In addition to launching the Small Business Assistance Grant Program, the City of Santa Clara has been dedicated to actively monitoring and sharing the latest resources for businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19.
Below you will find resources available at the local, state and federal levels, as well as information about upcoming informational webinars where you can hear from subject matter experts and ask questions.
Updated as of 7/8/20
These free, digital resources are aimed at helping businesses of all kinds navigate reopening and operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upcoming or Ongoing Resources
Jumpstart Your Business Operations: Two Part Webinar hosted by CA State Treasurer, Fiona Ma
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Register for the Zoom meeting
Sometimes, coming up with the actual ideas is the toughest part of innovation and change. Fortunately, even if you don’t think of yourself as creative, there are quick and easy ways to dependably attract amazing ideas to help you pivot and restart your business. You'll learn actionable steps to:
- Imagine new ways to deliver your brand benefits
- Leverage current disruption to set the stage for breakthrough thinking
- Use big questions to generate innovative ideas
- Find future-oriented ideas in other business models
- Move ahead with sprint-break-sprint
East Bay Economic Development Alliance 2020 Speaker Series: Restaurant Relaunch
Original broadcast 6/23/2020
Jay Coldren and Alex Barrow from Streetsense delivered an engaging presentation and Q & A session on restaurant and bar reopening during COVID-19. The event provided a platform to learn more about industry best practices and challenges during these times. Visit Streetsense to download a copy of the Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit.
Restaurant Re-opening Webinar
Original broadcast 6/17/2020
Silicon Valley’s Small Business Development Center brings you their perspectives on how restaurants can comply with, adapt to, & improve under the new requirements. Staff from both San Mateo & Santa Clara counties will answer your questions about local regulations.
Recorded webinars related to COVID-19 small business assistance from SBDC California.
City of Santa Clara Programs
- Small Business Assistance Grant Program
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Santa Clara small businesses and their employees, the City of Santa Clara committed up to $1.1 million in one-time funds to create a Small Business Assistance Grant Program. To learn more, visit the webpage.
- Moratorium on Utility Disconnections
The City’s Municipal Services Division has implemented a suspension on service disconnections for utility (electric and water) non-payment, for both residential and commercial customers. It will remain in effect until further notice.
- Flexible Payment Plans
The City will offer its most flexible payment plans to customers who indicate either an impact or hardship as a result of COVID-19.
County of Santa Clara Resources
- Business Guidance During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Visit the County's Businesses and Workplaces website.
- COVID-19 Business Call Center
For any inquiries related to your business or workplace, call the County's COVID-19 Business Call Center at 408-961-5500, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Regional Business Resources
The Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center, 408-248-4800, is offering free services, including one-on-one advice, training and workshops, and funding help.
Santa Clara County businesses are encouraged to register with the County at www.sccprc.org for upcoming solicitations and contracting opportunities.
Santa Clara County Eviction Moratorium
Santa Clara County has issued an Ordinance covering March 24 through to July 28, unless otherwise extended, ordering that small businesses located in Santa Clara County renting or leasing real property for commercial, business, income-producing, or otherwise non-residential use, cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent if such business suffered substantial loss of income due to COVID-19. Refer to County Ordinance NS-9.287 for further details. The County’s ordinance relies on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) definitions of small businesses based on industry. Find detailed information and an FAQ on the Santa Clara County moratorium page.
- Employment Services: NOVA is committed to providing critical workforce development services to its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. NOVA offers a free 45-minute informational webinar every Thursday at 10 a.m. to provide information on how to file for unemployment insurance, as well as free job-search assistance.View the NOVA Workforce Services available.
The State of California has created a one-stop website for COVID-19 resources. Learn how to stay healthy, resources available to Californians including unemployment and paid sick leave, and much more.
- Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal encourages Californians to support small businesses in their communities as they make modifications to protect public health. Visit the website: https://business.ca.gov/shopsafeshoplocal/
- The State of California has partnered with industry-leading companies, such as Nextdoor, Google, UPS, and launched a website that connects California's small business owners to critical tools and resources. These resources will help California's entrepreneurs adapt to new consumer markets and create safer shopping experiences by improving those small businesses' online presence. The website includes links to:
- Free consulting, in 31 different languages, from California's network of small business centers
- Resources and offers from our partners to help businesses operate safely and build a digital footprint
- Latest state industry guidance and county variances
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) through SafelyMakingCA.org, California's new PPE marketplace
- A free digital media toolkit for small businesses and partners
- The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak. Along with that, GO-Biz has shared a FAQ for small businesses.
- The California Capital Access Program for Small Business (CalCAP SB or Program) 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 receive more favorable loan terms from a lender if your loan is enrolled in the CalCAP Loan Loss Reserve Program. This program helps communities by providing financing to businesses that create jobs and improve the economy. CalCAP is a loan loss revenue program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. With CalCAP portfolio support, a lender may be more comfortable underwriting small business loans.
- The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) partners with Financial Development Corporations to provide loan guarantees and direct loans for small businesses that experience capital access barriers.
- Sales Tax Bridge Loan: The State has announced the free deferral of sales/use tax, up to $50,000, for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable assets.
- The State is allowing qualified businesses to defer their payment of sales/use tax for up to one-year with no fines or penalties. Additionally, there will be no interest payments required for any deferred payments. The intent is for this funding, which businesses collect and remit to the State, to act as a bridge loan.
- California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program: This program is being started with $50 million in funding being provided to the IBank.
- This program is targeted at small businesses with 1-750 employees who do not qualify for federal funds. The loans would be eligible for businesses and non-profits, and the funds could be used for operating costs, such as rent and payroll.
- Businesses can apply directly with a private lender or through a participating Financial Development Corporation.
- The State of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Center provides information on programs available for employers and workers.
Additional State Resources
- The California Capital Access Program for Small Business (CalCAP SB or Program)
- The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC)
- California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19.
- California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) Tax Filing Extension
- The California Film Commission will allocate $330 million per year from July 2020 through June 2025 as part of an extended 3.0 Film and TV Tax Credit Program.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) issued State Tax Filing Guidance for Coronavirus Pandemic summarizing the latest developments on state tax filings related to the COVID-19.
- The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help businesses navigate available resources and answer business questions.
- The Paycheck Projection Program authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. This frequently asked questions document and the sample application will help businesses understand the program and what information will be needed to apply.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now accepting applications for low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) for small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated counties of California and other states to help alleviate economic injury caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
To access SBA assistance, go to the Disaster Loan Assistance portal. Click on “Eligible Disaster Areas” to see what counties have been designated as coronavirus disaster affected. As of March 16, 2020, Santa Clara County was designated.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to protect workers exposed to airborne infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. Cal/OSHA has issued Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus.
- Businesses can begin applying for FEMA Disaster Assistance while we await a disaster declaration to release these funds.
- The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak.
- On March 9, the FDIC encouraged financial institutions to help meet the needs of those customers and members affected by the COVID-19. That could mean, for example, waiving fees on late or missed credit card or loan payments and waiving early withdrawal penalties for out-of-work savers who need access to money locked up in CDs. List of Banks Offering Relief to Customers Affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
County's Order and Essential Business
Latest Update (7/2/2020): On July 2, 2020, the County of Santa Clara announced the end of a phased reopening and the beginning of a new stage that will be stable for some time. The County said the new order will go into effect on July 13 or as soon as State approval is granted, whichever is later.
From the County: Under the prior order, most businesses and activities in the community had been allowed to reopen. The new order allows other activities to resume, including hair and nail services, gyms, and small gatherings, but only with strict social distancing protocols in place, consistent use of face coverings, and significant capacity limits. It also requires all employers to immediately report cases of COVID-19 tied to their work places to local public health officials
For more information, visit the County Public Health webpage about the new order.
Latest Update (6/29/2020): On Monday, June 29, the County of Santa Clara provided additional resources for businesses seeking workplace information about the current public health order as they navigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
- For more details, visit the County’s COVID-19 business website, https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/business-guidance.aspx.
- The County now also has a COVID-19 Business Call Center which can be reached at 408-961-5500, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Past Updates: (5/18/2020) On May 18, 2020, the County of Santa Clara joined the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco and the city of Berkeley, in announcing a revised Shelter-in-Place order which will allow for some reopening of certain sectors. The new order, which goes into effect Friday, May 22, will allow retail establishments to offer storefront and curbside pick-up, along with manufacturing, warehousing and logistical operations that support retail to resume.
(3/31/2020) On March 31, 2020, the County of Santa Clara joined six other Bay Area jurisdictions to extend the previous Stay-at-Home order through May 3, 2020. According to County public health officials, this order extension will help preserve critical hospital capacity across the region.
The County said the new order clarifies what's permissible for essential business and activities, as well as some new directives, including:
- Requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3
- Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited
- Essential businesses expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, Realtors, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities
- Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only
Like the previous local order, the new order requires people to stay at home except for doing essential activities, such as grocery shopping, in six counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, as well as the city of Berkeley.
Non-essential businesses will remain closed.
(6/5/20) Under the amended order for June 5, 2020, additional businesses may reopen such as outdoor dining, retail, manufacturing, childcare, camps, and other educational or recreational Institutions for children. View the County amended order for more details.
(5/18/2020) Under the revised public health order that goes into effect May 22, 2020, County of Santa Clara officials stress that businesses need to consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers as these activities resume. Per the County’s protocol, all business are required to post signage to educate customers about health and safety requirements. View additional details about the County's amended order.
Past Updates: Under the County of Santa Clara order in effect through May 3, essential businesses are required to post a sanitation and social distancing plan in a public space. Per the County, this document must be made available to employees and law enforcement. See template below.
County of Santa Clara template for businesses to draft a social distancing protocol
View the County of Santa Clara's Recommendations for Business and Workplaces (updated 3/16/2020).
Grocery Stores, Farmers Markets and Other Food Retailers
In accordance with the March 31, 2020 County of Santa Clara order, grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other food retail establishments selling foods items and non-alcoholic drinks are encouraged to stay open to provide food items and pet supplies to the public.
In Santa Clara County, when visiting these places, the public must wear a face covering and maintain Social Distancing Requirements, including while people are shopping and standing in line.
Support Local Businesses
The Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of businesses who are open during the current shelter-in-place.
Reporting Non-Essential Businesses
If you believe a non-essential business is violating the County's order, you may report a clear violation by emailing the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office at PubHealthReferral@dao.sccgov.org. Also, a voicemail can be left by calling 408-792-2300.