JEDE COVID-19 Midweek Update - October 7, 2020, Edition


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

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Executive Order:  Governor Newsom issued an executive order (N-82-20), which lays a framework for conserving 30% of California’s natural lands and 30% of its coastal areas by 2030. According to the announcement, the executive order will leverage California’s natural and working lands – forests, rangelands, farms, wetlands, coast, deserts and urban greenspaces – in the state’s fight against climate change.  In taking these actions, California joins with 38 foreign countries that have committed protecting 30% of the planet by 2030.

  • Identity Verification Technology and UI Benefits:  The California Employment Development Department launched identity verification technology, which is a new component of the unemployment benefit application process.  The new technology is intended to more efficiently and effectively verify the identity of a claimant at the onset of a claim thus reducing delays associated with the manual review, while also making it more difficult for scammers to enter the application process.  Daily updates are available through EDD’s new:

  • PPP Loan Forgiveness:  According to news reports, the Small Business Administration will be announcing new policies regarding the loan forgiveness provisions under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Multiple accounts are stating the lenders will have the ability to approve loan forgiveness without prior approval from the SBA.  Congress is considering at least one proposal to provide a blanket loan forgiveness approval for PPP loans under $180,000. 

  • Federal Reserve Calls for Fiscal and Monetary Economic Supports:  Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell spoke at the National Association for Business Economics annual meeting on October 6, 2020.  Excerpts from his speech include the following:  

    • Given the condition of the economy, in the early stages of the crisis it seemed plausible that, with a rapid, forceful, and sustained policy response, many sectors of the economy would be able to bounce back strongly once the virus was under control…

    • Widespread economic shutdowns began in March, and in the United States, with many sectors shut down or operating well below capacity, real GDP fell 31% in the second quarter on an annualized basis. Employers slashed payrolls by 22 million, with those on temporary layoff rising by 17 million… 

    • In response, we deployed the full range of tools at our disposal, cutting rates to their effective lower bound; conducting unprecedented quantities of asset purchases; and establishing a range of emergency lending facilities to restore market function and support the flow of credit to households, businesses, and state and local governments... 

    • The burdens of the downturn have not been evenly shared. The initial job losses fell most heavily on lower-wage workers in service industries facing the public—job categories in which minorities and women are overrepresented… 

    • We should continue do what we can to manage downside risks to the outlook. One such risk is that COVID-19 cases might again rise to levels that more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being… 

    • A second risk is that a prolonged slowing in the pace of improvement over time could trigger typical recessionary dynamics, as weakness feeds on weakness. A long period of unnecessarily slow progress could continue to exacerbate existing disparities in our economy… 

    • At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth... 

    • The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods.”

  • Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs:  The US Department of Labor announced Raytheon Technologies as the first Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program. The National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) serves as the Standards Recognition Entity overseeing Raytheon’s program.  Announcement (  Fact Sheet (  FAQ (

  • Refunds from Health Insurers:  California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice to California health insurance and specialized health insurance companies.  The notice encouraged insurers to provide refunds to their policy and certificate holders reflecting the substantially lower utilization of medical care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting “stay-at-home” orders.  The announcement notes that months’ long deferral of medical care and treatment for ailments unrelated to COVID-19 has resulted in record net profits.

  • 2020 California Steward Leader Awards:  California Forward announced that nominations are being accepted 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.  Submissions are due by October 31.

  • Credit Builder Loan Toolkit:  The Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) has launched a Credit Builder Toolkit.  CBA is a national nonprofit network dedicated to building the capacity of a diverse and growing network of hundreds of nonprofits across the country.

  • 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.

  • Modification of Federal Prevailing Wage Methodology:  The US Department of Labor issued an Interim Final Rule that modifies the prevailing wage methodology used by the Department in several foreign worker programs, including the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Visa 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 ( This is the state’s four tier reopening plan.  Tier 4 (purple) has the most restrictions and Tier 1 (yellow) has the fewest.

    • Blueprint Updates:   On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, the California Department of Public Health announced changes to county placement within the 4-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Changes listed below and an updated California map provided:

      • Merced, Ventura, and Yuba Counties moved to Red – Substantial Tier

      • Inyo County moved to Orange – Moderate Tier

      • Humboldt, Plumas, Siskiyou, and Trinity moved to Yellow – Minimal Tier

      • Shasta County moved back to Red- Substantial

    • List of Activities Authorized Under Each Tier: 

    • Updated Stay-at Home Order

    • Updated Industry Guidance  This includes updated guidelines for nail salons and playgrounds.

    • Shop Safe Shop Local:  GO-Biz is leading a campaign to remind Californians to shop local and help small businesses prepare for the business realities of COVID-19.  The #ShopSafeShopLocal website highlights free / discounted resources to help small businesses get digital, find e-commerce tools, learn more about industry guidance, locate small business centers, and access PPE.

    • Safely Making Web Platform:  California manufacturers who produce PPE, including face masks and gloves, can advertise their wares on  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 included 450 California manufacturers.  

    • Equity Metric Added to Blueprint for Re-Opening:  The Blueprint for a Safer Economy has been expanded to include a health equity metric.  This information will be used in combination with the county’s case rate and test positivity rates to determine a county's tier.  The purpose of this new metric reflects the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on certain population groups, including rates of hospitalizations and death.  The health equity metric and requirements become effective October 6, 2020. 

  • 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.   Individuals can receive up to $450 per week in benefits for a maximum period of 27 weeks.  Applications can be submitted through this webpage:

  • 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 ( 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.


  • Congressional Testimony on PPP and EIDL Fraud:  The Inspector General of the US Small Business Administration testified before the Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations in the US House of Representatives.  The hearing was titled "Preventing Fraud and Abuse of PPP and EIDL: An Update with the SBA Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.”

  • Analysis of US House of Representatives Stimulus Package:  The US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package on October 1, 2020, House Resolution 8406.  This package was scaled back from the $3.4 billion package passed by the House in May 2020 in House Resolution 6800, and more than double the size of the last official Senate Republican proposal of $1 billion.  According to an analysis prepared by the National Association of Counties, the revised House package includes the following:

    • A $600-per-week supplemental pandemic jobless benefit

    • A second round of $1,200 direct payments to most individuals

    • Scales back the aid package to state and local governments to $436 billion, including $89.5 billion to counties

    • Provides retroactive changes to increase the flexibility of the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the CARES Act, including expanding the use of those funds to cover lost, delayed or decreased revenue stemming from the COVID public health emergency and extending the date of expenditure for CARES funds to December 31, 2021

    • Re-capitalizes the Paycheck Protection Program: 25% (up to $15 billion) to community lenders

    • Calls on the SBA to reduce the interest rate on the EIDL, defer payments for up to 4 years, and use discretion in applying underwriting requirements on loans to the hardest hit small businesses

    • $50 billion in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, most likely through EIDL Cash Advance program

    • Establishing a new $15 billion state and local grant program that would be provided through a network of community-based partners


  • Analysis of Zero-Emission Car Sales Executive Order:  CALED has released a report detailing the multiple elements of Governor Newsom’s executive order limiting new vehicles sales in California after 2035 to be zero-emission.

  • Increasing Community College Transfers:  The California Public Policy Institute released a report, Increasing Community College Transfers: Progress and Barriers  (report) and (video blog)  Key findings from the report include:

    • A large gap exists between the number of students who hope to transfer and those who do: 19% of students with a stated transfer goal do so within four years; 28% do so within six years.

    • Transfer rates are higher among students who successfully complete 12 units and take any English or math course within their first three years: 26% transfer within four years and 39% within six.

    • Many students transfer without completing a full lower-division course load. Slightly over half of students who transfer earn enough transferable units that would grant them junior status.

    • Equity gaps are a big concern. While Latino students represent 51% of students who declare a degree/transfer goal, they represent 35% of those who transfer within four years; African American students represent 7% and 5%, respectively.

    • Transfer rates are higher for students who successfully complete gateway transfer-level math (51% within four years) or accumulate 30 or more transferable units (73%) in their first year, and for those who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer (50%).

    • Recent reforms have made it possible for more students to successfully complete gateway math and English courses in their first year.

  • Women’s Well-Being Index:  The California Budget and Policy Center released a Women’s Well-Being Index, which provides a breakdown of women’s well-being statewide and by all 58 counties, plus information by race and ethnicity.  The Women’s Well-Being Index covers a range of issues, including health, personal safety, employment and earnings, economic security, and political empowerment.

  • CA Completing 2020 US Census:  The US Census Bureau maintains a website displaying information on each state’s progress in completing the 2020 Census.  According to the website, as of October 6, 99.9% of all California households have submitted census forms.  Approximately 30.6% of those households reported after being canvased by official census takers.  California is one of 33 states and territories reporting 99.9% completion rates.  These rates do not include individuals with informal housing arrangements.   The 2020 Census concluded data collection operations on October 5, 2020. 

  • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California on October 1, 2020.   EDD stopped accepting new claims between September 20 to 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:

    • 137,016 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed for the week ending September 19, 2020.

    • 11 million initial and extension unemployment benefit claims have been filed with EDD between March 14 and September 19, 2020.

    • $93.8 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic, including the back-logged claims processed during the reset period.

  • National Unemployment Data:  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released national unemployment figures for September 2020, showing total US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9%.  These numbers reflect 13.6 million unemployed people in the US with a labor participation rate of 61.7%.  While moving in a positive direction, economists note that the rate of re-employment has slowed considerably this month as compared to the 1.4 million month over gain in additional jobs between July and August 2020.  The labor force participation rate continued to decrease in September to 61% and is 2.0% lower than in February 2020.

  • State Unemployment DataCalifornia 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%.   State-level data for September 2020 will be available on or after October 15.


  • California Community Reinvestment Grants Available:  The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced that the California Community Reinvestment Grants program application for Fiscal Year 2020-21 is now available via a link at  A pre-recorded technical assistance/program overview webinar, the California Community Reinvestment Grants Online Application Portal User Guide, and the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Grant Solicitation are also available at  The application process is divided into two phases, and Phase 1 applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, November 2, 2020.

  • Economic Mobility Corps Grants Available:  The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) and AmeriCorps announced the availability of $1.9 million in grants to support the Economic Mobility Corps.  The Economic Mobility Corps is a joint initiative of the two organizations that place full-time national service members in Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to enhance their capacity to provide financial literacy, financial planning, budgeting, saving, and other financial counseling activities. Economic Mobility Corps members receive training on the principles of financial counseling and financial literacy and assist CDFIs in promoting access to capital and credit in distressed and underserved areas.

  • Dislocated Worker Grants:  The US Department of Labor announced the awarding of 15 additional Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) totaling $118,034,389 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the coronavirus public health emergency. This additional funding is being provided using the Dislocated Worker Grant National Reserve Funds. California Department of Employment Development received $847,750.

  • CDFI Fund Awards $204.1 Million:  The US Department of the Treasury announced the awarding of $204.1 million to 397 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) under its CDFI Fund Program.  The awards are intended to support CDFIs as they increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities across the nation. 

    • General CDFI Program:  Of the $127 million awarded through the general program, funding went to 207 loan funds, 108 credit unions, 36 banks/holding companies, and 6 venture capital funds.  Over 60 California applicants received awards, including CAMEO, California Capital, AmPac Tri-State CDC, California Community Economic Development Association, Clearinghouse CDFI, Genesis LA Economic Growth Corporation, Opportunity Fund, REDF Impact Investing Fund, and Working Solutions CDFI.

    • Native American CDFI Assistance Program:  $12.5 million in financial assistance was awarded to 20 CDFIs headquartered in 13 states.  An additional $2.0 million was awarded in technical assistance grants to 20 CDFIs headquartered in 14 states to provide technical assistance.  None of the CFDIs receiving funds are headquartered in California.



Dr. Alma Salazar passed.  Below is a thoughtful notice published by the California Edge Coalition.

  • The California EDGE Coalition Board and staff are heartbroken over the loss of our amazing Board Vice President, Dr. Alma Salazar. Alma was a fighter and a bright light to everyone who knew her. She never stopped showing up for the cause, lending her fighting spirit and expertise everywhere she could, even while facing her own tremendous struggle with cancer.  

Alma has been a guiding force on the EDGE Coalition Board for many years, most recently serving on the Executive Committee and as Vice President of the Board. She brought her deep insight, courageous voice and commitment to equity and social justice to all she undertook. Her unwavering focus on the urgent need for leaders across the public and private sectors to come together to make a difference challenged us to aim higher and achieve more.

As many know, Alma was a powerhouse across a variety of leadership roles including her longtime work at UNITE-LA, most recently as Executive Vice President, and her service on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the National Skills Coalition Board of Directors, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights’ Board of Directors, as well as the CA EDGE Coalition Board. Her passion and commitment to fighting for equity and economic mobility for all moved California and the nation closer to shared prosperity. For this, and for so much more, we will forever be grateful to Alma.

In accordance with her family’s wishes and the work to which she dedicated her career, Unite-LA is establishing a scholarship in her name. For those wishing to join in honoring Alma, please reach out to Natalie Pitman, UNITE-LA's Director of Operations and Strategy, at, or feel free to send checks with a note indicating, Alma Salazar Scholarship, to UNITE-LA, 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1750, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

All of us here at EDGE send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Alma’s family. Alma, we will miss you.

With gratitude, love and utmost respect,

The California EDGE Coalition Family



Wildfire - SBA Disaster Assistance
CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 10/01)
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 10/01)
CA Home Loans Approved (as of 10/06)
Dollar Amount of CA Home Loans Approved (as of 10/06)
Total Dollars Approved (as of 10/06)
COVID - SBA Disaster Assistance
CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 8/15)
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved (as of 8/15)
CA Loan Advances (EIDL) Approved (as of 7/15)
Dollar Amount of CA Loan Advances (EIDL) Approved (as of 7/15)
Payment Protection Plan (as of 8/8)
Payment Protection Plan Approved (total) (as of 7/31)
Great Plates Delivered
Meals served as of 10/05
Individuals Served This Week as of 10/05*
Food Providers Contracted as of 10/05*
*Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated twice per week. 





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