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Cal Cities supports state relief package for working families, students, and businesses; urges state aid for cities

February 24, 2021
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a legislative package providing urgent relief to Californians experiencing pandemic hardship, including $600 stimulus checks to low-wage earners and $2 billion for small business grants.
Ahead of legislative approval, Cal Cities issued its support for the package and acknowledged that community resiliency and economic recovery requires an all-in approach to ensure no one gets left behind. Cal Cities believes that providing aid to working families, businesses, and all others in need is critical to helping jumpstart economic recovery in cities across the state.
However, more support is needed as California’s cities are facing dual crises: billions in expenses addressing the pandemic on the frontlines of their communities, and devastating declines in tax revenues. Since the beginning of the pandemic, cities have lost $5 billion in core revenue, and expect to lose another $1 billion over the next year.
For a strong and lasting recovery, cities cannot be left out and must be a priority investment in the state budget. 
Cal Cities continues to advocate for an allocation of funding from the over $20 billion state budget windfall to cities to support on-the-ground COVID-19 response and recovery. Without direct and flexible state aid to cities, local core services and COVID-19 response actions are threatened.
Key Elements of the $9.6 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package
  • Golden State Stimulus - provide $600 checks to 5.7 million lower-income Californians.
  • $2 billion to the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant program — small businesses can receive a grant up to $25,000.
  • Two years of fee relief for tens of thousands of restaurants, bars, hair salons, and other state license holders.
  • $24 million in emergency aid for farm workers required to quarantine.
  • $100 million in emergency financial aid for low-income community college students.
  • $400 million in federal aid for state-subsidized childcare and preschool providers.

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