S.F. Scrambles to Support Businesses Threatened by Pandemic

Joaquín Torres. Photo courtesy of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Joaquín Torres. Photo courtesy of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Certain businesses that had been forced to close under San Francisco’s coronavirus shelter-in-place order had been expecting to re-open on Monday. But last week, seeing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, city officials postponed that date. Joaquín Torres, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, gave an overview of local programs meant to support struggling businesses and workers and how many have received aid. Many of these programs have reached their fund capacities. For others, the city will soon begin accepting applications and allocating funds. The need, among workers and businesses, exceeds what the city immediately can offer — all of the money in the city’s Give2SF fund, which is supplied by donations, is spoken for.

“We’ve had over 2,000 people who have given money to the program over $28 million that has supported it. And as I mentioned, it’s a substantial sum… And certainly more and more will be needed, especially as we start ramping up towards recovery.”

— Joaquín Torres

A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco.