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SFO’S Support to Small Businesses in Response to Covid-19


SFO’S Support to Small Businesses in Response to Covid-19

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Deferral of business taxes and licensing fees, launch of economic relief fund, and other support efforts aim to help struggling small businesses and workers due to COVID-10 Pandemic.

On March 11, 2020, Mayor London N. Breed announced measures to support small businesses in San Francisco that are experiencing a slowdown in business as a result of COVID‑19 pandemic. 

These efforts include deferring business taxes and licensing fees, launching a relief fund for impacted businesses, supporting nonprofits funded by the City so workers don’t lose their incomes, and working with partners in the philanthropic and private sector, as well as advocating for state and federal support for workers and businesses. 


Deferral of Business Taxes. Businesses are allowed not to pre-pay their taxes, which means payment due are deferred to February 2021. No interest payments, fees, or fines will accrue as a result of the deferral. This benefit will be offered to business with up to $10 million in gross receipts, benefiting approximately 8,050 businesses with an average $5,400 tax payment deferral each.

Deferral of Business Licensing Fees. SFO’s collection of the unified license bill will be delayed to provide further relief to small businesses. This includes but is not limited to charges to restaurants and food businesses, bars, convenience stores, many small retailers, hotels, and tour operators, from departments such as the Department of Public Health, Entertainment Commission, Fire Department, and Police Department. The initial delay will be for three months, with a further delay to be contemplated based on need. This will lead to $14 million in deferrals impacting 11,000 payees.

Immediate Relief. The City will establish a fund to provide immediate relief for impacted small businesses with an initial investment of $1 million to provide up to 100 businesses with grants of $10,000 each in immediate relief. Refer to our “COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund” article for further details.

Guarantee Continuance of City-Funded Nonprofit Contracts. The Controller has issued guidance to the City’s nonprofit partners that the City will continue to pay pursuant to contracts even if the nonprofit organization’s operations are affected. This will ensure nonprofit workers will not lose income due to illness or if a nonprofit is shut down or experiences service disruptions as part of the novel coronavirus response.

Apart from these, Mayor London N. Breed announced other activities that would help small business such as: (1) Seek State and Federal Support for Businesses and Workers, (2) Secure Private Sector and Philanthropic Support for Small Businesses, (3) Support for Employees and Contractors, and (4) Create Website to Provide Information for Small Businesses.


We will continuously update you regarding evolving news surrounding legislative and administrative issuances dedicated to relieve the general public of the effects of COVID-19. Stay tuned with the advisory bulletin. For immediate clarifications, please contact us at [email protected] or discuss it with your Scrubbed professional.


The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. It is not intended to be relied upon as accounting*, tax, or other professional service. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.