Photo: Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion
Starting next month, the state of California will begin giving subsidies of $2,500 to street vendors affected by the covid-19 pandemic and who have not qualified or have benefited from any relief program.
“The only criteria to deliver this support is that they must not earn more than $50,000 per year, and demonstrate that they have been operating for some time through a bill of purchase of materials”said Araceli Campa, director of policy and external relations for Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Economic Development (GO-BIZ).
He stated in an interview with The opinion that these subsidies will be delivered through the county through organizations trusted by the community such as the Coalition for Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), among others.
“As of February 1, we will provide a list with the names of all the organizations through which they can apply to receive these grants,” he said.
He explained that these aids are for micro-entrepreneurs, paleteros, greengrocers and those who sell on public roads, regardless of immigration status.
“It was decided to give this support to micro-entrepreneurs because there have not been many for them during the pandemic, especially for the undocumented,” said Campa.
In all, Governor Gavin Newsom will commit $50 million to support about 20,000 micro-businesses with a one-time $2,500.
“The intention is to support people who closed the doors of their small businesses and were unable to sell because of the pandemic. This subsidy will allow them to buy what is necessary to continue with their micro-enterprise”, he explained.
These supports are part of the many programs the Governor has established to assist small businesses during the pandemic.
Campa recalled that the governor has distributed more than $4,000 million among more than 300,000 businesses with profits of no more than $2.5 million since December 2020 to help them survive after the impact of the virus.
“This year $150 million was added to support small businesses that for some reason were left out of support and are on the waiting list.”
He also announced that beginning in July and until July 2023, there will be no need to pay for the registration of new businesses in the Secretary of State.
“Registration prices for corporations are $100 and $75 for companies with two or more partners.”
He also revealed that the governor has earmarked $20 million to support those who have been victims of theft, vandalism, and violence during the pandemic.
“We are seeing the details to decide the amounts with which they will be assisted, but it is part of the effort to help these establishments that have been victims of the wave of violent robberies that broke out in shopping centers and others.”
He added that they are also working on ways to help businesses preventively to prevent them from being robbed, with a grant that allows them to buy security systems such as cameras.
“This budget from Governor Newsom is putting a big focus on our community, on economic development and on giving more support to small businesses and working people.”
He emphasized that his office is available to offer free support and guidance to open new businesses.
For more information you can visit the websites:
Despite the covid-19 pandemic, California maintains a whopping $75 billion budget surplus. Along with $25 billion in federal aid from the CARES Act.
According LA Street Vendor Campaign, there are about 50,000 street vendors in Los Angeles County who earn, on average, $228 a week, $11,308 a year, and who are not served by government or banking institutions.
80% of street vendors in Los Angeles are women, immigrants, older adults, and low-income people.
It is estimated that during the pandemic, they lost 50% of their income.
The Small Business Relief Fund (street vendors) is endorsed by the mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento.
The initial proposal was that each business owner would be eligible for a $5,000 grant and local jurisdictions could increase funding.