As the spread and impact of COVID-19 is still an unknown, 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.
CA SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program aids small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions. All applicants that completed their application and submitted necessary documentation during the first round will be notified if they are selected to receive a grant, waitlisted for the second round or not selected. Any applicant that is waitlisted will NOT need to complete an application during the second round.
Round 2 will open February 2, 2021 and will close February 8, 2021. This grant program is not first-come, first-served. For detailed information about the program, eligibility, application process and more, please click here.
SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATOR GRANT (SVOG)
The Shuttered Venue Operator Grant, administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, offers grants for live venue operators, performing arts organizations, motion picture theater operators, cultural institutions and other eligible applicants. SVOG funding does not need to be repaid and can be used for specific expenses, such as payroll, rent, utilities and other costs. The SBA is NOT yet accepting SVOG applications. Please click here for detailed information.
EVICTION MORATORIUM FOR RESIDENTIAL RENTERS
On August 31, 2020, Governor Newsom signed the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (the “Act”), urgency legislation that immediately went into effect on September 1, 2020. This act protects residential tenants, homeowners and small landlords from being evicted due to nonpayment of rent before February 1, 2021. More conditions apply. Click here to review current state guidelines. For more information on COVID-19 moratorium related eviction guidelines in Ventura and Santa Barbara County please visit this website. For more information on the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 view our EDC Legal Alert in ENGLISH or SPANISH.
EVICTION PROTECTIONS EXTENDED FOR COMMERCIAL RENTERS
On September 23, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-80-20. The Order extends the time frame for local governments to provide commercial eviction protections due to COVID-19 to March 31, 2021. The additional protection is not automatic, however. Commercial landlords and tenants will have to wait and see if local governments in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County or surrounding areas enact or extend the protections authorized by the Order.
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. For more information on the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 view our EDC Legal Alert in ENGLISH or SPANISH.
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS. For more information please visit the IRS website here.
EDC DISASTER 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 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.
The extension to mandatory paid family medical leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) expired on December 31, 2020. For more information visit the Department of Labor’s website here. Visit the FFCRA Questions and Answers page to learn more about workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities after December 31, 2020 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.
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is for unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, including business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors or those with a limited work history who are out of business or have significantly reduced their services as a direct result of the pandemic. The federal government has approved an additional 11 weeks of PUA benefits. This extension began December 27, 2020, under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020. With the new extension, PUA includes up to 57 weeks of benefits, beginning February 2, 2020. For more information click here.
FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (FPUC)
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional payment for those collecting certain unemployment insurance benefits (including regular unemployment compensation, PUA and PEUC), is reinstated at $300 per week from the week after December 26, 2020 and runs through March 14, 2021.
PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (PEUC)
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), for those who have exhausted their regular unemployment compensation benefits, is extended until March 14, 2021 and the number of weeks of eligibility is extended from 13 weeks to 24 weeks. For more information click here.
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.
SBA 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). 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.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program re-opened the week of January 11, 2021 and loans will be available through March 31, 2021 or until all allocated funds are exhausted. New regulations have created retroactive changes to PPP loans borrowed in 2020 and outlined guidelines for first and second draw loans in 2021. If you have received a PPP loan, please work with your lender to process your Paycheck Protection Loan Forgiveness Application. For more information about the updated tax information, expanded expense eligibility and simplified forgiveness application for existing PPP loans, guidelines for new borrowers and borrowers interested in applying for a second draw loan or an increase to their first PPP loan please review our detailed guide PPP Updates 1-14-2021.
The State of California has outlined the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Ventura County businesses that have been identified as eligible to reopen, must meet county and state health and safety compliance protocols. For more information regarding state and county health and safety protocols, industry-specific worksite plan templates, and outlined steps to reopen visit VC Reopens or visit the FAQ’s page. For questions related to business reopening call the COVID-19 Business Compliance Hotline at 805.202.1805 or email email@example.com.
The State of California has outlined the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Santa Barbara County has outlined detailed information in consideration of the State of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Be sure to diligently confirm all steps required to reopen your business safely. For more information please click here for all reopening requirements, industry specific guidance and worksite prevention plans. For questions related to business reopening call 833.688.5551 or email EHSadmin@sbcphd.org.
EDC encourages all individuals to review local, state and federal guidelines to remain in compliance with health and safety protocols during this time.
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.