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.
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. On June 5, 2020 the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was signed into law. This bill extended the time period for spending PPP loan proceeds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, if borrowers so choose. Borrowers also have 24 weeks to restore workforce levels to pre-pandemic levels, this deadline used to be June 30, 2020. Regardless of when the PPP loan is funded, this covered period cannot extend past December 31, 2020. The requirement to spend 75% of proceeds on payroll costs is now revised to 60%. Under the prior bill, exceptions to restoring workforce to full pre-pandemic levels were provided if employees refused good faith offers to return to work at the same hours and wages prior to the pandemic. There now is also an exception if a business cannot not find qualified employees or is unable to restore business operations to February 15, 2020, levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions. New borrowers have a five year repayment timeframe, rather than two. Existing loans can request an extension to 5 years, if lender and borrower agree. The full text of the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act is here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7010/text. Businesses are encouraged to work with their lender to fully understand how the bill impacts their prospective or existing PPP loans.
Updates: On April 15, 2020, the PPP had 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. On July 4, 2020 a bill was signed into law that extended the PPP program from June 30, 2020 to August 8, 2020. According to data released by the SBA, 542 companies in the 94608 zip code received a PPP loan. The chart below shows the number of loans made to companies in 94608 by loan size:
Negotiations on an additional stimulus bill between the House of Representatives and Senate have effectively stalled, consequently the prospects of additional PPP funding are uncertain. (9/29/20).
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. On June 16, 2020 the EIDL reopened to businesses of all types (7/10/20).
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. Loans 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, or find a participating bank at the link below.
Updates: Interested businesses are recommended to contact their banks for the most current information. Interested borrowers are directed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's website, where program information and a list of lenders accepting new customers can be found (8/3/20).
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: The additional $600/week benefit referenced above expired on July 31, 2020. Negotiations between the House of Representatives and Senate regarding a potential additional stimulus bill have effectively stalled, consequently the prospects of additional enhanced unemployment benefits are uncertain (9/29/20).
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)
Eviction Moratorium and Rent Repayment Ordinances
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 expired on June 30, 2020. 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.
On June 9, 2020 the City Council adopted an ordinance requiring landlords to provide a repayment plan for rent in arrears due to the pandemic for certain restaurant businesses. The ordinance applies to restaurants (as defined by the City’s planning regulations) with less than $7.5m a year in gross receipts that have been impacted by the pandemic. If a restaurant is unable to pay rent during the term of the City’s commercial eviction moratorium, and notifies its landlord that it is an “affected commercial tenant” as defined by the ordinance, the landlord must provide a 12-month repayment plan for the base rent uncollected during the moratorium. The ordinance requires landlords to provide tenants notice of the ordinance to its restaurant tenants within 15 days of adoption of the ordinance, and this can be satisfied by providing a copy of the urgency ordinance. Landlords are encouraged to engage their legal counsel with any questions. The full text of the ordinance is linked below.
On July 21, 2020, the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance establishing another eviction moratorium, similar to the moratorium referenced above. This moratorium is effective July 21, 2020 and runs concurrently with the State's eviction moratorium, which originally was set to expire September 30, 2020. The City Council also adopted an urgency ordinance requiring a rent repayment plan, structured similarly to the aforementioned requirements applicable to landlords of restaurant businesses, but applicable to the new moratorium period On September 23, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-80-20, which extended the provisions of the prior moratorium to March 31, 2021 for commercial evictions only. Because the state executive order is referenced in the City's urgency ordinance, the City of Emeryville's moratorium on commercial tenants is automatically extended to March 31, 2021 (9/29/20).
Updates: As noted above, the initial eviction moratorium expired on June 30, 2020, a second moratorium was established beginning July 21, 2020 through September 30, 2020 and this moratorium has been extended to March 31, 2021 for commercial tenants covered by the ordinance (9/29/20). A companion rent repayment ordinance applicable for restaurants unable to pay rent during the second moratorium period has also been adopted.
Contact: For questions regarding the commercial eviction moratorium, contact Chadrick Smalley, Economic Development and Housing Manager at 510-96-4355 or email@example.com.
Urgency Ordinance for second moratorium effective July 21, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
Rent Repayment Ordinance applicable to restaurant businesses for first moratorium period.
Rent Repayment Ordinance applicable to restaurant businesses for second moratorium period.
Staff report with background information on the original Rent Repayment Ordinance.
Staff report with background information on the second Rent Repayment Ordinance.
Governor of California's Executive Order N-80-20 extending commercial eviction protections to March 31, 2021.
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. An ordinance that provides for waiver of fees and certain requirements of temporary use permits, sidewalk cafes and parklets was approved by the City Council at its June 16, 2020 meeting. The ordinance extends the time period for temporary uses, waives certain requirements, and provides that these permits can be issued without any planning fees from the applicant.
For restaurants that want to establish outdoor dining areas on private property, a Temporary Use Permit is required. For outdoor dining areas using sidewalk or other public property, a Sidewalk Cafe Permit is required. For outdoor dining areas in the street, a Parklet Permit is required. The process requires submittal of drawings showing the proposed outdoor dining areas and proposed tables, fixtures, other furniture etc, location of restrooms, and accessible paths of travel. A narrative explaining the proposal and application forms are also required. Some proposals may require building permits, which are a separate process and do require the payment of permit fees.
Businesses interested in establishing outdoor dining areas are encouraged to contact Economic Development & Housing Manager Chadrick Smalley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to start the application process (7/10/20).
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.