The move gives the city more regulatory power, provides access to funding for purchasing necessary supplies, liberalizes rules to do so and it facilitates a process to get reimbursed by the state and federal government for costs incurred related to Coronavirus, according to city officials.
"We have found ourselves scrambling to deal with quickly changing conditions – this thing is changing every hour, it seems," said Acting City Manager Alan Piombo, noting that, among other things, the city was working with county officials to identify potential sites, such as the Mill Valley Community Center, to provide childcare for the children of healthcare workers who would be desperately needed as confirmed cases of the virus increase. "This is one of the most challenging things i’ve been involved in my 28 years in public safety."
"This is a time for all of us to work together," said Councilmember Stephanie Moulton-Peters, who was recently elected to represent District 3 on the Marin County Board of Supervisors, with her term beginning in January 2021. "We've got to keep supporting our local businesses because they need it. The shelter in place step is drastic but needed if we’re going to stem the spread of this virus."
Councilmember John McCauley, who participated in the meeting via teleconference, noted that the coronavirus presents "significant financial challenges here for the City and the entire community." He pointed to a letter from the Mill Valley Chamber suggesting an array of forms of relief for local businesses, including delayed or spread out property tax payments for business owners; deferred City Business License fee payments through end of fiscal year; partner with the County to create an Emergency interest-free small business loan or grant program; explore accelerating the Downtown Sewer Project while business is slow; convene a conference call with local commercial property owners to explore both rent and City fee mitigations that will help our local businesses during this emergency.
In its letter, the Chamber pointed to its urgent work to share with its members all available information on City efforts as well as local Bank and SBA lending programs, as well as other resources as they become available; urging commercial property owners to provide rent relief where possible; and collaborating with the County Tourism Board to support its members.
Councilmembers decided to form a Business Support Task Force, a group of city and business leaders to identify actionable steps to support business during this period of sheltering in place and social distancing.
MORE INFO ON LOCAL IMPACTS OF CORONAVIRUS:
- Coronavirus, Social Distancing & Shelter in Place: Here's the 411 on Mill Valley Businesses – Please Support Them!A Call for Kindness Amidst Isolation & Social Distancing: Know Your Neighbor and Help Those That Need It
- 'Library-in-Place': Mill Valley Library Is Closed Thru April 7 But Many of Its Resources Are Available Online
- Marin Joins Five Bay Area Counties in Issuing Order to Shelter in Place, Limiting People to Essential Activities
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