JEDE COVID-19 Update - April 13, 2020

MAJOR COVID-19 ACTIONS

*The specific rules relating to funding and programs available to small businesses, including independent contractors, through the CARES Act are beginning to become publicly available.  As information becomes available, JEDE will post.  Thank you to everyone who is sharing links to good resources.

  • Re-Opening Our Country Council:   President Trump announced on April 10 that he would be establishing an Opening our Country Council to advise him on when to remove restrictions associated with the Coronavirus

  • Re-Opening of California and Western States:  California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.  The governors agreed to work together on plans to restart their economies, while each developed its own state’s plan based a shared framework.  According to the press announcement, the four pillars of the shared framework include:

    • Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

    • Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.

    • Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.

    • Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.

  • New Rural Resource Guide:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is intended to help rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.  https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide.pdf

  • Faith-Based Organizations and Federal Small Business Loan Programs:  SBA issued guidance clarifying that all faith-based organizations impacted by the Coronavirus are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities.  Faith-based organizations will still need to meet program eligibility criteria outlined in the CARES Act.  https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-clarifies-eligibility-faith-based-organizations-participate-paycheck-protection-and-economic?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

  • New SBA Portal:  The SBA continues to upgrade its e-government capabilities and has launched the Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center that offers guidance and loan resources for small businesses, including a new lending portal to navigate the many funding resources, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Impact Disaster Loan, SBA Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.  Service Center: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19  Lending Portal:  https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

  • CDBG Regulatory Flexibility:  HUD issued a Program Memorandum regarding program flexibilities authorized under the CARES Act for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.  The Program Memorandum waives certain plan amendment requirements and explains the new expedited plan amendment process which is designed to allows a grantee to incorporate CDBG coronavirus response (CDBG-CV) funds within their most recent annual action plan, including a 2019 annual action plan.  The Memorandum includes an attached guide which outlines all the CARES Act flexibilities for CDBG grantees.  https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/CARES-Act-Flexibilities-CDBG-Funds-Used-Support-Coronavirus-Response.pdf?utm_source=HUD+Exchange+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=1e11d9f195-CARES-Act-Flexibilities-CDBG&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f32b935a5f-1e11d9f195-19390889

ASSESSMENTS OF COVID-19 PROGRAMS

TOOLS TO ACCESS DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAMS

  • Where is My Economic Impact Payment?  The IRS has launched a new online tool to track Economic Impact Payments.  These payments cannot be tracked on the general IRS general list of refunds.  www.irs.gov/eip

  • How to Find a PPP Lender?  The SBA is maintaining a searchable database of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program.  Please note that some lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program are only processing loans submitted by businesses that have pre-existing banking relationships with the lender, while other lenders are accepting loan applications from all small businesses.  In addition, due to the significantly high volume of loan applications, some lenders are closing down or taking a hiatus from accepting new PPP loan applications.  Be sure to check online to ensure that the lender is accepting applications. https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find/   News article tracking PPP loans from the top 100 SBA lenders with web links for each lender (info from April 7, 2020):  https://www.zenefits.com/workest/the-list-of-ppp-application-status-among-the-top-100-sba-lenders/

  • SBA Tech Assistance Search Engine:  The SBA hosts a dynamic webpage where users can input their address and the local SBA technical assistance providers populate the map.  Resources are all free and include:  SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Centers, Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Minority Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, and Manufacturing Expansion Program Centers. https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/

  • SBA Newsletters:  An excellent way to keep current on federal programs and services is to sign-up for the SBA online newsletter at:  https://www.sba.gov/updates?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

  • Utility Programs to Support Business:  The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates, among other things, investor owned utilities.  The CPUC is maintaining this website to help businesses and other utility users access COVID-19 programs being offered by investor owned utilities and public owned utilities.   https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/covid19protections/

  • New HUD Guidance for Section 108 Borrowers:  HUD has developed a set of Q&A that can be used by economic developers who are operating loan programs using Section 108 funds.  Given the current state of the economy, business borrowers may be requesting forbearance on their loan obligations.  This can be challenging, as the local community likely needs those loan repayments to make its own repayment to HUD for the use of the Section 108 funds.  This Q&A document provides questions and answers describing actions that can be taken by HUD and the local communities to grant loan forbearance.  https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/Relief-for-HUD-Section-108-Borrowers-Impacted-by-Coronavirus.pdf

  • Free Tech for Small Businesses:  GO-Biz is maintaining a webpage that lists free and low-cost tech to support small businesses.  https://static.business.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Technology-Products-and-Telework-Tips-Businesses-Final.pdf

  • More Free Technology for Small Businesses:  Salesforce announced that it is providing free access to “Salesforce Essentials” and “Tableau” to help small businesses continue to operate and make decisions about the future of their businesses.  Salesforce is also maintaining a resource page featuring articles and webinars from small business experts.  https://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/stories/2020/4/salesforce-business-grants/  

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Grants for Small Businesses:  Salesforce announced it would be awarding $10,000 grants to small businesses under a new program, Salesforce Care Small Business Grants.  The grant application is expected to be available to US businesses in mid-April.  There will also be an international grant component for total grant funding of $5 million.  https://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/stories/2020/4/salesforce-business-grants/

  • Grants to Support Native American Communities:  The federal CDFI Fund is awarding access to technical and capacity-building assistance, as well as financial support, which can be used to operate loan, loan guarantee, and other financing programs.  Only certified CDFIs who primarily serve Native American communities are eligible to apply.  Deadline to apply is April 30, 2020.  https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/native-initiatives/Pages/default.aspx

  • Grants to Support Dislocated Workers:  Employment and Training Administration is awarding $300 million under its National Dislocated Worker Program.  Eligibility depends upon the type of National Dislocated Worker Grant requested, which may include, but is not be limited to, states, Indian tribal governments, a local Workforce Development Board (WDB) or a consortium of WDBs, entities eligible for funding through the Indian and Native American program in WIOA, and entities that demonstrate their capability to effectively respond to circumstances related to particular dislocations.  No closing date with applications accepted until funding is exhausted.  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325616

  • Smart Community Grant:  The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the launch of the Civic Innovation Challenge, a national research and action competition in the smart and connected communities domain. Teams will compete for awards of up to $1 million to support ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities. Teams may include civic partners — such as local, state, and tribal government officials, and non-profit and community leaders. The Civic Innovation Challenge is funded with an anticipated $9 million from NSF, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Announcement:  https://nsfcivicinnovation.org/  Solicitation:  https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505728&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund

OTHER ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

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