Senator Wiener and Senator Gonzalez’s Legislation to Help Small Businesses and Nonprofits Survive COVID-19 Fails to Advance from Appropriations Committee

June 18, 2020

Sacramento - Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) issued the following statement regarding their legislation, SB 939, which did not pass the Senate Judiciary Committee today. If passed, SB 939 would have enacted a moratorium on commercial evictions – for small businesses and nonprofits – during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. SB 939 would have also allowed tenants in the hospitality sector to renegotiate a commercial lease if they have lost over 40% of their revenue or if they will operate at 25% reduced capacity due to COVID-19-related social distancing requirements.

“Today, the Senate missed a major opportunity to throw a lifeline to small businesses and nonprofits by helping them survive the COVID-19 economic collapse. California faces the very real prospect of a mass extinction event for small businesses and nonprofits — a result that will undermine our economic recovery and inflict countless boarded up storefronts on our neighborhoods. SB 939 was a good faith effort to help them survive. The Legislature and Governor have a responsibility to take affirmative steps to help our small businesses and nonprofits. If SB 939 isn’t the answer, then we need to come up with other answers. Inaction simply isn’t tenable, given the consequences we face. We will continue to do everything in our power to step up for these economic engines.”