Grants offer relief to businesses

Recent historic storms have ravaged many small businesses and nonprofits in San Diego County and have had a dispro­portionate effect on business owners of color in the commu­nities hit the hardest by flood­ing. Many of these communi­ties have long grappled with systemic racism and economic disparity, and without the right support, the recent storms will only entrench historic inequi­ties.

At a press conference on Feb. 9, the County of San Di­ego Chamber of Commerce was joined by elected officials, San Diego business association lead­ers to show solidarity and to initiate support for businesses affected by the recent storms. CSDBCC President and CEO Donna DeBerry was joined by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego County Board of Su­pervisors Chair Nora Vargas, San Diego Foundation Presi­dent & CEO Mark Stuart, along with two members of the Stra­tegic Alliance. The Asian Busi­ness Association and The His­panic Chamber of Commerce, along with other partner orga­nizations, including San Diego Foundation, The Urban League, NAACP, San Diego Latino Pro­fessionals, The Chicano Federa­tion, Black American Politi­cal Association of California, The Urban Collaborative Project, The Regional Cham­ber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, The Burnham Center and more.

The support includes the Emergency Business Relief Fund, provided by CSDBCC, Emergency Business Relief Fund, which provides grants, resources and support to small businesses – and espe­cially to those in the hardest-hit, underserved communi­ties.

DeBerry said in the grim aftermath of the historic flood, we must all come to­gether to help our communi­ties fix the destruction.

“Particularly in the dis­tricts that have been starved of services for generations,” she said. “Without adequate support for diverse under­served communities this will result in the deepening of en­trenched racial and socioeco­nomic inequities, displace­ment, exacerbated wealth inequality, and inadequate low-cost housing.”

Vargas said it has been an incredibly difficult couple of weeks for the region.

“Especially for our small businesses, and I want to make it clear that we are working around the clock at the County to provide people with resources,” said Vargas. “Unfortunately, the busi­nesses and communities that have been hit the hardest are also those that have been underinvested for decades. It’s time we change that so all small business owners throughout our county have a chance to thrive.”

“The January 22 floods devastated several commu­nities in our region, leaving hundreds without shelter, clothing, or food,” said Mark Stuart, President & CEO of San Diego Foundation.

To find out more about Emergency Relief Grants visit www.sdblackchamber. org. For more information on the Emergency Business Relief Fund visit https://bit. ly/48kRd1D.


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