JEDE COVID-19 Update for April 29, 2020

MAJOR COVID-19 ACTIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Update on Re-Opening CA:  Governor Newsom provided an update on the lifting of the Stay-at -Home order.

  • Business Letter to Governors:  The California Business Roundtable and the California Manufacturing Technology Association, among others, sent a letter to the Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, outlining key principles for re-opening the western regional economies. Other signatories include the Association of Washington Business, Washington Roundtable, Oregon Business & Industry, and Oregon Business Council.   https://www.awb.org/files/library/covid-west-coast-letter-final-4.pdf

    • Principle 1 - Business must help lead the recovery

    • Principle 2 - Expectations must be clear

    • Principle 3 - Employer concerns must be resolved

    • Principle 4 - Businesses – and individuals – should be allowed to return to work as soon as reasonable safety standards can be met

    • Principle 5 - Different sectors or regions may need different strategies and timelines

    • Principle 6 - The hardest hit industries should receive additional support and consideration

    • Principle 7 - Worker retraining should occur sooner rather than later

    • Principle 8 - Reviving our economy, and building strength for the long-term, must become a priority

  • Business Input Requested:  Governor Newsom provided an update on the lifting of the Stay-at-Home order.  He is seeking feedback on physical and environmental adaptations that can make workplaces safer and protect our communities. 

  • API Engagement on Economic Recovery:  The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce sent letter to the Governor asking for API small-business representation on the Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.  [The letter is attached.]

  • Food Programs:  Governor Newsom announced several new initiatives to help Californians put healthy food on the table while also supporting the farm industry. Among other actions, $3.64 million will go to expand the state’s Farm to Family program, including $2.86 million from the USDA.  Philanthropy committed another $775,000 to jumpstart a $15 million campaign to further support the program through the end of the year. The Governor also highlighted critical expansions of CalFresh and EBT programs to combat food insecurity for low-income Californians, including a new Pandemic-EBT program for children who receive free or reduced lunch and EBT for online purchasing.  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/29/governor-newsom-announces-expansion-of-farm-to-family-program-and-new-initiatives-to-combat-food-insecurity/

ANALYSIS AND EVALUATIONS

ECONOMIC RECOVERY

  • Economic Perspective from Beacon:  Christopher Thornberg, founder of Beacon Economics released a report on the post-COVID-19 economy and makes the case for a “V” shaped recovery where the current significant drop in the second quarter is  followed by a rapid recovery in the third. https://beaconecon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Covid_19_Outlook_Beacon_4_24_2020.pdf

  • Statement from the Federal Reserve:  The Federal Reserve Board concluded two days of meetings on Wednesday without making any big new monetary policy action or guidance.  The federal funds rates were maintained at 0 to 1/4 percent. In releasing a statement, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stated, “the disruptions to economic activity here and abroad have significantly affected financial conditions and have impaired the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.” FOMC further stated they are monitoring the US financial conditions and were prepared to take additional steps if needed.  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200429a.htm

  • GDP Drop in First Quarter of 2020:  The US Department of Commerce released first estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020.  Real gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 4.8%.  The decrease in first quarter real GDP reflected decreases in consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and private inventory investment.  These decreases were partly offset by increases in residential fixed investment and government spending.  https://www.bea.gov/news/2020/gross-domestic-product-1st-quarter-2020-advance-estimate

  • Public Comment Requested on Capital Formation:  The Securities and Exchange Commission published an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for a proposed rule amending parts of the exempt offering framework to promote capital formation while preserving investor protections. According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, comments on how the rule would impact small entities are especially appreciated. Comment deadline: June 1, 2020.  https://advocacy.sba.gov/2020/04/07/sec-requests-comments-on-facilitating-capital-formation-in-private-markets/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

  • High Road Kitchens:  One Fair Wage announced the launch of its High Road Kitchen initiative, an alliance of independent restaurants that provide food on a sliding scale to low-wage workers, health care workers, first responders, and others in need. High Roads Kitchen was launched during the COVID-19 crisis to provide jobs for restaurant workers and a subsidy for responsible restaurant owners who commit to paying a living wage and following equitable employment practices. You can order meals through their website for delivery in Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.  https://highroadkitchens.com/

  • SBA Regulatory Reform Report:  The SBA Office of Advocacy released its updated report on its Regional Regulatory Reform initiatives. The report details the conversations Advocacy staff have had with small business owners over the past two years and lists information about regulatory burdens facing small businesses.  https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20141200/2nd-Progress-Report-on-Reg-Reform-Roundtables.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

  • CCC Budget Request:  The California Community Colleges submitted a joint letter to the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees requesting maintenance of funding levels for 2020-21, along with a few one-time expenditures including a pilot fellowship project to help improve diverse hiring.  [The letter is attached.]

PROGRAM UPDATES

GLOBAL ACTIONS

  • Asian Development Bank:  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) adopted a $20 billion package to respond to the Covid-19 emergency, including $2 billion for loans and loan guarantees through private financial institutions.  According to the ADB's assessment, the pandemic will result in a decline of regional growth from 5.2% to 2.2% in 2020.  https://www.adb.org/news/adb-triples-covid-19-response-package-20-billion

  • Finland Stimulus:  The government of Finland announced a number of measures to help businesses that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These include, but are not limited to:  Extending the maximum term of start-up grants from 12 to 18 months; launching a new $163 million program for medium-size businesses with investments varying between $1.1 and $11 million; establishing a $109 million program for self-employed individuals; and providing $760 million to Business Finland to administer a program for small and medium-size companies and mid-cap companies whose businesses are impacted by market and production chain disturbances caused by the coronavirus situation. https://apps.fas.usda.gov/newgainapi/api/Report/DownloadReportByFileName?fileName=Finland%20Extends%20Support%20to%20Businesses%20During%20the%20COVID-19%20Crises_The%20Hague_Finland_04-23-2020

  • New Private Equity Investments in Poland:  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) committed €15 million to a private equity fund, managed by AVIA Capital, which will focus on small and medium-size businesses in Poland.  According to the EBRD announcement, equity investments are particularly important as countries face the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy. The AVIA fund investment is one in series of initiatives EBRD is undertaking to assist the 38 emerging economies recover from the economic impacts of the crisis.  EBRD has been investing in private equity and venture capital funds since 1992 and has provided €4.4 billion to around 200 funds, which between them have combined fund capital exceeding €27.1 billion. These funds have financed more than 1,700 companies across the regions where the EBRD invests.  https://www.ebrd.com/news/2020/ebrd-commits-15-million-to-avia-capital-for-polish-smes.html

 

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