COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSESMarch 16 2020
An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified. While there is no evidence of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in California according to public health officials, the situation is rapidly evolving.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC), and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) service system in Solano County is closely monitoring the situation and will provide information regarding services to businesses as they become available. At this time, the centers will remain open in order to provide the growing need of business services to the community. We are, however, taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers during this time and some services, such as workshops, may be limited. Please check our websites for additional information on events and services: http://solanosbdc.org and http://solanoemployment.org.
Solano County Resources Solano Public Health is taking steps to protect the health of our community members by providing guidance and recommendations that will slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, reduce the number of people infected and, most especially, protect those who are most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illnesses. The recommendations are effective as of March 11, 2020 and can be found on Solano County’s Public Health website. These measures are in place initially through March 31, 2020.
For more information from Solano County Public Health:
- Visit the Solano County Public Health website for regular COVID-19 updates
- Visit the Solano County Public Health Facebook page (@SolanoCountyPH) for COVID-19 updates
- Register for Alert Solano to receive emergency alerts on your mobile device, including COVID-19
California Protections and Resources
There are a number of worker protections and business resources available through California state departments. A number of these resources are currently being modified at the federal and state level to respond to COVID-19. Please review the following information and resources below:
- What can I do if my business has slowed due to COVID-19? 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.
- What if I have to let go of some of my workers temporarily until business improves? Your workers can file for unemployment benefits as long as they are unemployed and otherwise eligible. Workers who expect to return to work for you within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work as long as they are able and available to return to work and meet all other eligibility criteria. The EDD will explain the requirements to your workers during application.
- What can I do if I have to shut down my business permanently? If you are facing potential layoffs or plant closures, you can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avoid layoffs where possible, and support your workers through the process. Services can include upgrades to current worker skills, customized training, career counseling, job search assistance, help with filing unemployment insurance claims, and information about education and training opportunities. For more information, please contact April Ziomek-Portillo, Sr. Manager of Business Services with the Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Solano County at 707-863-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What if I can’t file or pay my payroll taxes on time because of COVID-19? With the Governor’s emergency declaration, if your business is directly affected by COVID-19, you can request up to a 60-day extension to file your state payroll reports and deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. The written request for extension, noting the impact of COVID19, must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For the address to send the request, along with other information, please see the State of Emergency or Disaster Fact Sheet (DE 231SED) (PDF). You can also call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center with any questions you may have about your payroll tax responsibilities at 1-888-745-3886 or (TTY) 1-800-547-9565.
- What can I do to protect my workers from COVID-19? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Business and Employers includes basic precautions like proper handwashing and cleaning, as well as making sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance. Visit Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus to learn more about workplace requirements.
- Are there any financial resources available to businesses? This can be an extremely difficult time for businesses, especially for small businesses. There are several programs that are being put together to help. Congress has authorized SBA disaster loans for small businesses in states who qualify. California is currently going through the application process but hopes to be able to offer low interest loans for those businesses who have suffered economic injury. The Office of Small Business encourages businesses to utilize their local SBDC network for support in applying for upcoming loan programs.
The Solano SBDC has added a section to their website http://solanosbdc.org called news and announcements that has the latest information on programs and resources available to small businesses. For further information or assistance, please reach out to the Solano SBDC at 707853-3519 or hit the “Apply Now” button on the SBDC homepage to request advisor services.