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Mayor Faulconer Outlines Economic Relief Package for San Diego Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Relief Package to Include Small Business Loans, Fee Deferrals Extension of Building Permits

Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO – Building on recent efforts to provide relief for everyday San Diegans, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today was joined by Councilmember Chris Cate and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders to unveil an economic relief package of approximately 4-million-dollars that reduces fees, provides certainty and offers support to local employers affected by the global pandemic known as COVID-19.

“Businesses are following public health orders, and we recognize this has an impact. This relief effort is about restoring some balance to the current situation,” Mayor Faulconer said. “San Diego businesses are making a necessary sacrifice while bearing a tremendous burden as they comply with these orders. We’re taking aggressive action today to help businesses stay afloat and continue to pay as many employees as possible.”  

The new programs announced today include:

  • Creation of the San Diego Small Business Relief Fund: This fund will help make micro loans available to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of San Diego has infused the fund with 2 million dollars and will look for partners to increase the fund during this time of need.
  • Tax Certificate Deferral Program: This program will help ensure business owners are not penalized for late renewal submissions for up to 120 days. This program will also include a one-year forgiveness period for Business Tax Certificate penalties and surcharges when reestablishing delinquent accounts.
  • Commercial Utility Deferral: This program immediately helps business owners by suspending water billing fees, removing penalties for late payments, and ensuring there are no commercial account shut-offs. This mirrors previous relief provided to families in San Diego struggling to make payments to keep current during uncertain times.
  • Extension of All Building Permits: The proposed extension will last for 180 days and can be stretched further upon review. Usually, discretionary items would be automatically closed after 90 days of inactivity. This change will not only allow them to be open longer, but the City will be working with customers on a case by case basis.

“As Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee and a former small business owner, I feel that it is imperative we, as a City, take a holistic approach to ensure there is minimal impact to our regional economy,” Councilmember Chris Cate said. “This economic relief package is without-a-doubt, a step in the right direction. It will protect both employees and employers not only today, but tomorrow, and days to come.”

“Our business community is facing unprecedented challenges.  The programs announced today by Mayor Faulconer are designed to address the very needs and concerns that we have been hearing about every day,” Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “We’re proud to stand with the Mayor, the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and other partners to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support those who have worked so hard to build and diversify our regional economy.”

“San Diego is a community of small businesses and while it will be months before we know the true economic cost of COVID-19, those businesses are having to make tough choices now about their operations,” said Jerry Sanders President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This relief package will help give our small businesses options and tools so they can adopt a prepared mindset to focus on the health of their business and employees as we all work to limit the spread of the virus as much as we can.”

The Mayor also called on San Diego corporations to show their generosity and partner with the City to provide additional support to San Diego relief efforts.

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