Amourence Lee · LIKE IT IS with MAYOR LEE
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  • Writer's pictureCouncilwoman Lee

Local Govt. Supporting Local Businesses

Champion for small businesses in Hillsdale Mall to reopen in Phase 2

Many business owners and customers rejoiced when our County began Phase 2 of reopening, which allowed for advanced ordering and curbside pickup at retail stores including bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, and florists.

However, the May 15, 2020 Order stipulated, "stores must have direct access to immediately adjacent sidewalk, street or alley area for pickup by customers." This requirement prevents many of our small shops in the Hillsdale Mall from reopening because they don't have street-facing storefronts. Local electeds including Senator Jerry Hill, Supervisor Carole Groom, and County Manager Mike Callagy, are working with County Health and the Governor's Office to amend the policy to allow local businesses in malls to resume operations and offer curbside pickup. This could be a lifeline to dozens of local businesses on the upper (and lower) floors of the Hillsdale Mall including: Naturalizer, Claire's, Lush, Vans, and many more.

San Mateo's Moratorium on Commercial Evictions

San Mateo was first city in the County to adopted an emergency ordinance imposing a ban on the eviction of small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. First adopted on March 23st, the ordinance was set to terminate on May 31st. This month, our Council unanimously agreed to extend the expiration date to June, 30th and approved amendments to provide 12 months for the deferred rent and an on-ramp for repayment.

Owner of B Street Books and president of our Downtown San Mateo Business Association, Lew Cohen, said that the council's actions have already helped a lot of businesses. Many of our retail shops haven't been allowed to re-open until Phase 2. The moratorium on evictions helps keep businesses in place by protecting the capital investments and inventory that is tied to their physical locations. Fortunately in San Mateo many local landlords are proactively working to find a way to keep their commercial tenants - deferred rent payment is a much preferred alternative to vacancy.

San Mateo Strong Fund Grantees

San Mateo joined the County Supervisors to support local businesses through the San Mateo Strong Fund. By May 15, 2020, San Mateo had reached a combined fund total of $615,000 to provide 61.5 grants to small businesses located in our city. This includes: Measure K funds ($140,000), generous corporate donations ($75,000), and our City's contribution ($400,000.)

The following 43 small businesses received $10,000 grants in the first round of funding. Grants were awarded on a first come, first serve basis to qualifying applicants. Special thanks to the efforts of SAMCEDA, the San Mateo Credit Union, San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown San Mateo Association for their leadership and support.

Restaurant & Food: 12 grantees

  • Cafe 400

  • Cha Express USA, Inc.

  • Happiness Desserts, Inc.

  • Izakaya Ginji Restaurant


  • Kitchen 51 Ventures, Inc.

  • Medi Points Acupuncture Corp

  • Noodleosophy, LLC

  • Rabbit Desserts, LLC dba The Cakery

  • Sichuan Chong Qing Cuisine

  • Taishoken Ramen

  • Town of Dumpling

Childcare: 4 grantees

  • Petite Sorbonne Preschool

  • Playgroups Unlimited - Universe of Colors, LLC

  • Safari Run, LLC

  • Step by Step, Paso a Paso Inc.

Construction: 2 grantees

  • Greenscape Construction Inc.

  • Remy's Quality Construction, Inc.

Health & Wellness, Fitness & Beauty: 10 grantees

  • Aqua Sports Swim Academy, LLC

  • Dahliana Nail & Spa, LLC

  • Donald B Beck, DDS

  • Gary M. Berke, MS CP

  • H.E.R Beauty Lounge

  • Jennifer Lee, D.D.S., A.P.C.

  • Sage Wellness Center, Inc.

  • Stephen R. John, DDS, A Professional Corporation

  • Tao's Dental Care

  • WeissFitness, Inc

Pet Care: 2 grantees

  • Scrub A Pup, Inc.

  • Bay Area Pet Pals

Retail & Professional Services: 13 grantees

  • AGSJ, Inc.

  • Canaan Express

  • C27 Kama Lounge, Inc.

  • Compass Financial Management, Inc.

  • Global Career Path, Inc.

  • GJR, Inc.

  • Hillsdale Transmission Corp


  • Pollard Tax Company, LLC

  • Squires & Corrie Antique Slot Machines, Inc.

  • TCR Holdings, LLC

  • TLC, LLC San Mateo

  • Zhang-Lee, Inc.

People Empowering People

It's important recognize that all of these initiatives were built from the ground up in a matter of weeks. The innovation and dedication of many have driven these ideas forward to support our small business community and prop up our local economy during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the outstanding local leaders supporting San Mateo businesses include:


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