San Francisco's pandemic grants will prioritize minority, women-owned biz

San Francisco's pandemic grants will prioritize minority, women-owned biz
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
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Small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic in San Francisco are set to receive $5,000 grants, but there’s a catch – the money is being used to meet the city’s “equality goals,” meaning that “minority-owned businesses including women-owned, immigrant-owned, people of color-owned businesses,” and those in certain “cultural districts,” are going to be prioritized over white Americans.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced new measures in December to aid small businesses, among which was a  Shared Spaces equity grant for those with a Shared Space permit.

In a press release on December 7, Breed stated:

Locally owned businesses that either hold or have applied for a Shared Spaces permit are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in reimbursement from the City, which will help businesses that have been forced to close outdoor operations as a result of the recent Stay at Home Order and prepare for an eventual reopening. Up to $1 million in funding comes from the Shared Spaces Equity Grants Program, which prioritizes minority-owned businesses and businesses that advance the City’s equity goals. … Priority for the Shared Spaces Equity Grants is given to locally-owned, minority-owned businesses that advance the City’s equity goals, including women-owned businesses, immigrant-owned businesses, legacy businesses, and businesses in established cultural districts or that serve a largely minority clientele.

As San Francisco News reported, “Robin Abad Ocubillo, the Director of Shared Spaces, indicated the grant is for businesses that are ‘based on availability of funds and given to locally-owned, minority-owned businesses that advance the City’s equity goals, including women-owned businesses, immigrant-owned businesses, legacy businesses, and businesses in established cultural districts or that serve a largely minority clientele.’”

On the city’s website, it states that check if your business is eligible you must have an account, and further adds that they are specifically looking to support businesses that are in established “cultural districts,” or cultural distrusts in the process of formation, minority-owned, immigrant-owned, or non-white business owners.

Ocubillo stated, “At this time, awards are capped at $5,000 per merchant to cover or offset costs involved in setting up and operating the Shared Space. Mayor Breed also recently announced additional financial support for small businesses, including an additional $3.2 million in zero-interest loans for Latino-owned businesses and businesses in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

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