City Council Approves Grant Funding for San Leandro Businesses on Waitlist
The City of San Leandro will be providing $400,000 in additional grants to San Leandro businesses who applied to the Alameda County CARES Grant Program. On January 20, 2021, the San Leandro City Council unanimously voted to allocate $400,000 in general fund reserves to help suffering businesses. These funds will be awarded to businesses who previously applied to the Alameda County CARES Grant Program, but did not receive a grant. The funds will provide $5,000 grants to 80 businesses.
These funds are in addition to the $150,000 in funds that the City contributed towards the Alameda County CARES Grant Program in December, which was matched by the County to provide $300,000 in earmarked funds to San Leandro businesses. Additionally, through the county grant program, San Leandro businesses were eligible to receive grants from the $5M available for businesses across the county. Between all sources, 276 of the approximately 700 San Leandro businesses who applied to the county program will receive assistance.
Through the San Leandro Small Business Continuity Grant, the City also distributed $300,000 in $5,000 grants in May, 2020. Including this effort, the City of San Leandro has facilitated the disbursement of $1,000,000 in grants to San Leandro businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alameda County CARES grant prioritizes grants for small, local, and emerging businesses within Alameda County to assist with the costs of business interruption caused by COVID-19. The funds may only be used for unreimbursed costs from March 17, 2020 for rent/lease/mortgage and utility payments, payroll, operating expenses, personal protective equipment, sanitation equipment, and interior and exterior physical adaptations. The City of San Leandro will distribute the latest round of funds, selecting an additional 80 businesses in the same manner as the original grant, via lottery. Awardees were notified via email earlier this week.
The lottery drew from over 500 San Leandro businesses who applied for the Alameda County CARES Grant but were not awarded a grant. Reflecting the City’s strong and vibrant small business ecosystem, the lottery randomly selected a diverse group of 80 businesses. Some highlights:
- 77.5% were owned by Asian, African American/Black, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian, or other race than white, including 46.3% Asian-owned*
- 37.5% were women-owned*
- 38.7% have 4 or fewer employees
- Businesses are being awarded from 15 business categories, with the largest number of businesses in the highest-impacted categories of restaurants; beauty and personal services; and professional/technical services who work with individuals and other businesses
- * NOTE – not all businesses indicated ownership type
Over the past year, many San Leandro businesses, including specialty retail, restaurants, personal services (hair, nails, etc.), and health and fitness have been required to close, or limited to pick up service only, for a number of months. Even as certain businesses have been permitted to reopen at limited capacity, small businesses continued to suffer from reduced customer traffic. With reduced sales, increased costs of operations due to required protective measures, and the cost of ongoing and past overhead, businesses continue to have significant operations and financial challenges.
With the vaccines bringing new hope to an end to the pandemic, the goal of the assistance is to help businesses be able to make it through 2021 and move toward recovery. For more information on available COVID-19-related business resources, please visit https://eastbayeda.org/covid-19-resources/.