COVID-19 Business Resources
Last updated on May 5, 2021
California Bill Provides $6.2 Billion Tax Break for Small Businesses
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will give small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic a $6.2 billion tax cut over the next six years - a critical lifeline that will help get small businesses back on their feet, and an important component of California's economic recovery strategy.
Under the legislation AB 80 by Assembly member Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), the forgiven PPP loans that businesses received from the federal government during the pandemic will not be counted as taxable income, and these businesses can also deduct the costs of expenses that those loans paid for. This is additional state tax relief for the small businesses that have been struggling most, and may very well make a difference in their choosing to reopen, stay open, or shut down as they look to the future.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Now Open and Accepting Applications!
Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), a component of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), opened on Friday, April 30, 2021, and as of Monday, May 3, 2021, applications are being accepted. Through this program, the Small Business Administration is giving out $28.6 billion in grants to dining and drinking establishments that have lost revenue due to the pandemic. Grants will range from $1,000 to $10 million per entity, and $5 million per individual location, with a maximum of 20 locations. Eligible businesses are those that are not permanently closed and include businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink, including:
A Youtube video on the application process is available to view here: https://youtu.be/fxi3EcB_BZ4
News: Alameda County Advances to Orange Tier
On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the Alameda County Public Health Officer announced that continued improvements in COVID-19 case rates has resulted in the County entering the Orange Tier (Moderate Spread) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. For more information on what this means for your business, visit the State's website, or for a quick snapshot, visit our blog post on San Leandro Next.
News: Guidelines for Outdoor Live Events (with Assigned Seats)
On Friday, March 26, 2021, the State released a detailed guidance document for outdoor live events. Click HERE to see the document, which is located in the following location on the State's website: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/ under Live Events and Performances.
President Biden's American Rescue Plan
In early March, 2021, the House voted to pass the American Rescue Plan (ARP) – the $1.9 trillion stimulus relief bill proposed by President Biden. The president signed the bill into action on March 11, 2021. This comprehensive bill provides funds in areas where little or no funds were available in prior stimulus relief bills, additional funds where prior funding was insufficient, and continued funding to ongoing relief program efforts. Notably, relief will be extended specifically to restaurants, bars, and nonprofit organizations, as well as small businesses in Black, Latino, rural, and other communities that have suffered the worst economic impact of the pandemic. The bill also provides the necessary funding to get Americans vaccinated, further speeding the progress toward reopening and setting the stage for economic recovery.
Small business owners will want to pay particular attention to the following items in the bill:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - the ARP includes $7.25 billion in fresh dollars for the PPP and will allow more nonprofits to apply, including groups that engage in advocacy and some limited lobbying. It will also render larger nonprofits eligible.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is set to receive $28.6 billion for a new grant program for dining and drinking establishments that have suffered loss of revenue due to the pandemic. Grants will range up to $10 million per entity, and $5 million per individual location, with a maximum of 20 locations.
$5 billion is earmarked for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 revenue.
$1.25 billion is included for the SBA's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.
$15 billion will fund the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grants program, making available grants of up to $10,000 per business to small businesses in hard-hit, low-income communities.
A Community Navigator pilot program will receive $175 million in order to help small businesses in underserved and underbanked communities to gain access to available COVID-19 relief resources.
The SBA will also receive $1.325 billion in administrative funding, equipping the agency with the resources and manpower necessary to implement its programs.
The timeframe for making these funds available has not yet been established, but there is an expectation that some of the programs will roll out during the month of April, 2021. Please check the SBA website on a regular basis for updates, or check back here.
California Approves Relief Package for Residents and Small Businesses
On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, Governor Newsom announced the approval of a package of immediate actions that will speed needed
relief to individuals, families, and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship from the COVID-19 recession. The package provides cash-relief to lower-income Californians, increases aid to small businesses, and provides license renewal fee waivers to businesses impacted by the pandemic. In addition to these measures, the package provides tax-relief for businesses and commits additional resources for critical child care services. Click HERE to read more about this relief package. Click HERE for the press release from the Office of the Governor. Click HERE for the grant application.
Human Resources Hotline Established for COVID-19 Questions
The Alameda County Workforce Development Board has partnered with the California Employers Association to provide Alameda County businesses with a NO-COST HR Hotline - 888-202-5668. Human Resources Experts will provide guidance on:
City Limits Fees from Third Party Food Delivery Companies
In support of local businesses in San Leandro, the City of San Leandro has issued a declaration establishing a temporary limit of 15% on fees charged to restaurants by third party food delivery companies. This declaration took effect on July 13, 2020 and remains in effect until the end of the local State of Emergency.
In these unprecedented times, the San Leandro Economic Development Team is working hard every day to support our local businesses. We are continually monitoring local and national resources and regulations, and are available to answer questions or direct businesses to resources in these confusing times.
Below you will find information on business resources, financial relief programs, the San Leandro Eviction Moratorium, and more.
For assistance applying or understanding what resources are best for your business, you may reach out to the Alameda County Small Business Development Center, where free advisors are available by phone or email in multiple languages. They can help with applying for relief, guiding you through available resources, cash flow concerns, supply chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more - at no cost. You can learn more at www.acsbdc.org and reach them at 510-516-4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They recommend that you apply for counseling so that an advisor knowledgeable in your type of business can respond.
For updates on local resources and connections to the San Leandro business community, visit the San Leandro Chamber. They have a listing of Open Essential Businesses, information on available resources, and are holding webinars to help you re-calibrate your business and prepare for the new normal.
While the Governor has announced a gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces with adaptation, the Alameda County restrictions remain in place in San Leandro until the county updates them. Where there are differences between the Alameda County Health Officer’s order and the State’s order, businesses must follow the stricter restrictions. Businesses should review both orders to determine compliance and business decisions. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as we are able.https://covid-19.acgov.org/index.page
NOTE: Where there are differences between the local Health Officer’s order and the State’s order, the stricter restrictions apply.
Visit San Leandro’s COVID-19 page for other local updates and information on city services, health resources, and city park tips.
Update: The Paycheck Protection Program has been extended through May 31, 2021.
Applications are available through participating local banks, or one of the various online lenders. The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was signed into law June 5, 2020.
SBA's Paycheck Protection Program offers loans of up to $10 million in partnership with select banks. Small businesses, certain nonprofits, faith based organization, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons were able to apply. This was a forgivable loan to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels for 8 weeks. To be forgiven, at least 75% of the loan must be used for payroll, including the cost of employer-provided health benefits, within 8 weeks. If employees were already let go, this loan provided the opportunity to hire them back. Loan proceeds not used for eligible expenses within 8 weeks of receiving the loan must be repaid through a 1%, 2 year loan.
On March 30, 2021, President Biden signed into effect the PPP Extension Act of 2021, extending the Paycheck Protection Program another two months until May 31, 2021, and then providing an additional 30 days for the SBA to process pending applications.
Recipients of PPP loans of $50,000 or less will be able to apply for forgiveness using a simplified application that was released Thursday, October 8, 2020 by the Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
A new interim final rule (IFR) provides new guidance concerning forgiveness and loan review processes for PPP loans of $50,000 or less. Under the IFR, PPP borrowers of $50,000 or less are exempted from any reductions in forgiveness based on:
The new application form, SBA Form 3508S, can be used by PPP borrowers applying for forgiveness on PPP loans with a total loan amount of $50,000 or less, unless those borrowers together with their affiliates received loans totaling $2 million or more. Instructions for Form 3508S also were released.
The IFR streamlines the forgiveness process for PPP borrowers of $50,000 or less because they will not be required to perform potentially complicated FTE or salary reduction calculations. Borrowers of $50,000 or less still will have to make some certifications and provide documentation to the lender for payroll and nonpayroll costs.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Portal re-opens for new applicationsSBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
Now that the EIDL and EIDL Advance application portal is accepting new applications, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, employees and the communities they support.
These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
Additional funding allocated through the CARES Act will be allocated to applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. You may check with your bank for an update on the status or your application.
To learn more about how funds have been distributed across the nation, click HERE.
Comcast has launched Comcast RISE, an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard-hit by COVID-19. The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded. Click HERE to learn more.
Open Road Organization COVID-19 Charitable Grants Program for companies addressing COVID-19
Amazon Relief Fund Program for independent delivery service partners and their drivers
Hello Alice Business for All Program - Emergency business grant
ICA Fund Good Jobs is creating a Rapid Response Liquidity Fund with a goal to raise $5 million in donations to be issued as zero-interest loans to area businesses. This fund has not yet launched, but businesses may fill out an interest card.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers, nonprofits and small business restaurants
USBG National Charity Foundation - Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for bartender, bar back, bar server, or are otherwise engaged in the service or preparation of alcoholic beverages
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund Program for restaurant workers, gig workers and other hourly workers
Freelancers Union Organization - Freelancers Relief Fund Program provides assistance of up to $1,000 per household to qualifying freelancers to cover lost income and essential expenses
Americans for the Arts - Artist Relief Fund Program for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19
East Bay Community Foundation’s COVID-19 – A Just East Bay Response Fund for nonprofits
Peace Development Fund - The De Colores Rapid Response Fund Program for small, strategic moment grants aimed at building community resilience (for non-profits)
San Francisco Foundation nonprofit grants
On March 23, 2020, the San Leandro City Council passed an eviction moratorium for residential and commercial renters. The ordinance temporarily stops evictions for non-payment of rent due to a substantial loss of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of COVID-19-related income losses that would trigger protections under the ordinance include the requirement to close or reduce operations of a non-essential business due to the shelter-in-place order or lack of business due to reduction in customers. The moratorium lasts until the end of the state of emergency, if it is extended. Tenants are then required to repay their rent with 120 to 180 days of the end of the state of emergency.
Businesses who are having trouble paying rent should reach out to their landlord to discuss their options. More information, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and sample landlord notification form, may be found here. Commercial tenants should reach out to the San Leandro Economic Development Division at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers and homeowners may be eligible for financial relief after contacting their financial institution. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and services have committed to providing relief for eligible consumers and homeowners in California. This may include mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, debt payment plans or other forms of relief. Contact your lender or visithttps://dbo.ca.gov/2020/03/25/covid19/.
Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the Employment Development Department (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. Learn more at https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/employers.htm.
While property taxes were due on April 10, 2020, the Alameda County Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector Alameda County has offered a program for taxpayers who have demonstrated COVID-19 related circumstances and are not able to pay. Such property owners may request a waiver of delinquent penalties, interest, or costs. Learn more at https://treasurer.acgov.org/treasurer-assets/docs/COVID%20Penalty%20&%20Interest%20Waiver%20Policy%20-%205.31.pdf
Commercial - PG&E has suspended shutoffs during this time, and customers can apply for a payment plan by logging into their account. You can find more about what they are doing at https://www.pge.com/en_US/about-pge/company-information/protective-protocols/covid19-protections.page#businessCustomer
Residential – East Bay Community Energy wants to help its customers access financial assistance during the COVID pandemic. If you have recently lost your job or been furloughed, you may be eligible for up to a 35% discount on your electricity bill. Learn more at https://ebce.org/CARE/.
East Bay MUD has suspended shutoffs during this time, and customers can apply for a payment plan by logging into their account. Learn more at https://www.ebmud.com/customers/billing-questions/financial-assistance/#payment-extensions