COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES
New/Latest information is shown in Bold Underline text with the date of update in (parentheses).
IMPORTANT ALERT FROM EBMUD
Water is perishable just like any food or drink. With businesses preparing to reopen, there is an essential task that must be performed to ensure safe water quality. If a building has been closed for any length time the water pipes must be flushed. Stagnant water in the pipes could cause major water quality issues and affect the plumbing. Please review the instruction sheet on how to flush pipes, the procedure is simple but crucial. (5/15/20)
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Overview: This program provides loans of up to a maximum of $10 million for the purpose of keeping employees on the payroll. If employees are retained and at least 75% of the proceeds are used for payroll, the loan is forgiven for up to 8 weeks of payroll costs. Loan payments are deferred for six months. This program is retroactive to February 15 of 2020 to allow for the rehiring of laid off workers.
Updates: On April 15, 2020, the PPP has exhausted the funding initially appropriated by congress. As a consequence, the SBA stopped accepting applications from banks, and many banks stopped accepting applications from businesses. On April 24, 2020 the President of the United States signed a bill that provides an additional $330 billion to the PPP, and the SBA began accepting applications from banks on April 27, 2020. In order to improve access to a wider variety of lending institutions, the SBA created a window from 4 pm on April 29, 2020 to 12 am on April 30, 2020 during which the SBA will only accept PPP applications originating from banks with less than $1b in assets. Larger banks can continue to submit applications outside of this window. The SBA said it may consider creating similar windows in the future. As of May 1, 2020, SBA reports that over 320,000 PPP loans were made to California Businesses and the average loan amount across the program is $79,000. The SBA released an updated Frequently Asked Questions document that provides new information on PPP requirements, and a Forgiveness Application which can provide insight into some of the requirements for loan forgiveness. Note that forgiveness applications will be made with the lenders providing PPP loans, and not to SBA directly. The banks may develop their own forgiveness applications, the SBA application is only provided as a tool for lenders and borrowers to understand the PPP requirements. Additionally, the SBA reports that funding remains available and loans continue to be made (5/20/20).
Contact: These loans are made through SBA’s partner lenders which includes most large commercial banks and many smaller institutions as well. Businesses are recommended to start with banks they have an existing relationship with, since this streamlines the process for the banks and some banks will only accept applications from businesses that are already customers.
More information: SBA Paycheck Protection Program (overview of program and links)
U.S. Department of the Treasury (includes links to program rules)
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
Overview: This program provides working capital loans up to $2 million for economic support and to help overcome temporary revenue loss. Loan amounts are be based on the business’ actual economic injury and financial needs. The interest rate on is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. The terms are determined by the business’s ability to repay the loan, and can be for up to 30 years. Payments are deferred for 12 months. An advance of $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000 is available within days of acceptance of applications by SBA. The advance is forgivable.
Updates: On April 15, 2020, the EIDL exhausted the funding initially appropriated by congress and as a result the SBA stopped accepting applications. On April 24, 2020 the President of the United States signed a bill that provides an additional $10 billion to the EIDL. The SBA has stated that it will continue to process applications received prior to April 15, 2020, and will only accept new applications from agricultural businesses as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b). It is unclear whether non-agricultural businesses will be invited to apply in the future. The SBA advises that businesses who applied for an EIDL prior to March 30, 2020 should reapply now, even if they are not agricultural businesses. The SBA reports that it continues to process EIDL applications and that the pace of lending has picked up recently. It is still unknown whether or when non-agricultural businesses may submit new applications (5/20/20).
Contact: These loans are applied for and made directly by the SBA. The applications are submitted through a streamlined online system . The sole source of information on application status is SBA’s disaster assistance center at 800-659-2955. For assistance with this program, businesses can contact the Alameda County Small Business Development Center for free advising.
More information: SBA EIDL program (overview of program, links to apply)
California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity webinar on EIDL
Debt Relief for Businesses with existing or new SBA loans
Overview: SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
Contact: These loans are made through SBA’s partner lenders which includes most large commercial banks and many smaller institutions as well. Businesses are recommended to start with banks where they have an existing relationship.
Updates: This program is currently available according to SBA staff and has not received as much attention as the PPP and EIDL programs (4/22/20).
More information: SBA Debt Relief program (overview of program)
SBA Express Bridge Loans (EBL)
Overview: This program provides certain banks the ability to provide up to $25,000 in loan funds to their existing customers as a bridge to a PPP or EIDL loan. The PPP or EIDL proceeds then can pay off the bridge loan. This was originally a pilot program which was relaunched on April 1, 2020 in response to the pandemic. EBL is only available from lenders with which the business has an existing relationship.
Contact: These loans are made through “SBA Express Lenders” and the program availability is entirely at the lenders’ discretion. The business must have an existing customer relationship with the bank to be eligible, so businesses should inquire with their banks for more information.
Updates: This program is currently available according to SBA staff and has not received as much attention as the PPP and EIDL programs, however the level of lender interest in originating these loans is uncertain at this time (4/22/20).
More information: SBA Express Bridge Loan Program Guide (program details)
Federal Register notice extending the EBL pilot program (program details)
Main Street Lending Program
Overview: This program is targeted to small and medium sized businesses. This program was established by the Federal Reserve and is a lending facility that will purchase 95% of loans originated by eligible lenders. To be eligible, businesses must have 15,000 employees or fewer or have 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less (previously, these limits were 10,000 employees and $2.5 billion in revenues [5/1/20]). Loans would have a four-year maturity, and payments on the loans will be deferred for one year.
Contact: These loans are made through participating banks. Businesses should inquire with their banks for more information.
Updates: This program is not yet operational. The Federal Reserve is in the process of creating the program infrastructure. Interested businesses are recommended to contact their banks for the most current information. On April 30, 2020 changes to the program were announced and additional guidance released. Eligibility was expanded as indicated in the Overview above. The program remains under development (5/1/20).
More information: Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program (program overview, links)
IBANK Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program
Overview: This program provides loan guarantees for businesses and eligible nonprofits with up to 750 employees that have been negatively impacted or experienced disruption by COVID-19. The State is particularly interested in targeting these funds to businesses who are ineligible for federal loan programs. Loan proceeds can be used for business continuation or to cure economic injury resulting from the pandemic. The loan guarantees are for up to 95% of the loan, for up to seven years. Interest rates are negotiated between the lender and borrower.
Contact: Loans are made by participating banks and partner Financial Development Corporations (FDCs). IBank maintains a list of participating banks and FDCs. For general questions on the program, IBank can be reached at COVID19loan@ibank.ca.gov.
More information: Ibank (program information)
California Capital Access Program (CalCap)
Overview: This program is a loan loss reserve program which can provide up to 100% coverage to participating lenders on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. Businesses with 500 employees or fewer with their primary location in California are eligible. Loans are a maximum of $5 million, with terms negotiated between the borrower and lender.
Contact: These loans are made through participating lending institutions, the State Treasurer maintains a list.
More information: California State Treasurer (program overview, links)
EDD Pandemic Assistance Program
Overview: This program provides Unemployment Insurance benefits to business owners, self-employed, independent contractors and others not usually eligible for unemployment benefits. The program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits retroactive to the beginning of applicant’s unemployment on or after February 2, 2020 and extending through the week ending December 26, 2020. The benefits include an additional $600 weekly, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29, 2020 and July 25, 2020 are eligible for the additional $600 weekly payments.
Contact: Applications are made online at UI Online.
Updates: This program will be accepting applications beginning April 28, 2020
More information: EDD Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (program overview, links)
EDD Workshare Program
Overview: This program allows employers to minimize layoffs by retaining employees while also having employees eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. This can reduce the cost to employers of recruiting and training of new employees when business conditions improve. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in a Work Sharing Program receive a percentage of their weekly unemployment benefit based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent.
Contact: Applications are made by employers directly to the Employment Development Department (EDD) using this form. Questions may be directed to the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3343
More Information: EDD Work Sharing Program (program overview, forms)
Overview: The state is providing business tax relief as follows:
The Franchise Tax Board is postponing filing 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, to July 15, 2020.
Businesses who file a return of less than $1 million have an additional three months to file their return between now and July 31, 2020. The extension is automatic. For taxpayers with liability of $1 million or more, extension requests may be filed, which are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Businesses with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can apply for a 12-month payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability.
Businesses may request a 60-day extension of time from the Employment Development Department (EDD) to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
Executive Order N-61-20 waives penalties for property taxes paid after April 10, 2020 for taxpayers who demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. This waiver extends through May 6, 2021. The order also extends the deadline for certain businesses to file Business Personal Property Statements from May 7 ,2020 to May 31st, 2020 (May 8, 2020).
Contact: Applications for extensions or for sales and use tax payment plans are made to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) online. The CDTFA customer service center is available at 1-800-400-7115. Requests for extensions for payroll reports or taxes are made to the EDD in writing, the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center is at 888-745-3886.
More information: FTB filing deadline extension (overview)
CDTFA tax relief (overview and FAQs)
Executive Order N-40-20 (extending filing deadlines)
Executive Order N-61-20 (waiving penalties for property taxes) (May 8, 2020)
Overview: On March 19, 2020, the Emeryville City Council adopted a temporary moratorium on residential and commercial evictions due to nonpayment of rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For commercial tenants, the moratorium applies to businesses with a valid Emeryville business license, with gross receipts less than $7.5 million annually, that have experienced a substantial decrease in gross receipts due to the pandemic. The moratorium does not relieve tenants from the obligation to pay rent but provides that tenants cannot be evicted for not paying rent during the term of the moratorium. The moratorium is effective as of adoption (March 19, 2020) and expires on June 30, 2020 unless otherwise extended by the City Council. Under the ordinance, commercial tenants must provide notice to their landlords that they are a "Affected Commercial Tenant" prior to expiration of any notice of termination. Businesses having difficulty paying rent and/or facing potential eviction should consult with their legal counsel on whether and when to provide this notice to their landlords and what it should include (5/20/20).
Updates: On May 5, 2020, the City Council directed staff to research the potential for a rent repayment ordinance applicable to food service businesses, to allow a period for repayment of rent due but not paid during the commercial eviction moratorium. This topic is expected to be discussed at the June 2, 2020 meeting of the City Council (5/20/20).
Contact: For questions regarding the commercial eviction moratorium, contact Chadrick Smalley, Economic Development and Housing Manager at 510-96-4355 or email@example.com.
Outdoor Dining Regulations
On May 19, 2020 the Emeryville City Council directed staff to review the City’s regulations pertaining to outdoor dining, including sidewalk and curbside areas, to determine whether the City’s processes to establish such uses can be made more efficient and economic (5/20/20).
The Northern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has established a rapid-response hotline and email address for businesses seeking assistance with the PPP and EIDL loan programs. This resource is supported by financial advisors with experience with PPP and EIDL.
Contact: (833) 275-7232 and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alameda County Small Business Development Center provides free one-to-one business advising. Their website includes webinars specific to COVID-19 issues including EIDL application guidance, converting to online retail sales, and emergency cash flow opportunities.
Contact: Margaret Jackson, Program Director 510-742-2329 and email@example.com
The AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center is funded in part by the SBA and located in Oakland. They provide training, counseling and other support services to help women entrepreneurs start and successfully grow their businesses.
Contact: Iveeth Valerio firstname.lastname@example.org and 510- 540-7785 ext. 303
The East Bay SCORE chapter provides free business mentoring and advising through a network of retired business executives in a variety of industries.
Contact: 510-273-6611 and email@example.com
Alameda County Workforce Development Board
Overview: Employers planning a closure or layoffs may get help through the Alameda County Workforce Development Board’s (ACWDB) Rapid Response Program. Rapid Response teams contact businesses to discuss their needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. The ACWDB can also help support employers’ training and hiring needs, please see ACWDB’s website for more information.
PRIVATE, NONPROFIT & INDUSTRY SPECIFIC
Private, Non-Governmental Business Support
Overview: GoFundMe has partnered with several businesses to provide $500 matching grants to eligible businesses that raise at least $500 through a GoFundMe campaign connected to the pandemic.
Contact: Applications details are available at GoFundMe’s Small Business Relief Fund.
Overview: The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is offering grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses facing immediate financial threats due to the pandemic. Preference is given to minority, women and veteran owned businesses, and nonprofit organizations are not eligible. The grants are made possible by a donation of $2.5 million from Verizon. Applications are due by April 28, 2020 by 11:59PM EST.
Contact: Applications are made to LISC online.
Overview: Facebook is providing $100 million in grants to businesses with between 2 and 50 employees that have been in business for over a year and experienced challenges due to the pandemic. Grants are for $2,500 plus $1,500 in optional credits for advertising. Applications are due by May 8, 2020 by 11:59 PM EDT.
Contact: Applications are made to Facebook online.
Overview: Kiva provides small loans to businesses internationally through a crowdfunding platform. To address the capital needs of small businesses during the pandemic, Kiva has expanded eligibility to make more businesses in the US eligible for their programs, increased the maximum loan amount from $10,000 to $15,000, and is providing a grace period of up to six months for new borrowers.
Contact: More information and application procedures are available online.
Support for Nonprofit Organizations
Overview: The East Bay Community Foundation provides one-time general operating grants to organizations that provide critical services around economic security to the most vulnerable populations in the East Bay. The first phase will initially focus on nonprofit organizations.
Contact: Alexandra Aquino-Fike, Vice President of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview: The United Way Bay Area COVID19 Community Relief Fund will be applied to immediate and long-term recovery assistance for residents and community agencies in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano counties. Key focus areas include 211 information and referral capacity, technology infrastructure of service providers, direct assistance funds for impacted families, and support of impacted workers.
Contact: Grantee applications are accepted online.
Biotech & Life Sciences
Overview: The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is funding a wide variety of COVID-19 products and technologies through two Broad Agency Announcements by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
Contact: Review the announcements at BARDA’s COVID-19 page
Overview: The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is awarding $5 million to support promising discovery, preclinical and clinical trial stage projects that could quickly advance treatments to COVID-19 patients in need. Applications are accepted on an open, bimonthly basis.
Contact: Applications are made to CIRM through their grants management portal.
Overview: The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has developed the Fast Grants program through its Emergent Ventures project. Fast Grants provide $10,000 to $500,000 for projects addressing the pandemic. Grant decisions are made in under 48 hours. The program is currently paused due to the level of interest, but interested parties may sign up for a notification if the application window is reopened.
Contact: Sign up for updates on the program website
Arts & Creative Industries
Overview: California Intersection for the Arts’ Safety Net Fund is soliciting donations to provide grants to artists that typically make their living at events and retail establishments that have been closed due to the pandemic. The grants will be needs-based and a maximum of $500 per person per month. Grantees must provide proof of artistic endeavor within the last six months, not be eligible for unemployment and have less than $1000 of income within the last 30 days.
Overview: The Actor’s Fund Entertainment Assistance Program includes twelve different funds providing assistance to workers in entertainment and the performing arts. Eligibility and documentation required to apply vary by fund.
Contact: Eligibility and applications are found online at The Actor’s Fund.
Overview: The Musicians Foundation CV19 Emergency Aid Grant Program provides one-time grants of up to $200 for applicants earning the majority of their income from performing, teaching or composing music.
Contact: Applications are accepted online As of April 27, 2020 the program is closed to new applications, however the Musicians Foundation has indicated they may reopen for applications after reviewing submittals received.
Overview: Zoo Labs, a music business incubator in West Oakland, has partnered with several other organizations to launch the Artists Now by Zoo Labs Program. The program provides $500 grants to Bay Area artists who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, who are POC, Women, or identify as LGBTQIA+.
Contact: Applications are accepted online by Zoo Labs. As of April 27, 2020 the program is closed to new applications, however Zoo Labs has indicated they may reopen for applications in the future. Potential applicants are recommended to sign up for email alerts at the program website.
Overview: The PEN America Writer’s Emergency Fund provides grants of $500 to $1,000 to professional writers that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Contact: Applications are made online to PEN America
Overview: The Craft Emergency Relief Fund provides grants of up to $3,000 to artists working in a craft discipline who have recently experienced an unforeseen event that has significantly and adversely affected the artist’s ability to produce, exhibit and/or market their work. The program focuses on artists who have been infected with the virus and require intensive medical care.
Contact: Eligibility is determined through an inquiry form available online.
Overview: The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation’s Emergency Grant Program provides grants of up to $15,000 to visual artists in painting, printmaking and sculpture that have immediate needs due to an unforeseen, catastrophic incident.
Contact: Applications are submitted to the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation’s online grant-making system.
Overview: The "Untitled, Art Emergency Fund" provides up to $250 per household member for artists who normally maintain part-time or contract work in order to prioritize their art practice. Program information is located online. The program is supported by The Art Report and Facebook. Applications are open an accepted on a quarterly basis.
Overview: Bluedot Open has developed a directory of open restaurants that provide delivery and takeout. Listings were initially crowdfunded and derived from social media platforms. The listings can be updated by individual restaurants as circumstances change.
Overview: DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates are all providing fee waivers and other relief measures for restaurants that use these delivery platforms. The programs’ eligibility and details vary by vendor.
Overview: The California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Restaurants Care/COVID-19 grant program provides financial support to restaurant employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are a caregiver for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or quarantined with a doctor’s note, when the applicant’s restaurant is closed and out of work three weeks or more and unable to obtain unemployment benefits.
Contact: Applications are made online.
Overview: The Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative and SF Made are providing expanded business advising services for manufacturers in the Bay Area. Additionally, SF Made maintains a listing of manufacturing-specific COVID-19 resources.
Contact: For advising, email Pierre Coeurdeuil, Director of Advising and Education, at email@example.com.