The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors launched an emergency relief fund on Tuesday (March 24) to support those who are particularly affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The board provided $3 million in seed funding to the San Mateo County Strong Fund, which will support residents, nonprofit organizations and small businesses that are particularly hard hit by the outbreak. The fund is also accepting donations from residents at SMCStrong.org.
"We know that many of our neighbors are being hit hard financially by layoffs, cutbacks in hours and shutdowns," Board of Supervisors President Warren Slocum said. "We ask that anyone who has the means to help today to make a donation right away."
The fund will help residents with purchasing household necessities. It will also help small businesses and nonprofits maintain their staffs and meet operating expenses, according to the board.
The board used revenue from 2016's Measure K, a voter-approved half-cent local sales tax extension, to launch the fund. Donations are fully tax-deductible and all money donated to the fund will remain in San Mateo County, according to the board.
"For too many of my constituents right now, April's rent payment is simply out of reach," Supervisor David Canepa said. "We are standing up to this moment in time by taking unprecedented actions to protect us all. But mark my words, this is just the beginning."
The board also plans to launch a parallel fund with the San Mateo County Economic Development Association and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation that will seek donations from the county's large companies and philanthropic organizations.
"Every city, school district, hospital, companies of all sizes, chambers of commerce, and legions of volunteers have come together to make sure we weather the crisis and come out stronger on the other side -- that's what makes San Mateo County special," Slocum said.