U.S. San Francisco mayor announces new relief plan for small businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced a 62 million U.S. dollars new plan to provide immediate financial relief for small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19.

The plan will provide a combination of grants and very low to zero-interest loans, which will complement and expand existing local, state, and federal initiatives, the announcement said.

Locally, San Francisco has already provided more than 24 million U.S. dollars in grants and loans, and recently waived an additional 5 million dollars in fees for the hardest hit small businesses.

This new small business relief plan will triple the overall support provided by the city. This comes as the federal government has directed new funding in the expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the state of California has launched its own Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, according to the announcement.

"These have been long, hard months on so many of us, but in particular our small business owners and workers have really struggled," said Breed. "We have lost too many of our small businesses already during this pandemic, and this relief plan will help many businesses get through these next challenging months as the vaccine is distributed and we can begin our recovery."

She argued that the city needs small businesses to provide jobs and to make the neighborhoods vibrant again sooner for residents and visitors.

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