Most tax attorney in San Francisco would agree that businesses are experiencing financial losses due to the impact of coronavirus. However, for San Francisco business owners, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Mayor London Breed announced a series of measures designed to help combat these negative effects, such as allowing thousands of businesses to defer their tax payments.
Local Businesses Feeling Negative Impact of Coronavirus
The announcement concerning these new measures was made in Chinatown by Mayor Breed, with Supervisor Aaron Peskin and other city officials in attendance. Coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19, and many people have shied away from shopping and dining out due to concerns about catching the virus. Supervisor Peskin spoke of the negative impact this has had on numerous local businesses.
Mayor Breed stated that the city wants to offer support to, and relief from losses, to such businesses, as well as the employees who depend on them for their livelihood. The mayor said the tax deferment is merely the first step of several measures the city plans to take.
Thousands of Businesses Expected to Benefit from Deferment
According to Mayor Breed, qualifying small businesses in San Francisco will be able to defer payment to the city’s tax collector until February 2021. The next round of quarterly taxes would otherwise be due on April 30, 2020. Businesses with up to $10 million in gross receipts qualify for the deferral, and the average amount to be deferred is estimated at approximately $5,400. About 8,050 businesses are expected to benefit from this measure.
San Francisco is also offering additional tax relief to businesses such as restaurants, bakeries, and pet hospitals by deferring the collection of permit fees for a minimum of three months. This represents approximately $14 million and will help somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,000 businesses in the city.
Rodney Fong praised the measures Mayor Breed is putting in place, saying they will bring immediate financial relief to small businesses and allow their employees to maintain adequate hours. Mr. Fong heads up the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, plans are underway to create a $1 million fund, which will be offered to as many as 100 businesses in increments of $10,000 each, provided they can demonstrate lost revenue. The funding will be administered by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
Supervisor Calls for Extraordinary Measures
Supervisor Aaron Peskin said that both small businesses—the backbone of the economy—and the public’s health must be protected, and that extraordinary measures must be taken to do so. Supervisor Peskin stated these measures are designed to ensure that small businesses, their owners and their families, and the businesses’ employees remain as stable as possible during this difficult time.
Relief Also Offered to Nonprofit Organizations
Measures to protect nonprofit employees were also announced by Mayor Breed. She said that city-funded nonprofit organizations will still be paid regularly, even if labor shortages impact their productivity. This measure guarantees that those employed by nonprofit agencies will not lose income if their office is shut down because of coronavirus, or if they become ill themselves. Additionally, there may also be relief for businesses that lease space from the city. Rent payment deferrals are also being offered by the City of San Francisco to tenants who live in areas such as the Port of San Francisco.
New Website Launched
A “one-stop shop” website is also being launched by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, which was designed to provide helpful factual information to small businesses searching for information. The website is www.oewd.org/covid19.
Mayor Breed told the Board of Supervisors that several new measures would be announced on Tuesday. If you have a small business and want to find out more about the tax deferral measure or have other concerns about filing your return, contact one of our tax attorneys in San Francisco for more information.
Public Health Order
A public health order was announced Monday requiring residents to remain at home in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in San Francisco.
The order from Mayor London Breed asks people to only go out for “essential” needs, including food, doctor visits, and caring for others. For a list of essential activities and essential needs, Click here to go to the SF Mayor’s website. This takes effect Tuesday at midnight and will continue through April 7th, unless extended further by the mayor’s office.
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