Teri Sanchez almost lost everything when the coronavirus hit Fresno County in March.
“My business has been hit very hard,” she said. “I mean, we’re feeding groups of people. So you can imagine, the last job I had was on March 13.”
The timing of a total loss of income couldn’t have been much worse.
She had invested almost everything she had into her restaurant and personal chef business Eat It Up Fresno.
But now the city of his business name is saving the business.
“We know what steps we have taken,” said Fresno City Council chairman Miguel Arias. “We know they were difficult to take and our businesses and residents are suffering greatly from these consequences.”
City Council members Esmeralda Soria and Mike Karbassi launched the Save Our Small Businesses program with Mayor Lee Brand.
They are now giving out $ 750,000 in loan that the city will forgive if the businesses stay open for a year.
They chose 116 eligible businesses in a lottery.
Much of the money went to hair salons and barber shops like Tower 59, and restaurants like India’s Oven and El Cochinito Contento.
But council members know that this help is far from enough.
They’ve had over 2,500 requests asking for over $ 8 million, so they’re already working on giving twice as much money in the second round.
“I want to make sure the small business owners here in the city of Fresno understand that city council is with them, that we want to be able to help them,” said Soria, board member.
The Council expects to finalize the next phase of Save Our Small Businesses by May 6, including new rules.
They plan to make it a grant program so that they can use the federal money, and they decide which companies should be eligible.
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