Monica Montgomery. “Minority-owned small businesses face structural challenges that underscore the need for an equitable distribution of funding. Our communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and we must do everything within our power to alleviate the burdens on these businesses to prevent doors from shuttering permanently.”

The San Diego City Council is expected to vote on the proposal to reallocate the funds at a meeting in early August.

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 would be available for businesses operating in economically vulnerable and historically underserved communities, including San Diego’s Promise Zone, Opportunity Zone, Low- & Moderate-Income Census Tracts and other economic corridors most impacted by COVID-19.

To be eligible, business owners must:

  • Be self-employed, an independent contractor, a sole proprietor, or a corporation with revenues less than $100,000
  • Have 10 or fewer employees
  • Document a decline in revenue due to COVID-19
  • Have been in operation for at least six months

Alongside direct grants, the funding would support citywide specialized outreach to target at-risk businesses by offering informational resources and help to identify relief opportunities. This assistance would come at no cost to the business owner and provide guidance on fee waivers, service vouchers, subsidies and other economic relief programs available including:

  • Paycheck Protection Program
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • Small Business Debt Relief
  • Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program
  • Small Business Stimulus Grant Program

The press conference can be watched here