Resources and Information for Business Owners and Workers
Checklist for Essential Businesses Preparing to Operate During Shelter In Place Order
The Sonoma County Health Officer’s modified Shelter in Place Health Order reduces Shelter-in-Place restrictions for a few industry areas. Several social distancing and hygiene requirements are a condition of reopening these essential business areas, and the City has created a checklist to help guide those businesses preparing to reopen in compliance with the Order.
Social Distancing Protocol Signage for Posting in Business Facilities (for downloading)
The Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s amended Heath Order, which went into effect on May 4, now requires businesses to limit the number of people in the facility at any one time, require distancing in lines and face coverings inside, and provide multiple sanitizing measures. Additionally, many businesses are required to prepare and post “Social Distancing Protocol” signage at or near their entrances. The City of Santa Rosa has prepared the following sign to help essential businesses meet this new signage requirement.
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 / CARES ACT
For Small Businesses
- U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Additional Funding Notice: On April 27, the SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from participating lenders. The additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package also allowed the SBA to resume processing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) and Advance applications that are already in its queue on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on available relief options for small businesses, 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:
- National Endowment of the Humanities Emergency Relief Grants
- Application Deadline: May 11
- CA Employment Development Department (EDD)
- Overview of Resources and Services
- Unemployment Insurance: How to File for Unemployment Insurance
- Disability Insurance: How to File a Disability Claim
- Paid Family Leave: How To File a Family Leave Claim
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program
- On April 28, the EDD began accepting oniline applications for this program. As part of the federal CARES Act, the new PUA program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.
- CA Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a comprehensive list of links including:
- CA Department of Industrial Relations:
- CA Department of Public Health
- CA Public Utilities Commission
California Best Management Practices by Sector
Since every industry presents different challenges and circumstances for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health has created a series of guidance documents for select industry sectors to support a safe, clean environment for their workers. Click on a link below for more information about an industry sector. Refer to California’s Resilience Roadmap for more information.
|Hotels and Lodging||Guidance||Checklist|
|Logistics and Warehousing||Guidance||Checklist|
|Real Estate Interactions||Guidance||Checklist|
- Santa Rosa Metro Chamber Small Business Emergency Grants
- Northern California Small Business Development Center
- The local SBDC launched new phone and email services for businesses to get quick answers to financial questions, such as business loan options, filling out forms, and more:
- Napa-Sonoma SBDC is now offering a weekly live stream on the topic of Overcoming the Economic Shock due to COVID-19. These are LIVE Episodes for Small Businesses and provide Questions and Answers. Join the Live Stream on Facebook every Tuesday at 10 a.m. PST episodes in English and at 11 a.m. for episodes in Spanish.
- Sonoma County Economic Development Board Business Recovery Tools and Resources
- SoCo Launch: An online portal featuring all of the resources business owners need to safely and successfully reopen their businesses in accordance with the latest Public Health Order. It is aimed to help business owners understand at what point they may be able to reopen for consumers amidst the four phases outlined by the State of California.
- Sonama County Department of Health Services
- Sonoma County Job Link Resources
- For Businesses: For assistance with layoffs and layoff mitigation, the Sonoma County Job Link Business Services hotline number is (707) 565-8079. The Job Link Business Services email is email@example.com. This hotline and e-mail are staffed during the Shelter in Place. Be aware that due to call volume, you may need to leave a message. All calls Monday-Friday will be returned within 24 hours.
- For Employees: Sonoma County Job Link offers job seekers 18 years of age and up access to job search tools, career development services, labor market information and job referrals. Inquire about FREE, PAID job training and individualized job search assistance. During the Shelter in Place, Job Link staff can answer questions by phone about how to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits. The phone number is (707) 565-5550.
- Creative Sonoma
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES
The Northern California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) has implemented a new initiative as part of a continued effort to provide support to small businesses during these challenging times. ASKSBDC.com provides the most up-to-date, accurate information concerning COVID-19 and Cares Act resources for small businesses. Call the 833-ASK-SBDC (833-275-7232) toll-free hotline to speak with a dedicated call center staff ready to help your business get answers to questions and connected to the right resources.
- EIDL and PPP Updates
- Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 AM, join Scott Rogalski and Sunita Maharaj with the NorCal SBDC Finance Center Team as they discuss EIDL and PPP updates and information specific to reopening businesses in Northern California. Register at: NorCaSBDC.Zoom.us
- Ask an Attorney
- Bring your questions and learn key updates from experienced professionals and attorneys covering topics including PPP and unemployment, practical advice on borrowing, payroll issues and more. Thursdays at 4 PM via Zoom. Visit Ask an Attorney for more information. Zoom password: baseforce.
PRIVATE SECTOR RESOURCES AND GRANT PROGRAMS
- AT&T will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customers unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. For qualifying accounts, the company will waive late payment fees incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic for service through June 30, and it will keep public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
- Comcast is providing free Xfinity hotspots, unlimited data, and no disconnects or late fees for all customers experiencing hardship for service through June 30. Comcast is also offering a free Internet Essentials internet plan for all new customers for 60 days if they apply by June 30.
- Hello Alice
- Awarding $10,000 emergency grants to small businesses.
- 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.
- Verizon is waiving late fees incurred by any small business or residential customers due to their economic circumstances related to COVID-19 for service through June 30. The company will also not terminate service to any customers who are unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19, and is adding an extra 15GB of data to all consumer and small business plans.
- 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.