The San Diego Foundation offices in Liberty Station.

The San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund has granted an additional $300,000 to uplift Black, Latino, and Asian businesses amid continued stay-at-home orders, The San Diego Foundation announced Wednesday.

To help distribute the funds where they can make the most impact, The San Diego Foundation has provided $100,000 each to the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, Local Initiatives Support Corp. and Asian Business Association of San Diego.

Each organization will have application information available later this week on their respective websites where Black, Latino, and Asian business owners can learn more and apply.

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, addressing inequity has been a central focus for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “This grant funding will infuse our Black, Latinx and Asian small business community with much-needed financial support at a critical moment.”

The three organizations receiving $100,000 were selected by the leadership council for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund because of their deep roots and relationships among San Diego’s business community.

“San Diego’s underrepresented businesses were already challenged by cash flow on a good day, and now during the pandemic they are facing mounting obstacles to stay afloat,” said Donna DeBerry, president and CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. “This charitable support will get money into the hands of our historically-disadvantaged businesses to help them keep the lights on, pay rent and remain in operation.”

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund has granted more than $55 million through over 244 grants to 200 nonprofit organizations. These organizations provided computers, internet access, childcare, food security, financial assistance, medical support, workforce training and other needs to the region’s most vulnerable communities.

“The great promise of the United States has always been entrepreneurship and many of our Latinx small businesses are at risk as the pandemic continues,” said Ricardo Flores, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp. “This grant funding provides us with an opportunity to rally around these businesses that have given so much to our region economically and culturally.”

Grantmaking is made possible thanks to more than $64 million that has been raised for the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund through 3,500 individuals, businesses, foundations, government partnerships and donor-advised funds.

“By prioritizing equity with these grant dollars, we can ensure that many of our Black, Latinx and Asian mom and pop businesses stay open, keep employees on payroll, and have access to critical resources,” said Jason Paguio, president and CEO of the Asian Business Association of San Diego.

The San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund at The San Diego Foundation was created in partnership with San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, San Diego Gas & Electric, United Way of San Diego County, San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, NEWS 8 and Alliance Healthcare Foundation to receive donations and make rolling rapid response grants to nonprofit organizations supporting impacted communities, particularly those that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences.

More information on the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund can be found at SDFoundation.org/COVID19.

— City News Service

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