SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – COVID-19 has wiped out a good chunk of revenue for small businesses in San Francisco.

But now, the city is expanding its small business loan program to provide about 80 businesses a portion of 3.5 million dollars.

“This zero interest loan product will be beneficial to those to bridge time right now and increase revenue and maintain their employees in San Francisco,” director of SF economic and workforce development Joaquin Torres said.

Torres who runs San Francisco’s office of economic and workforce development says since April the city’s help program has provided loans to 227 small businesses.

74% minority owned and 52% owned by women.

“Any support we can get from the city and the federal government would be so helpful,” said Tracey Sylvestor.

Sylvestor owns EHS Pilates in the Mission. Her business is down 75%, with the bulk of the classes taking place outside and online. She says she will definitely be applying for the loan.

“We do have all of our operating costs looming out there, electricity garbage rent and everything to keep the building afloat at this time, so any support to help with operating costs would be a lifeline.”

Francesco Cobucci who owns California Fish Market restaurant in North Beach has applied before, and is hoping this time to be selected.

That will allow to stay open to pay the payroll and the hopefully the vaccine will come out and we can come back and do a normal business,” said Cobucci.

75% of the additional funds will go to low and moderate income businesses and the remaining money will go to other businesses that qualify.

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