San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Monday announced a $ 2.5 million investment in the city’s revolving loan fund for African American small businesses, bringing the fund to $ 6.3 million.
The fund, established in June 2020 by Breed and the African American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, aims to help black-owned and serving black businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, by offering zero-interest loans of up to $ 50,000 to qualifying businesses.
The new funding was made possible through philanthropic support from the San Francisco Foundation and business executive Aneel Bhusri, according to the mayor’s office.
“It has been such a difficult year for small businesses in San Francisco, and unfortunately black-owned businesses across the country have been hit particularly hard and many have had to shut down for good,” Breed said in a statement. . “Small businesses are going to play a crucial role in the recovery of our city. As we look to the future of San Francisco, it is essential that our municipal programs continue to focus on equity and serve historically disadvantaged communities.
Breed added that she hopes the fund can “give businesses the resources that can help them survive this pandemic and come back even stronger.”
“These restaurants, hair salons, fitness studios, bike shops and other businesses support and anchor our black communities as important social and economic hubs,” said assessor Joaquin Torres. “The continued expansion of the African-American Revolving Loan Fund honors Black History Month by recognizing the inequalities and racial adversities that black businesses have been and sadly continue to face here, while also addressing them. raising and valuing their contributions by investing in their future.
AARLF funds have been prioritized for long-standing black-owned, black-serving businesses in the city, particularly those most affected by operations severely constrained by the stay-at-home order such as the barbershops, barbershops, gyms and restaurants. Business owners can use the funds to pay for things like rent, salaries, inventory, improvements, equipment, marketing, and reopening costs.
“As a black business owner, the loan was made at the right time and in the right amount,” said Lloyd Lacy, owner of Lacy’s Barber Shop.
“I was able to pay my unpaid debts, including my guaranteed rent, and I was able to lay the floor tiles that I had been sitting on for two years. I added new chairs, sinks, mirrors and repainted my cabinets. If I had not received the loan, I would risk losing my business, ”he said.
Of the additional $ 2.5 million in funding, $ 1.3 million will be used to leverage additional private sector funds to provide some 30 additional businesses with zero-interest loans, increasing the number of businesses benefiting from the AARLF to a total of 150. The remaining $ 1.2 million will be used to write off debt, ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000, for some 30 long-standing companies that have already benefited from the financing.
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