Resources and Information for Business Owners and Workers

Order of the County of Sonoma Health Officer (C19-25): Wearing of Face Coverings in Workplaces and Public Settings

Sonoma County and other bay area health officials urge immediate vaccination and issue orders requiring the use of face coverings indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Orders require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions, starting just after midnight - 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

PRESS RELEASE  |  HEALTH ORDER

Facial Covering Signage for Posting in Business Facilities (for downloading)

Effective August 3, 2021, facial coverings are required, regardless of vaccination status, over the mouth and nose, when indoors in public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces, such as offices, retail stores, restaurants, bars, theaters, family entertainment centers, conference centers, schools, daycares, and State and local government offices serving the public per the Order of the Health Officer of the County of Sonoma (C19-25). The City of Santa Rosa has prepared the following sign to help businesses meet this new requirement.

COVID-19_Face Covering_Door Sign_8.5x11_final_thumbnail Opens in new window

California Reopening

With vaccine rates up and hospitalization rates down, on June 15, 2021 California has dropped its 4-tier method for reducing COVID-19 to move Beyond the Blueprint and be more fully and safety reopened. This update eliminates the requirements of physical distancing, capacity limits on businesses, and the County tier system, though limits to gatherings are still in place as well as for those not vaccinated. To review business and industrial sector impacts, CLICK HERE.

On June 17, 2021 the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, updated guidelines and requirements for employees and employers. These updates better align work spaces with the Beyond the Blueprint and state reopening and include the lifting of social distancing and masking for vaccinated workers, as well as provide employers the ability for more stringent protocols if those employers deem it necessary. For a full list of standards, CLICK HERE.

Guidelines on Temporary Tents & Canopies for Outdoor Dining & Business Operations

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services, the Sonoma County Fire Chiefs Association and Sonoma County Fire Prevention Officers Association have released guidelines for outdoor dining structures for meeting fire protection requirements and addressing COVID-19 safety needs. The guidelines were developed to clarify and supplement the general requirements for outdoor dining, bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries that operate outdoors. To see the Guidelines for Temporary Tents, Canopies and Membrane Structures for Outdoor Business Operations, CLICK HERE.

Expanded Sidewalk and Parklet Seating Programs for Santa Rosa Restaurants

The City of Santa Rosa has launched the Open & Out business program to activate additional outdoor seating in the public right-of-way. The Open & Out program allows for additional outdoor space and the creation of parklets for dining and seating following safe social distancing guidelines. Local restaurateurs may expand their outdoor seating by applying online for a permit. The new parklet program is modeled after similar programs in cities such as San Francisco and San Jose and allows businesses to expand their service area into the parking area of the street following the guidelines in the City’s Parklet policy.  READ MORE & APPLY

Government and Industry Resources

This list contains federal, state, local, and industry-specific resources for Santa Rosa business owners and their employees. These suggested resources may offer assistance to local businesses and employees during the current public health emergency.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (2020 CARES ACT & 2021 AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN)

For Small Businesses

  • U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs). This program provides funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue related to COVID-19. For more information on EIDLs, go here.
    • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.
    • Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant Program (Save Our Stages). This program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. For more information, go here.
    • Community Navigator Pilot Program. SBA is expanding its network and engaging with states, local governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations for targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities. To ensure the Community Navigator Pilot Program reaches communities across the country in the coming months, SBA will soon be announcing a new grant funding opportunity that will be open to proposals from SBA resource partners, states, tribes, units of local governments, and other nonprofit organizations. For more information, go here.
    • Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. For more information, go here.
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Taxation Information
    • The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. 
    • Under the CARES Act, loans obtained by employers under the PPP are eligible to be forgiven, in whole or in part, in an amount equal to certain qualifying expenditures made by the employer during the 8-week “covered period." The CARES Act provides that the amount of a PPP loan that is forgiven is excluded from an employer’s gross income, and therefore is not subject to income tax.
      • The IRS addressed in Notice 2020-32 the topic of an employer claiming a tax deduction for the corresponding qualifying expenditures. The notice concludes that where an employer obtains forgiveness of an amount of a PPP loan, the employer may not claim a tax deduction for the eligible expenditures resulting in such forgiveness.
    • Additional Resources For Small Businesses:

For Employees

STATE GOVERNMENT

LOCAL RESOURCES

PRIVATE SECTOR RESOURCES AND GRANT PROGRAMS

  • Small Business Relief Initiative
    • Intuit Quickbooks teamed up with GoFundMe and Yelp to launch the Small Business Relief Initiative to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis. Each company has donated $500,000 to start the fund, which will provide grants to small businesses across the United States, starting with the hardest hit areas. The fund will also issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. 
    • To be eligible, businesses cannot be national in scope or part of a chain or franchise, must be independently owned, and must meet GoFundMe’s terms of service.
  • Yelp
    • Yelp created a $25 million fund to provide relief to independently owned restaurant and nightlife businesses and franchisees with fewer than five locations in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period.