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San Diego Foundation Focuses New Round Of Relief Funds On Communities Hit Hard By Pandemic

A sign thanks patrons of Adams Avenue businesses for following COVID-19 preca...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A sign thanks patrons of Adams Avenue businesses for following COVID-19 precautions on the marquee of the shuttered Discount Fabrics in Normal Heights. Dec. 10, 2020.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Foundation announced it would be giving out $300,000 to small businesses from the Black, Latino and Asian communities.

The money comes from the foundation’s COVID-19 response fund, which has so far raised $64 million to support San Diegans during the pandemic. The foundation has already delivered $54 million in grants.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

“The pandemic has not affected all of us evenly. Under-resourced communities in San Diego have been disproportionately afflicted by COVID-19. With the recent surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in our county, the needs of San Diegans are continuing to grow,” said Mark Stuart, the president of the San Diego Foundation.

RELATED: San Diego County Officials Push People To Use New Small Business Relief Program

The $300,000 dollars will be distributed evenly between three groups: the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation San Diego and the Asian Business Association of San Diego.

The leaders of the chosen organizations don’t feel as if the money will in any way dull the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on minority communities. But they said it will help keep some of these businesses that serve those communities afloat.

"Most impacted are Black restaurant owners, hair salons, barbershops, neighborhood stores and nonprofits that serve the black community,” said Donna DeBerry, president of the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. “The challenge today is the same it’s been for decades, many under-represented businesses are challenged with cash flow issues on a good day, and over the last 10 months, its been almost non-existent.”

Reported by Max Rivlin-Nadler

The organizations will be in charge of distributing the grants to small businesses and groups in their own communities.

Applications for these grants are opening at the same time that a new round of applications for small business assistance from the county is reaching its deadline. That means businesses and groups can have multiple opportunities in the next few weeks to secure money to help them through the latest round of public health closures.

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