East San Jose community raises almost $30,000 to help struggling businesses

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By KCBS Radio

After less than a month, a relief fund set up to save struggling businesses in East San Jose has already raised nearly $30,000 and is now ready to start sending out grants.

With the money in the bank, The East San Jose COVID Relief Fund has begun accepting grant applications from local small businesses and nonprofits.

San Jose Planning Commissioner Rolando Bonilla, who organized the fund, told KCBS Radio that it’s an effort to hold the diverse South Bay community together.

“These are both economic and community hubs,” he said. “These are the epicenter of what makes our community so unique.”

Bonilla said the predominantly Latino neighborhood has struggled to gain public support due to barriers of language and trust, and the fund, fueled by a flood of small donations many from within the neighborhood itself, aims to bridge the divide.

“It’s not only a testimony as to how much they value these businesses, but it’s recognition that it’s going to take our community to save our community, and that is where we are with this fund,” he noted.