Just over 100 days ago, I took my oath of office and was sworn in as your City Councilmember. While there has been much to learn in my short time on the City Council, I feel increasingly optimistic that our community is well-positioned to build back strong from this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.
As a candidate, I advocated for the creation of a Burbank Economic Recovery Taskforce. Last month, the City Council voted unanimously to re-purpose one of our existing sub-committees and create an Economic Recovery Sub-Committee comprised of Vice Mayor Talamantes, Councilmember Springer, and city staff. Earlier this week, the Sub-Committee hosted their first community meeting with restaurant owners and operators.
The Sub-Committee will work over the following months to ensure that we adopt comprehensive economic recovery plans for Burbank that balance the protection of employees and the public, with the continued economic livelihood of our community.
The City of Burbank is also working with our private sector partners to facilitate two incredibly important relief programs for our residents and businesses. The Burbank Small Business Assistance Program will offer forgivable small business loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Self-employed individuals and microenterprises can receive up to $10,000 under the program, while small businesses of fewer than 200 employees can receive up to $20,000. Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, April 5th.
Additionally, we’re offering direct assistance to renters facing financial hardships. The Burbank Rent Assistance Program will offer up to $1,000 per month for up to three (3) months, which can be used to pay for past due or future rent. Funds can also be used for past due utilities owed to Burbank Water and Power. Applications will be accepted starting on Monday, April 5th.
Finally, we have vaccinated our firefighters, police officers, teachers, and many of our frontline workers. However, there is much more work to do, including: adding affordable housing options, addressing our unhoused population, and continuing our sustainability efforts. Regardless, City Council has shown we’re ready to tackle these problems in the days and months ahead.