For Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
FOR BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19
UPDATE: 7/17 - San Francisco announces next steps on controlling spread of COVID-19 and continuing pause on reopening
NEW PROGRAM OPEN: African American Small Business Revolving Loan Fund Apply | View Directory of Black-Owned Businesses
We're glad you found us - helping SF businesses impacted by COVID-19 is our top priority. Read below to learn about city, state and federal resources. This page is updated daily.
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The City is making resources available to help sustain as many SF businesses and workers as possible. New federal legislation was finalized on April 24, 2020 that reopened the PPP and EIDL programs after a week-long closure. We are also working hard to develop additional local resources. Check back for updates.
Do you own a business with 0-5 employees? * CLOSED *
The City has established a COVID-19 Resiliency Fund to offer emergency grants of up to $10K for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. 128 small businesses from 29 neighborhoods across the City were awarded grants in Phase One. Phase 2 is now closed.
This program is funded by generous donations to the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ♡ Give2SF a public-private partnership. Contribute here.
Resiliency Fund Eligibility
✺ 0-5 full-time equivalent payroll employees
✺ Must be a for-profit business with an SF license or permit
✺ Less than 2.5M in gross receipts
✺ Evidence of at least 25% loss of revenue in a 30-day period
✺ Applicant must be low-income
Note: The eligibility criteria for Phase Two has changed to better reach vulnerable small businesses who may not have received other government funding: (1) business owners with no employees are now eligible, and (2) applicants must be low-income. Awardees will be chosen through a lottery system and a portion of the funds will be reserved for businesses reopening in San Francisco Phases 2C and 3, as well as businesses operating for five or more years.
Apply * CLOSED *
Phase Two of the program closed on June 17.
All eligible applicants to the prior Phase One (March 12-29) as well as to the City’s Neighborhood Mini-Grant program will be automatically re-entered in Phase Two. To check your application status and confirm you've been entered in Phase Two, complete the request form.
Call us at 415-554-6134 or email investSF@sfgov.org
Neighborhood Mini-Grants * CLOSED *
The City has joined with community partners to repurpose existing funds for a new COVID-19 mini-grant program focused on delivering relief to small businesses in historically underserved communities and women-owned businesses. Eligibility and award amounts vary by neighborhood, ranging between $1,000-$10,000. The funds may be used to support expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities, or to supplement income resulting from a direct loss of business revenue. Neighborhood awards were announced on June 1, 2020. The Women's Entrepreneurship Grant closed on June 15, 2020, and awards will be announced soon.
Neighborhood Mini-Grants Eligibility
✺ Must be located within a target neighborhood boundary or be a woman-owned business
✺ Must be a for-profit business with an SF license or permit
✺ Less than $2.5M in gross receipts
✺ Have temporarily closed, or have evidence of at least 25% loss of revenue
✺ Additional criteria vary by neighborhood
Note: Independent contractors who are 100% women-owned, OR who live in the Bayview or Fillmore may be eligible.
Apply * CLOSED *
As of 5/22/20, the following grant programs are closed: Bayview, Calle 24, Excelsior, Japantown, Lower Fillmore, Mission Street, OMI, Tenderloin. Awards were announced on June 1, 2020.
As of 6/22/20, the Women's Entrepreneurship Grant closed. Awards will be announced soon.
Are you a Black business owner impacted by COVID-19? * NEW *
The City’s African American Small Business Revolving Loan Fund will deploy loans up to $50,000 at 0% interest to support San Francisco Black-owned businesses. There are no fees and no collateral requirements. Long-standing Black-owned businesses and those most severely impacted by the ongoing Shelter-in-Place Health Order will be prioritized. Payments are deferred for the first 12 months and up to 20% of the loan may be forgiven. Funds can be used for machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, inventory, working capital (including payroll, rent, other operating expenses), business debt refinance, tenant improvements, and business acquisition in certain circumstances.
Business applicants must:
✺ Be a for-profit in good standing
✺ Have a valid San Francisco Business License
✺ Have a business bank account (or be prepared to open one)
✺ Demonstrate an annual revenue of less than $2,500,000
✺ Be located or returning to the City of San Francisco unless recently relocated due to COVID-19 and relocation occurred on/or before February 2020
To begin the loan application process, visit the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce's page.
✺ Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in a zero-interest loan up to $50,000? * CLOSED *
The City’s San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program (SF HELP) rapidly deploys loans up to $50,000 at 0% interest. Funds can be used to pay payroll, rent, utilities, inventory, and more. The loan will have a flexible repayment schedule, with terms determined on a case-by-case basis, based on each borrower’s ability to repay.
♡ Give2SF This program is funded by generous donations to the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a public-private partnership. Contribute here.
SF HELP Eligibility
✺ Be a for-profit business located in SF and in good standing
✺ Have a total annual revenue under $2.5M
✺ Demonstrate a 25% drop in revenues since January 1, 2020
✺ Self-employed, sole-proprietors and independent contractors are eligible
✺ Immigration status does not affect eligibility
Apply * CLOSED *
✺ Contact any of these San Francisco-based Technical Assistance Centers:
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) 415-282-3334 | English, Spanish
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 415-937-7232 | English, Chinese
Renaissance Center 415-348-6227 (SOMA), 415-647-3728 (Bayview)
Want to access the federal SBA Payment Protection Program (PPP) to keep your employees on the payroll? * TERMS UPDATED *
✺ Small businesses and nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees
✺ Certain self-employed, sole-proprietors, and independent contractors
✺ Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries
✺ No collateral or personal guarantees are required
✺ Businesses with alternate sources of credit are still eligible for these loans
✺ Loan size is based on your typical pre-COVID-19 monthly payroll times 2.5, not to exceed $10M
Note: If you do not apply or are ineligible for the PPP, you may be eligible for an Employee Retention Tax Credit up to $10,000 per employee.
New funds were added on April 24, 2020. For those who missed the opportunity to apply for the PPP previously, seek out a qualified lender to determine eligibility and apply. For those who already applied but did not receive funding, check with your lender to confirm they will continue to process your application. Download your application here. Submit your application (and required documentation) to a participating lender. Additional information for borrowers can be found here and full terms here.
✺ PPP FAQs
✺ SBA Customer Service: 1-800-659-2955 or email@example.com
✺ Or contact one of these San Francisco-based Technical Assistance Centers:
Small Business Development Center 415-937-7232
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center 415-541-8580
Interested in a low-interest federal SBA Disaster Loan up to $2M? * REOPENED *
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is the federal SBA's disaster loan. It offers SF businesses, nonprofits, certain self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors loans up to $2M with interest rates of 3.75% (2.75% for nonprofits). Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. No personal guarantee required for loans $200,000 and under. On April 24, 2020, new funds were added to this program. SBA has resumed processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
✺ Suffered substantial economic impact
✺ Business and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees
✺ Starting March 30, 2020 certain self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors are eligible
✺ Starting March 30, 2020 you do not need to prove you cannot get credit elsewhere
Apply * REOPENED *
✺ More information and FAQs can be found here.
✺ SBA Customer Service: 1-800-659-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
✺ Or contact one of these San Francisco-based Technical Assistance Centers:
Score (415) 764-4964
Small Business Development Center (415) 937-7232
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center (415) 541-8580
Are you waiting to hear back about your EIDL loan?
The SBA Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses who currently have an existing business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. If you have an urgent need for cash while waiting for a decision and disbursement on an EIDL loan, contact your business' bank to see if you qualify.
HOW TO HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES
Have you been impacted by COVID-19 or the Shelter in Place order and continued to pay your workers?
You can get an Employee Retention Tax Credit up to $10,000 per employee. If you have 100 or fewer full-time employees, you may claim a credit for wages paid to all of your employees. If you have more than 100 employees, you may claim a credit for those furloughed or whose hours have been reduced as a result of closure or economic hardship. NOTE: This tax credit is not available to employers if they take a Paycheck Protection Loan (PPP).
Employers can now let workers change health plans without waiting * NEW *
Under I.R.S. guidance issued May 12, 2020, businesses now have more flexibility to allow workers to make changes to their health plans outside an enrollment period. The change doesn’t require employers to offer these options; they must opt-in if they want to give their employees the added flexibility. This may be applied to health plans retroactively to January 1, 2020.
For example, employers can let their workers drop out of their health insurance if they have another option, or sign up if they failed to earlier in the year. Workers may also add more family members to their plan, or switch from one workplace plan to another.
There are alternatives to layoffs that can help employers keep their employees when there is a lack of work or during financial hardship.
✺ Do you want to keep your trained employees but still allow them to receive unemployment benefits?
The state’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance program allows for the payment of benefits to individuals whose wages and hours have been reduced. For more information, visit Work Sharing.
✺ Have you had to temporarily lay off employees or reduce their hours but expect to rehire them?
Partial claims are for employees whose employers want to keep them when there is a lack of work. Filing a Partial Claim allows employees to receive unemployment benefits without being required to look for a new job. For more information, visit Partial Claims.
✺ Want to learn more about telecommuting?
Telecommuting can help your business continue operations while employees shelter in place. For more information, visit Resources for Managing Teleworkers.
Rapid Response - Layoff Response Assistance
If you are a business considering work stoppages, layoffs, or furloughs, we offer Rapid Response virtual info sessions every Tuesday to inform you and your employees about Unemployment Insurance, Health Benefits, and Job Centers. Register here.
For confidential assistance, contact: email@example.com or call 415-701-4848 and ask for a Rapid Response Business Services Specialist.
If you pay your SF employees for extra sick time, the City will reimburse you $15.59 per hour for extra sick leave up to 40 hours through its new Workers and Families First Program. Read Frequently Asked Questions here and our City’s step-by-step program guide, or call us at 415-554-6134. As of April 5, 2020, this program is closed and we will begin processing reimbursements April 6, 2020. All businesses that apply going forward will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if funds become available. Apply for the waitlist.
For general information about San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance in light of COVID-19, visit the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement's guidance on COVID-19.
Tell your employees to visit our Resource Page for Employees Impacted by COVID-19
HELP FOR SELF-EMPLOYED, SOLE-PROPRIETORS, AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Can I qualify for City small business financial relief programs?
Self-employed, sole-proprietors and independent contractors were eligible for the Second Phase of the Resiliency Fund and the City's zero-interest loan program SF HELP was also available.
Can I qualify for federal small business financial relief programs?
Yes! Two federal programs are available to you:
Starting March 30, certain self-employed, sole-proprietors, and independent contractors are eligible for the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). New funds were added April 24, 2020, but the SBA is no longer accepting applications at this time. Learn more about this program on our EIDL section above.
Starting April 10, certain self-employed, sole-proprietors, and independent contractors are also eligible for the federal Payment Protection Program (PPP) which allows borrowers to access fully forgivable loans up to $10M. You can learn more about this program and apply on our PPP section above.
Can I receive worker benefits if I am self-employed, a sole proprietor, or an independent contractor and lost work? What if I am sick, or caring for a sick family member?
New federal action (CARES Act) expands eligibility through special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to include the self-employed, independent contractors, and people whose benefits have already run out. If you are unable to work or your hours have been reduced due to COVID-19 or you are sick or caring for a sick family member, you may also be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance (DI), Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits under a few different scenarios. You can learn more about these benefits on our Employee Resources page.
Can I qualify for small business financial relief programs?
Yes! Self-employed, sole-proprietors and independent contractors were eligible for the Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program in certain neighborhoods. The City's zero-interest loan program SF HELP was also available, but reached its funding limit and closed on April 22, 2020. Starting March 30, you are also eligible for the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and, starting April 10, 2020 for the federal Payment Protection Program (PPP) which allows borrowers to access fully forgivable loans up to $10M. New funds were added to the EIDL on April 24, 2020, but the SBA is no longer accepting applications at this time. Learn more about these programs on our Business Resources page.
Are you an artist? * CLOSED *
The City has added $250,000 to the SF Artist Relief Fund for grants to individual artists up to $2,000 (to use as they see fit) to help artists stay in San Francisco. Applications opened on May 1, 2020 and the deadline to apply was May 15, 2020 at 5 PM (PST).
Individuals (artist, teaching artist, cultural producer, etc.):
✺ Must be a full-time resident of San Francisco
✺ Must not be eligible for, or currently on unemployment
REAL ESTATE ASSISTANCE
Commercial Evictions Moratorium
The City has ordered a moratorium prohibiting commercial evictions because of nonpayment due to COVID-19. This applies to any rent that was due from March 17, 2020 to August 15, 2020 and this may be extended. NOTE: This does not waive the obligation to pay this missed rent.
See the detailed guidance on the moratorium for tenants and landlords provided by OEWD.
What should I do if I’m unable to pay my rent? Your landlord may not evict for nonpayment of rent due during the moratorium without first providing you a written notice, and at least 30 days from the date of the notice to pay rent. You and your landlord may use this time to develop a payment plan, which may address issues such as how much of the back rent the tenant must repay, and on what schedule.
What if I can’t pay my missed rent within the 30 days? If you’re unable to pay because of COVID-19 and have not yet agreed to a payment plan with your landlord, you can get a 30-day extension by providing documentation, including a letter, email, or other written communication to the landlord that explains the financial impact you are experiencing. Your explanation should be objectively verifiable.
Can I get even more time to pay my missed rent? Yes, you can get further monthly extensions to pay by providing written documentation each month. Once a rent payment is six months overdue, no further extensions are available unless agreed to by the landlord.
✺ A commercial tenant and/or subtenant
✺ Registered to do business in San Francisco
✺ Annual gross receipts at or below $25M
✺ Month-to-month or holdover tenants are eligible
✺ Read our FAQs to learn more
✺ If you still have questions, contact our Small Business Assistance Center
✺ Or contact one of these San Francisco-based legal assistance providers:
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs 415-543-9444 x217, firstname.lastname@example.org
SF Bar Association 415-782-8940, email@example.com
Commercial Lease Assistance
OTHER RELIEF YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
The City allows businesses to apply for a no-cost, expedited permit to share the sidewalk or parking lane for restaurant pickup and general retail. Apply here.
SFMTA Temporary Loading Zones ━ AVAILABLE
SFMTA is fast-tracking converting some adjacent street parking into temporary loading zones for take-out/delivery service to support merchants adapting to COVID-19. There is no fee, simply complete this form for review and processing.
SFMTA Color Curb Renewal Late Fees ━ TEMPORARILY WAIVED
Businesses with white and/or green zones may receive renewal invoices from the Color Curb Program. Renewals for white and green zones are invoiced every two years. If your business is closed due to COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to postpone the renewal or revoke the zone. All late fees are temporarily waived. For more information, go here.
Third-Party Delivery Fees ━ TEMPORARILY CAPPED
The City issued an order making it unlawful for a third-party food delivery service to charge a restaurant a fee per online order for the use of its services that totals more than 15% of the purchase price of online orders. Read more.
SBA Loans ━ DEFERRED
The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees for current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months, as well as for new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. For more information, visit the SBA's Debt Relief overview.
Business Registration Fees ━ DEFERRED
The City is deferring business registration fees by four months, now due September 30, 2020 instead of May 31, 2020. Read more here.
Business Taxes & Licensing Fees ━ DEFERRED
The City is deferring business taxes due April 30, 2020 for businesses with up to $10M in gross receipts until February 2021 with no interest or penalties. The City is also deferring collection of annual small business license and permit fees until September 30, 2020. For more information, visit this SF Treasurer & Tax Collector webpage.
Business Personal Property Filing ━ EXTENDED
The City is extending the filing deadline for Business Personal Property from May 7, 2020 to June 1, 2020 with no interest or penalties. Businesses can still mail in or submit their filings online at any time. For more information, visit the SF Assessor-Recorder's webpage or email email@example.com for questions.
State Sales and Use Tax ━ EXTENDED
Starting March 30, 2020 all taxpayers who file a return less than $1M, will have an additional three months to file. Check this table for the new due dates. If you qualify for this extension, it is automatic, you do not need to apply. If your return is more than $1M, you can still request an extension and it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Starting April 2, 2020 small business taxpayers with less than $5M in taxable annual sales can qualify for a 12 month, interest-free payment plan. Learn more and apply here.
State Payroll Taxes & Reports ━ EXTENDED
The California Employment Development Division (EDD) is granting a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest for employers experiencing hardship from COVID-19. A written request for extension is required. For the most up-to-date information, visit CA EDD’s COVID-19 resource page.
Property Tax Payment ━ DEFERRED
The City is deferring the due date for the second installment of property taxes to at least May 15, 2020 without penalty. If you're unable to pay by this date for reasons related to COVID-19, you can request a penalty waiver online (note: these waiver requests will not be accepted until after the property tax deadline). For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions about the Property Tax deadline along with the SF Treasurer & Tax Collector's COVID-19 page.
State Income Taxes ━ EXTENDED
California business and individual tax filers affected by COVID-19 now have an extra 60-90 days to file and pay state income taxes. For more information, visit the State’s Franchise Tax Board page.
Federal Income Taxes ━ EXTENDED
On March 21, 2020 the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. For more information, visit the IRS COVID-19 page.
Water Shutoffs & Late Fees ━ SUSPENDED
The City has suspended water shutoffs and late fees during the local COVID-19 Emergency. For information, read the Mayor’s Press Release here.
Water & Sewer Bill Discount ━ AVAILABLE * NEW *
Small businesses or nonprofits experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a 20% reduction for six months on their water and sewer bill. The deadline to submit an application is December 31, 2020. However, SFPUC may cease taking applications earlier if funds are exhausted. For more information and to apply, go here.
PG&E Electricity Shutoffs ━ SUSPENDED
PG&E will not disconnect power due to non-payment until further notice and will offer flexible payment plans for those impacted by COVID-19. For more information, visit PG&E’s COVID-19 webpage.
Commercial Garbage Collection ━ SUSPENSION AVAILABLE
Recology is allowing businesses impacted by COVID-19 to suspend their service. Enroll here.
Low-Cost Internet - AVAILABLE
Please find information for free or low-cost Internet here.
GENERAL INFORMATION & DOCUMENTS
Use trusted resources to stay up-to-date with accurate COVID-19 information:
✺ Guidance for all businesses during Shelter In Place orders. Check our Reopening Page for more information.
✺ Check if your business can be open
✺ Multilingual COVID-19 flyers, graphics, and fact sheets
✺ Up-to-date state resources for businesses
✺ California SBDC COVID-19 resources and FAQs
✺ California ABC Guidance by Liquor License Type and COVID-19 updates
✺ CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses & Workplaces
✺ Webinars to learn best practices and tips:
Mayor London Breed in live conversation with City health officials about reopening San Francisco and the next phases of recovery, from May 18, 2020.
View the Mayor's small business webinar from April 27, 2020 and her workforce webinar from May 4, 2020.
OEWD hosts Rapid Response/Layoff Response Assistance webinars for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19 with the CA Employment Development Department (EDD).
Tue 2:00 - 3:15 PM register here
SBA's San Francisco Office hosts a series of COVID-19 webinars to answer questions and provide an overview of Disaster Loan Programs and PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidelines:
Tue 3:00 PM, Thurs 11:00 PM register here
English: Mon, Wed, Fri 10:30 - 11:30 AM join here
Spanish: Thurs 10:30 - 11:30 AM
The SF Chamber of Commerce hosts a series of COVID-19 webinars for small businesses.