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.
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. Please review the SBA’s extensive Frequently Asked Questions document here. Application window is 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.
CA SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM
The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) announced three additional rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.
Round 7: a closed round only available to eligible applicants that have been waitlisted in certain previous rounds. No new applications will be accepted. Selection Window: August 3, 2021 – September 16, 2021.
Round 8: supports nonprofit cultural institutions of any revenue size that meet the eligibility criteria. Eligible nonprofit cultural institutions must complete a new application even if they already applied in Rounds 1, 2, 5 or 6; nonprofit cultural institutions that applied in Round 4 do not need to reapply. Application Window: August 27, 2021 – September 8, 2021.
Round 9: will pull from certain previous rounds of waitlisted applicants AND new applicants that meet eligibility criteria. Applicants not selected to move forward in the review process in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, or 7 do not need to re-apply and will be automatically moved into Round 9. Application Window: September 9, 2021 – September 30, 2021.
For more information, click here.
COUNTY OF VENTURA BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM
Program I & II: Closed.
Program III: Additional $5,000 grants to businesses and nonprofits from Programs I and II. All grantees from Programs I and II should have received an email with a special invitation link to register for an account online. If you are eligible and have not received an email with a link to register, please visit their HELP page. Application period begins July 29, 2021.
Program IV: Program IV will accept new applications from businesses and nonprofits, that were NOT awarded a grant in the previous programs, to apply for $10,000 grants. Eligibility will be similar to Program II. Application Window: August 19, 2021 at 8:00 am – September 2, 2021 at 6:00 pm.
For more information click here.
COVID-19 RECOVERY AND REBUILDING FOR SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
The Santa Barbara Foundation is providing grant funding to nonprofit organizations serving Santa Barbara County. The current grant cycle priorities include organizations that are focusing on behavioral health needs, housing loss prevention, maintaining 0-5 child care capacity and addressing senior issues. Application Window: July 26, 2021 August 30, 2021. Learn more 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). 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 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. Learn more here.
SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE CREDITS
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 amended and extended the tax credits (and the availability of advance payments of the tax credits) for paid sick and family leave for wages paid with respect to the period beginning April 1, 2021, and ending on September 30, 2021. More information will be coming soon. Check for updates 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 Credit (ERC), 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.
PAID FAMILY LEAVE
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.
SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE (CA-SPSL)
California law SB-95, signed March 19, 2021, revived and expanded the COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave law that had previously expired on December 31, 2021. The law became effective immediately once signed, with a 10-day grace period for compliance, and it applies retroactively to January 1, 2021 (thereby requiring back payments). The new law is set to expire September 30, 2021. Please review the following important updates:
Learn more about all of these changes, how the new CA-SPSL interacts with other paid sick leave and an exhaustive list of Frequently Asked Questions form the Department of Industrial Relations here. Access the required poster to be included in the workplace or distributed to remote employees 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.
View our EDC Guide for Advisors, Tenants and Landlords During COVID-19 for immediate recommended actions, negotiation strategies and resources for residential and commercial renters.
EVICTION MORATORIUM FOR RESIDENTIAL RENTERS
On June 28, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 832 extending the moratorium against residential evictions through September 30, 2021 and increasing financial assistance available to financial distressed qualifying landlords and tenants. AB 832 and previous moratoriums do not relieve tenants from paying rent. Please continue to communicate with your landlord and provide your landlord a signed Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress (ENGLISH or SPANISH) on a monthly basis. For more information and resources click here.
EVICTION PROTECTIONS EXTENDED FOR COMMERCIAL RENTERS
On June 11, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-08-21, extending Executive Order N-28-20. The Order extends authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters impacted by COVID-19 through September 30, 2021. The additional protection is not automatic. Ventura County and Los Angeles County have extended their residential and commercial eviction protections through September 30, 2021. Commercial landlords and tenants will have to wait and see if local governments in Santa Barbara County enact or extend the protections authorized by the Order.
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.
For additional information on currently available county-based grants, please review the GRANT OPPORTUNITIES section above.
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 the guidance effective June 15, 2021.
Employers are still subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable to them. Click here to review the new ETS effective June 17, 2021.
Additional information on reopening in Los Angeles County can be reviewed on Confronting COVID-19: LA County Resources click here.
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. Businesses may take down COVID-19 prevention plans and other signage from their window fronts.
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.