Relief for workers and small businesses during COVID-19

Every week, through Zoom calls or visits to places where critical services are being provided, I am reminded of the resilience and strength of our San Francisco community, and the workers and small businesses who make each day during this anxious time a little easier.

To everyone working in a hospital, pharmacy, grocery store, child care center or any other essential business — thank you for all you do. And to everyone who is keeping their company or organization open to serve the community during this trying time — we’re doing all we can to fight the negative economic impacts of COVID-19.

There are numerous resources aimed at helping working people and small businesses weather the storm, and I want to make sure you know what they are:

Workers unemployed or underemployed. If you have lost your job or have had your hours reduced, visit our state website OnwardCA by clicking here. They’ll help you with everything you need right now — essential life services like food and shelter, retraining and professional development opportunities, and connections to find your next job.

Freelancers. If you’re a freelancer, self-employed or an independent contractor, as so many have been across California, you can claim unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can read this LA Times article here which details the process — and visit the California Employment Development Department to file for unemployment online, as well as access many other resources.

Small businesses. If you run a small business with fewer than 500 employees, you may be eligible for a variety of loans, debt relief, paycheck protection or more through the federal Small Business Association. Visit the SBA website by clicking here. And here are state resources on interest-free sales tax payment plans, a new program for small businesses to finance new loans, and the Work Sharing Program, which allows employees to receive unemployment insurance while keeping their current job.

Finally, thanks to Mayor Breed, the Board of Supervisors, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, San Francisco small businesses can access our city’s Emergency Loan Fund, which provides small businesses up to $50,000 in zero-interest loans. Read more about that, as well as other resources, by clicking here.

It’s an understatement to say this is an extremely challenging and anxious time for workers, small businesses, and all San Franciscans. We are working tirelessly in my office, in collaboration with city and state leaders, to ease the burden and ensure San Francisco families are given the resources they need to stay healthy, safe, and secure throughout this crisis. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help.

In solidarity,