For the SFPUC, the Bayview community has long been a partner of the agency. The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of the SFPUC’s communities and residents, but it has been particularly devastating for the small businesses of San Francisco.
The 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.
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.
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.
- Emerging Entrepreneurs
- Micro Business with two or fewer employees can apply for a $2,500 grant.
- 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 online. The deadline for the application is May 15. Funding will start dispersing from the fund on June 1st.
The 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.