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Relief For Thousands Of San Diego Businesses Could Be Coming Soon

Grace Chi, co-owner of Grandma Tofu and Korean BBQ, escorts Supervisor Nathan...

Credit: Pool photo via NBC7

Above: Grace Chi, co-owner of Grandma Tofu and Korean BBQ, escorts Supervisor Nathan Fletcher around her restaurant on Sept. 14, 2020. The eatery, as with many others, is suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on how to allocate millions of dollars for businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions.

The county has $20 million to give out in federal CARES act dollars as part of a small business stimulus grant program. More than 4,400 businesses and nonprofits requested more than $650,000,000 in aid, far beyond what the county could provide.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

Allocations are being handled by individual supervisor districts and most are proposing grants of around $5,000.

"$5,000 to a family-run place really makes a difference and really makes an impact," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

Each supervisor has just over $4 million to give out. Right now Fletcher is proposing grants for around 500 businesses, He still has money left over and is still taking applications for relief.

"We want to help as many people as we can," Fletcher said.

RELATED: $17 Million Now Available To Help Struggling San Diego County Businesses

Reported by Matt Hoffman

Supervisor Dianne Jacob is proposing using the $4 million for around 250 businesses, but many of her individual allocations are higher around $15,000 to $25,000. Supervisor Jim Desmond is also looking to use the entire sum to help nearly 800 businesses. Both he and Supervisor Greg Cox want to give the largest amounts to nonprofits like chambers of commerce, business associations and Boys & Girls clubs.

Some of the highest proposed grants come from Supervisor Cox. They include $50,000 each for the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation and the Asian Business Association San Diego.

Fletcher took a somewhat different approach.

"We had a real focus and priority in our allocation to find those small businesses — lower revenue numbers," Fletcher said. "The types of folks that don't have lobbyists — they didn't get a lot of federal PPE money — they're often kind of unseen or forgotten."

Businesses and nonprofits can use the money for expenses like rent, payroll, and buying personal protective equipment. Supervisor Kristin Gaspar plans to bring her funding proposals to the board at the end of this month. Some supervisors are taking applications for relief through October.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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