The JEDE COVID-19 Weekend Update - October 16, 2020, Edition


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

  • Federal Disaster Declaration Approved:  Governor Newsom announced that the President has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires across the state and support impacted residents in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.

  • US Deficit Hits a Record High:  The US Treasury Department released information about the US deficit, which is reported to have tripled to $3.1 trillion for the fiscal year ending September 1, 2020.  This is the largest US deficit ever reported and the largest deficit as compared to overall US GDP since 1945.  For comparison, last year’s deficit (federal fiscal year 2019) was $1 trillion.

  • UK Credit Rating Downgraded:  Moody’s reports that it has downgraded the credit rating of the United Kingdom to Aa3, which is equivalent to a double-A minus from S&P Global.  According to Moody analysts, the downgrade is based on the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


[This is a “quick-source” section that includes new and previously provided information.]
  • 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 1(purple) has the most restrictions and Tier 3 (yellow) has the fewest. 

  • 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 became effective October 6, 2020. 

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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 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:  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 ( 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 Clients may also reach their local county social services office by calling 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD) for more information.


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  • 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
Dollar Amount of CA Loans (EIDL) Approved      
CA Home Loans Approved
Dollar Amount of CA Home Loans Approved
Total Dollars Approved
Great Plates Delivered
Meals served as of 10/12
Individuals Served as of 10/12*
Food Providers Contracted as of 10/12*
*Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated twice per week. 



  • 2020 US Census - FINAL:  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 15, approximately 99.9% of individuals in housing units have responded to the US Census, including 99.9% of individuals in California housing units.  These rates do not include individuals with informal housing arrangements. 

    • On October 15, 2020, the US Census stopped accepting census forms. 

    • While the overall return rate was 99.9, Louisiana only had a 99.6% completion rate.

  • September Employment Data for California:  The California Employment Development Department released employment data for September 2020, based on survey data from the week of September 12, 2020.  California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2020 was 11%, down from 11.6% in August 2020.  For comparison, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment for September 2020 was 7.9%.  Approximately 96,000 jobs were added between the August and September California survey periods further showing a slowing in the state’s economic recovery.  Over 2 million people are reported as being unemployed in September 2020.  According to the announcement, California has now regained 38% of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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

  • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California on October 10, 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:

    • 60,324 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed for the week ending October 10, 2020.

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

    • $100 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic.

  • Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization:  The Federal Reserve Bank released September 2020 data on US industrial production (down -0.7%) and capacity utilization (down -0.5%).   According to the announcement, industrial production has recovered more than half of its February to April decline with the September reading down -7.1% from the February pre-pandemic level. Manufacturing output, a subset of total industrial production remained -6.4% below February's level.    

  • Small Business Pulse Survey:  The US Census has released data from its Small Business Pulse Survey held from October 4 through 12, 2020.     Among other findings, the respondents reported the following:

    • 74.8% of US small businesses have experienced a large or moderate negative effect from the COVID-19 pandemic

    • 73.6% of US small businesses have requested financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program since March 13, 2020

    • 44.7% of US small businesses believe more than 6 months of time will pass before their business returns to its normal level of operations

    • 27.6% of US small businesses have experienced domestic supplier delays in the last week

    • 61.7% of US small businesses have experienced no change in operating revenues in the last week

  • 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. 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.


  • COVID-19 Response Funds Available:  The US Economic Development Administration announced it is seeking applications for $25 million in grants under the FY 2020 Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge.  The Sprint Challenge is designed to “support the development, creation, or expansion of programs that accelerate technology-based economic development in pursuit of vibrant, innovative economies and economic growth, and respond to the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”  Applications are due Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST. 

  • Innovation Crossroads Fellows Wanted:  The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Tennessee Valley Authority launched a national call for Innovation Crossroads fellows.  The Innovation Crossroads program is intended to support and mentor entrepreneurial researchers whose early-stage innovations are presently too challenging or technically uncertain to pursue in a venture capital-financed startup. Innovation Crossroads is accepting applications for its fifth cohort of innovators through Saturday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

  • Grants for Bio-Optimized Technologies Awarded:  The US Department of Energy announced over $27 million in funding for 12 projects that will support the development of advanced plastics recycling technologies and new plastics that are recyclable-by-design.  This includes the following California projects:

    • $2 million to the University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, for a project titled Production of High-Performance Biodegradable Polyurethane Products Made from Algae Precursors

    • $2 million to the University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, for a project titled Degradable Biocomposite Thermoplastic Polyurethanes

    • $2.4 million to IBM Almaden Research Center - San Jose, for a project titled Upcycling PET via the VolCat Process

  • Port Funds Awarded:  The US Department of Transportation announced the awarding of more than $220 million in discretionary grant funding to improve port facilities in 15 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program. Of the 18 projects that were awarded grants, eight are located in Opportunity Zones, including 9.8 million to the City of Los Angeles to support the SR 47-Vincent Thomas Bridge & Harbor Boulevard-Front Street Interchange Improvement Project.  Approximately 40% of all US imports and 25% of all US exports move through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.   


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  • California Retailers Annual Meeting:  The California Retailers Association is holding its annual meeting on October 23, 2020, beginning at 8:00 am.  The meeting will include the election of the association’s Board of Directors, a legislative and regulatory update, briefing on the November ballot initiatives, and a discussion of member priorities for the next legislative session.

  • 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 4

    • 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. 


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JEDE maintains a list of on-demand webinars on our website.  You can access this list at  Webinars cover a range of topics, including federal disaster programs, marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and accessing international markets.


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