The EDC recommends businesses, self-employed individuals, and nonprofits to take the following action steps:
EDC hosts webinars every week on resources and assistance now available for employers, self-employed individuals and employees under the CARES Act. Webinars are held in English and Spanish. Space is limited. Please register in advance.
The Economic Development Collaborative has compiled a list of resources now available for Businesses, Self Employed Individuals and Nonprofits who have been impacted by COVID-19.
CALIFORNIA VENUES GRANT PROGRAM
The California Venues Grant Program supports eligible independent live events venues that have been affected by COVID-19 in order to support their continued operation. Eligible independent live events venues must have a physical address and operate in California, which will be validated through submitted business tax returns. Grants awarded under this Program shall be in an amount equal to the lesser of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or 20 percent of the applicant’s gross earned revenue in California for the 2019 taxable year. For more information on how to apply click here. The application window closes on November 19, 2021.
SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATOR GRANT (SVOG)
The application window for the SVOG program closed on August 20, 2021 at 11:59 pm. SBA is sending invitations for SVOG awardees to apply for supplemental awards. Supplemental award applicants can choose to apply for any amount up to 50% of their original SVOG amount, with a $10 million cap of the initial and supplemental awards combined. SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1.800.659.2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, at 1.800.877.8339. For more information, click here.
CA SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM
The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) is not currently accepting applications for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. For more information, click here.
COUNTY OF VENTURA BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM
Program I, II, III and IV are closed. The County of Ventura provided $5,000-$10,000 grants to businesses and nonprofits. For more information click here.
EDC DISASTER BRIDGE LOAN FUND
In addition to our traditional EDC loan funds, EDC is offering 4.25% interest loans from $5,000- $50,000 and a 48 month term through our Disaster Bridge Loan Fund to give a cash flow boost to businesses impacted by reduced sales, supply chain disruption or other challenges related to COVID-19. Email email@example.com for more information.
WOMEN’S ECONOMIC VENTURES (WEV) RESTART LOAN
WEV’S Restart Loan provides capital to Santa Barbara County and Ventura County businesses who are now open or eligible to open under the most current government orders. Visit WEV’s website for more information.
COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS (EIDL)
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Recent updates were made to the COVID-19 EIDL program, including increasing the cap of funding from $500,000 to $2 million. Applications will be expected through December 31, 2021 or until all funding has been exhausted. For more information click here.
Applicants may apply online. Applicants may also call 800.659.2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800.877.8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
CALIFORNIA REBUILDING FUND
The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses- especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state. The loans are flexible, transparent and are designed to help businesses access the capital and advisory services they need to get through these challenging economic times. Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply. To fill out a pre-application and match with a participating community lender click here.
PAID LEAVE CREDIT FOR SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE & VACCINES
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. For more information click here.
EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), for six months through June 30, 2021. As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. For more information please visit the IRS website here.
WORKER OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment, including qualified long-term unemployment recipients. Qualified tax-exempt organizations will claim the credit on Form 5884-C, Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans, as a credit against the employer’s share of Social Security tax. The Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021 authorized the extension of WOTC until December 31, 2025. For more information and to review the targeted groups click here.
SOCIAL SECURITY EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER PORTION DEFERRAL
The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allowed employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes from March 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The deferred deposits of the employer’s share of Social Security Tax must be deposited on December 31, 2021 (50% of the eligible deferred amount) and on December 31, 2022 (the remaining amount). Review more information and frequently asked questions on the IRS website click here.
SALES AND USE TAX EXTENSION TO FILE AND PAY
California businesses will experience immediate relief in the form of tax deferrals. Small businesses are encouraged to use the sale tax they have already collected to float any applicable obligations. The tax extension is based on sales made and sales tax collected as follows: Provides an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return; Extend the availability existing interest and penalty free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales. Note- businesses in this category must fill out an online form; Broaden opportunities for more businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements; and Expand interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions. For a full schedule of program and tax due dates click here.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI) BENEFITS
Unemployment benefits are available for self-employed individuals and employees. If you have lost hours or wages due to the impact of COVID-19 apply for unemployment with the EDD here.
NOTE: On July 11, 2021, Californians receiving unemployment benefits need to look for work to maintain their eligibility. The Economic Development Department (EDD) sent notices to claimants to inform them of the reinstatement of this requirement.
Federal unemployment benefit programs under the CARES Act ended on September 4, 2021. You will no longer be paid benefits for the following claim types after September 4:
Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits will no longer be payable after September 11.
EDD WORKSHARE PROGRAM
The EDD Workshare Program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Visit the Work Sharing Program website here to learn more about its benefits for employers and employees, and how to apply. Note: Nonprofits are not eligible to participate in EDD Workshare.
SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE (CA-SPSL)
The requirement to provide 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave expired on September 30, 2021. There are currently no statewide plans to extend the law or otherwise mandate CA SPSL beyond the end of September.
For more information on 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, review the Frequently Asked Questions page click here.
Even though California’s SPSL expired on September 30, some cities and counties that enacted their own SPSL measures have expiration dates extending beyond this time. Employers with employees in these cities and counties should be wary of potential ongoing obligations. In our region, this includes unincorporated areas of Los Angeles, Los Angeles City and Long Beach City. For more information on the existing measures in these locations, review our recent newsletter on SPSL click here.
For more information on Paid Leave Credit for Vaccines and Sick and Family Leave Credits review the Tax Credits and Extensions section above.
If you are looking for transitional housing or are on the verge of homelessness please see SOCIAL SERVICES below for additional resources.
EVICTION PROTECTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL RENTERS
For the most up-to-date information on residential and commercial eviction protections review our EDC Guide for Advisors, Tenants and Landlords During COVID-19 October 2021 Update in ENGLISH or SPANISH.
CALIFORNIA COVID-19 RENT RELIEF PROGRAM
If you’re an income eligible renter who has experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have past due rent, or you’re a landlord who has experienced a loss in income because of unpaid rent, you may be eligible to get financial assistance now through the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program. Qualifying renters and landlords are now eligible for 100% of rent and utilities owed. The program is not first come first served, rather priority will be given to those households with the greatest risk of being evicted. Renters and landlords can determine eligibility and apply for funds directly at HousingIsKey.com or call 833.430.2122.
Foreclosure protection is available for homeowners or small landlords who have federally-backed mortgages through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Homeowners or small landlords who do not have federally-backed loans can contact their loan servicers to request forbearance. Your lender must provide detailed reasons if they deny your forbearance request. You can contest a denial. Find out more about mortgage help and how to get it.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION INSTITUTE
CRI is a community-based non-profit organization that provides mediation services, conflict resolution training and conflict resolution education to individuals and businesses in Ventura, Santa Barbara & LA County. Their services are provided on a sliding scale based on income /gross revenue. Their team is available to help address commercial and residential disputes. They can be contacted by calling 805.384.1313 or by emailing Info@ConflictResolutionVC.org.
Homeless Prevention for Ventura County: Call 805.385.1800 and leave a detailed message of your situation. Learn more on the Ventura County’s Human Services Agency website here.
211 VENTURA COUNTY
211 Ventura County is the comprehensive information and referral service for Ventura County, connecting over 30,000 callers and texters each year with information about health and human services available to them. 211 Ventura County phone and text service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 150 languages through phone interpretation services. If calling from a local land line, dial 211. If calling from a cellular phone, dial 800.339.9597 or text your zip code to 898.211. Visit their website to learn more about resources for housing, mental health, income and legal assistance click here.
Wellness Everyday provides guidance and mental health resources in English and Spanish for individuals and families that are struggling to cope with the ongoing effects of trauma and COVID-19. Find local resources and guides for children, teens and adults on a variety of topics to support mental, physical and social wellbeing on their website here.
HOUSING RIGHTS CENTER
The Housing Rights Center is a private nonprofit organization that is contracted with the County of Ventura to provide Fair Housing Services. Their services include free landlord/tenant counseling, housing discrimination investigation and education on fair housing laws. To connect with the Housing Rights Center call 805.477.5977 and visit their website here.
Homeless Prevention for Santa Barbara County: Call 805.450.3558 or visit Northern Santa Barbara County United Way’s website to view walk-in resource centers here.
211 SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
211 Santa Barbara is a comprehensive information and referral system connecting people quickly and effectively to health and human services, disaster relief and public information. The helpline is available in 150 languages, confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the caller. If calling from a local land line, dial 211. If calling from a cellular phone, dial 800.400.1572. Visit their website to learn more about resources for housing, mental health, income and legal assistance click here.
SANTA BARBARA RESPONSE NETWORK
The Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN) is a grassroots, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting fellow community members’ through traumatic experiences and toward resilient recovery. Their trained volunteers offer services such as psychological first aid (PFA), stress management, education about short-term coping and long-term wellness behaviors, and referrals to local agencies for continued care. To learn more click here.
Homeless Prevention for Los Angeles County: Call 213.225.6581 or visit Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) website here.
211 LOS ANGELES COUNTY
211 LA (or 211 LA County) is the hub for community members and community organizations looking for all types of health, human, and social services in Los Angeles County. The call line and website chat is available 24 hours a day to provide information and referrals to the services that best meet individual needs. If calling from a local land line, dial 211. If calling from a cellular phone, dial 800.400.1572. Visit their website to learn more about resources for food, healthcare, housing, education, legal services, crisis services, transportation, utilities, immigration, disability and more click here.
Businesses may return to usual operations with limited exceptions for mega events. Click here for mega event guidance effective August 18, 2021. On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated their Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings, requiring universal masking indoors, irrespective of vaccine status, statewide from December 15, 2021 to January 15, 2021. Click here for more information.
Employers are still subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable to them. Click here to review the latest ETS effective June 17, 2021.
Recently, OSHA developed new the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS for employers with 100 or more employees. A number of parties filed suit in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit challenging Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) ETS the day it came into effect. This ETS is currently under a “stay” order from the Fifth Circuit until the ETS is reviewed by the court. As of right now, an employer’s best course of action is to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the OSHA ETS and prepare to implement those requirements if the stay is lifted and the emergency rule is revived. Fisher Phillips has created a set of comprehensive FAQs for employers on the ETS to help you navigate through this process. Click here to learn more.
Masking requirements may be in place for your county. Review the reopening information below.
Additional information on reopening in Los Angeles County can be reviewed on Confronting COVID-19: LA County Resources click here.
As of July 24, 2021 masks are required in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. On September 28, 2021 the County of Los Angeles Health Officer issued a new Health Officer Order continuing this requirement. This order will remain in effect until it is revised, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer. Click here for more information.
Additional information on reopening in Ventura County can be reviewed on Ventura County Recovers click here. It is no longer necessary for businesses to register an attestation to reopen.
As of August 20, 2021 County of Ventura Public Health Department requires that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places. On October 18, 2021 the County of Ventura Health Officer issued a new Health Officer Order continuing this requirement. This order will remain in effect until:
Click here for more information.
As of Monday, August 23, 2021 businesses, venue operators and other public entities must require all individuals to wear face coverings and post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points. Signage is provided by the Ventura County Public Health Office click here.
Additional information on reopening in Santa Barbara County can be reviewed on Ready Santa Barbara County click here. For questions related to business reopening call 805-568-3108 or email email@example.com.
As of August 6, 2021 County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department requires that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places. On December 3, 2021 the County of Santa Barbara Health Officer issued a new Health Officer Order continuing this requirement. This order has been extended to and will remain in effect until January 2, 2021 or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer. This Order applies in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County (“County”). Click here for more information.
EDC encourages all individuals to review local, state and federal guidelines to remain in compliance with health and safety protocols during this time.
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department has issued public health and safety orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the Los Angeles County Public Health Website to view all current safety orders.
The Ventura County Public Health Department has issued public health and safety orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please visit Ventura County Recovers to view all current safety orders.
Santa Barbara Public Health Department has issued public health and safety orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the Santa Barbara Public Health Information Portal to view all current safety orders.
As partners in business assistance, EDC recommends the following organizations dedicated to support businesses in recovery.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth, economic development and business assistance efforts. They offer no cost consultation for incentive identification, site selection, regulatory or permitting compliance assistance, foreign direct investment and export assistance. For more information please visit the GO-Biz website.
Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) offers short-term and long-term business consulting to assist businesses with recovering from Covid, improve QuickBooks understanding and pivot their business. Free business-related webinars are regularly held in English and Spanish. For more information please visit WEV’s website.
For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964. For more information please visit SCORE Ventura County or SCORE Santa Barbara County.
This website page is intended to be used as a starting point to help business owners obtain up-to-date information on COVID-19 resources and requirements in the Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles region. It is not comprehensive. While everything on this page is intended to be accurate, it is not intended legal advice and should not be relied on as such. To obtain legal advice please contact a licensed California attorney. The EDC does not endorse a particular law firm or practice.