The County of Santa Clara is experiencing an increasing number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, or COVID-19. We continue to carry out our City’s unprecedented response to this outbreak, which includes actively monitoring the resources available to impacted businesses and workers.
Below are a number of resources for employers and employees related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated as of 3/31/2020
The City is continuing to evaluate ways to assist local businesses. This webpage will be updated with the most current resources available.
- 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.
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.
The State of California has created a new 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.
- 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 new 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. The chart below is also available on the website, detailing benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.
- 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. You can 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). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.
- 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.
- Facebook has launched a $100 million grant program to help small businesses in the form of cash grants or ad credits.
- 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
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.
Under the new County of Santa Clara order that's now 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).
About Grocery Stores, Farmers Markets and Other Food Retailers
In accordance with the new March 31, 2020 order, the County of Santa Clara stated that 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.
When visiting these places, the public must help the retailer maintain Social Distancing Requirements, including while people are shopping and standing in line.
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.