OEWD Issues Emergency Grants to Seven Businesses Impacted by Fire in Chinatown, MEDA to Disburse Funds

Christopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

March 16, 2017

OEWD Issues Emergency Grants to Seven Businesses Impacted by Fire in Chinatown, MEDA to Disburse Funds
MEDA oversees fund created after Mission and 22nd streets fire of January 2015

San Francisco, Calif. — The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) today issued emergency grants to seven businesses damaged by a devastating fire at 1199 Stockton Street in Chinatown on Feb. 3. The grants are part of the Small-Business Disaster Relief Fund, activated in response to a two-alarm fire in that neighborhood. A total of $70,000 is being disbursed to impacted businesses to help with inventory replacement, equipment purchases, security deposits for a new lease, employee salaries or other expenses to stabilize cash flow.

“In the aftermath of the fire in Chinatown, Mayor Lee directed OEWD to activate the Small Business Disaster Relief Fund to immediately assist small businesses in their time of need,” said OEWD Director Todd Rufo. “The funds will help all seven small businesses and their employees in the next steps toward their recovery.”

Seven businesses, employing 22 workers, were displaced by the fire. Businesses applied and received up to $10,000 each to support employees and pay vendors.

“On behalf of Tin Tin Trading Co, I would like to extend my utmost thank to Mayor Lee and his staff for the care and help they have been providing to us since the fire incident. The $10,000 Disaster Relief Fund is helpful to us in paying our staff wages and other immediate needs. We will reserve the rest of the fund for our reopening and hope that it will not take too long,” said owner Kevin Situ.

The Small-Business Disaster Relief Fund is part of a comprehensive assistance package, which includes resources and services aimed at helping small businesses and their employees recover as quickly as possible. The immediate weeks after a disaster are critical for a business to determine whether it can resume operations in San Francisco. While many businesses may receive insurance proceeds or have the ability to access a traditional or disaster loan, the delay in receiving these funds can take months. OEWD also provided other services to the affected employees and businesses, such as job search assistance, access to unemployment information, help obtaining small business loans, guidance concerning licenses and permits and other services.

The fund is overseen by OEWD in partnership with MEDA and the Small-Business Development Center (SBDC). The fund was created shortly after a Mission District fire at Mission and 22nd streets in January 2015, where businesses were dislocated and did not have access to capital to assist with immediate needs.

“Neighborhood fires in the Mission have proven catastrophic for not just displaced residents, but also community-serving businesses and their employees. MEDA is honored to be part of helping all San Francisco small businesses recover as quickly as possible from catastrophes, with our organization disbursing Small-Business Disaster Relief Funds, in this case to help in Chinatown,” states MEDA Associate Director of Asset Building Programs Nathanial Owen.


About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. 

About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)
The mission of OEWD is simple – they support the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco. Under the direction of Mayor Edwin M. Lee, OEWD provides citywide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning.

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