Coronavirus Business Update

Coronavirus Business Update

During these difficult times, Oakley Economic Development is committed to providing the business community with the latest resources and information that is available.

RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS

U.S. Small Business Administration – SBA

  • The U.S. SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is a direct loan by the SBA for up to $2 million at a rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. California businesses have access to this program at SBA.gov.
    • Now, applicants can get an Advance on that Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $10,000 within 3 days of a successful application. Any advance money received does not have to be repaid.
    • To apply directly online, go to the SBA Website HERE.
    • US SBA 24hr Customer Service Center at: 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), or you can contact the SBA by email HERE.
  • Small businesses can also apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. The program opened Friday April 3rd. This is a 100% guaranteed loan for employers who maintain payroll. The maximum loan amount is calculated on past year’s payroll up to $10 million. The loan is forgivable on allowable expenses which include payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, but at least 75% has to be for payroll. Your payments will be deferred for 6 months. Details can be found HERE.
    • Businesses can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. Reach out to your lender or find a small business center to help you HERE.
  • Small Business Debt Relief – if you are a current borrower under SBA 7(a), 504 loan program or a microloan, you are eligible for debt relief and SBA will cover all loan payments for 6 months. View all of SBA’s programs HERE.
  • For helpful FAQs, click HERE.

WORK SHARING PROGRAM:

Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Work Sharing Program through the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD). This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent.

Visit the Work Sharing Program to learn more about its benefits for employers and employees, and how to apply.

POTENTIAL CLOSURE OR LAYOFFS:

Employers planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, refer to the Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) or contact your local America’s Job Center of California.

TAX ASSISTANCE:

California is providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19. This includes:

Tax Relief for Small Businesses

What do taxpayers need to do if they want to take advantage of relief from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration?

Interested taxpayers should contact CDTFA by visiting cdtfa.ca.gov or calling 800-400-7115. 

When will taxpayers start on these payment plans?

Given that the April deadline to file and pay sales and use tax returns has been extended to late July for all but the largest taxpayers, CDTFA expects that most participating taxpayers will begin their payment arrangements in late July of this year. 

How will the payment plans work?

Qualifying sales and use taxpayers with deferred liabilities up to $50,000 will pay their tax due in 12 equal monthly installments. No interest or penalties will be assessed against the liability.

Is this only for tax payments due for the 1st quarter of 2020? 

If taxpayers choose to use this program to distribute the burden of their May or June prepayments or their July return, CDTFA will work to accommodate those taxpayers.

What if taxpayers owe more than the $50,000 limit on the relief?

The maximum amount that any taxpayer can defer interest-free under this relief effort is $50,000.

What if taxpayers with more than $5 million in annual taxable sales need this relief?

We recognize that some taxpayers, particularly in low margin businesses, with annual taxable sales over $5 million may also need this relief. Those taxpayers are encouraged to reach out to CDTFA, which will work with them to provide relief where appropriate. 

Is the deadline for filing California tax returns extended?

Yes. All California taxpayers (individuals and businesses) can file and pay by July 15, 2020. 

See information from the CA Franchise Tax Board for more information.

Businesses experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the 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.

For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center

– Toll-free from the U.S. or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
– Hearing impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565
– Outside the U.S. or Canada: 1-916-464-3502

SELF-EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS:

Visit the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) Self-Employed/Independent Contractor website to learn more.

RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE:

Individuals who have had their hours reduced or have lost their job through no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Learn more by visiting the State of California Employment Development Department EDD website.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning unemployment can be found here.

DISABILITY INSURANCE:

If you are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

CAREGIVING:

Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. Benefit amounts may vary depending on income.

SCHOOL CLOSURES:

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and a State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) representatives will decide if you are eligible.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES

GO-BIZ COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES: 

The California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has released information on their website for employees and employers impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for more information.

Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal

Sacramento, CA – The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery today announced a new campaign, Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal, to encourage Californians to support small businesses in their communities as they make modifications to protect public health and help our state’s diverse neighborhoods thrive. Running through July, the campaign is a call to action to help all California small businesses operate safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their digital footprints.

As part of this campaign, the State of California has partnered with industry-leading companies, such as Nextdoor, Google, and UPS, and launched a website that connects California’s small business owners to critical tools and resources. These resources will help California’s entrepreneurs adapt to new consumer and market demands and create safer shopping experiences by improving those small businesses’ online presence.

The website includes links to:

  • Free consulting, in 31 different languages, from California’s network of small business centers
  • Resources and offers from our partners to help businesses operate safely and build a digital footprint
  • Latest state industry guidance and county variances
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) through SafelyMakingCA.org, California’s new PPE marketplace
  • A free digital media toolkit for small businesses and partners

“Across multiple industries, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed day-to-day operations. Businesses have had to pivot, adopt new technology, open online, and change how they engage with their customers,” said Isabel Guzman, the Task Force’s Small Business Subcommittee co-chair and Director of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate which is spearheading this campaign for the Task Force. “Yet they persevere and embrace the new marketplace. It is up to us as Californians to support all of our diverse small businesses by shopping with their survival and everyone’s health in mind.”

SBA COVID-19 BUSINESS GUIDE:

The SBA has released a comprehensive guide to help businesses plan and respond to the current COVID-19 threat. Visit the SBA website for more information.

CDC COVID-19 BUSINESS GUIDE:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created an interim guide based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For access to the full guide and more information please visit the CDC website.

ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES:

Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

Women’s Business Center

Veteran’s Business Outreach Center

Service Corp. of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Labor and Workforce Development Agency – Resources for employers and workers including workers’ compensation and paid sick leave.
Labor Commissioner’s Office FAQs – Employee leave options, compensation, and salary.
Department of Fair Employment and Housing – Job protection and employment discrimination.

Click here to visit the City of Oakley Economic Development page, filled with resources to help businesses.

Facebook has grants available for small businesses in Contra Costa County, learn more by clicking here. Small businesses can also set up digital giftcards to allow people to support businesses during this time.