San Francisco Offers $5,000 To Small Businesses; ‘Women-Owned, Immigrant-Owned, People-Of-Color Owned’ Prioritized

In San Francisco, $5,000 grants are being given by the city to small businesses suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s more to the story than that: the money is being used to meet the city’s “equity goals,” which means that among those businesses that are prioritized are “minority-owned businesses including women-owned, immigrant-owned, people of color-owned businesses,” and those in certain “cultural districts.”

In December, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced new measures to help 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:

Apply for a Shared Spaces equity grant. Use grant funds for technical assistance or materials. Check if your business is eligible. You must have a Shared Spaces permit or have applied for a Shared Spaces permit. We are looking to support businesses that:

  • Are in established cultural districts, or cultural districts in the process of formation
  • Are legacy businesses, or those acquiring legacy status
  • Serve non-English speaking communities
  • Are minority-owned businesses including women-owned, immigrant-owned, people of color-owned businesses

You must be the Shared Spaces permit holder to fill out the application.

We will ask you about:

  • Your business or organization location
  • The type of services or materials you want to be reimbursed for
  • The total cost of your Shared Space (including materials, labor, and consulting)

For individual businesses, we will also ask:

  • Your business owner contact and demographic information
  • Your type of business
  • Number of full-time and part-time employees

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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