* Please note that this is a rapidly evolving situation. We will update this page as we learn of new developments.
Last update: 08/03/2020

We’re in this with you. 

The COVID-19 public health crisis has forced our communities to confront immense challenges. Entrepreneurs and small business owners in particular are facing incredibly difficult circumstances. At Main Street Launch, the health and safety of our staff, our clients and the people they serve, including their employees and customers, is our primary concern. We have been monitoring developments closely and we are actively working on our clients’ behalf to get more information and resources for small businesses.

Main Street Launch is committed to working together to figure out solutions and being as responsive to our clients’ needs as possible. We are working at full capacity to get more information from partners and government agencies, so it will take longer for us to respond to individual inquiries. We ask for your patience during this turbulent time.

If your business is taking delivery or takeout orders, offering gift cards, running operations online, or has any other way for the public to support you and your staff, you can tag us on social media or send an email to updates@mainstreetlaunch.org and we will share your promotion or post on our platforms.

Small Business Resources

There are resources through federal, state, and city governments available in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Our partner organizations have done an excellent job of organizing information about these resources. CAMEO has put together an extensive list of resources for California’s small business owners. ICA Fund Good Jobs also has an ongoing compilation of resources.


COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

  • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.
  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
  • In addition, small businesses may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance grant of up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee). The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.

If you need assistance navigating the EIDL program, reach out to one of these local support partners:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The SBA is also assisting small businesses with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until August 8, 2020.

Main Street Launch is not making loans through PPP. To find a participating lender near you, visit the SBA’s participating lender map. If you are a SquarePayPal, or Intuit customer, they are now authorized lenders and you can apply for a forgivable PPP loan through their websites.

Opportunity Fund recently received $10 million in additional PPP funds from the SBA. They are doubling down on finding small businesses owned by African Americans who have not been able to access PPP Loans. To apply, call (888) 720-3215, email ppphelp@opportunityfund.org or visit https://opportunityfund.venturesgo.com/portal/borrowerapplication.

Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may also qualify for PPP loans.

Significant changes were recently made to the PPP program. Review these updates on the SBA’s website.

PPP Forgiveness

You are eligible to fill out the EZ Forgiveness Application (PDF) if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are self-employed and have no employees;
  • You did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of your employees;
  • You experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%.

Businesses that don’t meet one of these requirements will need to complete the Full Forgiveness Application (PDF).

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.


City and County of San Francisco

Mayor London Breed announced the City’s first African American Small Business Revolving Loan Fund in partnership with Main Street Launch. To start the application process, go to https://www.sfaacc.org/aaloanfund.

Please refer to the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s page for municipal policies and resources.

Deferral of business license & registration fees: The City will extend the 2020 Business Registration Fee deadline by four months to September 30, 2020. The City will provide tax relief for businesses by further delaying the City’s collection of the unified license fees until September 30, 2020.


City of Oakland

The Oakland Black Business Damage Fund is providing reimbursement grants of up to $5,000 to help ground-floor, Black-owned businesses to replace broken windows, repaint, replace damaged signage and abate graffiti.

The Oakland Indie Alliance launched the Small Business Repair Fund to provide $600 grants to businesses with storefronts damaged by protests between May 29 and June 2. The grants are available to independently owned, Oakland small businesses (fewer than 100 employees and annual revenue under $7 million). OIA will accept applications on a rolling basis, anticipates processing and distributing funds within two to three days, and plans to distribute $12,000 per day. You do not need to be an Oakland Indie Alliance member to apply. OIA is committed to the sustainability of all independent businesses and they are prioritizing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Immigrant, Queer-owned, Woman-Owned, and legacy businesses (30+ years in operation)/Oakland-native.

City departments have launched the Flex Streets Initiative to streamline the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments. The site provides information about what materials and documents businesses will need to provide when applying for a permit for the use of sidewalks and parking spaces. To plan for your business’ re-opening and recovery, visit the City of Oakland’s Re-Opening Resources page.

Refer to the City’s COVID-19 Business and Worker Resources page to get more information on City policies or request assistance from the Oakland Business Assistance Center.

Oakland City Council passed a moratorium on commercial evictions for small businesses.


Private relief funds

LISC Small Business Relief Grants: LISC is offering grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. This application round closes on August 3 at 8:59 pm PT.

Small Business, Big Heart Grant Program: TMC Community Capital is offering grants of up to $10,000. Complete applications will be entered into a lottery for selection. Ten businesses will be drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until all funds are dispersed.

Business For All Grants: In partnership with Verizon, the digital fundraising and advocacy platform Hello Alice is offering emergency grants of up to $10,000 for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Red Backpack Fund: The fund is making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. The application period is open from August 3-10.


We will share updated resources as soon as more information is made available. Check this page often and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.