A city line of credit to help small businesses

And why can luxury housing developers keep working while the Department of Building Inspection is shut down? That's The Agenda for March 23-29

Almost everything at City Hall is closed, cancelled, shut down right now. That’s obviously the right thing to do.

Although I must admit, it’s a bit infuriating that housing developers, including people building luxury housing (not a priority in any way) whose workers may not be able to experience social distancing on job sites, are allowed to keep working – while most building inspection services are closed.

Sup. Hillary Ronen wants to keep small businesses alive in the crisis.So if you’re a developer, you can pretty much get away with anything – there’s nobody to watch to make sure you aren’t violating your permits or endangering your workers.

From DBI tonight:

Starting Monday, March 23, the Department of Building Inspections and other permitting departments at 1660 Mission Street will resume provision of services such as plan review of previously submitted projects and inspection services for Essential Infrastructure. This will include answering calls and emails from the public.  However, the building will remain closed to the public for now.

Most building inspectors, I am told by insiders, will not be on the job.

I don’t understand why building fancy housing that is far beyond the reach of most San Franciscans is such a priority that it’s worth risking the health of workers – who will, of course, go home to their families and communities. That exception in the mayor’s shelter-in-place order makes no sense at all.

Still, the Board of Supes is meeting, and the Budget and Finance Committee will consider Wednesday/25 legislation by Sup. Hillary Ronen that would authorize the controller to establish a $20 million line of credit to make short-term, no-interest loans to small businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ronen has made it clear that she is open to discussing details of how this would work – but the bottom line is that the city needs cash, now, to keep the infrastructure of SF small businesses alive.

The hearing is at 10am in the board chambers. You can watch remotely at sfgovtv, and you can make comments at sfbos.org.