Senators Wiener and Gonzalez to Introduce Emergency Legislation Halting Commercial Evictions of Small Businesses During COVID-19 Health Crisis

March 14, 2020

Sacramento - Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having many impacts on our communities, including dramatic harm to small businesses. Small businesses are seeing their revenue plummet, some are closing down, and others are scaling back. These businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we need to ensure they can quickly reopen after the emergency ends. The last thing our community and our economy need is permanent mass closure of small businesses. That would be a disaster for workers who depend on paychecks from these businesses, and for the communities of which these businesses are an integral part.

“To that end, we will introduce emergency legislation to prohibit commercial evictions of small businesses based on non-payment of rent. This legislation will ensure these businesses can safely close and protect public health, with an assurance that they will be able to reopen once the emergency ends. This will also help businesses focus first and foremost on supporting employees and payroll, instead of focusing on rent. Prohibiting commercial evictions of small businesses during this health emergency will protect small businesses, protect workers, protect our economy, and protect public health by removing the fear that closing down will result in permanent loss of a business’s commercial space.

“In addition, we call on the Governor to issue an executive order to place a moratorium on commercial eviction of small businesses. We need fast action by both branches of government on this critical issue.”