Our team is paying close attention to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and its impact on small business owners like you across the country.
Please reach out to us if you need assistance for your business, so that we can discuss your particular situation and figure out ways in which we can help. If you’re a California small business loan customer or small business advising customer, contact us here.
We’re keenly aware of the fact that businesses are closing for weeks at a time, and those who aren’t are seeing major hits to their bottom line. It’s hitting businesses, and it’s hurting the workers who most rely on their paychecks. 40% of Americans who work service-industry related jobs have no paid sick leave, and fewer than 25% of them can afford to take it, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These are also the jobs – retail, housekeeping, food, and entertainment, etc. – that are most likely to put those workers in broad contact with others; so protecting employee health is not only important for these businesses long term, but also for community health now.
Below is a collection of resources to help small business owners and workers during this crisis. We know that the effects this crisis is having on small businesses can’t be overstated, and we’re here for our community both now and in the coming months as we continue to feel the effects on our small business community.
We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you apprised of additional resources and tools on our blog and via email, as we become aware. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. As you’re figuring things out, we wanted to pass along this article on tips for leading during pandemics.
Resources To Offer Paid Leave
Despite the common perception that paid leave imposes unmanageable additional costs on small business owners, studies have shown that businesses have actually reaped benefits from the practice. And small business owners like you are increasingly seeing the value. With a paid leave policy, you can do more than just keep your people healthy. Offering family or medical leave demonstrates to employees that you care about their health and general wellbeing, and that you’re invested in their future at your business.
- California Labor Commissioner’s Office FAQ
- California Employment Development Department (EDD) resource page
- How To Implement Paid Leave At Your Small Business article
Resources For Small Businesses Located Anywhere
Friday 4/24 Update: While the CARES2 recovery bill does set aside some funds to be used by community lenders, most CDFIs, like PCV, aren’t actually eligible to participate. It’s confusing, but only community lenders who were already doing over $50 million in loans, or were already certified SBA lenders, can participate. This excludes PCV and the majority of America’s CDFIs.
Be sure to visit your state Governor’s website for additional information on new small business emergency loan funds being rolled out daily.
- SBA Disaster Assistance Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration is expected to offer low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses that are not otherwise able to access capital. We will continue to keep you updated as this progresses. In the meantime, learn more here.
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Details here. And here’s some additional help navigating it.
- SBA Lender Match: If you haven’t yet applied for a PPP loan, the SBA has a new tool to help you connect with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Access it here.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the largest financial assistance bill ever, includes provisions to help small businesses. Here are the highlights.
- Survival Tips for Small Businesses: Read about how to protect your small business during the COVID-19 crisis in this article.
- Free remote small business advice on any issue or challenge here
- Eater has a list of relief funds for coronavirus-affected restaurants, bars, and food service workers article
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) article
- Preventing Stigma Related to COVID-19 article
- Guidance for Small Business Owners on COVID-19 article
- Great resource roundup and explainer for all legal and HR considerations from Hanson Bridgett explainer
- The Labor & Workforce Development Agency is sharing Coronavirus related resources for employers and workers article
- Understand what’s in the Congressional Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Restaurant.org Coronavirus information. Restaurant.org has collected a large number of resources just for restaurant operators.
- FDA FAQ page. For businesses that operate grocery or convenience stores, run restaurants or produce food, the Food and Drug Administration has guidance.
- Construction Association page. This page of resources is for those in the construction industry.
- Use these 4 sales tips during the coronavirus situation.
- $10,000 GRANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: An investment of $2.5 million from Verizon is making it possible for LISC to begin offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color and women owned businesses.
- Hello Alice has grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis.
- Lowe’s funds $25 million in grants to help minority businesses reopen
For California Small Businesses
The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has resources available to businesses affected by COVID-19. For the most up-to-date state resources for businesses, visit the GO-Biz resource page.
California’s update to pandemic unemployment benefits to cover unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, etc, can be found here.
- Delay of State Payroll Reports Learn more here.
- Partial Unemployment Insurance Claims to Keep Employees Learn more here.
- Work Sharing Program Learn more here.
Additional Coronavirus Resources for Businesses:
- California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) resource page
- California Labor Commissioner’s Office FAQ
- California Employment Development Department (EDD) resource page
- California Competes Tax Credits are available to help small business owners add new jobs. More here
For Bay Area Small Businesses
- The Public Health Officers of the most populous counties in the Bay Area including Santa Clara County issued a region-wide order that will affect businesses and people in the Bay Area designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order begins March 17 and is expected to last through April 7. For more information read the full County of Santa Clara press release and frequently asked questions posting.
- SBA Economic Injury loan program in Santa Clara (and some other Counties in California) is now live. Additional information and paperwork for these long-term, low-interest loans can be accessed at the SBA COVID-19 page.
- BONUS! For Bay Area nonprofits, Community Vision is offering 1-1 consulting, plus a series of webinars on issues like tenant rights and financial planning. More here.
City of San Francisco Resources for Employers
Our friends at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce have a great ongoing collection of resources to help you and your employees get through this time. OEWD has created a webpage that contains resources for San Francisco employers and employees concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the page will be updated as more information is made available.
- Deferred Quarterly Business Taxes for Small Businesses Learn more here.
- Deferred Annual Small Business Licensing Fee Learn more here.
- Small Business Resiliency Fund Grants for Micro-Businesses Learn more here.
- Leasing and Legal Assistance for Landlord Negotiation Learn more here.
- SF Small Business Revolving Loan Fund Learn more here.
- Technical Assistance Accessing SBA Loans Once Available Learn more here.
- SF Emerging Business Loan Fund Learn more here.
- Providing Paid Sick Leave for Employees Learn more here.
- Workers and Families First Program – Up to 40 hours Additional Paid Sick Leave Learn more here
The application for the San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program (SF HELP) is now available, with loans up to $50,000 at 0% interest. Funds can be used to pay payroll, rent, utilities, inventory and more. More here.
City of Oakland Resources
Mayor Libby Schaaf has launched the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund with $2.5 million in private donor seed funding of which $250,000 has been earmarked for small business grants up to $10,000 each. The Relief Fund will also provide grants to nonprofit organizations focusing on economic security for small businesses and workers, community health, homelessness, and food.
- Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Business and Worker Resources Learn more here
- Small Business Emergency Grants More here
- Oakland Business Assistance Center More here
- COVID-19 resources form the Oakland Chamber of Commerce More here
What if you’re not a small business owner, is there anything you can do?
This article from CNN has a lot of ideas: A few include purchasing gift certificates or gift cards from small businesses so the business can use the cash while business is slow; Continue shopping with small and local businesses if they’re offering takeout or curbside pickup; and tip more than usual. You can find a map of all our small business clients nationally at Pacific Community Ventures, and support one near you.
You can also volunteer remotely! Many companies and individuals are scaling back or cancelling volunteer engagements if they take place in person. Through PCV’s BusinessAdvising.org platform, you, your friends, and your entire company can volunteer remotely, while supporting small businesses nationwide that are hurting now more than ever. Volunteer advising can be done through email, phone, or video chat like Facetime, Slack, or Google Hangouts — whatever’s easiest for you! We are always especially looking for people with financial management, HR, and marketing expertise. You can learn more and start volunteering here.
If you are a small business who already provides paid leave or sick leave for your workers as part of your #goodjobsagenda, or is doing so in this public health emergency, we’d like to hear from you. Share your story with us on Twitter at @PCVtweets
If you are an HR professional interested in joining PCV’s first cohort of the Good Jobs, Good Business Advisors, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCV is continuing to gather resources to share with our small business community through this hard time; please watch our social media, and future newsletters for some that may be relevant for you.