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COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resources

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Job Loss?

If you have lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of California has launched Onward CA, a one-stop resource guide for Californians impacted by job loss during this crisis to help you get back to work as quickly as possible.  Onward CA consists of a coalition of companies, foundations, and humans who want to help; help you get money or groceries or child care; help you upskill, reskill, or refresh; and help you land a great new job.

Essential Businesses: Social Distancing Protocol

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the County of Marin along with five other Bay Area counties have extended the shelter-at-home order.  The extension adds some clarifying language around essential businesses and includes a requirement that essential businesses create plans for how they will operate before Friday, April 3, 2020.  Essential businesses are required to complete, post, and enact the Social Distancing Protocol by that date.

The City of San Rafael is working closely with the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce to develop resources for businesses impacted by Coronavirus prevention measures.

COVID-19 Marin County Hotline: (415) 473-7191

Manufacturers - Bay Area COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Production Efforts

If you are a manufacturer interested in pivoting your production to create Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical equipment in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, please complete this survey form to share information with emergency procurement specialists.  This effort is a collaboration between the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and California's Economic Development Office (Go-Biz).

Gig Economy

Workers and businesses who participate in the gig economy are especially vulnerable in a precarious time such as the COVID-19 public health crisis.  Here is a short list of the major gig economy companies and what they’re doing to protect and support their workers and business partners during the spread of COVID-19:

Uber

Uber will provide financial assistance for up to 14 days if you actively drive or deliver with Uber and get diagnosed with COVID-19 or are personally placed in quarantine by a public health authority.

Lyft

Lyft will provide funds to drivers should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under individual quarantine by a public health agency. This helps support drivers financially when they can't drive, while also protecting our riders’ health.

Postmates

Earlier this week, Postmates launched the Postmates Fleet Relief Fund, which aids Postmates in covering the costs of co-pays or medical expenses related to COVID-19, regardless of diagnosis. Additionally, in the event a fleet member tests positive for Covid-19, the fund can be used to cover 2-weeks paid sick leave.

Postmates has also unveiled a pilot program for small businesses to more easily use their platform. In a time where brick and mortar business owners are seeing a decline in foot traffic, this program will temporarily waive commission fees for businesses in the SF Bay Area. Any interested SF-Bay Area merchant can visit https://postmates.com/partner to establish an account, and start delivering without any additional cost during this pilot.

DoorDash

In response to the public health emergency posed by COVID-19, DoorDash announced a new COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program for eligible Dashers in United States (including Puerto Rico), Australia, and Canada.

Instacart

In addition to sick pay for all in-store shoppers nationally, Instacart is also offering support for all part-time employees and full-service shoppers affected by COVID-19. Instacart will offer up to 14 days of pay for any part-time employee or full-service shopper who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory isolation or quarantine, as directed by a local, state, or public health authority.

GrubHub

Grubhub announced it is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide.

Grubhub's initiative will provide immediate and substantial cash flow relief to qualified independent restaurants -- restaurants that make up the majority of Grubhub's 350,000+ restaurant community and drive more than 80 percent of the company's orders

Furthermore, Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia urged leading gig worker platform companies to commit that independent contractors who deliver their services will not be penalized for following recommended health procedures to protect the public from further spread of the coronavirus.  Letters sent to the above companies from the office of Senator Mark R. Warner can be found here.

Helpful Tips for Businesses

We want to recognize how stressful these times are.  Together we can get through this.  We have been scouring the internet and reviewing how local businesses are rapidly adapting to these changing times.

Below are some tips we have observed from other local businesses throughout the country. Please review and see if any of these ideas might work for you and your business:

The California State Tax deadline has been extended by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to June 15, 2020.  This includes partnerships and LLCs who are taxed as partnerships whose tax returns are due on March 15, 2020 now have a 90-day extension to file and pay by June 15, 2020.  Note that the FTB’s June 15, 2020 extended due date may be pushed back even further if the Internal Revenue Service grants a longer relief period (the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have deferred the Federal Tax deadline to July 15, 2020).

The IRS has set up a special section to help taxpayers and businesses affected by COVID-19. The page will be updated as new programs are made available.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has called on the federal government to take legislative and administrative steps to equip manufacturers to respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.  NAM is requesting the federal government create the “Manufacturing Resiliency Fund,” which would include $1.4 trillion in loans to provide desperately needed liquidity to manufacturers and small businesses.

California Labor and Workforce Development Agency: Unemployment Insurance and other tools for affected workers.

The Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of resources for employers who anticipate a reduction of work hours or potential closure or layoffs as a result of Coronavirus.  Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of Coronavirus may also request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at (888) 745-3886.

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has listed an FAQ with information related to employee leave options, compensation and salary.

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.

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 helps you keep your trained employees so that when business conditions improve, you can avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, and save your employees the hardship of becoming fully unemployed.

For more information, visit Work Sharing

Employers may be able to avert layoffs or work reduction by offering flexibility in work location and hours through telecommuting. The U.S. General Services Administration website provides an array of resources to help guide employers in offering and managing telecommuting or remote work.

For more information, visit Resources for Managing Teleworkers

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) provides many services to employers affected by COVID-19. For the most up-to-date state resources for businesses, visit the GO-Biz resource page. The CA Employment Development Division (EDD) is granting a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest for employers experiencing hardship from COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, visit CA EDD’s COVID-19 resource page.

***There are alternatives to layoffs that can help employers keep their employees when there is a lack of work, or during financial hardship.***
En español.

The Office of Emergency Services are making SBA Disaster Loans available to businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information on those programs, here. KIVA is another small business lender, though they haven’t announced any COVID-19 related lending as of yet. You can find more information about them here.

California IBank has low-interest and state-guaranteed business loans and microloans for small business borrowers who have been impacted by regional disasters and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital.

The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) for Small Business 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 eligible for this program. Loans are available up to $5 million.

Facebook is offering up to$100 million in cash grants and advertising credits to help small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak to support their various operational needs.

The Opportunity Fund is committed to supporting existing and new small business customers who are financially struggling amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.  The Opportunity Fund is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a COVID-19 relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest rate loans to business owners in need.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to Coronavirus Disease. Find resources at the Small Business Development Center website.

Stay Healthy San Rafael

 

The best defense against a respiratory virus is prevention and good hygiene   
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

Stay informed by checking reliable sources of information and practice good hygiene to protect yourself and others.  The City of San Rafael and our partners in Marin County will continue to remain vigilant and keep the public informed as the situation evolves. 

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