Above: SB County Board Supervisor Curt Hagman

Saida Maalin | Contributor

San Bernardino, CA – The San Bernardino Board of Supervisors announced they will provide $30 million in funding to help small businesses in the county meet public health guidelines to reopen.

As businesses anxiously wait to reopen, they must meet restrictions to minimize COVID-19 risks as established by California Governor Gavin Newsom in his 4-stage plan to reopen. Businesses must meet these safety and prevention protocols.

A grant of $2,500 will be distributed to businesses who meet the health and prevention guidelines. In addition, businesses who are COVID-19 compliant and have met the requirements will have a sign in the window stating they are as a way to help assure the public.

“The pandemic and resulting lockdown are having a huge impact on the county’s small business community, including extensive employee layoffs and furloughs,” said Curt Hagman, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

About 12,000 businesses are expected to be assisted at this time. To be eligible, the business must be in the San Bernardino County area for a year, in good standing with property tax payments and have employed between one and 100 employees. The same companies are urged to apply as soon as possible since applications are on a first-come first served basis.

According to county officials, nonprofit organizations with storefronts are also eligible and new businesses and big businesses are being allowed to participate with the sign in their window.

“We must move to reopen our economy without sacrificing a commitment to protect our residents. The COVID Compliant Business Partnership is an important step toward making that happen,” said Hagman.

Businesses who may not be eligible include casinos, race tracks, adult stores, insurance companies, financial and investment companies, home-based businesses and nonprofits without a storefront.

“We know compliance with the new health and safety guidelines may involve additional costs, and this partnership is designed to help with some of those costs,” said Hagman.

Businesses will also be required to undergo training and receive education to comply and sustain county health and safety guidelines.

“We hope to incentivize small-business owners to implement a site-specific protection plan, with industry-specific guidelines, that will allow a business to open and stay open. This includes wearing face coverings, ensuring physical distancing, strict sanitation standards and anything else they can do to lessen the spread of the coronavirus,” said Hagman.

Eligible applicants should apply as soon as possible by visiting http://sbcovid19.com/covid-compliant-business-partnership-program/.

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