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San Diego Foundation Sends First $1.5 Million To Nonprofits Hit By COVID-19

A sign notifying customers dine-in has been temporarily suspended because of ...

Photo by Tarryn Mento

Above: A sign notifying customers dine-in has been temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic at Solomon Bagels & Donuts in North Park. Oct. 1, 2020

The first $1.5 million in loans from The San Diego Foundation's small business and nonprofit program have gone out to eight local organizations, the foundation announced Tuesday, part of a $5 million fund for organizations impacted by COVID-19.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher spearheaded the program, which is managed by local investment fund manager Mission Driven Finance. The program is intended to help small businesses and nonprofits at the heart of the community weather the pandemic downturn.

The first $1.5 million went to Angels Foster Family Network, Bayside Community Center, National Foundation for Autism Research, The New Children's Museum, Rise Up Industries, the San Diego Habitat for Humanity, San Diego Health Connect and Somali Family Service of San Diego.

"The capital from the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program and The San Diego Foundation has contributed to my confidence that we can continue offering essential services to children in foster care during this time," said Jeff Wiemann, the executive director of Angels Family Foster Network.

The first group of organizations represent services ranging from helping children in foster care reach loving families to offering job training and professional development to former gang members. The loan amounts range from $150,000 to $300,000, with loan terms ranging from 18 to 30 months.

The organizations were selected based on a variety of factors, including nonprofit status, an earned revenue stream aside from donations and a clear need and use of funds due to COVID-19-induced setbacks. All of the nonprofits must serve residents in San Diego County.

"Even though we qualified for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, we were looking for additional funding that can go towards emergency purposes and keep our staff from being laid off or furloughed during the pandemic," says Corey Pahanish, executive director of the Bayside Community Center, which provides services to vulnerable Linda Vista residents.

"This funding allows us to serve the increasing number of people in our community looking for food distributions, translation services, and other critical services."

The program is still accepting applications for the remaining $3.5 million in the fund.

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