San Francisco, CA –The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and its Social Impact Partners, Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Shamann Walton and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) have established a new $500,000 grant program to support small, locally owned businesses in the Bayview neighborhood. The grant program, called the Phoenix Fund, is a Bayview Small Business Resiliency Fund that aims to support entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our small businesses are suffering and need immediate help, and these grants can provide a measure of relief,” said Mayor London Breed. “The Bayview is home to so many critical City facilities, and I’m glad to see the SFPUC and its contracting firms stepping up to support the community. We know there’s much more that needs to be done in both the near future and over the coming weeks and months to help our small businesses recover, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to make that happen.
“This global pandemic has impacted all of our communities and residents, but it has been particularly devastating for the small businesses of our City,’ said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “These entrepreneurs in the Bayview are not only the backbone of their communities, they are friends, neighbors and longtime partners of the SFPUC. We are proud to work with our private and public partners to do what we can to help these companies in their time of need.”
The grant will be comprised of $150,000 from the SFPUC’s private contracting partners, Brown and Caldwell, Jacobs Engineering and Parsons, and $350,000 from the Citywide OEWD small business resiliency fund that was announced on Friday by Mayor Breed. The program will be administered by the Bayview community organization Economic Development On Third.
The grants will offer entrepreneurs and small business in the Bayview resiliency funding to help stabilize business losses, navigate payroll challenges, and sustain business operational needs.
“Our office has been working hard to negate the adverse impacts of this COVID-19 health crisis on our small businesses,” said Supervisor Walton. “Bayview’s small businesses are the heart of our community and are being negatively impacted by this nightmarish pandemic. This Phoenix Fund is a unique opportunity—specifically for Bayview small businesses—that will help mitigate the negative economic impacts for these community anchors. We will continue to work on strategies that will help our businesses survive this unprecedented hardship.”
The proposed grant amounts will be broken down into the following categories:
- Commercial Storefronts:
- Commercial Storefront with two or fewer employees can apply for a $5,000 grant.
- Commercial Storefront with greater than two employees can apply for a $10,000 grant.
o Micro Business with two or fewer employees can apply for a $2,500 grant.
o Micro Business with more than two employees can apply for a $5,000 grant.
More information about the grant program and its guidelines, along with the application form can be found here. The deadline for the application is May 15. Funding will start dispersing from the fund on June 1st.
The Bayview SFPUC’s Social Impact Partnership Program invites private sector firm partners to give back to the communities in which they are performing work on behalf of the SFPUC. The agency is currently in the midst of the Sewer System Improvement Program, a 20-year citywide investment to upgrade the City’s sewer infrastructure to ensure a reliable, sustainable and seismically safe system. The majority of that work is focused on the Southeast Treatment Plant, in the Bayview community.
The SFPUC is the first public utility in the country to implement a social impact program that advances corporate social responsibility as a part of its competitive bidding process for professional services, alternative delivery and energy procurement contracts.
Brown and Caldwell and Jacobs Engineering have previously supported a small business development initiative through the Bayview Bistro , a community food hub where Bayview food vendors activated a vacant lot and received technical assistance to grow their business.
Other examples of the SFPUC’s Social Impact Partnership program include the Maisin Scholar Award, which provides financial support for local youth to pursue higher education and CityWorks, which offers paid internships for young adults in the City’s Southeast communities.
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfwater.org.