sf.citi wants to provide the community with ongoing updates regarding San Francisco resources and opportunities available to you from the tech community and beyond. This is a very difficult time for all of us, and we are committed to supporting the San Francisco community during these challenging times.
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Call to Action: Urgent Request from the City of San Francisco
The City and County of San Francisco welcomes your support for the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. To make a tax-deductible monetary gift or for general information, please visit Give2SF.org or email Give2SF@sfgov.org. In order to help spread the word, we encourage you to share information about the fund on your social media channels. To make it easy, we’ve drafted a suggested social post for you below:
Help the City of SF combat the COVID-19 pandemic by donating to the Give2SF Fund. Your tax-deductible donation goes towards outbreak response efforts, including providing shelter, food and other assistance to individuals, families, small businesses, and nonprofits in SF.
The City is also accepting specific in-kind donations to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find a complete list of these in-kind needs by visiting Give2SF.org. If you are interested in making an in-kind donation, please fill out the form found at Give2SF.org or send an email to Give2SF.email@example.com.
- 11,290 confirmed cases in California
- 248 confirmed deaths in California
- 2,966 confirmed cases in the Bay Area
*As of 10:00am PST on 4/3
UPDATES FROM THE TECH COMMUNITY
sf.citi joined 125 pro-startup local, state, regional, and national groups in calling upon the Trump Administration to ensure startups can access emergency relief under the newly enacted CARES Act. We encourage you to share this letter with your Small Business Administration (SBA) office, as well as your Congressional delegation, members of the media, and on social media.
Many sf.citi members have taken leadership on developing their own policies and strategies to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on their employees, customers, and the general public. We’ve listed some of these tech-driven efforts below.
- Airbnb is offering free global cancellations and refunds to those traveling in areas affected by COVID-19. The extenuating circumstances policy will apply for travel from March 14–April 14. Airbnb also announced it would provide free and subsidized housing for 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders working to combat COVID-19.
- Amazon is actively monitoring and removing tens of thousands of accounts engaging in price gouging practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has also established an Amazon Relief Fund for Amazon partners and delivery drivers experiencing financial hardship.
- AT&T will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customers unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. For the next 60 days, the company will also waive late payment fees incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will keep public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them. At the end of March, AT&T created a $10 Million Fund to support distance learning platforms, such as Khan Academy, and facilitate at-home learning for parents, students and teachers.
- Comcast is providing free Xfinity hotspots, unlimited data, and no disconnects or late fees for all customers experiencing hardship over the next 60 days. Comcast is also offering a free Internet Essentials internet plan for all new customers for 60 days.
- Cruise Co-Founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan, as well as Cruise employees, are committing up to $300,000 toward COVID-19 efforts, including to San Francisco’s recovery and response fund, Give2SF.
- Dropbox invites nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19 to apply for a free, three-month subscription to Dropbox Business. Dropbox is also providing free Dropbox and HelloSign subscriptions for a three-month period to assist K-12 teachers with distance learning.
- Facebook created a free Business Resource Hub with resources for businesses struggling to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of these efforts, Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
- Funding Circle is providing 16,000 of its small business customers with critical information about the Economic Injury Disaster loan and grant programs available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Funding Circle will also be helping originate loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, which you can learn more about here.
- Google is offering free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally. Google has also taken steps to ensure continued service while reducing the need for people to come into its offices, as well as compensating workers affected by the reduced schedules. Furthermore, Google launched a Teach from Home resource hub to help educators continue teaching their students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And on April 1, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google was partnering with Governor Gavin Newsom to provide 4,000 Chromebooks to California students in greatest need, as well as free wifi to 100,000 rural households during the COVID-19 crisis.
- LinkedIn is helping hospitals, nonprofits working on COVID-19 relief, and essential services source the talent they need by allowing them to post jobs for free on LinkedIn for the next three months. The company also expanded its Recruiting for Good platform to deploy LinkedIn’s own recruiters to screen talent for organizations on the front lines of COVID-19. And to help job seekers affected by COVID-19, Linkedin is offering 16 LinkedIn Learning courses for free.
- Lyft is working to create new opportunities for its fleet of drivers while serving the broader community by expanding delivery and transportation partnerships with healthcare, government, and businesses. Through its LyftUp program, Lyft is also donating rides to people with essential transportation needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including families and children, low-income seniors, and doctors and nurses. Keep up with Lyft’s latest COVID-19 initiatives here.
- Microsoft announced it will continue to pay its hourly vendor workers even after the company’s office closure. Furthermore, Microsoft is offering its communication and collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, to educational institutions for free through Office 365 A1. The product provides a free customized hub for class teamwork that includes video meetings. Companies can also take advantage of a free six-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, for file sharing and communication tools.
- Okta is helping organizations transition to Emergency Remote Work by offering Okta core services to all new customers for free. Additionally, Okta’s social impact arm, Okta for Good, has committed $150,000 in unrestricted, rapid-response grants and matching funds to Bay Area organizations serving the most vulnerable populations.
- Postmates introduced a Small Business Relief Pilot allowing new businesses in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas to sign up for the platform and enjoy a temporary waive on commission fees. Postmates is also offering no contact delivery for customers, as well as a relief fund to cover medical expenses for its fleet of delivery workers.
- Salesforce donated $1.5 million to the Give2SF Fund to help address emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Slack is offering nonprofits of any size three months of its messaging service free of charge. Slack also contributed $1 million to the COVID-19 Tech Collaborative—a coalition of 25 Bay Area companies that have committed $22 million in collective funding for organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Twitter joined other major social media platforms in committing to combat fraud and misinformation about COVID-19. The company is continuing to develop its content moderation policy to “account for new behavior” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter also donated $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation.
- Uber pledged 10 million free rides and deliveries of food for frontline healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need. This accompanies a package of initiatives to support restaurant partners during the COVID-19 outbreak. In San Francisco, Uber is offering a 25% discount (up to $10) for trips taken to or from food distribution centers set up by the San Francisco Unified School District starting Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, April 3. The company will also donate $50,000 to the San Francisco Unified School District’s non-profit arm, Spark.
- Verizon is waiving late fees incurred by any residential or small business customers due their economic circumstances related to COVID-19 for the next 60 days. The company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers who are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Furthermore, Verizon is tripling monthly data allowance for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools and committing $10 million to nonprofits supporting students and healthcare workers.
- Zendesk is donating its customer support software (and training for using the product) to nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Zendesk also has 75 volunteers willing to translate critical COVID-19 communications into a wide range of languages. Finally, the company has offered to drive support within Zendesk to help nonprofits purchase the items they need or to fundraise on their behalf. You can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
UPDATES FROM THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
- On March 31, Mayor Breed issued an updated Public Health Order extending the shelter-in-place mandate for San Francisco until May 3. According to the new order, areas with shared equipment and facilities (playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, tennis courts, pools, etc.) will close and residents are prohibited from participating in outdoor activities that involve shared equipment. The order also imposes stricter guidelines for what constitutes an “essential business,” and mandates social distancing protocols that essential businesses must follow to protect their employees and customers.
- On April 3, Mayor Breed announced a partnership between the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), EducationSuperHighway, and the 1Million Project Foundation to increase internet access for San Francisco students. The week of April 13, 25 WiFi “SuperSpots” will be deployed to offer connectivity to San Francisco students without internet access and ensure they can continue distance learning even as school campuses remain closed.
- On April 3, Mayor Breed and Board President Norman Yee announced the creation of a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force. The task force is charged with developing an economic recovery strategy to assist San Francisco businesses, nonprofit and community organizations, and individuals—especially in light of San Francisco’s significant projected budget shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.
- On April 2, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors announced a $10 million Small Business Relief Fund to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Of the $10 million fund, $9 million will go to a new Emergency Loan Fund. The remaining $1 million will be used to expand the existing COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund, which has received over 2,000 applicants since opening on March 11.
- On March 27, Mayor Breed announced that three new drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations will soon open in San Francisco. These mobile testing sites will be used to test first responders and health care workers showing symptoms of COVID-19, as well as members of the public with a clinician referral. Two of the testing centers will open in the Outer Sunset early the week of March 30, while the third site is scheduled to open near Oracle Park at the end of the week of March 30.
- On March 24, Mayor Breed temporarily waived regulations related to planning, permitting, fees, public notice, or other restrictions that would otherwise apply to coronavirus relief efforts.
- On March 23, Mayor Breed announced a $2.5 million Arts Relief Program to support working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19.
- On March 18, Mayor Breed announced a 30-day moratorium on commercial evictions for small and medium-sized businesses earning less than $25 million in annual gross receipts. This follows other measures announced by Mayor Breed to support small businesses in San Francisco that are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. These include the deferral of business taxes and licensing fees and the launch of an economic relief fund.
- Beginning March 17, the San Francisco Unified School District will provide free breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday for all children (up to age 18) at 14 pick-up sites across San Francisco.
- On March 16, Mayor Breed issued a Public Health Order requiring San Francisco residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct “Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, and Essential Government Functions”—all of which were defined here. This initial order went into effect at midnight on March 17.
- Starting March 16, the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Public Library will begin to operate libraries and indoor recreation facilities as emergency care facilities for children of parents on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and low-income families.
- On March 13, Mayor Breed announced a 30-day moratorium on residential evictions for residents suffering from a lack of income due to COVID-19.
- All non-essential events of 100 or more persons in the City and County of San Francisco are prohibited until April 30.
To stay up to date with all City of San Francisco updates, follow the Mayor’s updates here.
UPDATES FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
- Governor Newsom launched Project Baseline, a mobile testing pilot for COVID-19 made in partnership with Verily (the health and life science subsidiary of Alphabet). On the newly launched website, Californians can fill out a survey about their symptoms and demographics. They will then be told whether they are eligible to get tested for COVID-19 at one of the two testing locations in the Bay Area.
- On April 1, Governor Newsom confirmed that California school campuses will remain closed for the rest of the academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers, classified employees, school boards, superintendents, and principals, however, will work together to ensure distance learning for California students. As part of these efforts, the Governor announced a partnership with Google to provide mobile hotspots and Chromebooks to students in rural areas.
- On March 30, Governor Newsom launched California Health Corps to recruit more medical professionals to keep up with the surge of COVID-19 cases in California. Retired or part-time health care professionals, as well as medical students nearing the end of their training, are encouraged to apply. In order to rapidly expand the state’s health care workforce, Governor Newsom signed an executive order waiving some licensing and certification requirements until the end of June.
- On March 27, Governor Newsom announced a statewide halt of evictions until May 31 for tenants affected by COVID-19 outbreak.
- On March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide shelter in place mandate similar to the one Mayor Breed implemented for San Francisco on March 17. The State Public Health Officer then released a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” who are exempted from the mandate and whose work is considered essential to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.
- On March 18, Governor Newsom addressed the spread of the coronavirus among the state’s homeless population by signing an executive order to grant local flexibility on spending and building shelters. In the first allocation of the $500 million in emergency funding—recently authorized by the state legislature for COVID-19 related activities—$100 million will go directly to local government for shelter support and emergency housing and $50 million to purchase travel trailers and lease rooms in hotels, motels, and other facilities in partnership with counties and cities to provide immediate isolation placements.
- On March 16, Governor Newsom called for the statewide closures of dine-in restaurants. In suspending dine-in services for the foreseeable future, the Governor clarified that restaurants can stay open to provide takeout and delivery services.
- Nightclubs, pubs, wineries, and breweries are being asked to close throughout the state to help reduce non-essential gatherings and slow the spread of COVID-19.
To stay up to date with all State of California updates, follow the California Department of Health’s updates here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Donate to America’s Food Fund, a new initiative to support Feeding America and World Central Kitchen in ensuring all people have reliable access to food. COVID-19 has left millions unsure of where their next meal will come from. America’s Food Fund hopes to change that—donate here.
- Donate to the UCSF’s QBI Coronavirus Research Group working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Support the many local nonprofits providing services to San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including Jewish Vocational Services, Larkin Street Youth Services, Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and St. Anthony’s.
- Support free online classes for public school students affected by the COVID-19 school closures.
- Donate or loan unused computers to City College of San Francisco to help their students stay connected. Contact Supervisor Ronen’s office at email@example.com.
- Support our local restaurants (and give yourself a break from cooking) by buying La Cocina Community Food Boxes. La Cocina is a local nonprofit that empowers low-income, mostly women food entrepreneurs in San Francisco.
- Help World Central Kitchen raise $100,000 needed to support Bay Area seniors, restaurants, and delivery drivers. Longtime partner of sf.citi member Dropbox, World Central Kitchen has teamed up with Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, and Grub Hub to test a pilot program to (1) feed isolated seniors nutritious, warm meals with minimal physical contact and (2) support restaurants and delivery drivers financially. Already piloted in Washington, D.C., World Central Kitchen would like to expand this program to San Francisco and Oakland. If you’re interested in joining or supporting the coalition, please reach out to Jacquelyn Horton of Dropbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have another way the San Francisco tech community can help with COVID-19 response and relief? Let us know by emailing email@example.com. We welcome requests from Bay Area 501(c) nonprofits, as well as organizations, associations, or entities that represent multiple businesses or San Francisco-Bay Area industries. We cannot, unfortunately, promote relief efforts for individual businesses.
GRATITUDE AMID COVID-19
sf.citi would like to recognize the many courageous San Franciscans holding our City together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We would like to thank Mayor London Breed, who has taken proactive measures to keep our City safe and look out for those affected by COVID-19. Under Mayor Breed’s administration, San Francisco has set an example of how to respond swiftly to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
We would like to thank our doctors, nurses, and all of our healthcare workers who have put themselves at risk to support patients suffering from COVID-19.
We would like to thank our first responders who rise to every occasion and crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect our City.
We would like to thank the employees at our local grocery stores and pharmacies who have adjusted to new precedents created by COVID-19 with grace and continue to provide us with food and basic necessities.
We would like to thank our garbage men and women, plumbers, janitors, and service staff who keep our City up and running even as many of us shelter in place.
“All of us, health care workers, have been here for our most vulnerable patients. Consider bringing our staff of 20-25 people lunch as nearby coffee shops and restaurants are closed.”
– Nakari Ron
Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic