Small Business Assistance (Covid-19)


To assist businesses, the City of Brentwood Economic Development Division is providing free business counseling and referrals to regional, State and Federal resources such relief grants, layoff aversion and disaster assistance programs.  City Economic Development staff can help businesses to understand the State and Federal Resources available to them.  Businesses with questions, concerns or to request business assistance and resources can contact the City’s Economic Development Division at EconomicDevelopment@brentwoodca.gov or leave a voicemail at 925-516-5440.


SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE NEWS FEED ( 1/12/2021 10:15:30 AM):

 

PPP Loans Now Available

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is now taking applications through financial institutions and community lenders for the Round 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).   Small businesses are encouraged to apply through their partner bank, or by finding a SBA participating lender in Northern California: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/resource_files/PPP_NorCal_Lenders_List_043020_002.pdf

PPP loans are available for first time applicants (“First-Draw”) starting January 11, 2021 and for businesses that already received a PPP loan earlier in the year (“Second-Draw”) on January 13, 2021.  The new rules allow for PPP loans to be issued to small businesses including sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed individuals, certain non-profits (the new bill has expanded eligible businesses to include certain 501(c)(6) non-profit organizations), seasonal employers and faith-based organizations that have less than 150 employees.

First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. Borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs.  Loans are capped at 2.5 times an applicant’s average monthly payroll costs in the one year prior to the loan being issued (3.5 times for restaurants and other eligible hospitality businesses).

Existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount or in certain instances, may apply for a Second-Draw PPP Loan under the new program rules.  As a Second Draw applicant, your business has to have been operational before February 15, 2020 and remain operational.

Forgiveness for loans under $150K will also have a new, simplified one-page application.

Contact your lender for PPP loan applications.  For technical assistance and more information about PPP loans, please contact the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at 925-222-5228 or admin@contracostasbdc.org 

CA Relief Grants - $5,000 to $25,000 available

The Governor has announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID.  Funds would awarded through grants of $5k to $25k depending on revenue of the business. 

Most small businesses and non-profits would be eligible.  The funds would be prioritized by greatest need for those industries most impacted by the pandemic, in addition to other factors determined by the State.  State grant information is available at https://careliefgrant.com

Applications are being accepted online now.  The first round application deadline is January 13th.  A second round will be announced at a later time.  Please note:  If you have filled out an application but did not get a grant, you do not need to fill out another one as you will be rolled over to the second round.

Please review the website https://careliefgrant.com and the attached application guide for details.  Documentation required to apply includes, but is not limited to:  (1) Application Certification Form (online), (2) Business Tax Return for 2019 or 2018, (3) Official Filing for your business entity with the California Secretary of State (commonly articles of incorporation, certificate of organization, fictitious name or business license) and a Government Issued Photo ID Card.


Business Regulations and Employee Safety Information

Contra Costa County Health Services has provided information and guidance relating to Essential and Non-Essential business activities, in addition to guidance and compliance information for employee and customer safety for the operation of Essential businesses.  Contra Costa County Health Services has established a webpage at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/ with additional information.  The City of Brentwood requests all businesses follow the County’s Health Order.

Resources for Business to Avoid Layoffs and Employee Job Losses

Various resources and programs are available to assist employers retain their employees, offset employee’s lost work hours and lost pay.

Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board provides services to companies undergoing downsizing, which may include on-site assessment of needed employment and training and access to state and economic assistance. Contact the Workforce Development Board at wdb@ehsd.cccounty.us and by phone at 925-671-4560.

Workers who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19 may be eligible for financial support from the benefit programs of the California Employment Development Department (EDD). 

Work Sharing is a State program available to employers who reduce employee wages and hours as an alternative to layoffs. The Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance program allows for the payment of benefits to individuals whose wages and hours have been reduced.  Minimum requirements include businesses with two (2) full time employees impacted by a reduction of work hours of 10% or more.

 

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an employer/employee paid program that provides partial income replacement when you become unemployed or have your hours reduced.  UI can be for a temporary layoff or for a reduction in hours.  Employees may be rehired once business operations resume.

With passage of the CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is created for those not traditionally covered by unemployment insurance (UI), including the self-employed, independent contractors, or those with limited work history.  An additional $600 per week will be provided to recipients of UI and PUA for up to 4 months.  In addition, up to 13 additional weeks of UI will be provided following expiration of State UI benefits. UI/PUA Benefits do not have a waiting period for employees to apply.

Eligible workers that become ill or were medically quarantined due to COVID-19 may file a Disability Insurance Claim (DI) with the State of California.

Eligible workers caring for immediate family members whom became ill or were medically quarantined due to COVID-19 may file a claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) with the State of California.

  • Bounce Back Contra Costa

Federal, State, Local COVID-19 Business Programs, Managing/Avoiding Layoffs,  Insurance Needs, Payroll Subsidies, Reducing Utility Costs, Employee Recruitment, Access to Job Seekers.  

(833) 320-1919

bouncebackcoco@ehsd.cccounty.us

https://www.wdbccc.com/bounce-back-contra-costa/

  • ONWARDCA

For job seekers, get matched to resources, trainings and available jobs

https://onwardca.org/


LOANS, GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDING FOR IMPACTED BUSINESSES

 

  • City of Brentwood Small Business Grants

Please see our Grants and Incentive Page for more details: here  The City currently offers the following direct business assistance programs:

1) Outdoor Dining Grant Program for Restaurants up to $5,000 to assist create outdoor dining areas.

2) Free Back to Business Safety Kits that include signs, disinfectant, gloves and other operating safety.  Contact the Chamber of Commerce for your free kit today: 925-634-3344

3) Economic Development Grant Program for Community Promotion, Marketing and Community Benefit.  Approximately $270,000 in 2020-2021 for local organizations to perform programs and focus on economic development activities within the community.

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Contra Costa County

The City of Brentwood has a contract in place for free counseling for Brentwood businesses with the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  The SBDC has a list of resources and program requirements for SBA loans and programs.  More information can be found at:

https://www.contracostasbdc.org/covid-19

 

  • SBA Express Bridge Loan

Access up to $25,000 quickly for businesses with existing relationships with SBA Express Lenders.

   https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

 

Small Business Loans:

Provides small business loans for responding to disasters including COVID-19. Loans are up to $2M at a loan term of up to 30 years.  Interest Rates are 3.75% for small business and (2.75% for non-profits).  The first month’s payments are deferred a full year from the date of origination.  EIDLS can be approved by the SBA based solely on an applicant’s credit score with loans of $200,000 or under with no required personal guarantee. 

Emergency Cash Grants:

Borrowers can receive up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) in an emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue loss. There are no loan fees, guarantee fees or prepayment fees. Businesses must have been operating by January 31, 2020 in order to qualify.

Apply online at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.  Apply for Economic Injury for the Coronavirus loan program.

The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.  Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable in certain circumstances. 

Includes independent contractors, sole proprietors and the self-employed.  Entities must have been operational by 2/15/20; had payroll and paid taxes.  The maximum interest rate under this program is 4% with loan terms up to 10 years.  No personal guarantee or collateral is required for the loan.  Payments are deferred up to 6 to 12 months. Banks and lending institutions handling SBA and small business commercial loan products may will be offering SBA 7a/PPP loans to interested businesses. 

Forgiveness on a covered loan is equal to the sum of the following payroll costs incurred during the covered 8 week period compared to the previous year or time period, proportionate to maintaining employees and wages (excluding compensation over $100,000.  You must apply through your lender for forgiveness on your loan.

Any loan amounts not forgiven are carried forward as an ongoing loan with max terms of 10 years, at a maximum interest rate of 4%. Principal and interest will continue to be deferred, for a total of 6 months to a year after disbursement of the loan.


Tax Programs and Benefits for Business:

  • California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) offers tax relief and extensions.

https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/services/covid19.htm

  • 50% refundable payroll tax credit during COVID-19 crisis for businesses that either fully or partially shut down OR have a 50% decrease in receipts versus the same quarter in the previous year and continue to pay employees.
  • Payroll tax deferred, payments to be spread over 2 years, payroll tax holiday. This would give you the option to defer payment of the employer share of Social Security taxes for the period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Act and ending before January 1, 2021. The deferred amounts would then be 50% due by December 31, 2021, and the remaining amount by December 31, 2022.