SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A bill that would buy more time for California’s small businesses to stay afloat is gaining more momentum.

The Keep California Working Act, also known as Senate Bill 74, is a bipartisan small business relief package that would provide $2.6 billion in grants.

Now, one-third of the California legislature is backing the measure, hoping that the bill will be signed into law before it’s too late for our businesses.

This isn’t a done deal yet, but legislators and business owners are hopeful about the momentum it’s gaining.

If passed, this would be the largest grant program that the state’s come up with since the beginning of the pandemic.

“This has an impact on me, on my family. At this point, I’ve pretty much lost everything I spent 15 years working for and I’ll probably, it appears likely I’ll spend the rest of my life deep in debt,” Sharky Laguana said.

Unfortunately, Sharky Laguana’s story is one shared by a vast majority of Bay Area business owners as a result of closures from the pandemic.

Laguana is president of the San Francisco small business commission and also owns bandago, a company that rents vans to touring musicians in an industry that’s been decimated this past year.

“I don’t know that the music business we’ve had since April would even cover one day’s phone bill,” Laguana said.

In an effort to help, California Senators recently introduced a bill, called the Keep California Working Act, that would provide $2.6 billion in grants for small businesses and nonprofits.

While Laguana says this is a step in the right direction, he puts the reality of the situation simply.

“If your house is burning down and the fire truck is showing up, you want to be grateful and thankful that the firetruck shows up. Thanks guys for showing up but if it’s a really big fire and it’s a really little fire truck, you might also want to say hey guys can you send for more help and that’s where we’re at right now,” Laguana said.

Senator Dave Cortese of Santa Clara County says he supports this bill but also says he and his colleagues will have to find ways to provide more aid. 

“This grant program is a step in the right direction, it’s the right way to deal with these businesses. It’s late in the process but it’s late for a reason because there just hasn’t been resources available especially at the state and local level to do this kind of thing,” Dave Cortese said.

State Senators who spearheaded this bill will hold a virtual press conference Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. to discuss more details.

Event will also be livestreamed on Facebook on:

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