COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Business Resources
 
Last updated on May 19, 2020

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.

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:

  • Retail stores for curbside or storefront pickup, and/or delivery only, in keeping with the parameters outlined in Appendix C-1 of the order
  • Manufacturing businesses permitted to operate under the state Resilience Roadmap
  • Logistics and Warehousing permitted to operate under the state Resilience Roadmap
  • Vehicle based gatherings of up to 200, which will be highly regulated per the order guidelines

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:

  • Construction projects that follow the Construction Project Safety Protocols (Appendices B-1 and B-2) included with the order.
  • Real estate transactions, with restrictions on open houses and limited tours;
  • Childcare, camps and educational/recreational programs that provide care for children of people who are allowed to work outside of their homes;
  • Outdoor businesses such as nurseries, landscaping, and agriculture that normally operated outdoors prior to the shelter in place orders; and
  • Use of certain outdoor recreational facilities, such as skate parks and athletic fields.

Public or private gatherings of any size remain prohibited:

  • Playgrounds, picnic areas, gyms, dog parks, and other shared spaces that do not permit physical distancing or have high-touch equipment must remain closed.
  • Bars and restaurants continue to be restricted to take-out service only, even if they have outdoor seating.

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.

Everyone should continue to stay and work at home as much as possible; and wear a face covering when outside their home. Non-essential travel remains prohibited.

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

SBA Loans & Grants

Payroll Protection Program

Update:  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.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Update: Currently, new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan are only open to agribusinesses, those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries.

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, or may call xxx.

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 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.

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

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.

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

United Way Bay Area COVID19 Community Relief Fund for nonprofits – closes May 15.

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/.

Sales and Use Tax

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.

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.

Business Tax Returns

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

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