Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The Fresno County Economic Development Corporation have established a Business Resource hotline for our business community to ask questions regarding your needs.

Phone: 559-476-2509  Email: covid@fresnoedc.com

As the threat of the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to rise in our community, please know that the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation is here to help. Our staff is continuously monitoring and evaluating local, state and federal resources and will update those on our website as we become aware of them.  We also have developed tools for businesses while they are considering their options for continued businesses practices.  As always, here in Fresno County we will do what we do best – work together to ensure that we all come out of this crisis with the least amount of impact as possible.  The Fresno County EDC will be working with our partners to bring you up to date information.  Our staff will be available by phone and email to assist you during these difficult times. We are stronger together.

Click here to download a business emergency planning process checklist

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As resources become available, we will update this page

 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Summary for Businesses

 

CARES Act: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan   (Updated  02/10/2021)

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general  loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan.

Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

Maximum loan amount and increased assistance for accommodation and food services businesses

For most borrowers, the maximum loan amount of a Second Draw PPP Loan is 2.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. For borrowers in the Accommodation and Food Services sector (use  NAICS 72 to confirm),  the maximum loan amount for a Second Draw PPP Loan is 3.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

You can apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan from January 13, 2021, until March 31, 2021. SBA is currently accepting Second Draw PPP loan applications from participating lenders.  Lender Match  connect you with a lender. You can also view all  lenders near you on a map.   All Second Draw PPP Loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. 

If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download the following PPP borrower application form to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender:

First Draw PPP

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/first-draw-ppp-loans 

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

o    PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.

o    Loans issued prior to June 5, 2020 have a maturity of two years. Loans issued after June 5, 2020 have a maturity of five years.

o    Loan payments will be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred 10 months after the end of the covered period for the borrower’s loan forgiveness (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks).

o    No collateral or personal guarantees are required.

o    Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

PPP Forms and Resources

 

CARES Act: Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Loan Advance –  (Updated 08/11/2021)  Expiration 11/30/2023

The Supplemental Targeted Advance provides a supplemental payment of $5,000 that does not have to be repaid. Even if you have previously received the original EIDL Advance in the full amount of $10,000, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Targeted Advance if you meet eligibility criteria. The combined amount of the Supplemental Targeted Advance ($5,000) with any previously received EIDL Advance or Targeted EIDL Advance ($10,000) will not exceed $15,000. Completing the Targeted EIDL Advance application is a requirement to be considered for the Supplemental Targeted Advance.

Eligibility

o Is located in a low-income community. Use this mapping tool to see if your business is in a low-income community as defined in section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code. The business address must be in a low-income community to qualify, so SBA encourages you to check the map before you apply; and

o Can prove more than a 50% economic loss during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later, compared to the same period of the previous year. Applicants need to provide gross monthly revenue (all forms of combined monthly earnings received, such as profits or salaries) from January 2019 to the current month-to-date; and

o Has 10 or fewer employees.

How to apply:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/eidl/targeted-eidl-advance-supplemental-targeted-advance 

 

CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM – (Updated on 8/11/21) 

Grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions. Lendistry has been designated by the state to act as the intermediary for the Program to disburse the grant funds. 

Portal Rounds: 

Round 7: Waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds Tuesday, August 3, 2021, through Thursday, September 16, 2021 

Round 8: Nonprofit cultural institutions only Friday, August 27, 2021, through Wednesday, September 8, 2021 

Round 9: New applicants and waitlisted applicants from previous rounds Thursday, September 9, 2021, through Thursday, September 30, 2021

How to Apply: Complete a grant application here: https://careliefgrant.com

 

CARES Act: Small Business Debt Relief

The SBA Debt Relief program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans. Information for those who received the loans can be found at:  https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-0

Click here for a copy of the Small Business Owner’s Guide to CARES Act
Click here for a copy of a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

 

CARES Act: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)  (Updated 4/17/2020) 

https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is part of the federal assistance  that helps unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history who are out of business or have significantly reduced their services as a direct result of the pandemic. The federal government has approved an additional 11 weeks of PUA benefits. This extension began December 27, 2020, under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020. With the new extension, PUA includes up to 57 weeks of benefits, beginning February 2, 2020. The date you can start collecting these benefits depends on when you were directly affected by COVID-19 and the date you filed your PUA claim. PUA benefits are available if you don’t qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This includes:

  • Business owners.
  • Self-employed workers.
  • Independent contractors.
  • People with a limited work history.
  • People who have used all their regular UI benefits as well as any extended benefits.
  • People who are serving false statement penalty weeks on their regular UI claim.

If you only received a 1099 tax form last year, you are most likely eligible for PUA.

You must also meet one of the following conditions:

Health Reasons

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • You cannot work because your healthcare provider told you to self-quarantine.
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You are caring for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You cannot work because you are caring for a dependent whose school or care facility has closed due to COVID-19.
  • You became the main income provider due to a COVID-19 death in your household.

Work Reasons

  • You quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • Your workplace is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You had a definite date to begin work, but the job is no longer available, or you could not reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are unable to travel to your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are unemployed, partially employed, or unable to work because COVID-19 has forced you to stop working.

Click here for a PUA Program FAQ Guide: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance  For further details on the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Program, please visit: Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Program

 

CARES Act: Main Street Lending Program (Updated 2/10/2021)

Program closed 1/08/2021.  For more information, check the Federal Reserve’s  Program Details and FAQ’s

 

Federal Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  • Employee Retention Credit (Updated 9/19/2020)
    The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS. The definition of qualified wages depends on how many employees an eligible employer has.

If an employer averaged more than 100 full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are generally those wages, including certain health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts. These employers can only count wages up to the amount that the employee would have been paid for working an equivalent duration during the 30 days immediately preceding the period of economic hardship.

If an employer averaged 100 or fewer full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are those wages, including health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to any employee during the period operations were suspended or the period of the decline in gross receipts, regardless of whether or not its employees are providing services.For each employee, wages (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 can be counted to determine the amount of the 50% credit.

Because this credit can apply to wages already paid after March 12, 2020, many struggling employers can get access to this credit by reducing upcoming deposits or requesting an advance credit on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19.

Employers, including tax-exempt organizations, are eligible for the credit if they operate a trade or business during calendar year 2020 and experience either the full or partial suspension of the operation of their trade or business during any calendar quarter because of governmental orders limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19, or a significant decline in gross receipts.

Please note that an eligible employer’s ability to claim the Employee Retention Credit is impacted by other credit and relief provisions. If an employer receives a Small Business Interruption Loan under the Payment Protection Program (PPP), then the employer is not eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.

For more information on the Employee Retention Credit, please visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/employee-retention-credit

 

  • IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief Resource Page
    The IRS has set up a special section to help tax payers and businesses affected by COVID-19.  For more information, please visit the IRS COVID-19 page

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

  • Rural Energy for America Program – REAP (Updated 1/21/2021)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development issued a notice outlining immediate assistance available to rural residents, businesses, and communities. Assistance includes loan payment deferrals, and the extension of application periods for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). For more information and assistance details, please visit USDA

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Central CA 

  • Business Assistance
    SBDC – Central CA is providing business assistance for companies at risk of closing or impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. To request assistance, please click here: https://ucmsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/signup
  • Webinars
    The SBDC is also hosting a series of webinars to help startups and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To register for SBDC’s webinars, please visit: SBDC Webinars.

 

EXIM – Export-Import Bank of the US

  • COVID-19 Relief Measures (Updated 10/28/2020)
    The Export-Import Bank of the United States has extended assistance to U.S. customers and lenders including waivers and deadline extensions for 30 days (further extensions may be issued by EXIM Bank).  More info here: EXIM Covid-19

State Resources

The State of California

Every county in California is assigned to a tier base on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. In light of the recent, unprecedented surge in rate of increase of cases, the following changes are effective until further notice:

  • Tier assignments may occur any day of the week and may occur more than once a week when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) determines that the most recent reliable data indicate that immediate action is needed to address COVID-19 transmission in a county.
  • Counties may be moved back more than one tier if CDPH determines that the data supports more intensive intervention. Key considerations will include the rate of increase in new cases and/or test positivity, more recent data as noted below, public health capacity, and other epidemiological factors.
  • The most recent reliable data will be used to complete the assessment.
  • In light of the extreme circumstances requiring immediate action, counties will be required to implement any sector changes the day following the tier announcement.
  • Full details on the Blueprint are available in CDPH’s  Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework.

       

All businesses and facilities must follow the items listed here before reopening:

  1. Find the guidance for your industry, business, event, or activity.   https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/
  2. Review it completely.
  3. Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a worksite-specific protection plan.
  4. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.  This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  5. Set up individual control measures and screenings.
  6. Put disinfection protocols in place.
  7. Establish physical distancing guidelines.
  8. Establish universal face covering requirements (with allowed exceptions).  See CDPH guidelines (PDF).
  9. Post your completed checklist so everyone can know the steps you’ve taken.  Feel free to add more safety measures to the ones included in your industry’s guidance.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Website
    The State of California has created a website that provides information and resources for residents and businesses. For more information, visit  Coronavirus in California

The California Department of Health

  • Workplace Guidelines (Updated 2021)
    The California Department of Health has published a series of guidelines and information for a variety of business sectors including adult and senior care facilities, food and beverage and health care facilities, please visit COVID-19 Updates

The California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal/OSHA)

  • Guidance for Workplaces
    Cal OSHA has published guidance on requirements to protect workers from coronavirus. For more information, please visit Coronavirus protection

The California Employment Development Division (EDD)

  • Filing Extension

For the most up-to-date information, visit the CA EDD COVID-19 resource page

  • Partial Claims Program

Partial claims are for employees whose employers want to keep them but have temporarily laid them off or reduced their hours. A partial Unemployment Insurance claim can be used for any claimant who works less than their normal full-time hours, and whose employers want to keep them. For more information, visit the CA Partial Claims page

  • Work Sharing Program

Employers can apply for the Work Sharing Program if they are looking for alternatives to layoffs due to reduced production, services, or other conditions. This program allows employers to keep trained employees so that when business conditions improve, the employer avoids the expense of recruiting, hiring and training new employees, and saves the existing employees the hardship of becoming fully unemployed. For more information, visit the CA EDD Work Sharing Program page

 

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

  • Business Assistance
    Go-Biz provides many services to employers affected by COVID-19. For the most up-to-date state resources for businesses, please visit the GO-Biz resource page

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank)

  • Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
    Small businesses located in California with 1-750 employees may be eligible to apply for a Small Business Loan Guarantee Program. For more information, visit the IBank’s Small Business Finance Center page

 

City/County Information and Resources

Fresno County

 

Clovis

 

Coalinga

 

Firebaugh

 

Fowler

 

Fresno

 

Huron

 

Kerman

 

Kingsburg

 

Mendota

 

Orange Cove

 

Parlier

 

Reedley

 

San Joaquin

 

Sanger

 

Selma 

 

Utilities and Other Resources

Pacific Gas and Electric 

  • COVID-19 Customer Programs and Support (Updated 6/5/2020)
    https://www.pge.com/en_US/about-pge/company-information/protective-protocols/covid19-protections.page
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Economic Development Rate (EDR)
    Fresno County commercial or industrial customers can receive an Economic Development Rate discount of 25% on the majority of their electric costs for five years, if they are facing financial challenges that could cause them to cease operations without the reduced electrical rate. Small businesses below 150kW can qualify as well.  For more information, visit  PG&E Economic Development Rate page
    Please note, each application is subject to an approval process

 

Kiva

  • 0% Interest Loan (Updated 4/23/2020)
    Non-profit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world is connecting U.S. Small Business Owners to 0% interest crowd-funded loans.  To quality for a Kiva Loan, borrowers must:

    • Be living in the U.S.
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Use the loan for business purposes

For more information about the Kiva U.S. loan, please visit: https://www.kiva.org/borrow/F4H8EZM86WMFC4HJK3GUN63

WomensNet – Amber Grant 

WomensNet was created to help women achieve their dreams.  They offer free tips on how to get a grant, offer their own monthly grant and discuss encouraging stories of women entrepreneurs.  The Amber Grant began in 1998 in honor of Amber Wigdahl.  Each month an Amber Grant of $10,000 is awarded and one of the 12 monthly recipients receives an additional $25,000 Amber Grant.

Eligibility:
Businesses must be at least 50% women-owned for consideration and based in the U.S. or Canada.  The applicant must be a minimum of 18 years old.

Application:
Apply each month here:  https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/apply-now/

Application Process:

  1. Fill out the form using the above link to simply tell them about your business (Tip: Speak from the heart)
  2. There is a $15 application fee

For more information, use the above link.

 

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