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Supervisor Safai - Newsletter

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April 3, 2020 

UPDATE REGARDING THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS ("COVID-19"):

A Message From The Supervisor:

As our City is coping with the effects of the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19"), I wanted to let each of you know that my office is working hard to stay up-to-date on all fronts so that you all can be informed of what is happening locally, statewide, and nationally. Lastly, please don't hesitate to email us at SafaiStaff@sfgov.org or call us at 1-415-554-6976 and we will immediately respond. 

Thank you all for your time, cooperation, and perseverance -- we will all get through this! 

Sincerely,




Supervisor Ahsha Safai 
Legislative Update

City commits $9 million to launch new zero interest loan fund and adds $1 million to the City’s Resiliency Fund, increasing support for workers and small businesses


San Francisco, CA — The $10 million fund commits $9 million to a new Emergency Loan Fund, and an additional $1 million to expand the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund. The Resiliency Fund has received more than 2,000 applications since launching on March 11th

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. Applications will be made available by April 6, 2020.

On March 11th, Mayor Breed, announced the City’s Resiliency Fund to provide immediate relief to small businesses with an initial investment of $1 million to provide over 100 businesses with grants up to $10,000. Today’s additional investment of $1 million increases the fund to $2 million to support over 200 small business across San Francisco neighborhoods that need immediate relief. This fund, together with community partners, will be administered by OEWD to businesses that show a loss of revenue.

Federal Relief – CARE Act

The Small Business Administration (SBA), through Economic Injury Disaster Loans, is also offering up to $2 million in assistance for small businesses and nonprofits. These low interest loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a $10,000 advance, which does not have to be repaid. An online loan application portal is available to business owners at https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

Additionally, the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses with 500 employees or less, includes loans made by existing SBA lenders up to $10 million to cover fixed costs with conditions for eventual forgiveness. All eligible businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply. OEWD, together with community based organizations, is currently organizing a network of providers that provide one on one technical assistance to support small business seeking to benefit from these resources. For more information, visit: www.oewd.org/covid19

Mayor Breed’s initiatives to support small business include:

  • $54 million in business taxes and licensing fees deferrals, impacting 11,000 payees;
  • $10 million Workers and Families First Paid Sick Leave Program, proving up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per employee;
  • $9 million Emergency Loan Fund providing up to $50,000 in zero interest loans for individual small businesses;
  • $2 million Resiliency Grants providing up to $10,000 grants to over 200 small businesses;
  • $2.5 million in support for working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19;
  • Supporting nonprofits funded by the City so workers don’t lose their incomes;
  • Issuing a Moratorium on Commercial Evictions for small and medium sized businesses that can’t afford to pay rent;
  • Advocating for additional resources for small business and workers through the federal CARE Act;
  • Establishing City Philanthropic www.Give2SF.org Fund, where donations will support housing stabilization, food security, and financial security for workers and small businesses impacted by coronavirus;
  • Launching a one stop City website for businesses and workers seeking resources, contacts, and updates during the COVID-19 emergency: www.oewd.org/covid19.

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.

Loan Assistance

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.

Arts Relief

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

Reminder: Technology Access

While schools are temporarily closed, we’re working to provide access to technology for students in need, to the greatest extent possible, to support the continuity of learning.

Need a device? SFUSD students in grades 3-12 who do not have access to a computer during the day at home to support distance learning can borrow one from SFUSD. All devices will be on loan to families and will need to be returned to SFUSD when the district reopens. There is a limit of one device per student.

How to borrow a device during Spring Break

Students who have completed SFUSD’s Distance Learning Device Request form, or have been in touch with your school about your computer needs, can pick up a Chromebook during Spring Break at one of our centralized pickups. Please fill out the device request form at bit.ly/sfusd-device before picking up a device. Have your student ID number ready at time of pickup. All devices are SFUSD property and will be on loan  to families. They will need to be returned to SFUSD when schools reopen. There is a limit of one device per student.

Pickup opportunities will continue during the week of April 6. We will share location and time information by Friday, April 3. For information on pick-up times, locations, and identification needed to pick up a device, visit sfusd.edu/device.

Need help connecting to the Internet? View our list of resources to get online at home.

 

DMV Helps Californians with Expiring Driver Licenses


The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced that seniors with an expiring driver license will receive a 120-day extension in the mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, those with safe driving records whose last DMV visit was 15 years ago will not be required to renew in person for the next 60 days and will be able to renew online or by mail.

120-Day Extension for Drivers 70 and Over

The DMV is providing a 120-day extension to Californians age 70 and older with a driver license that expires from March 1 to May 31, 2020. This action ensures this vulnerable group can avoid a DMV office visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California law requires drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license but gives the DMV authority to issue extensions – no individual action required. Eligible drivers will receive a paper license extension in the mail beginning in the next two weeks. The expiration dates will reflect a minimum of 120 days before renewal is required. Around 860,000 seniors visit DMV offices every year for the required in-person license renewal.

Waiving In-Person Renewals for Eligible Drivers and Identification Cardholders

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order on March 30 temporarily waiving for 60 days the requirement for Californians with safe driving records to renew their driver license in-person at a DMV field office. The Executive Order also temporarily waives required in-person renewals for identification cards.

The DMV is also completing the programming necessary so that individuals who meet the criteria will be able to complete their renewal online or by mail beginning Wednesday, April 8.

Duplicate Driver License

The DMV now offers Californians the option to use its online services to request a duplicate driver license if theirs was lost or stolen and does not expire within 30 days. A duplicate license costs $30. Approximately 1 million Californians request duplicate licenses each year.

Essential DMV Services Continue

The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, kiosks, its call center at (800) 777-0133, available business partners and, soon, virtually to process critical transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV encourages customers to use another service channel if their transaction does not require an office visit. These services are listed on the DMV Online Services and DMV Anytime  webpages and include change of address, replacement sticker or registration card, notice of transfer and release of liability, and vehicle license fee refund requests, among others.

Starting April 2, the Virtual Field Office at virtual.dmv.ca.gov can process title transfers and complex vehicle registrations that would otherwise have to be accomplished in an office. More services will be offered through the Virtual Field Office in the coming weeks.

A recent executive order from Govenor Gavin Newsom makes it easier for low-income families affected by the Coronavirus to sign up for CalFresh, the state's food stamps program. 

The executive order waives certain reporting requirements, so beneficiaries won’t have to prove how much money they earn to continue getting food stamps.

It’ll be a significant weight lifted for applicants, who can sign up online at www.getcalfresh.org in about 10 minutes

Similar waivers are in effect for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in California. People can now apply over the phone instead of in person and defer health screenings. Call the Participant Support Line: (800) 852-5770 for more information and to apply.
Legislative Update
If you're looking to de-stress and have fun while you shelter-in-place, visit the YMCA for FREE virtual wellness and classes. 

View their website at https://www.ymcasf.org/virtual-classes for a daily schedule and zoom information.

#staysafe
#stayfit
 
 
 
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