JEDE COVID-19 Update for April 9, 2020

MAJOR 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.

  • State Contracting Opportunities:  California has launched www.covid19supplies.ca.gov to assist the state in accessing critical medical supplies to meet the COVID-19 challenge.  This is an important procurement opportunity for certified small businesses and certified disabled veteran-owned businesses. Contracting opportunities exist for medical supplies, personal protective equipment, sanitizing products, among other products. 

  • More CA Employment Opportunities:  Governor Newsom announced that as of April 8 that the new job search platform, OnwardCA.org, had over 110,000 job listed.  This is up from the 70,000 jobs on the platform when the site was launched last week. Among other employment opportunities, the website will list jobs in the logistics, health care, and grocery areas. https://onwardca.org/  

  • Release of Unemployment Guidance for Independent Contractors:  The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20, which provides guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, are eligible for PUA benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020. 

  • Release of Guidance for Supplemental Unemployment Insurance Payments:   The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Guidance Letter (UIPL) 15-20, which provides guidance to states for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Under FPUC, states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2104 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020. 

  • Business Development Companies Granted Regulatory Relief:  The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is providing temporary, conditional relief for business development companies (BDCs) to enable them to make additional investments in small and medium-sized businesses, including those with operations affected by COVID-19.  BDCs were created to provide capital to smaller domestic operating companies that otherwise may not be able to readily access the capital markets.  This relief is subject to investor protection conditions, including specific requirements for obtaining an independent evaluation of the issuances’ terms and approval by a majority of a BDC’s independent board members.  https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-84

  • High-Impact Manufacturing Project Funding:  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) opened a funding opportunity for rapid, high-impact projects that support the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using funds appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, NIST will award these grants through the NIST Manufacturing USA National Emergency Assistance Program with no requirements for cost matching. Learn more: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2020/03/nist-funding-manufacturing-institutes-support-pandemic-response

  • Youth Apprenticeship Funding:  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) today announced the availability of $42.5 million in Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants to support the enrollment of in-school or out-of-school youth apprentices (ages 16-24) into new or existing Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs).  According to the announcement, these funds will be awarded to the lead entity of a youth apprenticeship partnership that seeks to partner with business and industry to develop new RAPs or expand existing RAPs. Through this grant program, the partnership will directly engage educational entities, including traditional, alternative and non-traditional schools, as well as programs that serve out-of-school youth, school boards, workforce boards, employers, workforce partners and other apprenticeship intermediaries, to develop comprehensive approaches to establishing new apprenticeship models for youth or expanding existing apprenticeship programs for youth. 

  • Update on Rural Programs:  USDA Rural Development has updated its resource list of programs serving rural  businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  New and updated information is available about accessing and utilizing Rural Development Loan Guaranteed Loan Programs for businesses, housing, community facilities, energy, and wastewater.  In the coming weeks Rural Development will make an announcement about the $25 million it received from the CARES Act for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program. USDA will make a separate announcement in coming weeks when these funds are available. 

  • Veteran COVID-19 Resources:  The US Department of Veterans is supporting the web platform, Heroes Linked, to provide professional development resources for Veterans, military spouses, Gold Star family members, and transitioning service members.  Among other services, enrolled participants are able to connect with mentors and advisors who connect them with resume advice, networking tips, and assistance with finding Veteran-friendly jobs.  Other services include assistance with medical accommodation in the workplace and post-military security clearance.  https://heroeslinked.org/about/

  • Wells Fargo Authorized for PPP:  The Federal Reserve Board announced that it will temporarily and narrowly modify the growth restriction on Wells Fargo so that it can provide additional support to small businesses. The change will only allow the firm to make additional small business loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Federal Reserve's forthcoming Main Street Lending Program.  According to the release:  “The Board will require benefits from the PPP and the Main Street Lending Program to be transferred to the U.S. Treasury or to non-profit organizations approved by the Federal Reserve that support small businesses. The change will be in place as long as the facilities are active.  The Board's growth restriction was implemented because of widespread compliance and operational breakdowns that resulted in harm to consumers and because the company's activities were ineffectively overseen by its board of directors. The growth restriction does not prevent the firm from engaging in any type of activity, including the PPP, the Main Street Lending Program, or accepting customer deposits. Rather, it provides an overall cap on the size of the firm's balance sheet. The change today provides additional support to small businesses hurt by the economic effects of the coronavirus by allowing activities from the PPP and the Main Street Lending Program to not count against the cap.”  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/enforcement20200408a.htm

  • Federal Waiver Allows Funding for Online Learning:  The U.S. Department of Education is accepting waiver requests from states to repurpose existing federal funding to pay for new technology and teacher training associated with online learning.  The CARES Act allocates approximately $31 billion for schools and universities and also provides schools with the flexibility to redirect existing funds they may have received through other programs in order to “move resources to areas of highest need during the national emergency,” according to the education agency.  https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-education-betsy-devos-authorizes-new-funding-flexibilities-support-continued-learning-during-covid-19-national-emergency

  • EDD Employer Services (Partial Claims / Work Sharing

    • Partial Claims: For employees whose employers want to keep them when there is lack of work. The employer certifies that the employee is expected to return to work and gives them a form to file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim.  Information available in English and Spanish:  https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/Partial_Claims.htm

    • Work Sharing Program: Businesses impacted by COVID-19 may be able to avoid layoffs by participating in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program. This program allows a business to retain workers at reduced hours and wages and having UI benefits partially off-set lost wages.  Workers’ hours and wages can be reduced no more that 60 percent in order for the business to participate in this program. Information available in English and Spanish:    https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/Work_Sharing_Program.htm

    • Employment Changes to Business: Employers are required to report any change in their business status, including when a business no longer has employees but remains open, when a business closes, or when an employer re-opens their Employer Payroll Tax Account.  Information available in English and Spanish: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Taxes/Changes_to_Your_Business.htm

  • Medical-Grade Masks:  Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will soon begin receiving shipments of 200 million medical-grade masks per month.  Production of the masks will be provided through a consortia of nonprofits and a manufacture in California.  Executive Order: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/4.7.20-EO-N-46-20.pdf 

NEW TOOLS FOR APPLYING FOR PROGRAMS

  • CARES Act SBA Loans FAQ:  Nav.com is a free application designed to help business owners learn about and make decisions related to various credit options.  Nav.com supports the small business borrower's bill of rights. CAMEO recommends this site for its new FAQ on the various CARES Act funded SBA Loan options.  https://www.nav.com/cares-act-sba-loan-calculator/

ASSESSMENTS OF COVID-19 PROGRAMS

OTHER ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Update on the Port of Los Angeles:  Maintaining national and global supply chains are an essential economic activity.  The Port of Los Angeles sends the following update.

    • 15 ships in port today: 8 container, 3 liquid bulk, 1 dry bulk, 2 cruise and USNS Mercy.

    • Terminal operations are normal – no labor or operational issues.

    • Two cruise ships are in port today to take on stores (no guests).

    • April 5 ports throughout the Americas recognized Western Hemisphere Ports Day. This year’s theme is “On the Front Lines,” recognizing the role that seaports play in the COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as supply chain continuity and long-term economic stability. We at the Port of Los Angeles are proud to play a vital role in these efforts. Below is a link to a brief video that we shared across our media platforms https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=35Lfzfsoamk

  • Worker Protections:  The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Acts of retaliation can include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion, or reductions in pay or hours.  Workers have the right to file a whistleblower complaint online with OSHA (or 1-800-321-OSHA). 

  • Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs:  The U.S. Department of Labor today published a final rule that establishes a system for advancing the development of high-quality, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).  IRAPs are high-quality apprenticeship programs, recognized as such by a third-party entity under standards established by the department in the new rule.  An IRAP is developed or operated by entities such as trade and industry groups, corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, unions, and joint labor-management organizations. Final Rule:  Third-party entities interested in evaluating and recognizing high-quality IRAPs consistent with the department’s standards should follow the process outlined in the final rule to become Standards Recognition Entities.  Final Rule:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/11/2020-03605/apprenticeship-programs-labor-standards-for-registration-amendment-of-regulations

  • San Diego Collaboration:  A coalition of philanthropy, government and business partners has joined together to create the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund to rapidly deploy flexible resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego County.  https://www.sdfoundation.org/programs/programs-and-funds/san-diego-covid-19-community-response-fund/

 

Copyright © 2011 State of California