City of Poway offering protections for small businesses


POWAY, Calif. — Poway City Council members took big steps towards protecting small businesses Tuesday night, voting to suspend commercial evictions until May 31 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commercial tenants must first notify their landlords and provide proof of financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants are required to pay landlords back within three months after the declared local emergency ends.

“It’s not the solution but it’s a nice gesture,” said Michael Pasulka, owner of Players Sports Grill in Poway.

Pasulka is one of many Poway business owners trying to stay afloat by offering take-out and pick-up through delivery services.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus also proposed a new $2 million loan program for small businesses. If formally approved, eligible businesses must be independently owned, be at least a year old and have no more than 50 employees, among other requirements. Businesses could potentially receive up to $50,000 from the city’s reserve fund. Once city staff fine tunes the details, the loan program is designed to bridge federal and state loan programs already in place.

“Time is of the essence,” Vaus said.

City staff will work as quickly as possible to finalize the loan terms and requirements and begin the application process. Loans will be given out on a first come, first served basis.

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