If you are a business owner or employee of a business that has been affected by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), here are some resources that can help. Many cities have also posted their own resource pages, so be sure to check the websites of your local municipality.
For the latest public health guidance and information on COVID-19, please visit the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department website and the latest recommendations for businesses and workplaces. For updates regarding availability of County of Santa Clara services during the Shelter-in-Place Order, visit the County’s service impact page.
Financing for Small Businesses
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (en español) has just announced the availability of low-interest federal disaster loans (up to $2 Million) for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic damages as a result of COVID-19. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. More details are available here.
- California IBank has low-interest and state-guaranteed business loans and microloans for small business borrowers who have been impacted by regional disasters and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital.
- The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) for Small Business encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion or working capital, you may be eligible for this program. CalCAP is a loan loss reserve program that may provide up to 100% coverage on losses resulting from certain loan defaults. Loans are available up to $5 million.
- Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and advertisement credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
- The Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) wants to keep workers, employers, co-workers, and families safe. What employees are entitled to may be confusing. The LWDA is trying to make it easier and create awareness through a centralized source of information with regards to topics such as: paid sick leave, disability and unemployment insurance, workplace health and safety guidance, and employer assistance. Use the guidance on their website to determine what is best for you, your family and your workplace.
- The California Labor Commissioner’s Office (en español) has listed basic information with relation to employee leave options, compensation, and salary.
- For information about job protection and employment discrimination, visit the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
- The Employment Development Department (EDD) (en español) provides a variety of resources for employers who anticipate a reduction of work hours, or potential closure or layoffs as a result of Coronavirus. Employers experiencing hardship as a result of Coronavirus may also request up to a 60-day extension from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at (888) 745-3886.
- The County of Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office has established a new phone number and email for individuals or businesses to report a non-essential business operating in violation of the Health Officer Order to Shelter in Place. Reports of businesses operating in violation of the order can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. A voicemail can be left by calling (408) 792-2300 in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Employees of Affected Businesses/Unemployment Claims
The Employment Development Department (en español) provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by the Coronavirus in California:
- Sick or Quarantined: If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to Coronavirus, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to non-work-related illnesses.
- Caregiving: If you’re unable to work because you are caring for ill or quarantined family members with Coronavirus, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member.
- Reduced Work Hours: If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to Coronavirus, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.
- Layoff Alternatives: Partial claims for employees whose employers want to keep them when there is a lack of work. A partial Unemployment Insurance claim can be used for any claimant who works less than their normal full-time hours, and whose employers want to keep them
Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents
will provide vulnerable, low-income residents in Santa Clara County with immediate financial assistance to help pay rent or meet other basic needs. The program is being administered by Sacred Heart Community Service in conjunction with its county-wide Homelessness Prevention System partners, and will utilize the system’s existing infrastructure to receive applications, verify eligibility, and disburse funds.
IRS Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic (Federal Government)
The Secretary of the Treasury has been instructed "to provide relief from tax deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency." Please read the grant of relief offered to all taxpayers. The IRS has established a special section on COVID-19 Tax Relief (en español).
The Governor of California issued an executive order that outlines other programs to assist businesses and employees.
Payroll (State of California)
Employers 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.
Work Sharing Program (State of California)
Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs.
The Work Sharing Program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced:
- Receive UI benefits.
- Keep their current job.
- Avoid financial hardships
More details and forms are available at: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Work_Sharing_Program.htm
En español: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Work_Sharing_Program_Espanol.htm
Sales Tax (State of California) - Extensions and Relief
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order (en español) delaying the deadline for businesses filing tax returns of less than $1 million.
Effective March 30, 2020, all taxpayers who file a return that is less than $1 million will have an additional three months to file, between now and July 31, 2020. If you qualify for this extension, it is automatic and you do not need to apply.
If your tax liability is $1 million or more, you may still request an extension if you are unable to file and pay in a timely manner. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and taxpayers will be notified if their extension has been approved or denied.
The order also extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days for business impacted by the coronavirus.
Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers (those with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales) can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. Payment plan requests can be made through online services system in the coming months and details will be posted here.
Those with questions should contact the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration by calling 800-400-7115.