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Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The GGRA is here to help. We continue to work with the City, the State, and our leaders in Washington DC to advocate for relief for restaurants, as well as keep our community up to date with information and resources. 
 
We will continue to send updates as they become available. If you have any questions, please call (415) 305-3020 or email me at laurie@ggra.org, thanks! -Laurie

Monitoring Air Quality While Operating Your Business

We wanted to be sure you received the following information from the Health Officer as to how to balance health requirements for both COVID and wildfire smoke at workspaces. See below.
 
San Francisco is dealing with two public health threats at the same time: wildfire smoke and COVID-19. Together, we can handle both. Here are simple steps you can take: 
 
Minimize Exposure 
Wildfire smoke is in San Francisco due to multiple fires in the Bay Area.  If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area workers and residents protect their health by minimizing exposure.   
 
Follow Recommendations 
Everyone should follow the recommendations at SF72.org (Air Quality + COVID-19).   
 
Steps for Employers  
Businesses and other employers should monitor the air quality index (AQI) (available at AirNow.gov: Home Page) and make sure they are taking the required steps to comply with the requirements outlined by state workplace safety regulators in the Protection from Wildfire Smoke standard.   
 
This information is subject to change as conditions evolve, please check www.SF72.org regularly for updates.
Unsecured Property Tax Update
 
The SF Treasurer & Tax Collector  will continue to allow taxpayers to apply for a penalty waiver due to a COVID-19 related hardship. For unsecured personal property taxes due 8/31, we encourage businesses to pay as much of their bills as they can before the deadline. We do accept partial payments for this type of bill. If they can’t pay the bill in full by 8/31, businesses should go to Penalty Waiver / Refund Request and complete the “Unsecured Property Tax Penalty Waiver Request” form: Unsecured Property Tax Waiver.  
 
 
There are many reasons why taxpayers request a penalty waiver. Applicants should be thorough and truthful in their application. If the waiver request is due to a COVID-19 related hardship, they should check the relevant “COVID-19” box in the application and explain their COVID-19 related hardship in the text box. You can’t apply until after the tax deadline has passed, and you must apply once for each bill. (So plan to apply on 9/1 and do this for each of your businesses you received a bill for).
 
There is no deadline to request a waiver, but businesses will see the obligation with penalties and interest until / unless they have an approved penalty waiver. We will review submissions in the order they are received, and anticipate it will take a few weeks until the taxpayer hears back.
 
Taxpayers will get notice of their approval or denial via mail, and the letter will include details about how long the waiver is valid. We anticipate that most UPP taxpayers who receive a COVID-19 related waiver will be given until May 6, 2021 to pay without penalty or interest.
MUNI Metro Train Service Temporarily Suspended-
Bus Services Substituted:

 
Beginning today, August 25th, all Muni Metro rail service will be suspended and buses will be used as substitutions for train service. This is very disappointing, but buses will be running the routes instead of rail for now.
 
Learn more by reading the following notice from Muni:
 
Our need to temporarily suspend train service for several weeks is based on two problems that emerged yesterday:
  • An employee in our Transportation Management Center (TMC) – the nerve center of our rail system – tested positive for COVID-19. We wish them a speedy and full recovery. By doing thorough contract tracing, we now know that more of our vital team members need to be quarantined. This leaves us short-staffed in positions central to operating Muni Metro service safely and effectively.
  • A critical component of the overhead infrastructure that powers our trains has failed twice in the last few days. After a problem with new equipment recently installed caused service disruptions twice in the past two days, staff worked quickly to provide a fix that we must implement before bringing the Metro back fully again. This is frustrating because our crews worked tirelessly over the last few months to address deferred maintenance in the tunnels.
For these reasons, we will be using our buses for all train service starting Tuesday, August 25, and working hard to get trains back on track as soon as we can. Shutting down the subway for quarantine will also allow for the replacement of the critical equipment in the subway.
 
We will keep you informed about our efforts to bring rail back at SFMTA.com/RailRecovery and you can get more information about our response to COVID-19 at SFMTA.com/COVID. You can also find real-time alerts about Muni service disruptions at the SFMTA’s Twitter account, @sfmta_muni.
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