A Message from the President

Ms. Donna DeBerry

Dear Members & Friends,

None of us anticipated the apprehension, disruption, and uncertainty that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to wield on our lives, work, and welfare.

We at the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce wanted to let you know that during this time of uncertainty for all of us, it is important for us to keep you informed, aware and prepared.

COVID-19 continues to evolve and remains a fluid situation. Now close to home, we want to acknowledge the concern that affects and impacts us all.

It is clear that the threat of widespread transmission of COVID-19 is having severe economic impacts on small businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole. Although it will be hard on all American companies, for small businesses it could be catastrophic. Many small businesses, like local restaurants and retailers, operate leanly, with tight profit margins and just enough people on staff are struggling and encountering slow business because of widespread illness or public caution.

Our goal is to ensure that small businesses and their employees are equipped to prepare for, and respond to, the anticipated spread of COVID-19 in order to reduce both short-term and long-term disruptions.

My personal advice is to PLAN NOT PANIC. Fear will only make it worse. Strategic small businesses can possibly weather and survive the COVID-19 outbreak.  In fact according to the great website SmallBizTrends, citing a survey from Veem, 52% say, “they are taking measures to prepare for an economic slowdown.” They are increasing pricing, changing suppliers, decreasing operational costs or protecting cash flow. These are smart moves.
To learn more about how you can prepare your business and address the impacts of the Coronavirus, we have provided you with the following resources:
If you have any questions, please email me a donnad@sdblackchamber.org.
Please stay safe out there and let’s all continue to support each other.
Best,
Donna
President & CEO
Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce


California’s network of small business support centers help businesses figure out which loans are best for them, develop resiliency strategies, and find other resources. These centers are deployed to respond in disasters. Please click here(business.ca.gov/centers) to find the center nearest you.
Check these links at regular intervals, as guidance continues to evolve:
Government-backed loan programs are available, including special disaster assistance at the state and federal levels:
 
U.S. SBA:
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to all California counties, up to $2 million per business, and now include an Emergency Economic Injury Advance of up to $10,000 upon request within three days of applying for EIDL. To apply directly online, go to the SBA Website HERE.  24hr SBA Customer Service Line: 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), or  by email at: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
  • Paycheck Protection Program offers cash-flow assistance with a 100% federally guaranteed loan at a max of 2x the average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount with a max of $10 million to employers who maintain payroll. Loan forgiveness will be available on allowable expenses – but 75% of the forgivable amount must be for payroll. The program will be available through SBA’s 7(a) lenders (banks, credit unions, nonprofit lenders). Small businesses and sole proprietors can start applying April 3rd and independent contractors and self-employed can apply April 10th. Match to your lender HERE. More details HERE.
  • Small Business Debt Relief – if you are a current borrower under SBA 7(a) not through PPP, 504 loan program or a microloan, you are eligible for debt relief and SBA will cover all loan payments for 6 months. View all of SBA’s programs HERE.
Additionally:
 
If you are an employer, please see the following, most frequently sought resources:
 
 
Financial Relief
Consumers and homeowners may be eligible for financial relief after contacting their financial institution. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for eligible consumers and homeowners in California in the form of mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days: https://dbo.ca.gov/2020/03/25/covid19/
 
  • Residential eviction protections are covered here: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/. Issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent, from March 27 and through May 31, 2020.
 
  • Commercial eviction protections: On March 16, Governor Newsom authorized local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shut offs. The protections are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended. The order also requests banks and other financial institutions to halt foreclosures and related evictions during this time period.
 
Tax Relief
  • State and Local Taxes, and Sales Tax: CDTFA is providing a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a first-quarter return for less than $1 million in taxes. No request is necessary to take this extension. Small businesses will have until the July 31, 2020 to file their first-quarter returns.
 
  • State Payroll Taxes: Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may 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. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.
 
  • EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center:
Toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
TTY: 1-800-547-9565
Outside the US or Canada: 1-916-464-3502
 
  • Business Tax Relief
FTB is postponing until July 15 the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities for: 2019 tax returns, 2019 tax return payments, 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, 2020 Non-wage withholding payments.
 
We encourage you to continually check your county’s websites for local new loan programs, resources and language translations. We know that now, more than ever, businesses and entrepreneurs need our support to build resiliency. We will keep you on future list serves with updated information.


Disaster Assistance Loans Available to San Diego County Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in San Diego and 34 other California counties that are economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of COVID-19 since Jan. 31 may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred, according to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. (read more here)


Can’t pay your power bill?
Don’t worry, you’re safe for now as California utilities suspend shutoffs

Six utilities serving more than 21 million Californians have announced that they will not shut off customers’ power for non-payment as the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life.

Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Power are taking the step until further notice. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which is the nation’s largest municipal utility, will not shut off power or water for non-paying customers until at least the end of March, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District made the same announcement for its power customers. (read more here)


New to working from home? Here are some tips

The idea of working from home has always been a glamorized one.  Rolling out of bed whenever you’d like, sitting poolside with your favorite drink at noon.  Man! That sounds like a day anyone would enjoy.  Especially if you find yourself working for a company that you may not particularly like physically going to.   In the last few weeks, we’ve seen corporations big and small come to a major halt due to COVID-19.  Businesses have essentially locked their doors and are requiring employees to work from home.  While some may have been excited, others are realizing that working from home is not for everyone. (read more here)


RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES

Small Business Disaster Resources – In response to the Coronavirus, the  U.S. Small Business Administration disaster assistance has a process for accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending.

https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus/ – Update information on COVID-19 for San Diego CountyThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tips for Employees

Guidance For Employers To Plan and Respond To Coronavirus

COVID-19 Safety and Health Standards, Control & Prevention – An overview of information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus outbreak. Includes links to OSHA standards, control and prevention, by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Protecting your Staff Through Work Practice Controls – Social distancing means reducing the frequency, proximity, and duration of contact between people (both employees and customers) to reduce the chances of spreading pandemic influenza from person-to-person. All employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices.
OSHA Advice for Employees Living or Traveling Internationally – The U.S. Department of State emphasizes that, in the event of a pandemic, its ability to assist Americans traveling and residing abroad may be severely limited by restrictions on local and international movement imposed for public health reasons, either by foreign governments and/or the United States.
Advice for Employers from the Society for Human Resources Management


Preparing and Responding to Coronavirus

How to protect yourself – CDC guide on how to prevent and protect
If you think you are sick – CDC guide on what to do if you are sick
Comprehensive Coronavirus Information – Full resource page provided by the CDC
Pandemic Guidance – A brief outline of how to prepare before and respond during a pandemic by Ready.gov, official website of the Department of Homeland Security.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC recommended guidance for employers, including advice for developing a response plan and steps that all employers can implement now. Based on what is currently known about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak – A guide outlining key planning considerations for organizers of mass gatherings in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, by the World Health Organization (WHO)
After Travel Precautions – To slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


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