JEDE COVID-19 Weekend Update - October 23, 2020

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

  • COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup:  Governor Newsom announced the creation of a COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup and named a group of nationally acclaimed California physician scientists with expertise in immunization and public health as members.  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/10/19/governor-newsom-names-scientific-safety-review-workgroup-to-advise-state-on-covid-19-vaccines/ The new workgroup will be tasked with reviewing the safety and efficacy of any vaccine that receives FDA approval for distribution. 

  • Federal Stimulus Still Stalled:  The US Senate failed to pass a $500 billion COVID-19 stimulus package on Wednesday. Among other provisions, the bill would have given a federal boost to weekly unemployment benefits, sent $100 billion to schools, and allocated funding for testing and vaccine development.  On Tuesday, the US Senate had passed a bill that would have reauthorized another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding.  The US House of Representatives have previously proposed a $1.8 trillion package, a compromise from their initial $2.2 trillion package.

  • UK FDI Declines:  Nauro Campos and Randolph Bruno from the University College London (UCL), and Randolph Bruno from the London School of Economics (LSE) released an update to their pre-referendum assessment of Brexit’s impact on foreign investments.  In this October 2020 estimate, the researchers report a -37% decrease as compared to the 2016 estimate of 25%.   According to a news report from fDi, the three researchers attribute the change to “the deal currently being negotiated is much thinner than previous thought and the costs in terms of foregone FDI have gone up as a result”.  Historically, the UK has been the top receiver of foreign investment in the European Union.  https://www.fdiintelligence.com/article/78979?utm_campaign=fDi%20Digest%2021.10.20&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_content=&utm_medium=email

  • Implicit Bias Letter Being Circulated:  CAMEO reports that they are circulating a letter to the US Congress expressing their opposition to a Presidential Executive Order #13950.  According to CAMEO, the executive order is “more restrictive than just banning the use of federal dollars for diversity training. The executive order conflicts with state laws and provides a path for needless government investigations into organizations' private practices.”  Please contact Heidi Pickman (hpickman@cameonetwork.org) if you would like your organization to sign the letter.  The deadline is Friday, October 23, 2020.

  • Digital Pop-Up Festival and E-Commerce Bootcamps:  The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (OSBA) today announced a new partnership with the Eva Longoria Foundation, Stockton Strong/Goodstock Productions, and State-supported Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).  The partnership will host a December Digital Pop-Up Festival in Central California and is a component of the OSBA’s ongoing “Get Digital CA!” initiative, which promotes e-commerce adoption by small business owners and promotes online holiday shopping at small businesses.  During the Digital Pop-Up Festival, small businesses will use social media channels to showcase live videos to tell their stories, sell products and services, and create new customer experiences.  In preparation for the holiday shopping season, the SBDCs will lead digital training bootcamps to present e-commerce and digital marketing techniques.  Small businesses can register for the digital bootcamps at https://digital-bootcamp-ca.eventbrite.com.  Sign-up for updates on “Get Digital CA!” initiative at:  https://business.ca.gov/advantages/small-business-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/get-digital-ca/.

  • Holiday Gift Guides

    • Small Business Majority announced they will be launching a Holiday Gift Guide in time for Small Business Saturday. Inclusion in the Holiday Gift Guide is free to qualifying small businesses. Approved applicants will be featured on Small Business Majority’s website from November 16, 2020 - January 1, 2021 and will also receive a toolkit to help participating small businesses in sharing the Holiday Gift Guide with their customers. https://go.smallbusinessmajority.org/l/229072/2020-10-13/9w1wn  In order to be considered, a small business must:  apply by November 9, 2020; have less than 100 employees; be located in the US; have a website where people can find information about your products or services; and have a “giftable” product or service, including gift cards.

    • The Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce announced that Spectrum Reach is promoting a nationwide campaign to encourage consumers to support local businesses during the upcoming holiday season.  Spectrum Reach with be creating an interactive online directory to help people identify local businesses.  Participation is free.  https://www.rebuildmytown.com/supportlocal/socal-inland?utm_source=inland_empire_business_journal&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_content=mosaic_phase1_socal_email&utm_campaign=80002020q4locmosaicp1 According to the announcement, Spectrum Reach will support this campaign with more than $1M in advertising nationwide.

  • Border with Mexico to Remain Closed:  The Greater San Diego Chamber is reporting an additional 30-day extension to the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel across the shared ports of entry between Canada, the US, and Mexico.  The new sunset date to the restrictions is November 21, 2020.

  • Economic Recovery by Supporting Small Businesses:  Eleven leaders in small business finance and development have released a report, Big Ideas for Small Business. https://www.bigideasforsmallbusiness.org/report  According to the announcement, the report is intended to provide a five-step roadmap for rebuilding the small business sector, reviving entrepreneurship, and closing the racial wealth gap.  Two Californians are among the report writers, including Luz Urrutia, CEO of Accion Opportunity Fund, and Bulbul Gupta, President & CEO of Pacific Community Ventures.

  • Business Closure Web Page:  The federal Internal Revenue Service announced the launching of a redesigned web page, Closing a Business, which identifies the steps a business owner must take when closing a businesses, including the identification of forms, deadlines, and reporting and filing deadlines.  https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/closing-a-business

  • New Round of Awards for Farmers to Families Food Box Program: The US Department of Agriculture announced it has authorized $500 million for a fourth round of purchases for its Farmers to Families Food Box Program.  Solicitations for the fourth round will be awarded to existing contract holders with the award contracts to be finalized by October 30, 2020, to cover deliveries of food boxes from November 1 through December 31, 2020.  https://www.fns.usda.gov/news-item/usda-042920  According to online reports, 8.6 million food boxes were invoiced between September 22 - October 31, 2020.  https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box

CURRENT GUIDANCE ON COVID-19 AND RECOVERY ACTIONS

[This is a “quick-source” section that includes new and previously provided information.]
Great Plates Delivered
Meals served as of 10/16*
13,787,355
Individuals Served as of 10/16*
52,478
Food Providers Contracted as of 10/16*
773
*Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated twice per week. 
 
 
 
 

 

  • Tracking UI Benefits:  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) launched identity verification technology to help address the backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit applications, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  Daily updates are available through EDD’s new:

CURRENT GUIDANCE ON FIRE RESPONSE AND RECOVERY ACTIONS

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  • California Fire Update:  The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services released the update below regarding the California Fire situation.  https://www.fire.ca.gov/daily-wildfire-report/

  • Federal Disaster Assistance:  Federal Disaster Assistance has been approved for individuals impacted by wildfires in the following counties:  Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma. There are three ways to access assistance:

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance for Individuals and Businesses Impacted by Fires:  The Employment Development Department is accepting Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance applications for workers, business owners and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or businesses or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the wildfires.  Qualifying counties include: Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, and Yolo.  https://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/news-20-43.pdf   Individuals can receive up to $450 per week in benefits for a maximum period of 27 weeks.  Applications can be submitted through this webpage:  https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/UI_Online.htm  The deadline for filing for Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits has been extended to November 30, 2020.

  • SBA Fire Disaster Assistance:  The US Small Business Administration has opened a virtual Business Recovery Center and virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center.  The centers are available Mondays – Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and can be accessed through this email (FOCWAssistance@sba.gov) or (916) 735-1500.  These services are only available for the California disaster declaration as a result of the wildfires that began Aug. 14, 2020, and not for COVID-19-related assistance.

  • Disaster CalFresh Funding:  The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced a new disaster program for individuals and families impacted by the wildfires.  According to the announcement, a family of four with a monthly income up to $2,893 per month, after taking disaster-related expenses into consideration, may be eligible to receive up to $646 in food benefits through the Disaster CalFresh Program. 

    • The program is available to individuals who live or work in Lake, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Yolo counties on August 14, 2020 AND at least one member of the household experienced at least one of the following between August 14-September 12 as a direct result of the wildfires:

      • At least one person in the household was not getting regular CalFresh food benefits

      • Money was spent because of the wildfire or related power outage

      • Money was lost from work because of the wildfire

      • Money was spent because of damage to a home or business

    • Households already receiving regular CalFresh food benefits are not eligible to receive Disaster CalFresh food benefits.

    • Information is available at www.cdss.ca.gov/disastercalfresh. Clients may also reach their local county social services office by calling 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD) for more information.

  • Free Disaster-related Legal Services for Wildfire Survivors:  Governor Newsom announced a new program to provide free disaster-related legal services for qualifying wildfire survivors in Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.  This program is a partnership between the state, FEMA, and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  To access resources, survivors should call the disaster legal services hotline at (888) 382-3406. Help is available in several languages.  http://www.oesnews.com/free-legal-help-available-for-disaster-survivors/.

  • CA Small Business Loans Addressing the Wildfires:  The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services received updates from the US Small Business Administration on small businesses that are utilizing the two federal disaster loan programs, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program (closed to new applicants).

Wildfire - SBA Disaster Assistance
CA Loans (EIDL) Approved
22
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved      
$2,347,200
CA Home Loans Approved
233
Dollar Amount of CA Home Loans Approved
$27,075,700
Total Dollars Approved
$29,422,900

DATA, SURVEYS, AND ANALYSES

  • The Beige Book:  The Federal Reserve Bank has released the Beige Book, a quarterly report from the Federal Reserve System about current US economic conditions organized through the regional jurisdictions of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/BeigeBook_20201021.pdf California is part of the 12th Federal Reserve District, headquartered in San Francisco.  Below is a high level summary from the October 2020 report:  “Economic activity in the Twelfth District expanded moderately. Employment levels increased modestly, while price inflation rose marginally. Sales of retail goods rose noticeably, while conditions in the consumer and business services sectors improved somewhat. Manufacturing expanded moderately, and conditions in the agriculture sector improved modestly. Residential real estate activity increased further, while the commercial market was broadly unchanged. Lending picked up at a fair pace.”

  • Uncertainty of Federal Stimulus:  Small Business Majority released a survey that found that without additional funding, 35% of US small businesses will not survive past the next three months.  According to the summary, 41% of Black and Latino-owned businesses responding to the survey said that they will not get through the next few months without additional financial support.  These numbers have increased since their last survey, which was released in August 2020 and found that 26% of small business respondents said they wouldn’t survive more than three months, and 16% reported they’ve considered bankruptcy.  https://smallbusinessmajority.org/our-research/survey-more-1-3-small-businesses-won-t-survive-past-next-three-months-without-additional-financial-relief The survey also found that 80% of small business owners (84% for business owners of color) reported that they are struggling to make commercial rent or mortgage payments, which is up from 18%, as reported in the August survey.   

  • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California on October 17, 2020. https://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/news-20-57.pdf   EDD stopped accepting new claims between September 20 and October 4, 2020, in order to address the million+ backlog.  Among other information, the weekly Unemployment Benefits report for the period prior to the shutdown states:

    • 39,987 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed for the week ending October 17, 2020.

    • Over 10 million initial unemployment benefit claims have been filed with EDD between March 14 and October 17, 2020.

    • $105 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic.

  • Business Openings:  The US Census has released data for the week ending October 17 for their The Business Formation Statistics (BFS) series.  https://www.census.gov/econ/bfs/index.html?utm_campaign=20201023mspuls1ccdtanl&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  Business Application Series reflects the number applications of Employer identification Number (EIN) and the Business Formation Series reflects the first instance of payroll liabilities for a corresponding business application. 

    • Business Applications for the week ending October 17, unadjusted, were 81,770 business applications were filed in the US, which is up 43.7% over the prior year.  In California, applications were up 44.4% from the prior year with 8,520 applications filed. 

    • Business Applications for the Third Quarter of 2020 (July-September), adjusted for seasonal variation, were 1,566,373, an increase of 77.4% compared to the second quarter of 2020. 

    • High Propensity Business Applications for the Third Quarter of 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation, were up 77.4% in the US and up 79% is the Western States.  High Propensity Business Applications are applications from firms that meet certain criteria that have been linked to businesses that begin paying a payroll.

  • COVID-19’s Outsized Toll on Minority-Owned Firms:  The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland released a report, An Uphill Battle: COVID-19’s Outsized Toll on Minority-Owned Firmshttps://www.clevelandfed.org/en/newsroom-and-events/publications/community-development-briefs/db-20201008-misera-report.aspx   Among other findings, the report stated:

    • For firms that are still operating, cash balances are a growing concern, with minority-owned firms experiencing a more severe cash crunch than nonminority-owned firms.

    • Minority-owned firms had less financial reserves and lower average revenues prior to the severe economic downturn. 

    • Business sectors with high percentages of minority-owned firms were the same industry sectors most impacted during the COVID-19 recession.

    • Data suggests that minority-owned firms had difficulty in access the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which may have been related to the lack of banking relationships prior to the pandemic.

    • The potential loss of minority-owned firms goes beyond the business and its workers and could have negative consequences to the broader US economy.

  • Checking the Numbers Behind Green Jobs:  State Building and Construction Trades Council of California released a report, Would Green Jobs Offset Those Lost from a Phase-Out of Oil and Gas Productionhttps://cabuildingtrades.org/would-green-jobs-offset-those-lost-from-a-phase-out-of-oil-and-gas-production/  The report provides data and analysis challenging commonly made statements about the quality of green jobs and the potential impact of a phase-out of oil and gas production in California.  Below is an excerpt from the report.

    • Green jobs pay less. Significant pay differentials exist across a range of occupations between the green and O&G industries. We estimate that average pay rates in green jobs, as defined by federal and California agencies, are between 30 percent and 45 percent lower than the average pay rate for oil and gas industry jobs in comparable counties.

    • Many green jobs are in traditional sectors, not novel technologies.  While some green jobs are directly tied to advances in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, the majority are reclassified jobs that have been part of the California economy for decades.

    • Many green jobs would be negatively affected by a phase-out of O&G production.  Given that most green jobs are tied to the general health of the state’s economy, they would be negatively affected by policies phasing out O&G production and mandating a shift to more expensive and less-reliable renewable energy. This is because both policies would depress economic growth in California, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and increase the state’s already high cost of living across California.

    • Green manufacturing would be unlikely to replace O&G production jobs for blue-collar workers. Proponents of a phase-out claim that blue-collar workers forced out of oil and gas production by government action could simply find work in subsidized green manufacturing jobs. However, most renewable equipment is produced outside of California and, more generally, California manufacturing jobs have declined by nearly one-third over the past three decades because of the state’s high costs, taxes and constantly changing regulatory requirements.

  • West Coast Trade Report:  The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association has released its West Coast Trade Report, which includes an analysis of inbound and outbound trade data for container shipyards in August and early September 2020.  https://files.constantcontact.com/3190e792601/61e1ed90-6581-4978-92e2-08b595afbb8e.pdf In addition to port data, the West Coast Trade Report includes Jock O’Connell’s commentary: Asymmetries and Bromides on the Docks.  Also of note is Mr. O’Connell’s June 2020 report, Briefing Paper: Loss of Market Share at U.S. West Coast Ports (https://www.pmsaship.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Briefing-Paper-Loss-of-Market-Share-at-U.S.-West-Coast-Ports.pdf)

  • Supporting Student Parents:  The Public Policy Institute of California released a report, Supporting Student Parents in Community College CalWORKs Programs.  The report is based on an analysis of data from more than 43,000 students who received CalWORKs cash assistance and services from a college CalWORKs program between the school years 2012–13 and 2018–19.  CalWORKs program directors at community colleges were also surveyed.  https://www.ppic.org/publication/supporting-student-parents-in-community-college-calworks-programs/?utm_source=ppic&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=epub Key findings noted in the announcement include: 

    • On average, CalWORKs students enroll for six terms at a community college and receive support services through college CalWORKs programs for four terms. During this time, CalWORKs students complete a substantial number of credits—earning nearly 40 units on average.

    • CalWORKs students have low completion rates. Less than one in four CalWORKs students complete a credential, and far fewer (12%) transfer to a four-year college within three years of entering a college CalWORKs program.

    • About one-third of CalWORKs students pursue career education pathways based on their course-taking. Most of these students enroll in business (33%) and family and consumer sciences (31%) (predominantly early childhood education). Far fewer students enroll in health (15%) or public and protective services (14%) programs—the two career education fields that provide the highest economic returns.

    • College CalWORKs programs offer a wide range of services. While all programs offer a core set of supports like counseling and case management, colleges vary in offering services like transportation and food assistance, child care, tutoring, and laptop loan programs.

    • CalWORKs students do better when they are enrolled in college CalWORKs programs compared to when they are not. Specifically, CalWORKs students are more likely to enroll full-time, successfully complete their coursework, and persist to the next term—all important factors related to college completion—when they are receiving additional services through a college CalWORKs program.

  • Household Pulse:  The US Census Bureau released its Household Pulse survey for the week of September 30 through October 12.  https://www.census.gov/data-tools/demo/hhp/#/ Based on responses to the weekly survey:

    • 32.2% of adult respondents in California (23.6% in US) expect someone in their household to experience a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks

    • 10.6% of adult respondents in California (10.3% in US) lived in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the previous 7 days

    • 23.6% on California respondents (31% in US) report eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either somewhat or very likely

    • 35.6% of adult respondents in California (32.2% in US) live in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic

    • 85.2% of adult respondents (81.8% in US) in households with post-secondary educational plans had those plans cancelled or changed significantly this fall

  • New Infographic on Small Business:  The Small Business Administration released an updated infographic, What is New with Small Business?  https://csuchico.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYld-2orDwoGdX6-1pYxAydY9grad95h6kr  In addition, they released an updated four page FAQ on Small Businesseshttps://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/22094435/Small-Business-FAQ-2020.pdf  These could be used for talking points and presentations.

  • Opportunity Zone Tax Compliance Video:  The federal Internal Revenue Service posted a new Opportunity Zones webinar (https://www.irsvideos.gov/Individual/Resources/TaxCutsAndJobsActTCJAUpdateOpportunityZones), which provides an overview of the tax benefits, proper reporting of investor elections, and COVID-19 disaster relief.

GRANTS

  • Veterans’ Employment-Related Assistance Program:  The Employment Development Department, in coordination with the California Workforce Development Board and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, announced the availability of up to $5 million in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds through the Veterans’ Employment-Related Assistance Program Solicitation for Proposals.  https://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/WDSFP_Workforce_Development_Solicitations_for_Proposals.htm   According to the announcement, the purpose of the grants is to promote the use of regional industry-sector strategies as the framework to help unemployed and underemployed veterans with significant barriers to employment transition from military careers to rewarding civilian employment.  Applications are due by December 8, 2020, before 3 pm. 

FALL IS CONFERENCE TIME 

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  • North State Fall Regional Summit:   The North State Planning and Development Collective at CSU, Chico is hosting their Fall Regional Summit on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.  The event will feature a presentation and discussion on the economic projections for the North State from Dr. Robert Eyler, plus presentations from Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and Ismael D. Herrera, Jr., Director of Regional Stewardship at CA FWD.  https://csuchico.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYld-2orDwoGdX6-1pYxAydY9grad95h6kr

  • California Economic Summit:  California Forward announced the opening of registration for the 2020 California Economic Summit, which is the ninth annual gathering of private, public, and civic leaders dedicated to building an inclusive and sustainable economy.  The event will be 100% virtual with workshops and general sessions scheduled for December 3 and 4https://summit.caeconomy.org/registration

  • DEADLINE SOON - 2020 California Steward Leader Awards:  Nominations are being accepted through October 31 for the 2020 California Steward Leader Awards.  These awards will be presented at this year's California Economic Summit to individuals who have contributed significantly to the alignment of public, private, and civic sector resources toward advancing the triple bottom line of promoting economic, social and environmental progress.  https://summit.caeconomy.org/steward 

COMMEMORATING SMALL BUSINESSES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THIS FALL 

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FREE WEBINARS

JEDE maintains a list of on-demand webinars on our website.  You can access this list at https://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/content/demand-webinars-available-24-7.  Webinars cover a range of topics, including federal disaster programs, marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and accessing international markets.

 

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