COVID-19 Resources for Local Businesses & Employers

COVID-19 TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING & RETAIL PROGRAM – click here

2020 Annual Business License Renewals DUE 9/1/2020

All businesses operating in El Cerrito are required to apply and obtain a Business License. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, some businesses may need more time to pay the business license fee due on July 1. If your business has been impacted, the City will be able to extend your business license renewal deadline by 60 days without penalty. Businesses will have until September 1 to pay fees, and penalties will not begin accruing until October 1. The City will send out detailed information in the annual business license renewal mailing in June. Please visit www.el-cerrito.org/businesslicenses for more information.

Webinars AND PRESENTATIONS

Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC): COVID-19 Regulatory Relief: COVID-19 Regulatory Relief: July 22,2020 Presentation

Streetsense: Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit, Resources for Restaurants + Bars, May 2020

Small Business Webinar

View the recorded small business webinar/Town Hall hosted by the Office of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier on Friday, April 24, 2020. New programs that Congress created to provide federal funding options for small businesses during the coronavirus crisis were discussed.

Contra Costa Small Business Development Center Webinar for El Cerrito Businesses

View recorded webinar hosted by the City of El Cerrito and the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center on April 14, 2020. The webinar addressed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses in El Cerrito (Updated 4/7/2020)

Small Business Administration Presentation (As of 4/8/2020)

Access Business Assistance Programs

  • On March 27, 2020 the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to our public health crisis. The CARES Act, through the Small Business Administration, aims to provide immediate support to help businesses survive the loss in revenue they are experiencing.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a new funding opportunity that can be accessed beginning April 3, 2020. Eligible uses of PPP include payroll, rent, interest on mortgage, utilities, other business operating expenses. The PPP also includes a provision for debt forgiveness. In recognizing the need for immediate relief, the regulations and application processes have been simplified and streamlined to get funding in the hands of small business owners during this time of need. Applications for PPP can be submitted through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution or federally insured credit union that is participating. For a list of lenders, please review the Local SBA Resources for Small Business in Northern California or visit www.SBA.gov.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides assistance to businesses affected by disaster. As a result of COVID-19, added benefits now include Emergency EIDL which provides expedited access to funding by allowing those who have applied to the EIDL to request a GRANT advance of up-to $10,000 on the loan to provide sick leave, pay employees, other debt obligations. You MUST apply for the EIDL and request the emergency funds at the same time. Please visit this website https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ for more information. As a reminder, the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center provides one-on-one advising, please contact their office by phone or email at: (925) 222-5228 or admin@contracostasbdc.org
  • Contra Costa Call Center for Small Businesses A call center is available in Contra Costa County to connect businesses and workers with helpful federal, state, and local programs. This includes providing resources and referrals on loans and grants, unemployment insurance, payroll subsidies, and other critical concerns. The trained team who answer calls can also assist with tapping into programs to reduce utility costs, access online career training, and other business services. 833-320-1919; 8:30 am to 5 pm - Monday through Friday
  • Contra Costa Small Business Development Center Provides business located in the County with help applying for relief, navigating available resources, cash flow concerns, supply chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more at no cost. For one-on-one advising, please contact their office by phone or email at: (925) 222-5228 or admin@contracostasbdc.org.
  • Workforce Development Board Contra Costa County Employers planning a closure or layoffs due to COVID-19 impact may get help through the workforce development board’s Rapid Response Services. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. Please contact Patience Ofodu, Business Services Manager, at (510) 453-6950 or by email pofodu@ehsd.cccounty.us.
  • East Bay Economic Development Alliance has a list of COVID-19 Business Resources that can be accessed by visiting their website.
  • The El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce is another useful resource for information during this time. Please visit their website or contact Chamber Manager, Lisa Martinengo, at info@elcerritochamber.org.
  • Working Solutions is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides support to the small business community. During this time of crisis, they have several resources and grant opportunities available. To learn more, please visit their website or contact info@workingsolutions.org or (415) 780-1217.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue. Loans offer long-term payments up to 30 years and may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.  Download an application here or contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
  • The Northern California Small Business Development Center put together a helpful COVID-19 Resource Guide  for local businesses that includes:
    • Detailed information on SBA’s Economic Disaster Loan
    • Information (including FAQs) for business owners and business employees
    • Information on Business Interruption Insurance

Stay Informed

Information about the outbreak is changing rapidly. Below are resources to help you stay informed:

 Updated April 2, 2020 at 3:19 p.m.

LEGISLATION

On March 25, 2020, the City Council joined other local cities in adopting an Urgency Ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium to halt evictions for residential and commercial tenants financially impacted by COVID-19. At this time, the Ordinance is set to expire on May 31, 2020, consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order, unless extended through a future action. The Ordinance does not establish rent forgiveness but provides temporary rent forbearance to those who qualify by providing 6-months, from the Ordinance expiration date, to catch up on unpaid rent and suspends late fees from being charged for qualified tenants/businesses who can demonstrate loss of income or revenue due to COVID-19. The City encourages tenants/businesses to notify their property owner/manager to discuss a repayment plan if you are experiencing loss of income from work, childcare costs related to school closures, healthcare costs related to COVID-19. Property owners also have expenses mounting and similar actions are being taken by the Federal Government and banking industry to provide mortgage and other relief. Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

  1. Town Hall About the Shelter in Place
  2. Statewide Updates for  Small Business
  3. Resources for Employees of Small Businesses Impacted

Telephone Town Hall About the Shelter in Place: This telephone Town Hall was to allow our Alameda County and Contra Costa County public health experts to explain the Health Order and why it was called, and to provide some basic answers to questions our office has been receiving about this virus and the steps that have been taken to contain its spread.

 Date recorded: March 19, 2020 | Listen to recording

stay healthy