San Francisco made an additional $3.5 million in small business loans available Monday for COVID-19 financial relief.
The funding will go to private for-profit small businesses that are considered low or moderate income. The owners can use the loans toward payroll, rent, inventory and equipment.
“COVID-19 isn’t over and as we begin the hard work of recovering as a city, we need to continue to be there for our businesses—especially those who have difficulty accessing other forms of credit or financial assistance,” Mayor London Breed said in an announcement.
The San Francisco Hardship and Emergency Loan Program, or HELP, has distributed $8.5 million in loans to 227 small businesses since it launched in April, according to the Mayor’s Office. Loans are up to $50,000 per business and are to be repaid within six years.
Of the past recipients, 74% were minority-owned small businesses and 52% women-owned businesses, according to the office.
Business types included bars, hair salons, dry cleaners, gyms and child care.
“These zero-interest loans will help our beloved neighborhood businesses and entrepreneurs reopen safely,” Breed said. “Small businesses, like our neighborhood restaurants, corner markets, and hair salons, keep our commercial corridors thriving and provide employment for San Franciscans. Their survival and success will help us recover together.”
Joaquín Torres, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, praised the program for providing essential capital to help businesses weather the pandemic.
“The success of minority-owned businesses – who make up more than half of San Francisco’s small business communities – is essential for an equitable recovery and our City’s ongoing cultural and economic vitality,” Torres said in a statement. “SF HELP has been a lifeline for those small businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.”
For more information on the program click here.