Pictured: Gov. Gavin Newsom in press conference on Monday, Dec. 7. Screen capture of live video. 

by Kimberly Rivers


Over the past week Gov. Gavin Newsom has highlighted the resources available to help businesses being heavily impacted by the pandemic shutdowns. 

The state “is just getting started with business relief and business support,” said Newsom. “We must do more. We are committed to doing so.”  He reported on the $100 million in hiring tax credits and a total of $500 million in grants up to $25,000 for small businesses, non-profit organizations as well as cultural institutions. There are also emergency grants just announced in the past week. He reinforced the residential eviction moratorium in place through next February and highlighted that local jurisdictions can enact commercial eviction moratoriums.

Small business relief grant

This week $500 million in grant funding is becoming available for small businesses. To receive notifications of when the application period opens visit: https://business.ca.gov/osba-signup/.

Tax Relief Options

MAIN STREET SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDIT: Created through Senate Bill 1447, this credit provides qualifying businesses a $1,000 tax credit for each new employee hired for up to $100,000 in credits per business. Other benefits of SB1447 include deferral of sales/use tax up to $50,000 for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable sales, federal tax credits to small businesses for COVID-19-related employee paid leave. 

Businesses can defer paying sales tax dollars to the state for the next 90 days, and instead use those dollars collected to “float” those to cover “more pressing needs,” Newsom said last week. 

To qualify, the business must have 100 or fewer employees as of Dec. 31, 2019 and have suffered a 50 percent or more decrease in income tax gross receipts during second quarter 2020 as compared to second quarter 2019. To apply for this benefit visit: www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/SB1447-tax-credit.htm.

Businesses can also get assistance over the phone by calling the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711). Phone hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

California Rebuilding Fund

Through a public-private partnership, small businesses with a focus on under-resourced communities have access to a total of $25 million in funding and guidance as they work to stay afloat and eventually reopen as the pandemic subsides over the coming months. This program is for the smallest businesses. To receive more information about funding and assistance available visit www.ibank.ca.gov/ca-rebuilding-fund-borrowers-sign-up/.

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

$50 million in state funding is available through this program managed through iBank that is aimed at assisting businesses that typically experience barriers to receiving capital, especially during tough times. For more information visit www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business/loan-guarantees/

Small Business Debt Relief 

Small businesses who are current borrowers through the Small Business Administration will automatically receive this benefit. The SBA will pay six months of principal, interest and any fees owed for all current loans (7(a), 504 and microloans) in regular status. 

Commercial evictions halted

The state has provided authorization to local governments, cities and counties to halt eviction for commercial renters due to being unable to make rent or lease payments as a result of the pandemic shutdowns. 

Ventura County resources

Locally based resources are available through the partnership with the Economic Development Collaborative, including grant and loan funding. More information is online at edcollaborative.com/covid19/.

Details on state resources available can be found online at covid19.ca.gov.