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San Diego County Board Approves Small Business Stimulus Program

-Editorial

Local small businesses and restaurants suffering financial losses due to COVID-19 can now apply for a grant from the County of San Diego.

The Board of Supervisors approved a new Small Business Stimulus Program Tuesday during a Board meeting that also included a report on the behavioral health aspects of COVID-19.

Small Business Stimulus Program

For-profit and nonprofit businesses can apply for grant money if they can show losses and costs are a direct result of the pandemic.

To qualify businesses must have:

* 100 or fewer employees

* Headquarters in San Diego County

* A minimum 1-year operating history as of Feb. 14, 2020

* Documentation of financial hardship because of COVID-19

Board supervisors had approved using $17 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund funds last May to help restaurants and small businesses. Tuesday, the supervisors approved the implementation of the program.

Businesses are urged to apply early. Applications are available now through Oct. 16 – subject to available funding.

An estimate of San Diego County’s jobless rate near the end of April was 27 percent — surpassing unemployment numbers not seen since the Great Depression.

The San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, came up with the figure using federal and statewide data and applying it to San Diego County.

SANDAG estimates there are more than 450,000 unemployed residents in San Diego County as of April 25, with about 400,000 losing their jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States after the first week in March.

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