Since the COVID-19 shelter in place order took effect we’ve all had to face hard realities and challenges in such a short period of time.
UPDATE: We are grateful to all the donors who have given so generously to the Heart of Jtown Resiliency Fund! We received a matching grant of $10,000 and as of 6/17/2020 @ 11:44pm we are $955 away from reaching the matching goal.
We also received a donation from an angel donor for $480,000!!
Because of the disruptions that COVID-19 has created for Japantown small businesses, the Japantown Community Benefit District (JCBD) has launched the Heart of Jtown Small Business Resiliency Fund campaign to solicit donations.
As one of the only four remaining Japantowns in the United States, San Francisco Japantown has served as the cultural hub of the Japanese American community in San Francisco since 1906. Our small businesses play an integral part of what makes up the cultural character and vibrancy that draws us to this special place. It’s a destination point for many visitors and a place where locals come to shop and dine.
Our small businesses are suffering during the COV-19 pandemic. Non-essential businesses have been forced to close. Businesses that rely on foot traffic can only do take out and marginal business. Most are family-run businesses -- many are immigrant families, struggling to pay their employees, cover their rent and pay their bills to support their basic needs.
Japantown small businesses are in danger of disappearing from the intricate diverse fabric of San Francisco and they need your help today. The Japantown Community Benefit District (JCBD) is setting up this GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations that will go directly to support our small business in these areas:
1. Employee wages
2. Assistance with rent and referral to services (i.e. loan application assistance, grant programs, etc.)
3.Purchase of PPE and supplies for small businesses to ensure required social distancing protocols
Our goal is to raise a minimum of $500,000 through this GoFundMe campaign to support one full time employee for 4 weeks per business at a total of 185 small businesses in Japantown. We will target small businesses between Sutter and Geary from Laguna to Fillmore, Buchanan Mall, and Buchanan St. within the JCBD boundaries.
Once our minimum fundraising goal of $500,000 is met the funds will be distributed to small businesses, specifically storefronts and restaurants though an application process. We will not be focusing on corporations and franchises for this grant. JCBD Board members who have business interests and who may be applying for the Fund will not serve on any committees reviewing applications or disbursing awards.
The JCBD is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
For more information on the Heart of Jtown visit: www.theheartofjtown.org