San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors approved a plan to help aid businesses affected by the County’s placement into the most restrictive of the state's four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system. The Board voted unanimously for the $20 million relief plan, and makes the general funds available to provide relief to businesses negatively impacted by the indoor closures mandated by the purple tier. Funds will also be available for event businesses, such as catering companies and party planners.
"Due to the massive spike in COVID-19 cases and very concerning increases in hospitalizations we have to take action to slow the spread in San Diego County," Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher, co-chairs of the County of San Diego's COVID-19 Subcommittee, said in a joint statement. "Through no fault of their own, COVID-19 highest risk entities have to stop indoor operations. While we know this step is vital to help slow the spread in our community, we want to step up and help those impacted...
"Our goal for the $20 million is to provide relief to restaurants, gyms and other entities that have been directly impacted by the indoor closures due to our county's purple tier status. We want to provide this critical relief to them as our community works to slow the spread and stop the surge of COVID- 19 cases."
"These businesses aren't looking for a hand-out; they just want to get back to work," Supervisor Jim Desmond said, describing the funds a much-needed bandage for struggling businesses, but not a solution.
Cox said during last week’s virtual special meeting that providing the right critical relief for businesses is a priority. "I realize we're in a situation none of us created," he said. "We want nothing more than for businesses to get back to normal, but this is one small step we can make to help them hang on."
The funding will be divided evenly between the five supervisorial districts — with each receiving about $4 million. Officials said applications for the funds are posted to the county's website.