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.
President & CEO
Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce

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)


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.


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