As the situation surrounding Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to unfold, we want to assure you that we are here to help.
SBA Re-Opens PPP to Community Financial Institutions First
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal Monday, January 11, 2020 at 9 am ET. SBA is continuing its dedicated commitment to underserved small businesses and to addressing potential access to capital barriers by initially granting PPP access exclusively to community financial institutions (CFIs) that typically serve these concerns.
When the PPP loan portal re-opened today, it initially accepted First Draw PPP loan applications from participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and Microloan Intermediaries. These lenders made up approximately 10% of all PPP participating lenders in 2020. A First Draw PPP loan is for those borrowers who have yet to receive a PPP loan before the program closed in August 2020.
On Jan. 13, 2021, participating CFIs may begin submitting application information to SBA for Second Draw PPP loans. A Second Draw PPP loan is for certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan, generally have 300 employees or less, and has suffered a 25% reduction in gross receipts. At least $15 billion is set aside for additional PPP lending by CFIs.
A few days later, additional lenders will be able to submit First and Second draw PPP loan applications. SBA will continue to provide updates on systems operations during the week of Jan. 11, 2021. Additionally, SBA plans to dedicate specific times to process and assist the smallest PPP lenders with loan applications from eligible small businesses.
The opening of the SBA loan system is designed to efficiently and effectively implement the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act and to ensure increased access to the PPP for minority-, underserved-, veteran- and women-owned small business concerns. SBA also is calling upon its lending partners to redouble their efforts to assist eligible borrowers in underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Updated PPP Lender forms, guidance, and resources are available at www.sba.gov/ppp.
Deadline Extended for First Round of Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Applications
California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced that the deadline for the first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be extended until January 13, 2021.
The program, which officially opened December 30, experienced high traffic – receiving thousands of completed applications. However, due to the high traffic, some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application. Adjustments to the program’s website have been made and the application period has been extended to ensure that all interested applicants have the opportunity to apply. The Round 1 application deadline has been extended from January 8 to January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
This grant program is not first come, first served, nor a rolling approval process. All applications will be reviewed following the now extended application deadline. The funds will then be disbursed as originally planned to avoid any possible delay to small business owners receiving their grants.
The State’s selected intermediary, Lendistry, a Community Development Financial Institution, is working with other mission-based lenders and small business advisory and technical assistance providers to help small businesses with the application process in multiple languages and formats. Many of the State-supported small business centers, which prioritize the expansion of technical assistance to underserved business groups, are also available to help. For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, as well as to find a local partner, please visit careliefgrant.com.
Applications for $500 Million in Grant Funding for Small Businesses Now Available
The first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is now open. On November 30, 2020, Governor Newsom and the State Legislature announced the allocation of $500 million available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by California's Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
Grants will not be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and will be awarded after the close of each application round. This first round of applications ends January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Details for the second round will be announced shortly.
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Lendistry has been designated by the State to act as the intermediary for the Program to disburse the grant funds.
For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, please visit careliefgrant.com.
Governor Newsom Announces Immediate Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Including Temporary Tax Relief and $500 Million in Grants
On Monday, November 30, 2020, Governor Newsom announced several new financial assistance programs for businesses and nonprofits in California. Use this link to learn more about these programs, launch dates and application requirements.
- Immediate Tax Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
- Program administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
- Provides an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return
- Extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to larger companies with up to $5 million in sales tax
- Provides expanded interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions
- For more information, please click here
- $500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business
- Program will be administered by the CA Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) for businesses impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions.
- Funds will be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021.
- Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants.
- Program is currently underway and will be made available soon. To check for updates and to sign up to receive an alert when program is launched, please click here
- Increase Funding for the CA Rebuilding Fund by $12.5 Million
- Program consists of $25 million to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis and keep local economies strong.
- The Governor has increased funding by $12.5 million which will help the third party administrator of the fund raise $125 million to make more low-interest loans to small businesses with less access to loans from traditional banking institutions.
- For more information, please click here
- All interested small business owners can apply for a loan at www.CALoanFund.org
Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers from COVID-19 in Effect
Cal/OSHA’s emergency regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19 are now in effect, following their approval on Monday, November 30, 2020 by the Office of Administrative Law.
The emergency standards apply to most workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard. The regulations require that employers implement a site-specific written COVID-19 prevention program to address COVID-19 health hazards, correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions and provide face coverings. When there are multiple COVID-19 infections or outbreaks at the worksite, employers must provide COVID-19 testing and notify public health departments. The regulations also require accurate recordkeeping and reporting of COVID-19 cases.
As emergency standards, these regulations become effective immediately.
Cal/OSHA has posted FAQs and a one-page fact sheet on the regulation, as well as a model COVID-19 prevention program. Employers are invited to participate in training webinars held by Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services branch.
New Form Designed to Help Businesses Control COVID-19 Outbreaks
San Bernardino County officials and local business owners have consistently shared a mission to reassure customers and employees that their health and wellbeing is of paramount concern. Heavy participation in programs such as the COVID-Compliant Business Partnership has demonstrated to County and State officials how serious we are about reopening our businesses.
The County has now introduced another tool to assist businesses in their efforts to keep employees and others safe: the COVID-19 Facility Outbreak/Cluster Reporting form.
The form’s purpose is simple: to make it easy to notify the County Department of Public Health when a business suspects a potential COVID-19 outbreak at a specific facility or workplace. Quickly sharing such concerns with DPH gives the department the information needed to immediately respond with steps that can help prevent further spread, minimizing the impacts on business operations.
Employers or their employees can use the form to alert DPH when it appears a facility is experiencing an unusual number of COVID-19 cases — with all information kept strictly confidential and used exclusively to help control the further spread of the virus.
Temporary Outdoor Dining Program for Restaurants Program
The City of Ontario has developed a program to allow restaurants to have temporary outdoor dining services in response to COVID-compliant dining requirements. To ensure and promote public safety, all temporary outdoor dining spaces for restaurants shall require a permit. Click on the links below to learn more about the program, review the guidelines and procedures and download the application.
- Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit Guidelines and Procedures
- Application - Temporary Outdoor Dining and Personal Care Services Permit
Supporting a Safer Environment for Workers and Customers
As California businesses work to reopen, a new Employer Playbook was released by the State to guide them on how to provide a clean environment for workers and customers to reduce risk.
The playbook includes detailed information on:
- When and how an employer must report a COVID-19 positive employee.
- What is defined as an outbreak.
- Guidance for employers who may be considering whether to suspend operations due to COVID-19 spread in the workplace.
Wearing a mask or face covering is required statewide in public or common spaces. Employers must provide face coverings to workers, or must reimburse workers for the reasonable cost of obtaining them.
Click here to view the COVID-19 Employer Playbook.
Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace
This checklist is intended for use by employers experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 in their workplace. Employers should be proactive and keep in mind that identification of even a single positive case among employees may quickly develop into an outbreak. As outbreak circumstances and work practices vary, employers may need assistance from their local health department (LHD) to plan and coordinate a response to the outbreak that meets the needs of the workplace.
This guidance is not intended for use in managing or preventing outbreaks in healthcare, congregate living settings, or other workplaces where the California Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard applies.
Employers should also consult:
- CDC guidance for businesses and small businesses for information on preventing outbreaks;
- Cal/OSHA guidance to ensure that they are complying with legal requirements for worker protection; and
- the California statewide industry-specific guidance to reduce risk during and after reopening of businesses.
Click here to see information provided by the California Department of Public Health.
New Employer Tax Credits
The Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit is designed to encourage employers to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages paid to an employee by an eligible employer experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19. This credit is for wages paid from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
The paid sick leave credit and paid family leave credit are available for eligible employers who pay qualified sick leave wages and/or qualified family leave wages from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and who have fewer than 500 employees.
City Hall Appointments
City Hall is open to the public. Face coverings & social distancing are required. Telephone contact is encouraged.
- Building Permit
- Building: Plan Plan Check Submittal / Pick-Up
- Business License Application
- City Clerk / Records Management
- Engineering: Encroachment Permit
- Engineering: Plan Check Submittal / Pick-Up
- Fire: Plan Check Submittal / Pick-Up
- Planning: Plan Check Submittal / Pick-Up
County of San Bernardino Business Reopening Plan Template
In order to support the safety of employees and customers as the local economy begins to recover with the reopening of businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic, each business shall establish a risk mitigation “Business Operation Plan” (Plan) and shall maintain each plan at their business location.
The Business Reopening Plan template is a checklist intended to provide businesses with the most up-to-date information and guidance as they reopen.
Businesses are encouraged to complete the Reopening Plan, for each business location if applicable. Utilize the Reopening Plan as a guide for staff training and education. It's encouraged that businesses post the Reopening Plan onsite near the front entryway in a location that is visible and accessible to both staff and customers as a way to demonstrate compliance with State and County safety guidelines. Lastly, all businesses should review the plan on a regular basis to ensure that it remains current as guidance is adjusted by the State and County.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness
Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.
Congress recently changed the rules regarding loan forgiveness. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration are responsible for updating the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. You can find the most up-to-date information here.
PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan.
This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Emergency Loans, Small Business Guide and Checklist
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
The administration’s PPP program guidelines can be found at www.treasury.gov, and the U.S. Small Business Administration's search tool to find a bank that offers PPP loans can be found at www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.
Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
Small Business Development Center COVID-19 Resources for Your Business
Because of vastly changing concerns regarding coronavirus, small businesses across America have been facing extreme adversity for the past few weeks. That is why the mission at the Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center is to ensure the success of small business that have been negatively impacted by this disease and the regulations that have come along with it. Take a look at the Services and Resources to see what you can do to help your business prosper.
- COVID-19 Resources Download the The Latest News and Resources - This resource guide provides information and FAQs about Employment Development Department (EDD) resources, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, their SBDC Finance Center and how they can help your business – and so much more! Download Now
- Restaurant Opening Resource Guide - Read our guide to see what steps you need to take before and after opening your restaurant in order to comply with regulations and maintain your customers and employees safe. Download Now
- How to Keep Your Restaurant Running and Successful Resource Guide - This guide for restaurateurs will go over some practices that can be implemented to streamline operations given the new reality we’re currently facing. Download Now
- 5 Strategies to Keep Your Business Healthy During Interruptions Resource Guide - Take a look at five tips you can implement to keep your business running and healthy during interruptions. Download Now
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Resource Guide - The U.S Small Business Administration now has the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) available to business owners. This guide will take you through the most frequently asked questions regarding the loan. Download Now
- COVID-19 Video Guides - Watch the SBDC's step by step video guides on how to complete various SBA forms needed for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and other topics like driving sales online. Watch them here.
San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board COVID-19 Resources
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is instituting proactive measures to protect the health and safety of its employees, job seekers, and the businesses it serves.
This resource guide provides links to critical resources and services available to businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WDB is working closely with its business and economic development partners to gauge specific needs within the county, and will update this information as it becomes available. Click here for the Resource Guide.
California Coronavirus Response Resilience Roadmap
Californians have been staying home and saving lives since the start of our statewide stay-at-home order issued on March 19, 2020. These efforts have allowed the state to move forward on our roadmap for modifying the statewide order.
California moved into Stage 2 of modifying the state’s Stay-at-Home order on May 8, 2020. Our progress in achieving key public health metrics will allow a gradual re-opening of California’s economy.
We recognize the impact of economic hardship. We must get our economy roaring once again and put paychecks in people’s pockets. But the risk of COVID-19 infection is still real for all Californians and continues to be fatal.
That is why every business should take every step humanly possible to reduce the risk of infection:
- Plan and prepare for re-opening
- Make radical changes within the workplace
- Adjust practices by employees and help educate customers
Below are Guidelines for businesses to follow, if they’re permitted to open. The goal is a safer, environment for workers and customers. Businesses may use effective alternative or innovative methods to build upon the Guidelines.
Review the guidance that is relevant to your workplace, prepare a plan based on the guidance for your industry, and put it into action.
When complete, you can post the industry-specific checklist (below) in your workplace to show your customers and your employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.
Before reopening, all facilities must:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols
- Implement physical distancing guidelines
Before re-opening, all facilities must first perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan. Adaptations need to be made before Stage 2 workplaces can open – currently that includes modifications like curbside pickup at retail locations.
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) COVID-19 Resources
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the cornonavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Click here to access this site which includes links on how to support employers and employees who are susceptible to the virus’ disruption.
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma's COVID-19 Small Biz Resource List
California State Treasurer Ma has prepared a resources list for small businesses in light of the evolving COVID-19 situation. Click here for the COVID-19 Resources Page.
Additional Employee/Employer Resources
Below are links to a variety of sources that may be of assistance to you. We encourage you to review each one. There's a brief description of what you will find before clicking through.
Employment Development Department
Employment-related Q&A for both Workers and EmployersVisit Page
Labor & Workforce Development Agency
Guidance for Employers and Workers, Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, UnemploymentVisit Page
Internal Revenue Service
Tax Relief and GuidanceVisit Page
Small Business Administration
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, SBA Products and ResourcesVisit Page
Southern California Edison
Tools & Resources for BusinessesVisit Page
Centers for Disease Control
What You Need to Know, How to Protect YourselfVisit Page
California Department of Public Health
Public Health and GuidanceVisit Page
City of Ontario
Local actions regarding COVID-19 CoronavirusVisit Page
San Bernardino County
County actions regarding COVID-19 CoronavirusVisit Page
CalChamber News, Federal, State and Local ResourcesVisit Page
US Chamber of Commerce
Resources & Guidelines for Business, Business Preparedness ChecklistVisit Page
Greater Ontario Business Council
Information & ResourcesVisit Page