COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Business Resources
 
Last updated on January 19, 2021

Click HERE for the COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Facility Registration Program


 

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:

  • Hiring & Firing Processes
  • Paid Sick Leave Laws & FMLA
  • Breaks, Lunches, & Overtime
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Harassment Prevention
  • COVID-19 Questions

Alameda and Four Other Counties Jointly Issue Stay-at-Home Order 

Though Alameda County is not projected to reach the 15% regional ICU bed availability mark until mid-to-late December, the health officers of Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Berkeley Counties have proactively implemented a Stay-at-Home Order effective until rescinded, amended, or suspended in writing by the Alameda County Health Officer.

Under the Stay-at-Home Order, temporary closures of the following will occur:

  • Outdoor Dining (take-out, pick-up, and delivery allowed)
  • Indoor/Outdoor Playgrounds
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities
  • Hair Salons/Barbershops
  • Personal Care Services
  • Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums
  • Movie Theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars and Breweries
  • Family Entertainment Centers
  • Amusement Parks

Additionally, there will be capacity limits placed on retail and shopping centers, and hotels will be limited to critical infrastructure support only. For more information on the State's announcement, the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, and how it impacts Alameda County, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/ 

  

Disaster Loans Now Available for Businesses Impacted by Civil Unrest

Alameda County has qualified for US Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans for businesses who experienced losses due to the recent civil unrest on or around May 31, 2020. Thanks to participation from local businesses who provided valuable information regarding there losses due to the events, the County was able to qualify for a Declaration of Physical Disaster, which makes businesses eligible for loans and assistance.

As a result of this declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest disaster loans to impacted non-farm businesses of all sizes and private non-profits in Alameda County. The types of loans are:

Property Damage: up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed during the civil unrest. NOTE: The application period for these loans closed on September 16, 2020.

Economic Injury: up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume. (Note: this is only for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster.) Eligible businesses must apply before March 17, 2021.

It is important to point out that this support exists to help businesses impacted by the civil unrest (vandalism/looting) on or after May 26, 2020, and not for COVID-19-related losses. Additionally, the funds may only be used to offset costs not covered by insurance. We have attached a flyer with more information about the program. You may also find full details here and apply online here.

If your business was impacted by civil unrest and you are interested in obtaining a loan, we encourage you to reach out  to the Alameda County Small Business Development Center.  They can provide free one-on-one assistance (in multiple languages) and walk you through the application process.  The quickest way to get assistance is to set up an account and sign up for an advisor here, or you can call 510-516-4118 or email info@acsbdc.org.

For additional assistance, SBA has established a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center that is open Mondays – Fridays, 8AM to 4:30PM. You can contact an SBA customer service representative via email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at 916-735-1500. SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage, and will provide one-on-one assistance in completing applications for these loans.

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. 

For more information and background, you can view the staff report and declaration or contact Katie Bowman, Economic Development Manager, at kbowman@sanleandro.org or 510-577-3327.

 Table of Contents
(Click to skip to a particular section)

Alameda County Public Health Order
SBA Loans & Grants
Grant Programs
San Leandro Eviction Moratorium
Financial Relief
Ongoing Business Support

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 info@acsbdc.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.

Alameda County Public Health Order

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.

Click Here for Health Officer Order No. 20-14b of June 5, 2020 (revised June 18, 2020, and July 19, 2020 respectively)

For the most up-to-date and accurate information on the Health Order, visit 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.

http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/shelter-in-place.aspx

Visit San Leandro’s COVID-19 page for other local updates and information on city services, health resources, and city park tips.

SBA Loans & Grants

Paycheck Protection Program

Update:  The Paycheck Protection Program has been extended through August 8, 2020.
The second round of funding for the federal Paycheck Protection Program became available on April 27.  Applications were 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 offered 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.

Click HERE for Frequently Asked Questions about PPP Loan Forgiveness

PPP Updates:

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 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:

  • Reductions in full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees; and
  • Reductions in employee salary or wages

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.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Portal re-opens for new applications

SBA 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.

  • EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or other expenses.
  • Additionally, the EIDL Advance can provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) in emergency funds to businesses that do not have to be repaid. Small businesses may receive an advance, even if they are not approved for a loan.
  • EIDL loan and Advance applications already submitted are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses that have already applied do not need to apply again. For information or to apply, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Loan Details:

  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.

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.

Grant Programs

General

The application period for the City of San Leandro’s Small Business Continuity Grant program closed at 5 PM on Monday, April 27, 2020. Awardees will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Alameda County CARES Grant Program, administered by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, will award grants up to $5,000 to small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. Click HERE to learn more about this grant. Applications are due November 30, 2020 by 11:30PM.

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.

 FedEx is making available $1 million to be distributed in $5,000 micro-grants (accompanied by a $500 FedEx Office credit) to small businesses. The application period starts on May 25 - click HERE for the program description and to apply.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund, grants for businesses—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served communities. The first two rounds have closed, but a third round opens on May 14th.

Opportunity Fund's Small Business Relief Fund

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.

Restaurants

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers, nonprofits and small business restaurants

  • Immediately direct money to organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community.
  • To bolster our impact investing budget to provide zero-interest loans to businesses to maintain payroll during closure or re-open once this crisis has passed.
  • To establish a relief fund for individual workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19.

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

Yelp's $25 Million Relief for Restaurants and Bars

Freelance and Gig Workers

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 

Nonprofits

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 

San Leandro Eviction Moratorium

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 May 31, 2020, or 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 kbowman@sanleandro.org or lhalle@sanleandro.org.

Financial Relief

Mortgage and Debt Relief

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 visit https://dbo.ca.gov/2020/03/25/covid19/. 

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 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. 

Property Tax

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

Electricity and Gas

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/.

Water

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

Ongoing Business Support

One-on-one Advising

Alameda Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Phone: 510 516-4118
Email: ACSBDC@ohlone.edu
Website: https://www.acsbdc.org/

AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Phone: (510) 532-5240
Email: sdial@anewamerica.org
Website: Anewamerica Women’s Business Center, Oakland

East Bay SCORE - free business mentoring
Phone: (510) 273-6611
Email: help@score.org
Website: https://eastbay.score.org/

Employee Resources – Job Search Assistance, resume review, etc.

Eden Area One Stop Career Center
Phone: (510) 323-1104
Email: EdenAreaAJCC@rubiconprograms.org
Website: www.edenareaonestop.org

Employer Resources – to assist laid off employees or in hiring

Alameda County Workforce Development Board
Contact: Javier Contreras, Rapid Response Coordinator
Phone: (510) 259-3831
Email: javier.contreras@acgov.org