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San Manuel Band Of Mission Indians And IEEP Distribute $1 Million To Small Businesses

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership announced a $1 million relief fund today, distributing $20,000 each to 50 small businesses in San Bernardino County. 

The “San Manuel Cares $1 Million Small Business Relief Fund” will go to small businesses to help with expenses like paycheck protection, operating expenses, debt relief and more.

According to San Manuel, the businesses were selected to represent industries hardest hit by the pandemic, like restaurants and personal care services – businesses deemed “non-essential” but still important to the region’s economy.

Tansu Philip with Viva La Boba in downtown San Bernardino, one of the recipients of the fund, says the money was a surprise.

“Getting this money was completely unexpected and a huge shock. Honestly, I knew we were getting something but $20,000 is way beyond anything I could’ve expected or comprehended. Honestly, I was really emotional when it first happened. I can’t believe it, honestly.”

Philip says the money will fund payroll and more.

Credit San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

“Out of all things we’re missing a door in the middle of our kitchen. It just broke. And you legally need to have a door in your kitchen to operate, and we were stressed, we were like, we can’t afford to buy a door, we can’t afford to get it installed. And now we can do that. So small things that we’ve been putting off because we can’t afford it, we now don’t have to worry about. So it’s a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”

Jacob Coin, executive advisor to the Chairman of San Manuel, says the tribe and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership chose small businesses for a reason.

“The small business sector is the backbone of our economy, whether it’s the U.S. or Inland Empire region. They are the ones that create the jobs, they’re the innovators, they’re the ones that really make the economy work. And when the pandemic hit, it affected them more directly and more importantly than some of the larger enterprises, and so we felt we had an obligation to help enable them to weather the storm and help them get back on their feet and back on the path to profitability.”

You can see the full list of all 50 small businesses that received funds at sanmanuelcares.org.