COVID-19 Updates for Businesses
Updated March 24, 2020
This page includes all COVID-19 updates related to businesses and employers. Other San Diego Workforce Partnership COVID-19 updates can be found here.
Services Offered by the Workforce Partnership
For Businesses Forced to Lay Off Workers
If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to submit layoff notices online or call (619) 228-2982. We will get back to you within one business day to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance information, tax assistance, Work Sharing program to avoid layoffs, financial planning, remote career services and more.
Webinar for Affected Workers
We are now offering webinars for affected workers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. covering topics like:
- How to file for unemployment insurance
- How to get re-employed as soon as possible
- Options regarding retirement assets and health insurance
On March 4, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-31-20 to ease the regulatory burden on employers who had to close before being able to provide employees advanced notice related to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN).
Labor Code sections pertaining to mass layoff, relocation and termination, which normally requires a 60 day notice, have been temporarily suspended due to this emergency and now only require as much notice as is practicable is provided, and when the notice is given, a brief statement regarding the basis for reducing the notification period is included.
Businesses are encouraged to submit layoff notices online to access resources for employees, and help us understand the broader impact to businesses and employees in the San Diego region.
Other Services Available
Access to Capital
Low interest, long-term loans of up to $2M for small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of COVID-19. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Apply here.
An existing program through CA Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBANK), a unit within California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to support small businesses (1-750 employees) impacted by disasters in California, including these programs:
- Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program (DRLGP): Loan guarantees up to 95% of the loan for small business borrowers impacted by disasters who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital.
- Jump Start Loan Program: Loans from $500-$10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster and emergency areas.
This organization is a resource partner of both the SBA and California Go-Biz, and will provide for-profit small business owners with no-cost guidance through your recovery process, including applying for disaster recovery loans if needed.
- 60 centers through the state of California, with 1000 consultants that speak 12 languages who are current and former business owners
- Knowledgeable on how to get access to capital, and how to create a strategy for navigating the business impacts of COVID-19
- Advice from SBDC: Be cautious of online lenders charging high interest rates
Serves women-owned businesses (for profit and nonprofit), and is a resource partner of both the SBA and California Go-Biz, and provides business counseling and access to capital, among other services.
Other Financial / Operational Resources
SDG&E will waive late payment fees for business customers whose finances have been impacted.
Moratorium on evictions: As of March 25, 2020, by a unanimous vote, the San Diego City Council enacted a temporary moratorium on evictions of residents who cannot pay rent and businesses that cannot make their lease payments due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The eviction moratorium ordinance, which is effective today through May 31, includes documentation requirements of tenants seeking relief, who have up to six months after the effective date of the ordinance to pay any unpaid rent. Landlords may seek payment of rent but may not evict tenants who qualify for relief.
Small Business Relief Fund: As of March 25, 2020, by a unanimous vote, the San Diego City Council established a Small Business Relief Fund to support San Diego businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The relief fund will be created by repurposing nearly $4 million in existing grant funding. There are no other details at this time. As soon as we have any more details, we will update this page, so make sure to check back regularly.
Nonprofit organizations in our region working with communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis can visit The San Diego Foundation’s website for additional potential resources to funding.
EDD Employer Services (Partial Claims / Work Sharing)
Partial Claims: For employees whose employers want to keep them when there is lack of work. The employer certifies that the employee is expected to return to work and gives them a form to file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim.
Work Sharing Program: If COVID-19 has impacted your business or services you can avoid potential layoffs by participating in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program. This program allows you to retain your workers by reducing their hours and wages no more than 60 percent and partially offsetting the wage loss with UI benefits. This helps you avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring and training new workers and helps your workers keep their jobs and receive some financial support with UI benefits.
Other Changes to your business: If you are a registered employer, you must report any change in your business status, including if you no longer have employees but the business remains open, if you sell or close your business, or if you re-open your Employer Payroll Tax Account.
Protecting Workers from COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published an interim guide for businesses and employers to respond to COVID-19.
California Department of Industrial Relations has published a Cal/OSHA guide on requirements to protect workers from COVID-19.
California Department of Public Health has published many guidance documents and technical support resources to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, childcare facilities, food industry, and more.
San Diego County has published an extensive list of resources specific to industry sectors, occupations and service providers.
US Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Business Preparedness Checklist, including workplace tips for employees, guidance for employers on how to plan and respond to coronavirus and a customizable workplace flyer
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Interim Guidance for Business and Employers
Resilience in a Box: Business Disaster Preparedness Checklist, Tips, Workbooks, and the Business Disaster Resilience 101 Workbook