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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Mayor Todd Gloria on Tuesday outlined how his “Back to Work SD” plan is intended to invest in local businesses and nonprofits so they can keep or rehire employees as more people get vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

It comes a day before San Diego City Council begins hearings on his $4.6 billion proposed budget.

“Small, local businesses can face what feel like daunting challenges in normal times and many struggled immensely over the past year to keep their doors open and employees paid,” Gloria said at a news conference Tuesday morning with Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego.

“My proposed budget includes support that will provide a needed safety net for San Diegans who create jobs and contribute to our local economy,” Gloria continued. “These investments strengthen hard-hit industries and set the stage for our more equitable recovery.”

Gloria’s proposed budget includes more than $14 million in investments intended to get San Diegans back to work.

Some highlights of the plan are:

  • $10 million in nonprofit and small business grants and loans in hard-hit industries and for businesses owned by people of color;
  • The creation of a concierge team to support small businesses;
  • $750,000 to expand and grow the small business enhancement program to include microgrants;
  • $900,000 in discretionary grants for City Councilmembers to provide support to nonprofits and small businesses in each of their districts; and
  • $1 million investment in the Connect2Careers workforce development program to bolster youth employment.

San Diego was facing an expected budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year of $124 million before President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, allocating more than $300 million in one-time federal relief to the city.

“San Diego is building back better after this pandemic,” Peters said. “Mayor Gloria’s budget proposal puts funding from the American Rescue Plan to good use by providing San Diego small businesses with timely assistance to weather this storm. We are confident that this aid also paves the way for our businesses to thrive for a bright future.”

Additionally, the San Diego Foundation has pledged to add another $2 million in grants for San Diego nonprofits. Their match would provide $4 million total relief that will be dedicated to nonprofits serving communities of color and provide more equitable opportunity to capital.

The budget proposal recommends spending levels for city operations and capital projects for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. The final budget will be adopted in June following several weeks of review by the public and the City Council.

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