Defer Business Taxes for Small Businesses
In order to provide immediate cash-flow assistance to small businesses, Mayor Breed, together with Treasurer Cisneros has notified small businesses that the next round of quarterly businesses taxes can be deferred. Businesses are required to pre-pay their first quarter business taxes for current tax year by April 30th. This announcement will allow businesses to not pre-pay, deferring payment due to February 2021. No interest payments, fees, or fines will accrue as a result of the deferral. This benefit, valued at approximately $43 million, will be offered to business with up to $10 million in gross receipts, benefiting approximately 8,050 businesses with an average $5,400 tax payment deferral each.
Defer Business Licensing Fees
The City will provide further tax relief by delaying the City’s collection of the unified license bill, which includes but is not limited to charges to restaurants and food businesses, bars, convenience stores, many small retailers, hotels, and tour operators, from departments such as the Department of Public Health, Entertainment Commission, Fire Department, and Police Department. The initial delay will be for three months, with a further delay to be contemplated based on need. This will lead to $11 million in deferrals impacting 11,000 payees.
The Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will provide small businesses up to $50,000 in zero interest loans. These loans will have a flexible repayment schedule and the terms will be determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. This Emergency Loan fund will expand access to cash for small businesses who may have difficulty accessing more traditional loan products, and help sustain them through the ongoing public health crisis.
Provide Immediate Relief
The City has established a resiliency fund to provide immediate relief for impacted small businesses with an investment to date of $2 million to provide over 200 businesses with grants up to $10,000 each in immediate relief. This fund is administered by community partners together with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to businesses that show a loss of revenue and has been increased due to rising needs.
Guarantee Continuance of City-Funded Nonprofit Contracts
The Controller has issued guidance to our nonprofit partners that the City will continue to pay pursuant to contracts even if the nonprofit organization’s operations are affected. This will ensure nonprofit workers will not lose income due to illness or if a nonprofit is shut down or experiences service disruptions as part of the novel coronavirus response.
Mayor London N. Breed announced an Arts Relief Program to invest directly in working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19. $2.5 million in support will go to working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19. The investment is a combination of funding strategies designed to help the arts and culture community through grants and low-interest loans to organizations and working artists most impacted by this crisis. The Arts Relief Program is funded by an initial $2.5 million from the City.
Paid Sick Leave for Workers
Mayor London N. Breed announced a Workers and Families First Program to provide paid sick leave to private sector workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes $10 million in public funding that will provide businesses with funding to provide an additional five days of sick leave pay to workers beyond their existing policies.
The Workers and Families First Program will support over 16,000 additional weeks of sick leave pay, providing coverage for up to 25,000 San Francisco employees. Currently 429 businesses have applied for a total of $5.2 million in pre-approved support.
Seek State and Federal Support for Businesses and Workers
Mayor Breed is working with local partners to advocate for regulatory relief from both state and federal government around employment benefits, including unemployment, sick leave, disability, and other matters.
Three new federal programs extend California’s regular unemployment benefits ranging from $40-$450/week from 26 weeks up to a total of 39 weeks, expand who is eligible to include self-employed persons, independent contractors and persons whose benefits have already run out, and increases the amount of benefits by an additional $600 per week through July 31, 2020.
Secure Private Sector and Philanthropic Support for Small Businesses
Mayor London N. Breed and City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly announced the City and County of San Francisco’s Give2SF Fund allows the City to accept tax-deductible monetary contributions, which will be used to support various City efforts addressing housing stabilization needs, food security and relief for workers and small business. Multiple private and philanthropic partners and individual donors have committed resources to this fund since its announcement.
Support for Employees and Contractors
The City is requesting that all private sector employers in San Francisco be as flexible as possible with their employees and with their small business contractors. The City will lead by example by reaching out to commercial tenants to discuss any need for rent payment deferral, including tenants at the Port, the Airport, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and others.
Website to Provide Information for Small Businesses
The City has created a one-stop resource for employers and employees outlining all existing resources, contacts for assistance, and to provide updates on the City’s growing response to the business and worker communities. Website: www.oewd.org/covid19