JEDE COVID-19 Weekly Update - January 15 Edition


  • Unprecedented Surge in COVID-19 Cases Continues:   Below is the most current CalOES status update.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Day:  Governor Newsom issued a proclamation declaring January 15, 2021, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the State of California.  Many individuals and groups are using this weekend to honor Dr. King through events that support equity and public health.

  • American Rescue Plan and Build Back Better Recovery Plan:  President-Elect Biden released his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion set of actions to combat the economic downturn and the Covid-19 pandemic.  A key component of the American Rescue Plan is to “lift 12 million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half. That’s 5 million children lifted out of poverty.  Our plan would reduce poverty in the Black community by one-third. It would reduce poverty in the Hispanic community by almost forty percent.”  The Build Back Better Recovery Plan will be announced in February. Highlights from the American Rescue Plan include (based on Biden’s speech and news reports):

    • $400 billion to combat the pandemic directly, including funds to accelerate vaccine deployment and to safely reopen most schools within 100 days. The plan envisions funding 100,000 public health workers to engage in vaccine outreach and contact tracing

    • $350 billion would help state and local governments bridge budget shortfalls, including funding to retain essential public workers, including police officers, firefighters, nurses, and educators

    • $2,000 in direct payments to individuals and households, calibrated by income.  The additional amount proposed is $1,400.

    • Extended unemployment insurance

    • $400 per week UI supplement

    • $3 billion for supplemental food programs

    • Extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures

    • Rental assistance for 14 million hard-hit families and tenants

    • Small business assistance, including minority-owned small businesses and women-owned small businesses. Both debt and grants are envisioned

    • Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour

    • Federally mandated paid leave for workers

    • Subsidizes to help families access to affordable child care, including extending tax credits to cover up to $8,000 in annual child care costs

    • Strategies to spur more manufacturing in the USA

    • New investments in Research and Development to support innovation

    • Funding infrastructure to address competitiveness and climate

    • Paying for these new initiatives will be achieved by “closing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas or that allow American companies to pay zero in federal income taxes.”

  • Business Empowerment Training for American Indian and Alaska Native Entrepreneurs:  The American Indian Chamber Education Fund is hosting a free, virtual certificate program to assist tribes, tribal enterprises, and American Indian/Alaska Native businesses in job creation, job retention, and entrepreneurial success.   This is a special 15-part business empowerment training.

    • Deadline to Apply:  Registration is open until January 19 for a new cohort that begins on January 21.

    • Information and Registration:  Linda Sandoval at 541-391-2992 or email her at

  • 2021 Road to Shared Prosperity:  California Forward (CA FWD) released its 2021 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, which outlines priority actions stakeholders recommend to help more Californians prosper.  “The global pandemic and resulting economic downturn have magnified the urgent need to address our state’s most pressing and persistent inequities.”  The 2021 Roadmap is a product of the California Economic Summit, which is produced by CA FWD and the California Stewardship Network.

  • New Interactive Platform for Female Entrepreneurs:  The SBA announced the launch of “Ascent,” an interactive digital platform with resources intended to support women entrepreneurs grow their business.  According to the announcement, most online resources focus on start-ups or mature businesses, while this new platform will focus on the “missing middle”.

  • Potential PPP Fraud:  The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Small Business Administration has issued a report identifying approximately $3.6 billion in PPP loans that went to potentially ineligible recipients.  This OIG investigation was undertaken in collaboration with the US Department of the Treasury Do Not Pay (DNP) Business Center.

  • 2021 Emerging Leaders:  The US Small Business Administration opened the application period for entrepreneurs who are interested in participating in its 2021 Emerging Leaders initiative.  The program targeted small business owners in underserved markets. Recruitment for the 2021 training cycle is open at designated SBA District Offices. Information on eligibility, how to apply, class schedules and locations is available at or by contacting SBA District Offices.

  • Federal Small Business Programs:  Information on the implementation of small business loan programs authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 can be found in the section, STATUS REPORTS ON SMALL BUSINESS LENDING (below).

  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program:  US Department of Agriculture announced additional assistance to farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).  The expanded eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities and changes to the payment schedules reflect, among other things, changes made through the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

  • H-1B Visa Guidance – New Interpretations:  The US Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor released a new interpretation of their regulations and accompanying guidance on the payment of temporary foreign workers admitted under the H-1B visa program as the law requires.  The guidance documents will take effect in 180 days.

  • Amended Rules on H-1B, H-1B1 and C3 Visas:  The US Department of Labor adopted changes an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that amended Employment and Training Administration regulations governing the prevailing wages for foreign workers on a permanent or temporary basis through certain employment-based immigrant visas or through H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrant visas.

  • H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Changed:  The US Department of Labor announced a final rule for its changes to the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Program.  According to the announcement, the rule mandates electronic filing of job orders and applications through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway system in order to “share information with federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, and with State Workforce Systems and domestic farmworkers.”  The rule will also allow for joint applications from smaller employers in order to meet the full-time employment requirement.  Further, the rule will provides certain flexibilities, such as “the ability to stagger the entry of workers into the country over a 120-day period, allowing agricultural employers the flexibility to file a single application for different start dates of need within a certified employment period instead of multiple applications.”

  • IRS Report to Congress:  The US Internal Revenue Service issued Taxpayer First Act Report to Congress, which is intended to contain a “comprehensive set of recommendations that will reimagine the taxpayer experience, enhance employee training and restructure the organization to increase collaboration and innovation.” According to the announcement, the report proposes three integrated recommendations:

    • A taxpayer experience strategy that focuses on creating a proactive, convenient, seamless, personalized and effective interaction with taxpayers and the tax professional community;

    • A comprehensive training strategy, a multi-faceted approach to empowering the workforce and equipping them with the skills and tools they need to advance their careers, provide high-quality service to taxpayers and enhance the taxpayer experience, and

    • A recommended organizational design that will increase collaboration, coordinate strategic implementation of large-scale initiatives, enhance innovation, strengthen communications and prioritize taxpayer rights, all with the aim of improving the taxpayer experience.

  • Business Community Submits Legislative Plan:  The CalChamber and 180 other trade associations sent a letter to the Governor and members of the Assembly and Senate leadership outlining key economic recovery actions. The letter begins by acknowledging and supporting the Governor’s Equitable Recovery for California Businesses and Jobs plan.  In addition to those important financial relief, the letter states that the state needs to take actions to reduce the costs facing all employers in California, including alleviating regulatory burdens, litigation threats, and tax threats.  Small employers, especially, need to be protected from the harm of the pandemic and larger employers and their employees need a reason to stay. 


  • Julie Li Joins GO-Biz:  Governor Newsom appoints Julie Li as Executive Project Manager at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Li previously served as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor since 2019. She was the Assistant to the Chief of Staff during then Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom’s Transition from 2018 to 2019. Li was an Associate at Skelton Strategies from 2016 to 2018 and Public Information and Leisure Services Lead at Union WELL Inc. from 2015 to 2018. 

  • Guzman to Lead the SBA:  President-elect Joe Biden selected Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration (SBA).   Administrator-designee Guzman currently serves as California’s Small Business Advocate, a post she has held since April 2019.  Prior to her appointment by Governor Newsom, Guzman served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to the SBA Administrator.   Congratulations Isabel – You are going to be great!   


  • December US Employment Data:  US Bureau of Labor Statistics released national-level employment data for December 2020.   According to the report, total US nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 jobs in December, reflecting a 6.7% unemployment rate (down 8% since the high in April 2020).  In releasing the data, the BLS stated:  “The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and efforts to contain the pandemic. In December, job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.”

  • November California Employment Data (most recent):  The Employment Development Department released state-level data for November 2020, December data will not be available until January 2021.  According to the announcement, California’s unemployment rate was 8.2% in November. Nonfarm payrolls gained 57,100 jobs in November with Leisure and Hospitality reporting the largest gains (up 27,800 from the prior month).  Jobs in the Government sector were reported as having the largest loss (down 10,200 from the prior month).  Unemployment among Blacks and Latinx remained above 11%.

  • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California on January 2, 2021.   Among other information, the weekly Unemployment Benefits report for the period prior to the shutdown states:

    • 46,938 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed for the week ending January 2, 2021.

    • Over 10.5 million initial unemployment benefit claims have been filed with EDD between March 14 and January 2, 2021.

    • $112 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic.

  • Entrepreneurism in the Time of COVID:  According to a recently released global survey by Ipsos, entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the time of the pandemic. The Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, a proprietary product, tracks the prevalence of 18 entrepreneurial characteristics globally, including such things as “having a strong work ethic” to “liking to take calculated risks.”  Key findings include, but are not limited to:

    1. Entrepreneurial spirit is growing in non-traditional groups and the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred entrepreneurial activity.  “Entrepreneurial spirit is highest among expected groups – Millennials, and Gen X, as well as those with higher education and income levels.  But importantly, entrepreneurial spirit has increased most (since November 2018) among women, Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X, and among those with lower education income.”  30% of entrepreneurs who started a business in the last year report that they were motivated to do so by the pandemic.

    2. Women are seen at a disadvantage.  “Most global citizens do not think that women are treated fairly when they try to start a business. A majority in only 5 of the 28 countries surveyed – China, Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia and Turkey – perceive women are treated fairly, while it is a minority in all remaining 23 countries.”

    3. Neither the public or private sector is viewed as doing a good job in actively assisting entrepreneurs globally.  “Globally, only 29% give positive ratings to their government assisting entrepreneurs. Government is seen to be doing a better job in India, Poland, Malaysia and Mexico, lowest in Belgium, Italy, Peru, Hungary and Japan.  A similar proportion, 32%, give business generally and banks/financial institutions in their country specifically, positive scores for assisting entrepreneurs.”

    4. Social entrepreneurialism is growing. “Entrepreneurialism is being manifested mostly in its traditional form – by business creation (business entrepreneurialism). However, it is also being manifested, sometimes in conjunction with business creation but not always, in social entrepreneurialism…Among the 30% of worldwide citizens who say they have started a business in the past, 29% say they did so in the past year.  But, among the 13% who have started an interest group in the past, 43% say they did so in the past year.  This reflects the reality of who current and likely entrepreneurs are as people – they are much more likely than non-entrepreneurs to be participating/active in society generally.”

  • Issues Impacting Ports and Supply Chain:  The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association releases a weekly update on issues impacting California ports and supply chain. This week’s report:   “Into mid-January of 2021, the ports have continued to experience increasing levels of cargo throughput. Despite the efforts by all sectors of the supply chain, the pandemic continues to dramatically impact the goods movement system in California and nationally. U.S. imports, normally spread throughout the year, have been packed into the second half of the year. Normally, the holiday supplies start arriving as early as July, but with the delayed ordering and offshore manufacturing, goods began arriving in higher numbers later in the season. This shortened, concentrated resupply period, more than any other factor, has caused problems throughout the goods movement system. At the ports, marine terminals have taken extraordinary steps to increase throughput, although with congestion also at warehouses, missed appointments by trucking companies, and equipment fluidity reduced, the options become limited. Relieving the congestion will require every part of the supply chain working together.” put this summary together.

  • The Beige Book:  The US Federal Reserve has issued its regular economic report, commonly referred to as the Beige Book.   Published eight times per year, the Beige Book aggregates information on the economic conditions for each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts.   Conditions in the five-state San Francisco District, based on pre-January 4, 2021, data are described as follows:  “Overall employment levels and the existing modest pace of price inflation were largely stable, and wages increased slightly. Retail sales picked up, but activity in the consumer and business services sectors was mixed. Manufacturing activity increased somewhat, and conditions in the agriculture sector strengthened slightly. Contacts reported continued strong activity in residential real estate markets, while conditions in the commercial sector weakened. Lending activity continued at high levels.” Retailers in areas where local governments reinstated limitations on commerce and mobility in response to the recent virus surge saw a large negative impact on sales."

  • US Import and Export Price Indexes:  The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued US Import and Export Price Indexes for December 2020  According to the report, US import prices increased 0.9% in December 2020, driven by higher fuel and nonfuel prices. Prices for US exports also rose in December, posting a 1.1% increase over the prior month.  The price index for imports from China rose 0.3% in December, which was the largest monthly increase since the index rose 0.3% in November 2017.  Export prices to China increased 1.8% in December, which was the largest monthly increase since the index advanced 3.0% in June 2020.


  • Tibbetts Awards:  The US Small Business Administration announced the 38 companies, 7 organizations, and 14 individuals who will be receive the Tibbetts Award for their accomplishments in creating cutting-edge technologies.   According to the announcement, the Tibbetts Awards were created to recognize exceptional successes achieved through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The awards are named after Roland Tibbetts, the founder of the SBIR Program.

  • Two New Women’s Centers in CA:  The US Small Business Administration announced grant funding and the designation of 20 new Women’s Business Centers (WBC) across the US, including new WBCs in Bakersfield and Monterey.  The opening of these 20 new WBCs is the largest single expansion of WBCs in its 30-year tenure.  The new California host organizations:  El Pajaro Regional Women’s Business Center (Monterey, CA) and Mission Community Women’s Business Center serving Kern County (Bakersfield, CA).

  • Training Grants Awarded to CA Community Colleges:  The US Department of Labor announced the award of $40 million through the Strengthening Community College Training Grants program, a program designed to build the capacity of community colleges to meet labor market demand for a skilled workforce.  the awards include $1.7 million to the LA City College and $5 million to the American River College.  During the pandemic, the program has also provided funding for community colleges to address their unique workforce training delivery challenges, including expanding online and technology-enabled learning.

  • H-1B Rural Healthcare Grant Program:  The US Department of Labor announced the awarding of $40 million in H-1B Rural Healthcare Grant Program funds to partnerships of public and private entities that are addressing rural healthcare workforce shortages.  The California Rural Indian Health Board Inc., located in Roseville, received $2.5 million.


[This is a “quick-source” section that includes new and previously provided information.]


  • Unprecedented Surge in COVID-19 Cases Continues:  Governor Newsom issued a Regional Stay at Home Order that will be triggered if Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity drops below 15% within a given region.  The Order designates five regions, which cover all areas of the state.

    • Regional Stay at Home Orders become effective within 48 hours and remain in place for at least three weeks.  Supplemental Guidance to the Regional Stay at Home Order. Under the Regional Stay at Home Order:

      • Gatherings of any size are prohibited and all operations must close except for critical infrastructure and retail.

      • There are also requirements for 100% masking and physical distancing. 

      • Existing state guidance regarding K-12 schools is not impacted.

      • The Regional Stay at Home Order serves as an overlay to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and is designed to intercede quickly to avoid a health disaster. 

    • Supplement to the Regional Stay at Home Order (overlay to the Blueprint):

    • Status Report:  Currently three of the five regions are under the Regional Stay at Home Order, which is triggered when ICU capacity is less than 15%. Northern California (17.6% ICU capacity), Bay Area (4.7%), Greater Sacramento (9.4%), San Joaquin Valley (0.0%), and Southern California (0.0%). 

    • The five regions are designated as follows:

      • Northern California:  Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

      • Bay Area:  Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

      • Greater Sacramento:  Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

      • San Joaquin Valley:  Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

      • Southern California:  Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

    • Schools: The Order does add, modify, or subtract from other school operation guidance.

  • 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 4 (yellow) has the fewest.


  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation:  The US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration issued new and updated guidance to states on the implementation of the unemployment insurance programs included contained in the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, which is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021:

    • Initial overarching guidance is issued to states regarding a range of unemployment insurance programs, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides UI benefits to individuals who are not generally eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, including gig workers.

    • Updated guidance is released for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) programs The initial FPUC program provided $600 a week in supplemental compensation and expired July 31, 2020. The FPUC reauthorization provides $300 per week beginning after Dec. 26, 2020, and ending on or before March 14, 2021. According to the announcement, the FPUC is not payable during the gap in authorization, that is, weeks of unemployment ending after July 31, 2020, through weeks of unemployment ending on or before Dec. 26, 2020.   Guidance:

  • California’s Implementation of these New Federal Guidelines


[This is a “quick-source” section that includes new and previously provided information.]

(4558-DR-CA) Wildfire - SBA Disaster Assistance (1/12)

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



(4569-DR-CA) Wildfire - SBA Disaster Assistance (1/12)
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
  • Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program:  The Small Business Finance Center at the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank administers a credit enhancement (loan guarantee) as a way to encourage traditional and mission-driven lenders to loan money to small businesses who have been impacted by a disaster.   Below is the most recent program activity.

State Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program (December 2020)
Conditionally Approved
Loan Amount
Guarantee Amount
Amount Encumbered
The IBank provides the Joint Legislative Budget Committee an update monthly.
  • SBA Weekly Lending Report on Race and Ethnicity of Clients:  The US Small Business Administration’s most recent weekly lending report for its core SBA products is for the week ending January 8, 2021.  Information includes race, ethnicity, gender, and veteran participation in the SBA 7(a), 504, and Advantage Loan Programs.  

  • 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. On January 8, 2021, EDD released this report on the status of addressing the backlog:   Progress in eliminating the backlog are also tracked through these two data dashboards:

    • Unemployment Initial Claims Backlog Dashboard:  As of January 6, 2020, 198, 879 individuals have been waiting more than 21 days for an initial payment or to be notified that they do not qualify for benefits.

    • Unemployment Continued Claims Backlog Dashboard:  As of January 6, 2020, 317, 077 individuals received at least one payment and are now waiting more than 21 days for further processing of payment or disqualification in this week-by-week eligibility based program.

  • Great Plates Delivered:  The Great Plates Delivered program provides three meals a day to qualifying seniors.  FEMA granted a 30-day extension to allow the program to continue to February 6, 2021.  Interested restaurants and food providers are encouraged to fill out this form:   

Great Plates Delivered (1/12)
Meals served as of 1/06
Individuals Served This Week
Food Providers Contracted
Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated on Sundays.







JEDE maintains a list of upcoming and on-demand webinars on our website.  Upcoming webinars are listed here ( and on-demand webinars can be found at  These webinars cover a range of topics, including federal disaster programs, marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and accessing international markets.

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