Here is the latest information available on COVID-19, the CARES Act to help businesses and individuals and resources (and fun) to help us get through together.
Please do everything you can to stop the spread of COVID-19. You are protecting our entire community by keeping yourself safe and secure in your home.
Maintain social distancing. If possible, stay home. Wash your hands thoroughly and often. If you feel at all ill, please call your doctor.
Last Friday Congress passed the CARES Act and the President signed it facilitating funds for businesses and individuals.
Here are details of the legislation followed by links for applications and more information (from the California Chamber of Commerce):
Last week, Congress passed and President Donald J. Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Relief Act (CARES Act), which among other provisions, provides financial relief for small businesses through the way of small business loans that can ultimately turn into grants.
Under the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers help to small businesses to weather the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses generally work with narrower profit margins relying on consistent customer buying habits and knowledge of seasonal ebbs in sales. Mandatory closures for a month or longer are disastrous.
Paycheck Protection Program
The PPP provides funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. These funds are loans that will be fully forgiven as long as at least 75% of the loan is used for payroll. Forgiveness is based on maintaining or quickly rehiring employees at the same salary. If an employer’s workforce decreases, the amount of the loan that will be forgiven also decreases.
All small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible, including self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, independents contractors, nonprofits, tribes, and veteran organizations. There is a very limited opportunity for larger businesses in certain industries.
Loan payments not qualifying for forgiveness will be deferred for six months. Collateral or personal guarantees are not required.
Small businesses and sole proprietorships may begin to apply for this loan on April 3.
Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for this loan starting April 10.
Funding for the PPP is capped. The program is implemented by the Small Business Administration (SBA). A business may apply through any SBA 7(a) lenders or through any federally insured bank, credit union or Farm Credit System. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program.
Application forms, a list of participating lenders and more information can be obtained at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses.
There will be a webcast from the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society with further details and the opportunity to ask questions about the CARES Act. You can register and sign up for the webcast here: http://drlucyjonescenter.org/covid-19-small-business-virtual-forum-los-angeles/
Here is a graphic provided by the House Small Business Subcommittee (courtesy of Representative Adam Schiff's office):
Here is a good list of the CARES Act provisions from the National Restaurant Association: National_Restaurant_Association_CARES_Act_Fact_Sheet.pdf
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, SBA encourages you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority has a small amount of money set aside for competitive loans for small businesses. These loans are very competitive. These loans can be used for payroll, working capital, pay outstanding business expenses or adapt operations to remain open. To be eligible for a loan your business MUST fall within an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County or a Community Development Block Grant Participating City (PASADENA IS NOT A PARTICIPATING CITY). Please check the website LA County Business Recovery Loans for details, the application and other information.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will provide some relief for small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. The Governor’s executive order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. That means small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first quarter returns. Additionally, the order extends by 60 days the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund to accommodate tax and fee payers.
At the March 30, 2020 Special Meeting of the Pasadena City Council, the City Manager proposed an economic stimulus measure that benefits Pasadena Water & Power electric customers. The measure will provide a 2 year rebate on a surtax collected from electric rate payers, and suspend the same surtax for 6 months moving forward.
A complete list of all of the Governor Gavin Newsom's Executive Orders can be found here.
If you would like to more information on the CARES Act and more, here are further details:
FROM THE CALIFORNIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:
With more than half of the country under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government on Friday passed an historic $2.2 trillion package that will provide economic relief for Americans, businesses and the health care industry. In this episode of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg discusses the newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with economist Christopher Thornberg, going over what it means for businesses, employees and the broader economy.
The country is facing a truly historic economic lockdown due to public health government mandates that will have consequences, Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics LLC, explains. Already this week, the country saw an initial 3 million Americans file for unemployment—a jarring statistic, he points out.
However, this crisis is not the Great Recession, where millions of people permanently lost their jobs.
“This is a short-term disruption in economic flows,” Thornberg says.
The economic impact is expected to be seen in the second quarter, but the exact percentage hit on gross domestic product (GDP) is unknown. If public health government mandates are removed by the third quarter, it can be expected that people will quickly return to work and eagerly return to restaurants with pent-up demand, Thornberg explains.
“We expect a very strong third quarter, which will make up for much of the damage that happens in the second quarter,” he says.
However, he cautions, the longer the pandemic stretches out and public health mandates are in place, the more dramatic the long-term consequences will be.
Bridge to a Better Economy?
Aspects of the CARES Act can help society get ahead of the current economic problem, but there are things that have unknown consequences and other aspects that are not good at all.
Among the things the CARES Act gets right are the dramatic expansion of unemployment insurance programs for laid-off workers, availability of small business loans, and direct aid to hospitals and airlines, Thornberg explains.
A problematic aspect of the relief package is the direct payment of $1,200 to every American, which can reach up to $2,400 for married couples and provides an additional $500 for each child. The provision completely misses the mark, Thornberg says, because even Americans who are working and don’t need the money still will receive payments, while the neediest populations—such as the homeless—likely won’t receive any money because they don’t file taxes.
A unique aspect of the small business loans provision of the CARES Act is that loans are forgiven, essentially becoming grants, for those businesses that are able to maintain workers on payroll.
Thornberg says that the program should encourage businesses to make the right decision to keep their employees on the payroll, and try to muscle through the crisis. The real question, he posits, is whether businesses will figure out and navigate through the conditions set forth by the program fast enough before resorting to laying off workers.
Execution by the government is going to be very important to make all these things work.
Thornberg suggests that businesses refer to their lenders, bankers and certified public accountants for guidance on how to apply.
Overall, the CARES Act contains many things to help the country progress into a better economy. However, the price tag will come out to $1 trillion to $2 trillion, and it will be something that will need to be addressed.
“At some point in time there is going to be a reckoning,” he says.
Law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud and Romo are offering free webinars for small to medium sized businesses about issues related to Coronavirus and the workplace. These webinars will focus on the coming aftershocks of managing the continuity of business operations, proper implementation of new procedures & policies, keeping your workforce productive, all while trying to limit organizations’ liability. Tuesday March 31: FFCRA – How to Count to 500 with Brent Garrett and Thursday April 2 : Managing Your Remote Work Force with Carol Gefis. Click here to register. You can download the slide deck from the March 31st webinar here: Atkinson_Andelson_March_31_Pandemic_Final_FFCRA.PDF
The County of Los Angeles has resources and information:
Warm Weather & Social Distancing
With warm weather forecasted for Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles reminds you that the Safer At Home directives are still in effect. Please be aware that "behavioral fatigue" may set in, especially when it is tempting to go outside. Help stem the spread of COVID-19 by remaining in your homes, unless it is absolutely necessary to leave in order to perform an essential function.
To help you navigate this warm weather challenge, we offer the following ideas for keeping busy and productive at home:
- Find a furry friend: Foster a dog, cat or rabbit through Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control and save an orphaned animal.
- Connect virtually with loved ones: There is no better time to call, text, or video chat loved ones to check in.
- Use free online County resources for young children: If you are the parent or caregiver of a young child, decrease boredom and prevent the loss of preschool skills by clicking here to find resources and activities. The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is also providing useful links and resources. Click here for more information.
- Work on professional development: Teachers and other education professionals may take LACOE’s free online professional development courses.
- Do art activities at home: Visit Create at Home for free and fun resources to engage your family members with the arts at home.
- Get organized: Organize your personal spaces like closets, home office/desk areas, cupboards, drawers, and vehicles.
- Keep a routine: Take time to create and maintain a routine. Schedule time to eat, sleep, perform self-care rituals, pursue at-home hobbies, etc.
- Stay tuned in with yourself: Take time to monitor your mental and physical health every day.
And last but not least, make a “crisis deal” with your family members. Take time to talk about what truly matters to each of you during the COVID-19 crisis, and clarify essential wants and needs. Set clear priorities for your family. When this kind of communication takes place, the practical day-to-day decisions that come later are easier.
For more information and resources, please visit the County’s COVID-19 website.
The County of Los Angeles appreciates your continued partnership in responding to COVID-19 questions and needs of residents. For additional information, please visit:
- County of Los Angeles: covid19.lacounty.gov
- County of Los Angeles Public Health: publichealth.lacounty.gov
- California Department of Public Health: cdph.ca.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov
Los Angeles County residents can also call 2-1-1
Please stay safe and be well.
And finally-social distancing on a planetary scale: