JEDE COVID-19 Weekend Update - September 18, 2020 Edition

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    • Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) issued the following statement:  “We have lost a major force of our time. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a tireless advocate for justice, a brilliant legal mind, and an outstanding role model for generations of people. Like millions of Americans, I join Justice Ginsburg’s family in mourning her devastating loss, and honoring her legacy of feminism, equality, and progress.”

    • Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement

      • “Justice Ginsburg devoted her extraordinary life and intellect to making the words of our nation’s founding documents more true. Throughout her historic legal career, her contributions as a jurist to the cause of equality for women and men were unmatched. Justice Ginsburg fought tirelessly for the rights of women at work, at school and in the life of our nation. She proved over and over again that sex-based discrimination harmed not just women, but men and families, and that reckoning with this inequality was required for our nation to live out its promise.

      • “In moving our nation forward, she inspired millions among us, including so many women and girls, to reach higher, dream bigger and dissent more passionately. Though this loss is incalculable, her legacy will live on in the fairer, more just society that she bravely ushered in and that we must, to honor her, safeguard. Our thoughts and prayers are with her colleagues, her family and all Americans in mourning.” 

    • The US Securities and Exchange Commission:  “We join the nation in mourning the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg's powerful intellect and determination shaped decisions that had meaningful impacts for all Americans, including our nation's investors. She inspired many, and her trailblazing career will serve as a model of public service and dedication to our country for generations to come.”

  • California Fire Update:  The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services released this info graphic update regarding the California Fire situation.

  •  Update on Federal Fire Assistance:  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of assistance for residents and agricultural producers affected by recent wildfires.  As of September 16, 2020, the USDA reports that wildfires have burned nearly 6.9 million acres across 11 states, including California. More than 31,000 personnel from the local, state and federal levels are working to contain 61 large fires.  The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved California’s waiver request to allow for the purchase of hot foods with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in select counties impacted by the fires through September 23, 2020.  On September 3, 2020, FNS also approved California’s request to issue automatic mass replacements of SNAP benefits to impacted households. This waiver allows households in certain counties and zip codes to receive replacement of 50% of their August SNAP benefits as a result of wildfires and power outages that began on August 17, 2020. The California Department of Social Services is the contact.  https://www.fns.usda.gov/news-item/usda-037420   The USDA Rural Development (https://www.rd.usda.gov/) and the USDA Farm Services (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/emergency-farm-loans/index) have also activated emergency response programs to address the need of farmers, ranchers, and rural residents impacted by the fires.

  • POW/MIA Recognition Day:  Governor Newsom issued a proclamation declaring September 18, 2020, as POW/MIA Recognition Day in the State of California.  According to the announcement, today, more than 81,000 Americans remain unaccounted for, including 72,582 from World War II; 7,578 from the Korean War; 1,586 from the Vietnam War; 126 from the Cold War; and six from conflicts since 1991. Three-quarters of the losses are from conflicts in Asia-Pacific, with 41,000 presumed lost at sea (6,397 Californians).  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/09/18/governor-newsom-issues-proclamation-declaring-pow-mia-recognition-day-9-18-20/

  • US Business Roundtable Supports a Price on Carbon:  The US Business Roundtable released new principles and policies to address climate change, including the use of a market-based strategy that includes a price on carbon where feasible and effective. Such a strategy would incentivize the development and deployment of breakthrough technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  https://www.businessroundtable.org/business-roundtable-market-based-solutions-best-approach-to-combat-climate-change

GOOD NEWS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FRIENDS

FEDERAL AND STATE LEGISLATION RELATED TO COVID-19, MARCHES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

  • Expanded EITC:  Governor Newsom signed AB 1876 (Assembly Budget Committee), which expands access to the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credits to include ITIN filers who are otherwise eligible.  According to the announcement, the bill will make 600,000 more Californians, including 200,000 children, eligible for funding. 

  • Unpaid Protected Leave from Work:  Governor Newsom signed SB 1383 (Jackson), which expands the California Family Rights Act to allow employees to use unpaid job protected leave to care for a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition.  According to the announcement, this bill aligns the employer size threshold (five or more employees) under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) with the employer size threshold in Pregnancy Disability Leave, a program that has been in place since 1978.

  • Workers’ Compensation:  Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 (Hill), which expands access to workers’ compensation for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 by creating a rebuttable presumption.  According to the announcement, the bill will support workers in obtaining necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits.

  • Workplace Notification of COVID-19 Infections:  Governor Newsom signed AB 685 (Reyes), which requires timely notification to employees and local and state public health officials of COVID-19 cases at workplaces. According to the announcement, this notification will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives.

DATA, SURVEYS, AND ANALYSES

  • State Unemployment Benefit Numbers Released:  EDD released unemployment insurance data for California for the week ending September 12.  https://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/news-20-47.pdf Unemployment Benefits include Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU).  Among other information, the weekly Unemployment Benefits report stated:

    • 191,852 Unemployment Benefit claims were filed for the week ending September 12.

    • Between March 14 and September 12, EDD received 9.8 million Unemployment Benefit claims.

    • $86 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic.

  • National Unemployment Data Released:  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released national unemployment figures for August 2020, showing total US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%.  These numbers reflect 13.6 million unemployed people in the US with a labor participation rate of 61.7%.  The largest increase in employment was in the government sector, which accounted for one-fourth of the over-the-month gain in total nonfarm employment.  Among other data, August shows a significant drop in the number of individuals temporarily laid off (decrease of 3.1 million for a total of 6.2 million).  However, the number of individuals who permanently lost jobs increased by 534,000 for a total of 3.4 million.  For comparison, the number of individuals who have permanently lost jobs has risen by 2.1 million since February 2020.  California unemployment for August 2020 was 11.4%, down 2.1% from July 2020.  For yearly comparison, in August 2019, California unemployment was reported as 3.9%.   National data for September 2020 will be released Friday, October 2, 2020, and state-level data for September 2020 will be available on or after October 15.

  • Analysis of CA Monthly Employment Report:  Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside Business School Center for Forecasting and Development released their monthly employment report, which links econometric predictions to data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the California Employment Development Department.  The Employment Report uses seasonally adjusted numbers to identify trends and insights within data.  https://beaconecon.com/publications/beacon-employment-report/

  • Small Business Pulse Survey:  The US Census Bureau released results from its weekly (September 6 through September 12) survey of small businesses.  https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/business-pulse-phase-2-data-sept17.html  Among other findings, the US Census reported:   

    • 44.5% of US small business respondents experienced a moderate negative effect from the COVID-19 pandemic

    • 43.9% of US small business respondents believe more than 6 months of time will pass before their business returns to its normal level of operations

    • 55.0% of US small business respondents did not furlough or lay off any paid employees after March 13, 2020

    • 60.5% of US small business respondents experienced no change in operating revenues in the last week

    • 48.2% of US retail trade businesses have experienced domestic supplier delays in the last week

    • 82.1% of small business respondents in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Stat Area received financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program

GRANTS

  • Funding Available to Address Structural Racism in Health Policies: The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health announced the availability of funding to support state and local collaborative teams in implementing a methodological framework and strategies for assessing and addressing structural racism in health policies, developed through a complementary policy academy initiative.  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328672  Details on how to apply for funding is expected to be available December 2020 with applications due in March 2021.

  • USDA Grants Available to Ag Producers:  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.  According to the announcement, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020, and cover row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities.  Funding for the program will be made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act.  Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices.  https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

  • Workforce Information Grants Awarded:  The US Department of Labor awarded $32,000,000 in Workforce Information Grants to States to states and territories to support the development, management and delivery of workforce and labor market information.  According to the announcement, these annual grants are designed to support state workforce agencies in developing and disseminating essential state and local workforce and labor market information to job seekers, employers, educators, economic development officials and for other uses, such as state and local employment projections.   https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200915-2

  • Federal BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants Awarded:  The US Department of Transportation announced the awarding of $1 billion to 70 projects in 44 states under its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.  According to the announcements, 2020 BUILD Transportation grants are competitively awarded for planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and intermodal transportation.  California received $36 million for two projects which were located in San Joaquin and Tulare Counties, respectively. https://www.transportation.gov/policy-initiatives/build/build-2020-fact-sheets

  • WOTC Facilitation Grants Awarded:  The US Department of Labor announced the awarding of $2.5 million in grants to 12 states through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WPOTC).  The WOTC incentivizes workplace diversity by providing a tax credit to employers who hire individuals who historically face impediments to employment.  According to the announcement, these grant awards are designed to help state workforce agencies streamline their business processes and systems to reduce the processing backlog, including the number of accumulated certification requests that employers have submitted and await processing.  California received $325,000.  https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200915-1

  • OSHA Grants Awarded to States:  The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) awarded $11.2 million in Susan Harwood federal safety and health training grants to 90 nonprofit organizations nationwide. According to the announcement, the grants will provide education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize serious workplace hazards, including the coronavirus, implement injury prevention measures and understand their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.   https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/FY_2020_Grant_Recipients_Abstracts.pdf  Grants to California nonprofit organizations include:

    • Asian Health Services, Oakland, received $136,288

    • Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Oakland, received $55,000

    • Community Services & Employment Training, Visalia, received $160,000

    • University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, received $160,000

    • University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, received $159,737

    • Shasta Builders Exchange, Redding, received $79,827

    • Kern Medical Center Foundation, Bakersfield, received $158,562

    • BPSOS Center for Community Advancement, Westminster, received $133,650

    • Kern County Builders Exchange, Bakersfield, received $161,097

    • Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association, San Diego, received $122,000

    • University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, received $133,650

FALL IS CONFERENCE TIME

  • Californians Deserve Credit:  California Competes, the California EDGE Coalition, and the Education Trust–West are launching Californians Deserve Credit on September 29 with a 90-minute town hall.  This new initiative will help individuals obtain “credit for all of their learning—whether it takes place in a classroom, on a computer screen, or anywhere else.”  Registration is free and the convening is virtual.  To register:  https://edtrust.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtd-2trDMuEtXgQgD2-d1yrmgYQCQrJBLG?mc_cid=d37673d064&mc_eid=89807171fd   

  • 2020 Space and Cybersecurity Symposium:  The California State University at San Luis Obispo is hosting the 2020 Space and Cybersecurity Symposium from October 5 to 8, 2020https://calpoly.events.cube365.net/media-hub/scs2020  The Space and Cybersecurity Symposium will feature keynote interviews and panel sessions with leaders from the US Space Force, industry, and higher education.  Among other important issues, speakers will be discussing workforce development, with Deputy Secretary Stewart Knox of the Labor Agency as one of the keynote speakers.  Registration is free and the convening is virtual.

  • 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

UPDATES ON COVID-19 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY PROGRAMS

 

  • Blueprint for a Safer Economy:  Businesses can check out the status of the reopening of their county through the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/). This is the state’s four tier reopening plan.  Tier 4 (purple) has the most restrictions and Tier 1 (yellow) has the fewest. 

  • Safely Making Web Platform:  California manufacturers who produce PPE, including face masks and gloves, can advertise their wares on https://www.safelymakingca.org/.  The website is a joint effort by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) and the State of California.  A manufacturer does not have to be a member of CMTA to participate.  To apply, manufacturers should complete this form.  At his September 9, 2020, press conference, Governor Newsom announced that the web platform currently includes 450 California manufacturers. 

  • Unemployment Assistance to 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 that began in several California counties on August 14, 2020.  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

  • 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.

  • COVID-19 Main Street Lending Program

  • COVID-19 PPP Aggregate-Level Data Update:  The US Small Business Administration released program utilization information for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  As of August 8, 5.2 million PPP loans have been approved in the US for a total of $525 billion.  In California, 623,360 PPP loans have been approved for a total of $68.6 billion.  This program is closed to new applicants.

  • COVID-19 EIDL Aggregate-Level Data Update:  The US Small Business Administration released program utilization information for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  As of September 14, 3.5 million EIDL loans have been approved in the US for a total of $190 billion.  In California, 546,783 EIDL loans have been approved for a total of $33.9 billion.  Link to a PowerPoint displaying data for loan activity through 09/14/2020:  https://www.sba.gov/document/report-covid-19-eidl-loans-report-9-14-20     

  • SBA Weekly Lending Reports:  The US Small Business Administration (SBA) released its weekly lending report for the week ending September 11, 2020.   Information includes race, ethnicity, gender, and veteran participation in the SBA 7(a), 504, and Advantage Loan Programs.  https://www.sba.gov/document/report-2020-weekly-lending-reports

  • CA Small Business Loans:  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 (as of 9/16)
5
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 9/16)
$350,400
CA Home Loans Approved (as of 9/16)
45
Dollar Amount of CA Home Loans Approved (as of 9/16)
$5,021,800
Total Dollars Approved (as of 9/16)
$5,372,200

 

COVID - SBA Disaster Assistance
CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 8/15)
533,876
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 8/15)
$33,022,133,987
CA Loan Advances (EIDL) Approved (as of 7/15)
809,792
Dollar Amount of CA Loan Advances (EIDL) Approved (as of 7/15)
$2,666,662,000
Payment Protection Plan (as of 8/8)
5,212,128
Payment Protection Plan Approved (total) (as of 7/31)
$525,012,201,124
Great Plates Delivered
Meals served as of 9/15
9,838,153
Individuals Served This Week as of 9/15*
46,902
Food Providers Contracted as of 9/15*
751
*Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated twice per week. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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