In light of the latest stay-at-home order that went into effect Sunday night in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced three new measures to support struggling businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new measures are deferred annual unified licensing fees for businesses for 2020 and 2021; reimbursements of up to $5,000 for locally owned businesses that have applied for or already have Shared Spaces permits; and $3.2 million in zero interest loans for Latino-owned businesses through the San Francisco Latino Small Business Fund.
"We have been focused from the very beginning of this pandemic on supporting our local businesses because we know the devastating impact it has had on small business owners and their employees," Breed said in a statement.
"We're going to continue to roll out programs like these to help in every way we can, but what is most needed right now is federal support because cities and counties throughout the country are facing the same large budget deficits that we are. Our restaurants, our small businesses, our travel industry -- everyone is hurting, and as a country we should be able to both protect public health and support our businesses and their employees."
The deferral of the unified licensing fees for some 19,000 businesses will extend the 2020 deadline from March 1, 2021, to Oct. 31, 2021, and the 2021 deadline from March 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021.
Additionally, the newly launched San Francisco Latino Small Business Fund, which is part of the San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program, will provide zero interest loans of up to $50,000 to some 80 small businesses.
According to the Mayor's Office, Latino-owned businesses are some of the hardest hit, as Latinos make up half of the city's COVID-19 cases despite only accounting for 15 percent of the city's population.
Small businesses interested in applying for the loan can visit http://link.oewd.org/latinofund.
San Francisco's latest stay-at-home order temporarily closes all outdoor dining, indoor gyms, drive-in gatherings, outdoor playgrounds, zoos, museums, open-air bus tours, and personal service businesses like tattoo, nail and hair salons. It also reduces capacity at retail stores, including grocery stores, to 20 percent.
The stay-at-home order is expected to last through Jan. 4, 2021, but city officials have said if they continue to see significant increases in new cases and hospitalizations, it could be extended.