London Mayor N. Breed and Supervisor Gordon Mar on Wednesday announced the launch of the Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant program, which provides up to $ 2,000 in financial assistance to restore and repair damage caused by vandalism to storefronts. neighborhood stores. The program is launched at a time when many small businesses are recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
âOpening and running a successful small business in San Francisco was getting harder and harder, and the pandemic made it even more difficult,â Breed said. âIt has never been more essential for us to support our small businesses in every way possible, which means not only making it easier to open and run a small business, but also providing relief when they are. facing challenges. With the launch of the Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant, we are letting our community of small businesses know that we support them and that we will fight so that they can continue to operate for years to come. “
The Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant provides financial assistance to restore small businesses affected by willful actions that result in the destruction or damage of storefronts. This program will offer either $ 1,000 or $ 2,000, depending on the total cost incurred to repair the physical damage. The $ 1 million program is designed to serve more than 500 small businesses with gross revenues of less than $ 8 million that can provide evidence of vandalism damage suffered since July 1, 2020.
The fund will directly support small businesses with financial assistance following a crime to right the wrong done. The fund will also allow small businesses to make improvements that enhance security and prevent crime. This includes replacement locks, a new security door, repairing an alarm system, adding new lighting, replacing windows, carvings on windows and many more. Improvements are available on a first come, first served basis, depending on the availability of funds.
The Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant is a crime prevention and safety improvement tool in neighborhood shopping corridors. The Office of Economic Development and Workforce (OEWD) also funds programs to help small businesses and neighborhood organizations improve safety through ambassadors and activations to increase foot traffic and community patrols. . The fund is not intended to replace the loss of stolen goods and does not include damage to shared spaces.
âDuring the pandemic, we have seen an increase in burglaries and vandalism in every neighborhood targeting small businesses already struggling with unprecedented economic challenges. As we strive to prevent these crimes and increase security in our trade corridors, we must also respond immediately to bring relief to family businesses with direct and tangible support as they recover from these incidents, âsaid Mar.
âFollowing requests from Sunset companies, I worked with Mayor Breed and the Office of Economic Development and Workforce to create the Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant and secured a funding allocation. initial one million dollars, âsaid Mar.â The fund will provide financial relief to small businesses following a crime to repair the harm done, including the direct costs of property damage or obtaining a replacement lock or new security measures.
To apply, eligible businesses are asked to provide receipts, photos of the damage, and a report from the San Francisco Police Department or 311 in the case of graffiti. Applications can be found by visiting oewd.org/VandalismRelief.
âOn February 26 at 4 am, a burglar managed to break into my small business without raising the alarm. An hour later, an opportunistic looter entered my store and stole additional merchandise. Small businesses are already suffering hard from the pandemic and these crimes are a big blow to small businesses, âsaid Michael Hsu, owner of Footprint on Taraval.
âEver since I heard about the Storefront Vandalism Assistance Grant, I applied for up to $ 2,000 to help relieve my business. We need more programs like this to support small businesses in our neighborhood that are struggling to fall victim to burglary and vandalism. I thank our municipal leaders for initiating this program. Together with the community and leaders, we will go through these difficult times. “
âSince the pandemic, I have heard so many stories of small businesses that have been broken into or vandalized. As a small business owner, I feel and understand their pain and loss, âsaid Albert Chow, president of People of the Parkside Sunset, an association of traders and residents of Taraval. âThe Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant is an essential safety net to ensure our small business owners are able to recover. “
Since the start of the pandemic, San Francisco has provided immediate and ongoing support to small businesses, including making more than $ 52.8 million in grants and loans available to support more than 3,000 small businesses, in addition to tens of millions of dollars in fees and taxes deferrals and assistance with state and federal funding requests. This includes legislation introduced and signed by Mayor Breed to waive $ 5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants.
âAs we reopen and rebuild, many of our small businesses continue to struggle to make ends meet. These challenges can seem almost insurmountable when small businesses are also victims of vandalism, âsaid Kate Sofis, director of the Office of Economic Development and Workforce. âThe San Francisco Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant will help alleviate financial hardship caused by willful acts of property damage. It is one of the many tools available to the City to support our business community and the vitality of our neighborhoods as we work together for economic recovery.
âThe San Francisco Post’s local news coverage in San Francisco County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.