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COVID Purple Tier: San Jose Business Owners Putting Up Cash To Pay COVID Fines Incurred By Other Businesses

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- San Jose business owners are stepping up to help some of their competitors who have been slapped with fines by the county over COVID health violations.

EQ1 Real Estate Founder and CEO Mike Bui said Tuesday he was pledging $2,000 toward the fines levied against other businesses, and that two other businesses have pledged their own $2,000 for a total of $6,000.

Bui said other small business owners are just doing what they can to survive and shouldn't be hit by the county when they are already down, saying helping other business owners, even if they are competitors, is just the right thing to do.

He said with so many businesses on the brink, even a small fine could be the tipping point.

"Small business owners are fighting just to stay afloat and with the lockdowns and everything in place that just makes it more difficult," said Bui. "So if anyone wants to reach out and help more people at this time, the best thing we can do is give before we get, and just take care of one another."

A second business owner has now matched Bui's pledge for a total of $4000.

According to the business owner group, the fines are from the county's holiday weekend enforcement, and most of the businesses were cited for either not posting the required social distancing protocol or not posting the maximum number of people allowed inside each establishment.

Bui pointed out that failure to post signs is not a danger to public health and could have been remedied without fines which could cripple a business already struggling to survive.

Any businesses cited were asked to contact Bui and his fund partners via social media and they will give them the money to cover the fines until their $6,000 fund runs out. They're also asking for more people to get involved in donating to their "fine fund" and help these businesses.

Santa Clara County announced it issued nearly 200 citations totaling more than $115,000 in fines over the holiday weekend.

The three most frequent violations cited over the weekend were failure to submit a social distancing protocol to county health officials and failures to post signage indicating social distancing protocol and maximum capacity.

Fines issued ranged from $250 to $3,750, according to the county.

Business that need help or would like to give help, can reach out to Bui on Instagram.

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