b'EQUITY is always front of mind for MEDA, as we work daily toLatinos in the Mission; these MEDA properties also included expand opportunities for Latinos and other historically under- long-term permanent homes for local nonprofits and arts & served communities.cultural institutions.EQUITY smallbusinesseswhohad The pandemic laid bare long-entrenched systemic inequities.After the shutdown, Mission small businesses and other neigh-Latinos are only 15% of San Franciscos population, but in 2020borhood nonprofits were trying to balance their books. Unfor-they comprised 50% of the positive COVID-19 cases in the city.tunately, far too many were left out of federal loan and grant Data verified the disproportionate challenges ofprograms, often simply because they lacked the right connec-the Latino and immigrant community, who weretions to traditional lenders. So MEDA stepped in to offer appli-mostly frontline essential workers living in over- cation assistance for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans crowded conditions that afforded little opportu- fortheMissionsminority-owned nity to isolate. Many were compelled to chooseseen the money dry up before they were ever contacted.work over health, the immediacy of putting foodTo further drive equity of capital, a pair of small business relief on the table and paying the rent paramount tofunds were devised and implemented by the City of San Fran-the possibility of falling ill to the virus. ciscoandMEDAsCDFI,FondoAdelante.Thesewouldbe Acting with urgency to create equity, MEDA was laser focused0%-interestloanswithdeferredpaymentsandwithITIN in its work. Thousands of community members were servedholders eligible. The San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan remotely using new communications channels (think Whats- Program (SF HELP) and the Latino Small Business Fund created App, a MEDA COVID hotline and our texting platform). Theremajor impact in the community, businesses being offered a was help filling out unemployment applications for those laidlifeline during a crisis of unprecedented proportions. off by an economy that had its light switch turned off, plusMEDAs work around equity seeps into its internal standard support applying for relief programs that didnt require docu- operating procedures. For example, we prioritized self-care for mentation status for eligibility.staff, ensuring employees of all backgrounds were afforded a With safe, stable housing more important than ever due tosafe and comfortable work environment. To foster unity, 2020s the pandemic, thousands of families were still helped to gethorrific events of police violence led to the formation of a Black Lives Matter working group at MEDA, with honest, heartfelt rental ready and then apply for below-market-rate (BMR) units.conversations building trust and support.Many of these apartments were in MEDAs own 100% afford-able housing developments. This continued the trend of ourLooking ahead, MEDA seeks to define and push for the implemen-organization stemming the tide of residential displacement oftation of policies to foster recoverywith an equity lens a must.6'