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DUBLIN — The city council unanimously voted during its Nov. 24 meeting to place $200,000 from its general fund into a countywide emergency microloan program.

The microloan program aims to help a variety of merchants whose businesses have suffered during the pandemic. The funds will serve as Dublin’s contribution to the Alameda County CARES Act Matching Grant Pool. Any unused portion of the $200,000 will revert back to Dublin for its own microloan fund for local businesses.

The countywide pool funds will be dispensed via a lottery among all applicants in cities throughout the county, not including unincorporated areas. Deadline for applications was Nov. 30. The results were unknown at the time of The Independent’s deadline.

Councilmembers noted that as long as unused money reverts to Dublin, they viewed the $200,000 as a worthwhile contribution.

The only public speaker, Jesus Orozco, a Dublin restaurateur, said that he would like to see more details about the size of the loan in relation to the number of employees at a given business. He pointed out that a $5,000 loan makes up about 5% of his business’s two-week payroll, noting it “should be significantly bigger than $5,000 or $10,000.”

Restaurateurs in the Valley meet together regularly, Orozco continued. He said they are hoping the Biden administration will bring in another round of the CARES Act.

The council acknowledged that all businesses are worth saving, but Mayor David Haubert underscored the desirability to keep the longtime restaurants open, since they have been popular for years with local residents.

City Manager Linda Smith said she will take into account the council’s preferences about how to handle the program.