Burbank’s budget is anticipating a dour economic outlook due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that could force the city to continue its hiring freeze and cancel events. Municipal staff members approached the City Council with an update during its Tuesday meeting, explaining that the city expects to operate at a General Fund recurring deficit of nearly $11 million this fiscal year, followed by additional millions of dollars in deficits annually through the 2024-25 fiscal year. Without intervention, by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year the General Fund balance will likely be in the negatives. For the current fiscal year, city staff members project a decrease in “recurring revenue” of about $18 million from the original projection of $177 million, due to drops in sales, property, parking and hotel taxes.
The Burbank City Council approved more than $850,000 in relief money for small businesses and low-income renters impacted by the coronavirus, acknowledging that the funds alone would not be enough to help everyone in need.
The council unanimously authorized the spending during its virtual meeting Tuesday, allocating nearly $440,000 for rental assistance and more than $414,104 to provide forgivable loans for small businesses. The programs are largely funded by Burbank’s portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, with unused federal Community Development Block Grant and county Measure H funds also contributing to the initiatives.
The small business assistance program launched with the money will help “microenterprise” entities, such as gig workers, contractors and those who are self-employed, by providing a forgivable loan of up to $5,000. Businesses with between two and 50 employees can receive up to $10,000 in forgivable loans, though they must have at least one low-income employee to be eligible.
The program aims to assist between 30 and 60 businesses, according to Marcos Gonzalez, the city’s housing development manager. When originally proposed, the aid would also have been available to businesses that applied for federal Small Business Administration loans.
However, the council decided to amend the program so that it would cover what was not provided by those loans up to $5,000 or $10,000, as some business owners have reported receiving only a fraction of what they applied for. Continue reading “City OKs Aid for Small Businesses, Renters Hurt by Pandemic”
The Burbank City Council approved a tentative budget this week that estimates a revenue loss of $15-$20 million during the next fiscal year of 2020-21 due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The council heard eight different budget presentations on Tuesday during a virtual meeting that lasted nearly six hours, creeping past midnight. Though city officials emphasized that the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on Burbank remains uncertain, they expressed confidence that the city’s prudent fiscal policies over the past several years have put it in a good position to withstand economic challenges. Continue reading “City Council Projects Steep Revenue Loss on Pandemic Recession”