IMMEDIATE STEPS TO TAKE
[Santa Barbara, March 17, 2020] As the spread and impact of COVID-19 is still an unknown, it is recommended that employers and self-employed individuals to take the following action steps:
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER – Do you have business interruption insurance? If so, you may have coverage that supplements any income or sales loss during this time.
- TRACK LOSSES – During moments of disruption it is important to track any loss your business may have incurred as programs designed to assist cash flow needs and access to capital depend on accurate counts of economic injury or production loss.
- DO YOU HAVE PERFORMANCE-BASED CONTRACTS WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS OR CUSTOMERS? – reviewing your current contracts and obligations will clarify limitations of liability and force majeure.
- HAS YOUR BUSINESS EXPERIENCED DISRUPTION OR CONCERN IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS?
- Supply chain disruption and liability
- Questions or concerns about the implications of tariffs
- Technology plans for setting up remote work stations for employees
- Concerns about cash flow during disruption
- Concerns about credit and finance issues
- Concerns about force majeure
5. NO-COST BUSINESS CONSULTING IS AVAILABLE!
For businesses that have experienced the following concerns or disruptions, you can contact us for assistance at COVIDbiz@countyofsb.org.
Visit and register (when applicable) with the following websites to keep up to date with the latest news and information related to COVID-19.
County of Santa Barbara –
Santa Barbara County Public Health – publichealthsbc.org
California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development – business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019
California Department of Public Health – www.cdph.ca.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYERS
Work Share Program
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Work Sharing Program through the EDD. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits.
Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent.
Extension Filing Payroll Tax
Employers statewide directly affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit payroll taxes without penalty or interest. This extension may be granted under Section 1111.5 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For more information, please visit EDD website.
ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYEES
Individuals who have had their hours reduced or have lost their job through no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Learn more by visiting the EDD website.
Note: Governor’s Emergency Proclamations waive the non-payable one-week waiting period for regular UI benefit payments to eligible individuals affected by current disasters. This means individuals can be paid benefits for the first week they are unemployed due to the disaster.
Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.
Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 -$1,300 a week.
Paid Family Leave
Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.
Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 – $1,300 a week.
BUSINESS DISRUPTION LOANS
Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) Disaster Loan Fund
Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) is offering low interest micro loans from $5,000-$50,000 through our Disaster Loan Fund to give a cash flow boost to businesses impacted by reduced sales, supply chain disruption or other challenges related to COVI D-19. Contact Marvin Boateng, Lending Manager to apply or for additional assistance navigating access to capital. Email email@example.com or call (805) 409-9158.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Note: At this time, assistance will become available when the State of California qualifies for federal aid. We believe this will be eminent.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
WEV will be offering loans soon. Please check the WEV website for updates. For WEV existing loans, you can apply for a WEV Quick Response Loan to request deferment for up to three payments. Contact Marni Brook at email@example.com or Marta Quintero at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
CA Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development COVID-19 Business Resources The California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has released information on their website for employees and employers impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for more information.
Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) Guidance for Employers and Workers
The LWDA has a guidance to make it easier and spread awareness through this centralized source of information on the LWDA website to help determine what is best for the businesses, their employees, and their family.
California Employment Development Department (EDD) COVID-19 Online Resources
The State of California EDD provides a variety of support services affected by COVID-19 in California. The EDD website offers many services online for businesses and employees.
SBA COVID-19 Business Guide
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released a comprehensive guide to help businesses plan and respond to the current COVID-19 threat. Visit the SBA website for more information.
CDC COVID-19 Business Guide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created an interim guide based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For access to the full guide and more information, please visit the CDC website.
Local Chambers of Commerce
Stay connected with your local Chamber of Commerce. Chambers of Commerce are well connected with the business community and legislative and they all are collecting additional resources to assist businesses.
Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, www.buellton.org, 805.688.7829
Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, www.carpinteriachamber.org, 805.684.5479
Goleta Chamber of Commerce, goletachamber.com, 805.967.2500
Lompoc Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, www.lompoc.com, 805.736.4567
Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, www.sbchamber.org, 805.965.3023
Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, santamaria.com, 805.925.2403
Solvang Chamber of Commerce, www.solvangcc.com, 805.688.0701
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS TO TAKE NOW
Note: This information is not intended to be used as medical advice. Please contact your local health professional or visit the CDC website for further information.
President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread
The president recently released these simple guidelines to encourage all of us to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non- punitive leave policies.
Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
Separate sick employees
CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
Perform routine environmental cleaning
Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website. Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.