COVID-19 Resources

Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Jobs, asked committee staff to develop and maintain a webpage to provide small businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, and economic and workforce development professionals with the resources they may need in responding to COVID-19 challenges. 

Federal and State Government Resources

Guidelines for Re-Opening

The State is currently operating under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

California Stay-At-Home Order and Essential Business Lists

  • A Regional Stay-At-Home Order is triggered when Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity within a region drops below 15%.  The Regional Stay-At-Home Order is an overlay to the current protocals in the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” and was necessitated by an unpresidented surge in ICU hospitalizations related to COVID-19 cases. 

  • California Stay-At-Home Order (Updated August 28, 2020, Executive Order)

  • Official Federal List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (may be periodically updated)

  • Official State List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers  (last updated September 22, 2020)

Resources to Help Businesses Maintain Their Operations

  • California has launched a new Small Business and Employer page for the main state COVID-19-disaster page.  On this page, there are links to a wide range of resources including information on accessing capital and updates on tax requirements. 

  • The California Office of the Small Business Advocate is available to help businesses identify resources and obtain answers to key questions (to the extent known).  They created a very user friendly page, "How We Can Help," and continue to update a helpful FAQ for small businesses.

  • Need help identifying and accessing resources and what to talk with someone directly?  Checkout this California TA Providers Guide to connect to over 70 state- and federally-funded business assistance centers.  Small businesses and nonprofits can access free one-on-one business and management counseling and training through these centers, including information on how to access capital.   

  • GO-Biz is hosting a COVID-19 resource webpage with links to the IBank, Labor and Workforce Agency, Franchise Tax Board, and Department of Tax and Fee Managementhttps://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019

  • USDA Rural Development has launched a COVID-19 resource page.  Broad range of resources from affordable housing, business development, to utilities.  This document summarizes USDA Rural Development program changes to help rural businesses during the pandemic. 

  • The US Small Business Administration has a resource page, which includes guidance for businesses and employers, information about small business funding options, and government contracting opportunities.  This contracting guidebook assists small businesses with existing federal contracts who have been impacted by COVID-19.

  • Independent contractors and other self-employed individuals may be eligible for payments under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new program funded through the federal CARES Act.  Under the program, unemployed business owners, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, individuals with limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state Unemployment Insurance benefits and who are out of business or whose services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic may apply for benefits through this portal.  You can receive free assistance in completing your PUA application by contacting CAMEO.

  • COVID-19 Medical Supply Donations:  Individuals, businesses, and nonprofits who are interested in producing medical supplies can connect with the state through this site:  https://covid19supplies.ca.gov/

Special State and Federal Tax Filing and Other Provisions

  • State Income Taxes:  The Franchise Tax Board’s COVID-19 webpage has important information about filing state income taxes, including a FAQ, and can be found at:  https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/index.html

  • Federal Income Taxes:  The IRS has established a special section to assist taxpayers, businesses, and individuals impacted by coronavirus.  Updates will be shared on this webpage:  www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

  • State Payroll Taxes:  Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request from the EDD an extension of up to 60 days to file their state payroll reports and without penalty or interest.  A written request for an extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.  For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center toll-free from the U.S. or Canada at 1-888-745-3886.  More information on how to request the extension and other services through EDD is available at:  www.edd.ca.gov

  • Federal Social Security Payroll Tax for Employers and Self Employed:  The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer's share of Social Security taxes and allows self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes until December 31, 2020.  FAQ on deferring employer share of Social Security.

  • State Sales and Use Tax: Businesses experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request an extension from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Small sales and use tax filers (filing less than $1 million annually) have been given specific approval for taking an additional three months to file for the tax periods of April 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020. A small business may also apply for an extended payment plan that provides for up to a one-year extension on the small business' payment of state sales tax without penalty or interest.  To qualify for the one-year payment extension, the businesses must have taxable annual sales of under $5 million and apply to the Department of Tax and Fee Administration for a payment plan.  The deadline to apply was November 18, 2020.  For questions and extension requirements, small businesses will find more information at:  https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/services/covid19.htm#small-business-payment

  • Property Taxes:  Property taxes are paid through the county in which the business owns land.  Individual counties have adopted their own COVID-19 property tax measurers.  On April 4, 2020, the California State Association of Counties and the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors released a statement that counties, collectively, agreed to work with landowners to the best of their abilities to not apply penalties for late property tax payments.  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/04/governor-newsom-praises-california-counties-for-pledge-to-use-local-authority-to-cancel-penalties-or-charges-for-property-tax-non-payment-related-to-covid-19/

Accessing Capital - Public and Private Financial Resources

State Programs:  California’s Small Business Finance Center provides small businesses access to a range of financial products, including the Small Business Loan Guarantee (guarantee through private lenders) and the Farm Loans (direct loans to businesses).  California also offers a loss reserve-style credit enhancement program, the California Capital Access Program, to encourage private lenders to provide small business loans.  On April 2, 2020, Governor Newsom activated the California Disaster Loan Guarantee Program.   In November 2020, the state launched the California Rebuilding Fund, which offers blended loans through a statewide network of commnity development financial institutions.

Federal Programs:  The federal Small Business Administration has activated its Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which offers low interest loans with a deferred initial repayment date of next year, as well as a range of other disaster and non-disaster loan programs.  The Paycheck Protection Program is Open for Business.  Businesses can still take advances of refundable employee retention tax credits designed to encourage businesses to retain workers during the COVID-19 emergency. 

In January 2021, the SBA launched a new $15 billion program, the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program, which was authorized in December 2020 through the enactment of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act.  The program will provide grants equal to 45% of an entities gross earned revenue, up to $10 million.  Of the total $15  billion, $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

SBA made loan payments for certain borrowers of SBA 7(a), 504, and Microloans up until September 27, 2020.  The Economic Aid Act also provided authority to the SBA to make similar payments beginning February 2021.  The level of this new assistance varies based on when the loan was approved.  In addition, many current boworrers of SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans that were in service on March 1, 2020, may receive automatic deferments through March, 31, 2021.  An overview of these programs, including fact sheets, is also located on the Program Details webpage.

Existing Loans with Private Lenders:  State and federal regulators of financial institutions have issued a special directive to lenders to work constructively with businesses in modifying existing loans.  This directive, issued on March 20, 2020, can be accessed at:  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20200322a.htm

Local and Other Financial Resources:  The California State Treasurer is tracking small business financial resources offered by local governments, foundations and other nonprofits, and corporations on this Google Doc.  It is updated regularly.

Employer Guidance from California Labor Agency and Related Departments

Employer Guidance from the Federal Government

  • The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance for businesses and employers here.

  • The federal Small Business Administration is providing guidance and consistently updating information about loans, contracting opportunities, and other resources available here.

Resources Available to Employees

   

 

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