March 27, 2020
Dear Anaheim Business Partner,
We are writing to share the outcome and specific details of Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu’s Community and Economic Recovery Plan, which was adopted by a supermajority of the Anaheim City Council during a Special Council Meeting held last night, March 26, 2020. This plan has provisions to assist residents most in need during the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as both small and large businesses citywide.
The $15 million plan approved by the City Council authorizes the City Manager to do the following:
I. Community Relief:
Draw up to $8 million in city reserves for community and resident support, as follows:
a. Provide a $2 million in a grant to the Anaheim Community Foundation, to support Anaheim non-profits like the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim, Meals on Wheels, Anaheim Y, Orange County Conservation Corps, Salvation Army, and others that are providing vital services to Anaheim residents in need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and
b. Allocate up to $6 million to support housing assistance programs, city workforce continuity, and services to aid the homeless population. This funding will help seniors, residents, and families most in need in Anaheim and keep City Hall fully operational, so our residents and businesses have the resources needed to endure this unprecedented worldwide health crisis.
II. Economic Relief ― Financial Assistance:
Authorize the City Manager to draw $6.5 million from Anaheim Convention Center Reserves and grant those funds to Visit Anaheim; which has served as the city’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) since 1962, to ensure the city recovers quickly and is best positioned to restore hotel stays, meetings, and conventions in Anaheim, once the stay at home orders are lifted by state and federal governments. Every month that our businesses stay closed costs the city’s General Fund tens of millions of dollars, which affects every resident in Anaheim. The sooner we get our industries back to full strength, funding to provide vital city services will recover by extension.
III. Economic Relief ― Policy Changes:
a. Direct the City Manager, for the balance of 2020, to defer penalties, fines, and any enforcement actions against businesses that collect and pay Transit Occupancy Taxes (TOT) to the City, as long as they pay their TOT within 90 days of when it is due.
b. The recovery policies in the Mayor’s approved plan also authorize the City Manager to implement programs, policies, and practices designed to incentivize development and business activity in the City, including:
✓ Extending time frames as necessary to facilitate development;
✓ Deferring, reducing, or waiving fees;
✓ Implementing electronic plan check at the earliest possible time;
✓ Expediting the plan check and review process to the maximum extent possible;
✓In general, considering regulatory relief measures from processes and standards contained in the Anaheim Municipal Code, including Title 18 (Zoning Code), as deemed necessary to facilitate ongoing business activities and development activities.
c. And that we authorize the City Manager to work with the business community and the City’s Economic Development team to spend up to $500,000 on a program to promote Buy/Shop/Dine/Hire/Purchase Local in Anaheim, to increase the share of spending by residents and businesses with local Anaheim businesses and hiring of local workforce.
We are working closely with Anaheim city management to ensure the full implementation of the Mayor’s plan. We have also developed a Response & Recovery COVID-19 Partnership to work as one voice during these challenging times to generate business donations in concert with the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), getting vital donations and supplies out to the city’s most vulnerable residents. For more information on this effort, please go to https://visitanaheim.org/response-and-recovery.
We understand how difficult the past few weeks have been on your business, employees and financial forecast. Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions – we are here as a resource for you. By working together, Anaheim residents and our local economy will come out of this crisis stronger than ever.