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City Announces $4 Million Relief Package For Local Businesses Amid COVID-19

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulcon (center) announcing a relief fund at City Hall ...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulcon (center) announcing a relief fund at City Hall in downtown San Diego for small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis, March 18, 2020.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a $4 million economic relief package Wednesday for struggling local businesses affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

The city will work with local financial institutions to establish a relief fund, which will support zero-interest micro-loans for affected businesses, Faulconer said during an afternoon news conference at City Hall.

Faulconer said the relief fund would be kickstarted by money from the city's business revolving loan fund, and that he expected the fund to grow from the initial $4 million.

Additional steps the city will take to assist small businesses include a program to delay payments of business tax certificates and associated fees for 120 days; suspension of water billing fees and late payment penalties to prevent commercial account shutoffs; and an extension of all building permits for 180 days.

Faulconer said additional details on how businesses can apply for the loans will be released in the coming days.

"The goal of the San Diego economic relief package is simple: help businesses stay afloat so they can keep paying their employees," he said.

The announcement came one day after the San Diego City Council voted to support a temporary moratorium on evictions for San Diego residents and businesses. Any resident or business missing rent payments due to a loss of income or medical bills resulting from novel coronavirus will be granted a stay until at least May.

"No San Diegan should have to worry about the basics during this public health emergency, and the same goes for all of our small businesses. No business should have to worry about losing access to water or coming up with additional funds to pay fees," Faulconer said.

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