SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Small businesses in San Francisco experiencing a slowdown following a citywide ban on large events in response to the coronavirus will get support from the city.
Announced by city leaders on Wednesday, the efforts include deferring business taxes and licensing fees, launching a relief fund, supporting city-funded nonprofits so that workers don’t lose income, and working with partners in the philanthropic and private sectors.READ MORE: UPDATE: Streets Flood in San Rafael, Mill Valley as Wild Storm Lashes Bay Area
The city is also calling for state and federal support for the impacted workers and businesses in the form of regulatory relief around employment benefits, including unemployment, sick leave, disability, and other issues.
“It’s important that people follow the public health recommendations to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
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“We know these recommendations are disruptive to the lives of everyone in our City, but they will help slow the spread of this disease. Unfortunately, that means that many of our small businesses are feeling the economic impact of people staying home and not shopping or going out to eat. That’s why we are working to provide relief and support for our small businesses and the workers who rely on them for their livelihood. These are just the first steps of what we are doing for our small business community,” she said.
“We must support our workers and businesses as they move through this difficult time. Many workers are losing income—or being laid off entirely—and many small businesses are at risk of closure,” Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: High Winds Topple Trees, Scaffolding in San Francisco
“We need to ensure people are aware of all available state safety net resources, and we need financial support for struggling businesses. As we combat this epidemic, we must make clear that we’re in this together and that we’ll support everyone who needs it,” he said.
Under the new measures being taken, businesses with up to $10 million in gross receipts will now have the option to not pre-pay their first quarter business tax by April 30, and instated defer the payment to February 2021, without interest, fees or fines.
Also, the city will delay the collection of the city’s unified license bill for restaurants, bars, convenience stores, small retailers, hotels and tour operators by three months.
The city will additionally establish a fund for the impacted business, with an initial $1 million investment for up to 100 businesses with grants of $10,000 each in immediate relief.
On top of the new measures, the city has also created a website for employers and employees to find all existing resources at www.oewd.org/covid19.
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