Information from CA Office of Business & Economic Development
Check these links at regular intervals, as guidance continues to evolve:
California’s comprehensive COVID-19 website: https://covid19.ca.gov/. FAQs on business resources: https://covid19.ca.gov/business-and-employers/#top
Business assistance can be found through GO-Biz at: https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/
Government-backed loan programs are available, including special disaster assistance at the state and federal levels:
Federal resources through U.S. SBA (SBA)
· SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) is a direct loan for up to $2 million at a rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Applicants can get an Advance of up to $10,000 upon request within days of a successful application – the advance does not have to be repaid. Businesses must apply directly with the SBA HERE. SBA Customer Service Line: 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
· SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – is a loan program for small businesses, self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofits with max 500 employees, and it is intended to keep workers paid and employed. The loan amount is calculated on payroll expense, max amount $10 million, and at a rate of 1% up to 2 years. The loan is forgivable if payroll is maintained and only on allowable expenses which include payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities – and at least 75% has to be for payroll. Businesses may rehire to apply, all before June 30, 2020. See details at SBA.gov HERE and contact a lender asap. Please note: Banks, credit unions, farm credit institutions, nonprofit lenders and their partners, as well as online lenders and fintech companies are authorized lenders. The list of online lenders and fintech companies will continue to expand, however, a current list is referenced in TechCrunch as of 4/13, copy and paste link into browser: https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/13/paypal-intuit-square-approved-to-offer-loans-to-small-businesses-through-coronavirus-relief-program/.
· SBA Express Bridge Loan – is a loan for small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). For more information, click here.
· SBA Small Business Debt Relief – if a small business is a current borrower under SBA 7(a) not through PPP, 504 loan program or a microloan, it are eligible for debt relief and SBA will cover all loan payments for 6 months. Contact the lender directly.
Capital programs through IBank and Treasurer’s Office:
On April 2, Governor Newsom announced that the State of California is allocating $50 million to the Small Business Finance Center at California’s IBank to mitigate barriers to capital for small businesses and nonprofits that may not qualify for federal funds (businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities). The $50 million allocation will be used to recapitalize the IBank Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program.
Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program: Loans of up to $50,000 will be available through the Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) and their partner CDFI nonprofit lenders.
To access the program, visit above link to find a local FDC or contact IBank at COVID19loan@ibank.ca.gov
California Treasurer’s Office has a small business loan program with special disaster assistance that is used by CDFIs, banks and other lenders. CalCAP’s Covid-19 considerations are here. To apply, find a lender at: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cpcfa/calcap/sb/institutions.pdf
Labor/Workforce for Employers, Employees, and Self-Employed:
Work sharing program for employers facing reduced production, services, or other conditions causing them to seek an alternative to layoffs: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Work_Sharing_Program.htm
Benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/#chart
Resources for employers and workers, Labor and Workforce Agency website: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims:
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation Program: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm#Eligibility
NOTE: On 4/14, California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su issued an open letter to unemployed and self-employed Californians outlining a rough timeline for the launch of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. In the letter, Su stated, “We need two weeks to create this new technology — set up the system, test it and be able to turn payments around. This new system will be able to pay individuals within 24 to 48 hours of their application.” A copy of the letter can be found here.
Step-by-Step guidance to UI claims.
The EDD will mail you information regarding your claim and award determination within 10 days. If corrections need to be made: call EDD.
File an appeal within 30 calendar days from the date on the notice. Visit the EDD UI Website for further information on how to file your appeal.
Direct Deposit Transfers: You may choose to transfer some or all of your benefits to your checking or savings account by performing a direct deposit transfer. Call Bank of America Debit Card Customer Service at the phone number on the back of your card, or visit Bank of America EDD Debit Card.
Consumers and homeowners may be eligible for financial relief and should contact their financial institution. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers joined with the Governor and committed to providing relief for eligible consumers and homeowners in California in the form of mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days: https://dbo.ca.gov/2020/03/25/covid19/
Residential eviction protections are covered here: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/. California issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent, from March 27 and through May 31, 2020.
Commercial eviction protections: On March 16, Governor Newsom authorized local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shut offs. The protections are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended. The order also requests banks and other financial institutions to halt foreclosures and related evictions during this time period. Check with your local cities and counties to see if they have taken local action.
Price gouging protections: On April 3, Governor Newsom signed an executive order expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent.
The California Public Utilities Commission is taking action to help ensure that utility bills do not become an added hardship. There are utility assistance programs to help mitigate the impact of anticipated higher energy residential bills due to the stay-at-home order and COVID-19 pandemic.
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) provides a 20 to 35 percent discount on utility bills: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lowincomerates/.
COVID-19 Consumer Protections webpage tracks what all Water, Energy, and Telco utilities are doing during the crisis: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/covid19protections/.
There is also a Telco page with info about new programs available for broadband including an interactive map to find what’s available in specific zip codes: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/caip/.
The CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will allow small business taxpayers to enter into an immediate 12-month interest-free payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. Learn more here. This is in addition to the previous announcement that CDTFA is also providing an automatic 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a first-quarter return for less than $1 million in taxes. No request is necessary. Small businesses will have until July 31, 2020 to file their first-quarter returns. Details are here.
State Payroll Taxes: Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.
EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center:
Toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-888-745-3886 TTY: 1-800-547-9565
Outside the US or Canada: 1-916-464-3502
Individual and Business Tax Relief
FTB is postponing until July 15 the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities for: 2019 tax returns, 2019 tax return payments, 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, 2020 Non-wage withholding payments.
Guidance on Critical Infrastructure/Essential businesses
Information on critical infrastructure with the latest state guidance on essential businesses can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.
Other miscellaneous offerings:
Intellectual Property Owners: United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has taken the following steps to protect and offer relief to intellectual property applicants and owners affected by COVID-19. Read more here.
Technical resources* – free or discounted technology tools* for a small business. Click here.
We also encourage businesses to check their city and county websites for local resources. We know that now, more than ever, businesses need our support to build resiliency. We will keep you on future list serves with updated information, and please sign up for GO-Biz’s newsletter here to receive the latest updates.
Office of the Small Business Advocate
* Any reference to a specific product, process or service or to the use of any vendor is for the information and convenience of the small business community and does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the California Department of Technology (CDT), GO-Biz, or the state of California.