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Response to Crisis: Julian Cabrera

Printed courtesty of Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business.

Julian Cabrera is a Community Fellow at the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. This post was published on May 13, on the Community Fellows website of the Leavey School of Business, based on Julian's OED internship during the time of COVID-19.
Post Date:05/19/2020 4:00 PM

Julian-Cabrera-1-360x303San Jose City Hall is currently closed but that does not mean that City workers are not working hard to help their fellow citizens. The City of San Jose is finding ways to help the community navigate through these difficult times. From the very top with Mayor Liccardo to a Community Fellow like myself. 

Working remotely, I have spent my time reaching out to small businesses to find out how they are handling the COVID-19 situation. The work involves calling, sending emails, and directing businesses to useful resources. The most valuable contribution I can give is to find out the conditions that businesses are in. Through gathering information, I am able to relay the needs of the small business community to the City’s Emergency Committee. 

Through this process I have seen the needs and fears that businesses currently carry. Where can I apply for aid? When can we reopen? Where can I learn more? Many businesses have applied for federal grants and loans such as the Payment Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Many businesses have applied but just as many fear that they are too late. Many of these grants and loans have used up all their funds and are slowly being refunded. In the meantime, businesses are trying their hardest to prevent layoffs and to keep people working. Some have moved to online services while others are creating delivery services to create revenue.

In this arduous time, I have seen how the City has pivoted completely towards tackling the problems that COVID-19 has brought. Everyone in City Hall is working tirelessly to provide help and to find answers to the City’s problems. These efforts involve lowering restrictions on delivery services and creating guidance for businesses to follow during the pandemic. In addition, the City is directing businesses to resources that may help them. 

As stay at home orders are extended businesses will have to weather out this storm a bit longer. The City will continue to provide as much aid as possible in order to minimize the economic blow that this crisis situation has brought. However, the City will also have its eyes set on managing the long term effects of this pandemic in order to get society to normal once more.  Despite the circumstances, I am honored and delighted to be working with the City in order to tackle the problems my community is facing. I feel immense joy in being able to help my neighbor. 

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