More than $950 million in stimulus could flow to region

Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 20:45:42-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More than $950 million in stimulus funds is expected to come to the San Diego region as part of the $1.9 trillion package making its way through Congress, Sen. Alex Padilla's office said Monday.

Padilla's office expects the county to receive $647 million dollars of stimulus funds, and the City of San Diego to receive $306 million. The entire package is valued at $1.9 trillion. It passed the Senate and moves onto the House, which could vote Tuesday or Wednesday.

County Board of Supervisors Board Chair Nathan Fletcher said Monday that spending this round is likely to focus on the recovery, as opposed to earlier rounds amid shut-down orders.

Fletcher said, for instance, that early rounds of stimulus went to adapting to the pandemic, such as funding internet connectivity, child welfare visits and behavioral health. This time, he said the county would likely spend it on vaccine distribution, PPE and testing, before deciding where else to spend the remainder.

"And then we look and see where the areas of greatest need in the community that are not covered by other programs and where do we think we can be most effective in stepping in to help," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said he expected the board to move fast to distribute the money once it comes. In February, it passed a framework to quickly divvy up as much as $30 million in stimulus grants to small businesses trying to make it through the pandemic, should a new round come.

Joe Paraiso, owner of Brew Coffee Spot in La Mesa, said the grants would help at a time indoor service is not allowed and sales hover at 40 to 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

"If it happens great, we don't want to get our hopes up, but we do like the possibility that we could get some more help," he said.

A spokeswoman for the mayor declined to comment.