New fund to help Black-owned businesses in San Diego survive COVID-19

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 09:53:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce announced a new relief fund for Black owned business meant to keep them afloat during the pandemic.

They held a press conference Sunday afternoon at Waterfront Park announcing the Black Business Relief Grant Fund.

Lance Growth, member of the chamber and CEO of Growth 1031, organized the press conference and says this is going to fill the gap where the government's Paycheck Protection Programfell short, "for the COVID crisis yes this is a light at the end of the tunnel."

Growth says about 95% of black owned businesses did not get federal money.

"I don’t want to say insulting but disheartening where you watch this crisis unfold then you see your government say, 'Hey we know how bad this is we are going to provide you help,' but then you read about the businesses that [didn't get] PPP, and it just folds into the social unrest," he said.

He said the grants and microloans will pay for anything from rent to supplies to payroll.

Growth said they weren't going to make the application nearly as time consuming and invasive as the PPP, "we’re just going to try and get you this money as fast as possible because everyone is hurting from this pandemic."

Applicationsopen Wednesday, June 17, and priority will be given to small disadvantaged businesses in low income neighborhoods.

Specific criteria for the grants will be defined Wednesday, according to the chamber.

They are expecting a very high demand, compared to the amount they can give out. "One of the big things we announced is a goal that we want to raise $1 million dollars in 60 days," Growth said, urging San Diegans to use this opportunity to get involved and make a difference.

He said supporting black owned businesses help them thrive and remove barriers for the next generation.