Federal and State Resources

Federal Resources

Main Street Lending Program: Established by the CARES Act, the Main Street Lending Program supports lending to U.S. small and medium-sized businesses who were financially affected by COVID-19. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston administers the program under the Federal Reserve. The lending program is fully operational, ready to purchase participations in eligible loans that are submitted to the program by registered lenders. Learn more here

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Update June 17, 2020: The SBA has reopened its application form for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. This program provides flexible working capital loans at a rate of 3.75% (2.75% for nonprofits) with a term of up to 30 years. Applicants also are eligible for an advance amount of up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee). If you have already applied for EIDL and have not received a decision, do not reapply. The SBA is still working on processing EIDL applications it has already received.

*Update on Paycheck Protection Program: 

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was signed into law June 5, 2020. This bill will provide businesses with more time and flexibility to keep their employees on the payroll and ensure their continued operations throughout the reopening process. The PPP loans are meant to help owners cover payroll costs, rent and utilities. The PPP Program will close on August 8, 2020. Visit the East Bay EDA website for frequent updates to federal loan programs.

Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act Highlights:

  • You now have 24 weeks to spend your funds, up from eight weeks.
  • You need to spend 60% of the loan on payroll, down from 75%.
  • The covered period of the loan now ends Dec. 31 instead of June 30.
  • You won’t have to make employer payroll tax payments through the end of 2020.
  • Your business will not lose any loan forgiveness eligibility if you can show that some employees declined to return to their jobs or the pre-pandemic headcount is no longer required.
  • The payback period for new loan applicants has been extended from two years to a minimum of five for those not seeking or who are ineligible for forgiveness.
  • Borrowers must submit requests for forgiveness to the Lender no later than June 30, 2021. Lenders will have 60 days to approve/decline the request once received from the Borrower.
  • Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has just released a streamlined form for applying for forgiveness with your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender. You are eligible to fill out the EZ Forgiveness Application if you meet one of the following requirements: 

  • You are self-employed and have no employees; 
  • You did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of your employees; 
  • You experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%.

Note: Businesses that don’t meet one of these requirements will still need to complete the Full Forgiveness Application

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)  is being administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury, and was created by the recent stimulus package to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 maintain payroll and cover costs associated with rent, utilities, and other overhead payments. These loans can be forgiven if borrowers primarily use it to maintain their payroll. If you have laid off your employees due to lost revenue and qualify, this loan is also an opportunity to hire them back. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses, including employer-provided health benefits, paid leave, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may also qualify. Even if your business is closed as a result of the Shelter in Place order, you may be able to use the Payroll Protection Program to rehire and retain employees, and keep them on your payroll. To learn more about the loan program, which banks are participating in the program, and how to apply, visit Venturize

You must apply for PPP through a participating lender. Contact your bank to see if they are taking applications, use SBA’s find a lender tool, or visit the Venturize website.

If you are a Square, PayPal, or Intuit customer, they are now authorized lenders and you can apply for a forgivable PPP loan through their websites. PayPal is currently accepting applications in anticipation of funding.

SBA Debt Relief: As part of SBA’s debt relief efforts, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. Learn more here.

Express Bridge Loans: Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Terms : Up to $25,000; Fast turnaround. Learn more here

Federal Tax Credit to Cover the Cost of Paid Sick Leave: Two new refundable federal payroll tax credits to help small and medium-size businesses cover the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave for employees. These federal credits are designed to immediately and fully reimburse small and medium-size businesses for the cost of paid leave. The JEDE Committee, in collaboration with the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Tax, has requested the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide guidance on how this tax credit applies to California businesses, which may have already laid workers off. More information about these new tax credits are available under “New Releases” on the IRS’ COVID-19 webpage: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Download a guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

State Resources

New Capital: Recognizing that businesses will need capital to make it through this emergency and get back on their feet, state and federal agencies are leveraging current programs and activating disaster loan programs. There are both state and federal direct loans, as well as state loan guarantees and other credit enhancements. The JEDE Committee is reviewing the programs to determine capacity and programmatic limitations to meeting the needs of small businesses in the COVID-19 emergency. Currently available programs include: 

  • State Programs: California’s Small Business Finance Center provides small businesses access to a range of financial products, including the Small Business Loan Guarantee (guarantee through private lenders) and the Jump Start Program (direct loans to businesses). More information is available at: https://www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business-finance-center/ 
  • California also offers a loss reserve program to encourage private lenders to provide small business loans. More information about the California Capital Access Program is available at: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cpcfa/calcap/sb/institutions.pdf 

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled helpful information for employers, employees, and all Californians.

Visit the Employment Development Department website for employer assistance, such as tax assistance, protecting workers from Coronavirus, and information about work sharing programs.

Cameo is a statewide micro-business network dedicated to small and microbusiness financing such as loans and credit, technical assistance and business management training. A micro-business is a firm with five or fewer employees, started for $50,000 or less in initial capital and that may not have access to traditional commercial loans. 

Labor and Workforce Development Agency Resources for Employees: There are several compensation options available to employees, such as Paid Family Leave, Unemployment Insurance, and Paid Sick Leave. View this comprehensive chart to see what your employees may qualify for.

Great Plates Program: On April 24, the State of CA announced the Great Plates Delivered Program, which will help seniors and other adults at high risk from COVID-19 to stay home and stay healthy by delivering three nutritious meals a day, as well as provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Food provider meals must meet the following nutritional requirements and must fill out the food provider interest form here