COVID-19 Business Resources
Last updated on October 2, 2020
News: More Red-Tier Business Operations Allowed to Re-Open Starting Oct. 9
On September 22, Alameda County moved in the the Red Tier of the State's color-coded four-tied Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Local Health Officers may proceed more cautiously than the State allows, and Alameda County public health officials have used this time to carefully consider the risks associated with activities that may be permitted to open or expand under the Red Tier. As COVID-19 still poses substantial risk to Alameda County residents and workers, the following updates to the Health Officer Orders represent a phased approach to opening to avoid dramatic increases in disease transmission and re-closures.
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. 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 email@example.com.
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 will take effect on July 13, 2020 and remain in effect until the Alameda County Public Health Order permits dine-in service.
Since the initiation of the Alameda County Shelter-in-Place order on March 17, 2020, many consumers have been using third-party applications and websites such as DoorDash and GrubHub to place orders with restaurants for delivery and takeout, and these third-party platforms charge restaurants fees. Capping the per-order fee at 15% will ease the financial burden on struggling restaurants during this emergency while continuing to allow third-party platforms to earn profits.
On July 6, 2020, the City Council directed City Manager Jeff Kay, acting as Director of Emergency Services, to issue a declaration establishing rules and regulations for a 15% limit on fees charged to restaurants by food delivery companies. This declaration applies to orders placed by customers on online platforms provided by third party food delivery companies, such as GrubHub and DoorDash. Restaurants with fewer than 11 locations may receive the reduced fees. If a third party food delivery company charges a restaurant a fee greater than 15%, the restaurant may request a refund.
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.
On May 18, 2020, effective immediately, the Alameda County Health Officer updated the local Shelter-in-Place Order to permit curbside and store front pick up from retail businesses, as well as manufacturing and warehousing businesses, subject to restrictions. The order also issued parameters for vehicle based gatherings. This Order maintains shelter in place and social distancing provisions, and allows some additional businesses to resume operations within Alameda County.
Businesses that may resume operations at this time include:
On April 29, the Alameda County Health Office and six other health jurisdictions revised and extended the Shelter in Place Order through May 31, 2020. This initial, measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases. You can visit the Alameda County Public Health website to find the full shelter-in-place order, a summary of the order, a helpful FAQ page that addresses specific business questions, a fillable social distancing protocol for essential businesses, and construction safety protocol.
As of May 4, 2020, the following activities may resume as long as physical distancing and industry-specific requirements are followed:
Public or private gatherings of any size remain prohibited:
Essential Businesses and Minimum Business Operations, as defined on pages 9 and 12 of the Alameda County Shelter-in-Place order, may continue. All businesses operating in the County must update or create a Social Distancing Protocol to reflect new requirements specified in the order.
Effective June 8, 2020 and valid until replaced, amended, or rescinded: Health Officer Order with updated Shelter-in-Place guidelines for Alameda County. This order continues to maintain restrictions on movement and public and private gatherings set forth in the Health Officer’s May 18, 2020 Shelter in Place Order. However, in light of the continued progress toward controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Alameda and neighboring jurisdictions, this Order allows certain additional business, recreational, social, and cultural activities to resume.
Childcare and camps are permitted for all children, not just children of essential workers, and establishes conditions under which youth extracurricular activities may resume.
Small outdoor gatherings are permitted for people belonging to the same Social Bubble. Social Bubble is defined as a group of 12 or fewer people from different households. A Social Bubble should be maintained for a minimum of 3 weeks. Participation is restricted to only that one Social Bubble at a time Small outdoor gatherings are permitted for Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Units (CYE Activity Unit).
A CYE Activity Unit is defined as a group of 12 or fewer children and adults, formed for the purpose of providing childcare or extracurricular activities for youth A CYE Activity Unit should be maintained for a minimum of 3 weeks. Participation is restricted to only one Activity Unit at a time People/families may engage in only one Social Bubble and only one CYE Activity Unit at the same time. All Bubble and Activity Unit participants should practice social distancing and wear face coverings to the extent possible.
Educational institutions may resume career internship and pathways programs.
Appendix A, previously known as the Social Distancing Protocol, has been replaced with a Site Specific Protection Plan Template. All Businesses and organizations allowed to operate under the Order are required to develop and comply with the elements of a Site Specific Protection Plan.
Clarifications from previous order:
Certain business providing services with limited person-to-person contact, including dog walkers, and pet grooming services, may resume operations.
Businesses and activities authorized under previous orders may continue.
Public or private indoor gatherings other than those within a Social Bubble or CYE Activity Unit, and non-essential travel remain prohibited.
Everyone should continue to stay and work at home as much as possible, wear a face covering outside their home, and stay at least six feet away from people outside their household.
Where there are differences between the local Health Officer’s order and the State’s order, the stricter restrictions apply.
Visit the 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 August 8, 2020.
The second round of funding for the federal Paycheck Protection Program became available on April 27. Businesses who have not already applied may now do so. Applications are through participating local banks, or one of the various online lenders. If you are a Square, PayPal, or Intuit customer, you can apply for a loan through them, as well as other lenders such as Bluevine or Kabbage.
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 may apply. This is 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 you've already laid off your employees, this loan provides 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.
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.
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 Red Backpack Fund, supported by the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation and overseen by GlobalGiving, will make 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, with at least 1 and less than 50 staff, and incorporated as a legal entity are eligible. The next round of applications closes on May 11.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce is offering grants to support inner city, minority-owned entrepreneurs and businesses, especially ones in technologically innovative sectors, via Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Inner City Innovation Hubs. Applications are due May 15.
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.
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/Oakland Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts - $625,000 in available funds will be awarded in $2,000 micro-grants to local artists in need. Deadline to apply is 5:00PM on June 5.
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
United Way Bay Area COVID19 Community Relief Fund for nonprofits – closes May 15.
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 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 visit https://dbo.ca.gov/2020/03/25/covid19/.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is 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 to take this extension. Small businesses will have until the July 31, 2020 to file their first-quarter returns. Learn more at https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/services/covid19.htm.
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.
The Franchise Tax Board 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. Learn more at https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/index.html
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