JEDE COVID-19 Update for April 3, 2020

MAJOR COVID-19 ACTIONS

  • New State Assistance for Small Businesses:  The Governor announced yesterday, California small businesses can now defer payment of up to $50,000 in sales and use taxes for up to a year—what amounts to an additional loan. For those who do not qualify for federal loans because of low wealth or undocumented status, the state is allocating $50 million to the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank for loan guarantees to small businesses to help eliminate barriers to capital.  www.covid19.ca.gov

  • Employment Assistance:  Governor Newsom announced a new state initiative to help unemployed workers identify currently open jobs.  OnwardCA.org is a new online platform, which uses a set of standardized questions to match potential workers to employment announcements in their community and across the state.  OnwardCA.org focus on, but not be limited to, jobs in the area of health care, logistics, agriculture, and grocery stores and services.  www.OnwardCA.org

  • Paycheck Protection Program:  Beginning today (April 3), small businesses can begin applying for federal loans up to $10 million.  These loans can be forgiven if a specified portion of the proceeds are used for employment retention.  Loans are offered through SBA approved lenders. https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses  

  • Federal Flexibility for Ag Producers:  USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is authorizing self-certification on replant inspections and waiving witness signatures in certain situations as part of a broader suite of flexibilities to support producers during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) may allow the use of self-certification replant inspections for certain crops with 100 gross acres (before considering share) per unit in lieu of 50 acres, and they may waive the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignment of Indemnity through July 15, 2020, for applicable crop years.  Additional details on these provisions and other actions taken by USDA RMA are available at:  https://rma.usda.gov/News-Room/Press/Press-Releases/2020-News/USDA-Adds-Additional-Flexibilities-for-Crop-Insurance--to-Support-Americas-Farmers-and-Ranchers

  • Water Shut-Off Protection:  Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order (N-42-20) that will restrict water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.   https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/4.2.20-EO-N-42-20.pdf

  • Consumer Protections from Price Gouging:  Governor Newsom signed executive order N-44-20 expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10%. The order also gives additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, among others, to take action against price gougers. https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/4.3.20-EO-N-44-20.pdf

  • No Filing Requirement to Receive Economic Impact Payments:  The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an economic impact payment.  The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 to generate $1,200 economic impact payments to Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/

  • Displaced Worker Funding for Local Boards:  The Employment Development Department announced the availability of up to $10 million of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) 25% Dislocated Worker Funds to provide supportive services to individuals impacted by COVID-19.  In order to get the funds out quickly, local workforce development boards are prohibited from adding addition restrictions to the supportive services funded under this initiative.  https://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/pubs/wsin19-39.pdf

ASSESSMENTS OF FEDERAL COVID-19 PROGRAMS

 

 OTHER ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • CalPERS Increases Emerging Manager Program:    CalPERS announced it has increased the size of its emerging manager program by $375 million. https://email.ipe.com/5KVE-XNF-C5KUM-EXWF-1/c.aspx

  • California Trade Outlook:  Beacon Economics released its monthly California Trade Outlook, which states that trade tariffs imposed on imported goods have made California and other U.S. businesses less attractive as intermediaries in international trade and continue to drag down re-exported goods. Exports of California-made products, however, were higher in the latest numbers than they were one year ago. Still, the data released today by the U.S. Census pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook for the state's export trade over the next few months is not optimistic.  https://caled.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Beaconomics_March_2020-1.pdf

  • Update from the Port of Los Angeles:  The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) remains open for business with all of terminals open.  POLA is firmly committed to keeping the supply chain running through the COVID-19 emergency. POLA Executive Director Gene Seroka is also serving as the City of Los Angeles Chief Logistics Officer and leading the Logistics Victory Los Angeles(LoV LA) activities to match vital medical supplies with health care providers.  Additional updates from POLA:

    • 12 ships are in port today: 5 container, 1 liquid bulk, 2 refrigerated bulk, 2 dry bulk, 1 cruise and USNS Mercy. 

    • The 23,000-TEU MSC Mia arrived yesterday to move empty containers out of the San Pedro Bay complex.

    • Cruise ships are coming in to the Port for stores, not operating with passengers.

    • A train operator derailed his locomotive near U.S. Navy’s hospital ship Mercy. The train came to a stop after driving through several barricades, and no one was harmed during the incident. The operator was immediately taken into custody and formally charged. The FBI is leading the investigation with Los Angeles Port Police assistance.    https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/train-operator-port-los-angeles-charged-derailing-locomotive-near-us-navy-s-hospital

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