A Fourth Business Assistance Grant program was Announced July 28, 2021
The County of Ventura is launching a fourth COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant Program for business and nonprofit organizations that did not receive a grant during any of the County’s previous business grant programs. Businesses and nonprofits based in Ventura County may be eligible for a $10,000 grant. The County Board of Supervisors has supported more than $65 million in grants to help local businesses move forward. All eligibility, use of funds, required documentation and additional information can be reviewed at www.VCbusinessgrants.org or call 888.405.1004.
El 28 de julio de 2021 se anunció un cuarto programa de subvenciones de asistencia empresarial.
El Condado de Ventura va a lanzar un cuarto Programa de Subvenciones de Asistencia Comercial por el COVID-19 para empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro que no recibieron una ayuda durante ninguno de los programas anteriores de subvenciones de asistencia comercial del Condado. Las empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro basadas en el Condado de Ventura pueden ser elegibles para una ayuda de $10,000. La Junta de Supervisores del Condado ha aportado más de $65 millones en subvenciones para ayudar a las empresas locales a avanzar. Toda la información sobre elegibilidad, uso de fondos, documentación necesaria y cuestiones adicionales se puede consultar en www.VCbusinessgrants.org o llamando al 888.405.1004
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Provides Update on the Paycheck Protection Program
On Monday, February 22, 2021 the Biden-Harris Administration and the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the following changes to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses including those in Ojai:
- From February 24 – March 10, 2021, the SBA will establish a 14-day Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application period exclusively for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals will receive more financial support.
- Non-citizen small business owners who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are eligible to apply for PPP.
- Small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal are eligible to apply for PPP.
- Small business owners who are impacted by federal student loan debt delinquency are eligible to apply for PPP.
Who can apply?
Eligible entities include businesses, certain non-profit organizations, housing cooperatives, veteran organizations, tribal businesses, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and small agricultural co-operatives, amongst others. To see if you are eligible to apply, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/first-draw-ppp-loans
The Small Business Development Center serving Ventura County (EDC SBDC) is available to answer questions and help navigate today’s complex financial environments by calling 805.409.9159. Para Español 805.309.5874.
Application Deadline for California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Extended to January 13, 2021.
On Wednesday, December 30, 2020 The State of California began accepting applications for its announced allocation of $500 million for COVID-19 Relief Grant for Small Businesses, with grants of up to $25,000 to be distributed to underserved micro and small businesses.
The State has successfully received thousands of completed applications and will extend the closing date to Wednesday, January 13 2021, to keep the portal open for those still in process and for new applicants to ensure fair and equitable opportunities for California’s small business community.
In order to handle the continued high volumes, the State is making adjustments to the update and order process. If applicants experienced disruptions in the application process, they will be notified when they can log back in for updates and uploads.
As a reminder, this is not a first-come, first-serve application process or rolling approval process – all eligible applicants will be considered for the grant at the close of Round 1 on January 13th, 2021 at 11:59 pm and not before.
Additionally, the Economic Development Collaborate will host a webinar on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon to discuss the CA Business Grant and new Care’s Act Funding. Interested business are encouraged to register early, as seating is limited. To register please visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MPRIWJKzQGG6emRQHtqQ6A
For updates, further information and guidance on where to apply, please visit California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program https://careliefgrant.com/
State Announces New Relief Programs for Small Businesses
With the coronavirus on the rise and the possibility that the State of California may impose new stay at home restrictions, on Monday Governor Newsom announced a number of relief options for small businesses.
Main Street Small Business Tax Credit
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration began accepting applications on December 1st for a tax credit available for small businesses that meet the following criteria.
- Employed 100 or fewer employees as of December 31, 2019; and
- Suffered a 50% decrease or more in income tax gross receipts (generally, all income less returns and allowances), when comparing to 2nd Qtr 2020 to 2Q 2019
Sales Tax Relief
The Governor directed the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to provide sales tax relief to businesses. The tax deferment up to $1 million is automatic; no need to apply. Businesses can use the money they would normally pay in sales tax to float other expenses, interest free for three-months. This is how the sales tax relief would apply:
- Automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1M in sales tax
- Extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales
- Provides expanded interest free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions
New Covid Relief Grant for Small Businesses
The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions.
Funds would be awarded to established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible – for updates on availability visit the links below.
The Small Business Administration Reopes the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance Program Portal
To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance
- The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
- These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
- In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
- SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
- The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.
For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR REOPENING BUSINESSES
As businesses begin to reopen in coming days, the City of Ojai would like to provide the following information to ensure appropriate health and safety measures are being considered:
1) The City of Ojai has issued Executive Order 20-05, which allows restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to promote social distancing. If you are a business and are interested in expanding your outdoor seating, please contact the City’s Community Development Department, at 805-646-5581, extension 112.
2) The City of Ojai has issued Executive Order 20-06, which clarifies the City’s face covering requirements. The order requires employees and customers at any business or facility with interactions between employees and customers within the City of Ojai to wear a face covering, to protect employees, customers, and residents. The order notes that employees who are alone in a room may remove the face covering, and that customers at restaurants may remove face coverings while eating.
3) The City, working with the Chamber of Commerce, has developed an easy to use checklist for restaurants to ensure they are in compliance with Coronavirus related requirements. The checklist includes the 10 key protocols for restaurants within the City of Ojai, and is included below:
County of Ventura Board of Supervisors Approves $20 Million Economic Stabilization and Recovery Programs
Programs Aim to Provide Relief to Ventura County Businesses and Families
The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for County staff to finalize a $20 million Economic Stabilization and Recovery Program aimed at providing relief to Ventura County businesses and families by utilizing funding from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. The programs aim to provide funding to those struggling from the impacts of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has created both a health and economic crisis. These proposed programs will help mitigate these devastating impacts to our local businesses and residents,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “We know that this is not enough to meet all the needs but it is our hope that these funds will help with recovery so that our businesses can survive, and families can stay in their homes.”
The County’s unemployment rate jumped from 4.6% in March to 14% in April due to the coronavirus-related job losses based on the unemployment data from the state Employment Development Department. Historically, the unemployment rate for the County has remained below 4.5% for the past two years. With businesses impacted during the public health emergency, over 80,000 Ventura County residents filed for unemployment since March.
The County Executive Office proposed the two programs, at a special Board of Supervisors meeting on May 28, for relief to Ventura County business and families in the amount of $10 million to each program in two phases.
The first program is an Economic Stabilization and Recovery Program for businesses. The program was developed in consultation with the Economic Development Collaborative, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Ventura County Community Foundation. The program will provide business assistance grants to local businesses.
As the private sector makes the necessary changes to its businesses to adhere to accelerated Stage 2 and Stage 3 of California’s Roadmap to Reopening, expedited funding through the business assistance grant program will be well-timed for the business community.
The main features of the proposed program are to include grants of $5,000 each for small businesses to alleviate impacts from COVID-19 for allowed uses such as payroll support, rent and lease payments, costs for personal protective equipment, purchases related to the operation of their businesses, and extraordinary business expenses for adhering to compliance protocols for reopening (e.g., cleaning services, signage, customer interface capabilities, additional security, etc.). Eligibility is limited to businesses with no more than $2 million in annual revenue in either of the two prior years.
The second program is a Housing Assistance Program for residents for families or individuals with past-due rent in order to avoid eviction. Data received from the Economic Development Collaborative and the Workforce Development Board identify those industry sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic. Those industries include retail, food preparation and service, hospitality, personal care aides and amusement and recreation attendants. These industries pay the lowest wages in Ventura County and across the country, and their workforce typically includes a large portion of individuals and families at or below the federal poverty level, those most likely to need rental assistance to remain stable housed despite receiving unemployment or stimulus assistance. This workforce represents approximately 95, 253 impacted jobs, accounting for 26.2% of all county jobs.
The proposed rental assistance program is intended to serve as bridge funding for residential rent while other funding opportunities are being considered at the state and federal level. The program will help to stabilize housing for the lowest-income residents and those at greatest risk due to loss of employment, loss of work hours or the inability to work due to child care needs, family/elder care needs, or substantial medical costs due to COVID-19. While the funding may not fully cover monthly rent, it will assist in reducing amounts owed. The program will provide micro-grants to low-income individuals and families. The grant amount will be based on rental unit size, $1,500 for a studio/1 bedroom and $2,500 for a 2 bedroom or larger, with a maximum of two months of rent owed.
“Our goal is to get the programs up and running as soon as possible to help provide financial assistance to businesses and residents. We want to do whatever we can to support those who are struggling during this time. These programs will provide much needed relief where it is needed most,” said Powers.
The County of Ventura has received $147 million from the Treasury Department in Coronavirus Relief funding. These funds will be utilized to address numerous challenges the County is facing during this pandemic. They include increased costs related to testing, feeding seniors, housing the homeless, meeting the demand for additional public health and hospital staffing, establishing temporary facilities, personal protective equipment, developing surge capacity and possible revenue loss coverage, if allowed, in order to maintain the administrative capacity to implement critical programs such as CalFresh, CalWorks and Medi-Cal, especially during a time when our community is in great need.
County staff will develop a funding distribution plan and enter into agreements with community organizations to facilitate the distribution of funds. A strategic multi-language outreach plan will be implemented to target those most in need of assistance once the program goes live.
County of Ventura Approved by State for Accelerated Path to Reopening
Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura is the first and largest Southern California County to receive approval from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to move forward on an accelerated Stage 2 path to reopening. With this approval, Ventura County restaurants can now offer dine-in options and all retail businesses with exterior facing entrances are permitted to have customers inside of their stores.
“So happy for our County, businesses and employees. A long way to go, but this is a major milestone. The attestation reflects a validation of our collective community and County efforts to protect our community’s health and to support our local businesses,” said Mike Powers, County CEO. “COVID-19 has had devasting impacts on both community health and our economy. We want businesses to be able to reopen and we believe they can and will do so safely.”
Given increased statewide and local capacity to respond to COVID-19, including stronger preparedness, continued stability in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as increased ability to provide personal protective equipment to workers in essential sectors, the State announced the new attestation opportunity for counties to move through Stage 2, opening additional sectors of their economy at their own pace. The modified State guidance was issued by the Governor on Monday, May 18.
Regular Stage 2 has included curbside retail, manufacturing and supply chain businesses. The Governor has allowed counties that apply and qualify for a variance to move further along into Stage 2 with seated dining. The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ratify the attestation on Tuesday, May 19 at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. It was submitted to the State on that same day. The State provided approval in less than 24 hours.
“We want our community to reopen safely. Community members and businesses must continue to practice social distancing to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward in reopening businesses throughout our County,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
To qualify for the variance, counties must attest that hospitalization and test positivity rates are stable or declining; that they have a significant level of preparedness with testing, contact tracing, PPE and hospital surge; and that they have adequate plans related to county-wide containment.
Criteria also includes 1) the rate of positive Covid-19 patients hospitalized cannot be greater than 5% in the last 7 days. The County of Ventura is at -3.4% in the past 7 days. 2) Positive test results for the last 14 days can be no greater than 8% and our local number is 3.5%.
“This is another big step on our path to reopening. We appreciate this opportunity for our local businesses, and we hope that our community members can continue to follow the public health guidance so we can continue to reopen,” said Mike Powers.
The Public Health Officer will modify the Stay Well VC Order this evening. Dine in and in store shopping will be permitted effective Thursday, May 21, 2020.
COVID-19 Industry Guidance:
Shopping Malls, Destination Shopping Centers, Strip and Outlet Malls all with exterior facing entrances are permitted to open. https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-shopping-centers.pdf
Dine-In Restaurants: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf
New guidance for restaurants issued
All restaurants in the County of Ventura can now register at www.vcreopens.com.
The website has been updated to provide new guidance documents, checklist, and Prevention Plan template for both takeout/delivery and future dine-in service. We are encouraging all restaurants to register now and to make their preparations for dine-in service, so they are ready when it becomes available. Whether restaurants are already open for takeout or waiting to open when dine-in becomes available, they can register now. Upon selecting the “Restaurants” workspace type, businesses will see the following information and links to the reference documents.
Dine in Restaurants have been identified by the state as one of the next workplace types that will be allowed to open in later Stage 2 of the Roadmap to Reopening. The County of Ventura is working to obtain accelerated approval from the State of California to move forward with dine in options. We hope to have more information soon. Restaurants are encouraged to begin to prepare for this next stage now.
The County of Ventura Environmental Health Department will also be emailing this information to all licensed food facilities in the County.
City of Ojai Preparing for Implementation of Ventura County’s Stay Well Order
The County Public Health Officer announced that on May 8, 2020, the County will move forward with Stage 2 of the framework for reopening: Reopening Lower-Risk Businesses. This will allow retail businesses, such as clothing stores, bookstores, sporting goods stores and florists, for example, to reopen with curb side delivery, as well as the related manufacturing and supply chain businesses.
Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said in a press release, “Our community members have answered the call to stay well at home and thanks to them, we are in a position to move forward. These actions have saved lives. It is critical that our community continues to use caution. The virus is not gone. It is dangerous and poses a significant health risk. As we move into the next stage, we must do so with great care. We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure.”
The County’s order requires businesses to perform a detailed risk assessment and self-certification before reopening, via the County’s website www.vcreopen.com.
The City of Ojai has enacted Executive Order No. 3, which requires that businesses in Ojai also complete and make available upon request by City of Ojai staff the City’s “Protocols for Retail Businesses in Ojai.” The form requires businesses to certify that they will take appropriate measures to sanitize and ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers. The form also informs business owners that the City’s face covering at essential businesses requirement remains in place.
Additionally, beginning today, the City of Ojai will make available signage for businesses informing visitors that face coverings are required at these businesses. The City of Ojai is also offering to work with businesses to develop “Pick Up Zone Only” parking, to assist in allowing easy pick up by customers. Businesses interested in either of these can contact the City at (805)646-5581 ext. 209 or ext. 100.
Frequently Asked Question: What types of businesses can now reopen in Stage 2?
Lower-risk workplaces. View the roadmap at: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.
Here are some examples of businesses that are able to reopen in addition to the businesses that were already open in Stage 1:
- Dentistry for preventative care. Read the dental guidance issued today at: https://vcportal.ventura.org/covid19/docs/2020-05-14_VCE_PHDentalGuidance_v02.pdf.
- Retail for curbside delivery
- Office based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
- Equestrian Centers/Horseback Riding
- Jet Ski/Boat/Bike Rentals
- Archery/Shooting Ranges
- Remote Control Plane Range
- Outdoor photography
- Pet grooming
- Outdoor museums
Learn more and register your business today at www.vcreopens.com.
Business Response Guide
The Economic Development Collaborative provides a response guide for business, self-employed, employees and nonprofits at https://edcollaborative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/EDC-COVID19-BUSINESS-RESOURCE-GUIDE.pdf
More resource information at https://edcollaborative.com/covid19/
Ojai Business Status Survey
The Ojai Valley News, Ojai Chamber and City of Ojai have partnered on the Ojai Business Status Survey. If you are a Ojai business owner, please visit this link to take the survey.
If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, CA will begin accepting applications on April 28 for the expansion of unemployment insurance (UI) to individuals not eligible for regular UI but eligible for the CARES Act UI expansion
The Economic Development Collaborative Business Resource Guide is updated daily in English and Spanish at https://edcollaborative.com/covid19/
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Teleconference Town Hall: Small Business Resources-Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- Call: Toll free 877-226-8216
- Access code: 36403080
The Economic Development Collaborative Shared Information for Businesses Effected by COVID-19- New Resources, SBA Loan Payment and Tax Deadline Extensions.
The Economic Development Collaborative has shared the following useful information for businesses effected by COVID-19. For additional information about EDC, please visit https://edcollaborative.com/
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the cornonavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Click here to view the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development list
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. Click here for more information.
SMALL BUSINESS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of Payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Click here for more information
SUSTAINING PARTNER ARC SERVICES AVAILABLE
Any Businesses looking for support services as they navigate a changing workflow (scanning services, construction prints, Health Wellness Posters, CDC Safety Signage, Working from Home Pop Banners, CAD conversion, any document related needs). Please note that ARC is running a small production crew following CDC Guidelines and remains available to safely assist. We can pick-up and deliver to homes or offices to keep your critical projects moving. Here are some business sectors that are reaching out to us for assistance:
All Construction, Healthcare, Municipalities, Agriculture, Supermarkets, Restaurants, Manufacturing, Facility Professionals, Gov Agencies.
For emailing orders with links: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARC’s land line is 805-658-0156.
5917 Olivas Park Drive #C
Ventura Ca, 93003
Manager: Layla Sisney
They can pick up and deliver to anyone working from home or office.
Document Solutions Consultant: Bobby Rush 818-257-1804 email@example.com
Clider Martinez / General Manager – ARC Southern California ARC: M (213) 321-1991 firstname.lastname@example.org
Orders can also be placed through our website: https://www.ishipdocs.com/FileTransfer/PrintFiles.aspx