The City of Chula Vista is closely monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on our community, including the impact on businesses and employees. There are currently a variety of funding opportunities and resources available at this time that can aid in providing economic assistance. Continue reading to identify the resources that are right for you. Additional resources and updates will be posted to: www.chulavistaca.gov/businesses.
Workplace Health and Safety
- Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with planning and responding to COVID-19.
- Additional information on protecting workers from COVID-19, is available via Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus.
- In addition, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation provides news an updates on COVID-19 as it relates to the regional business community.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses, including non-profits with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
- These 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. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments (up to 30 years) in order to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- Details about the simplified three-step process to apply can be found here: Economic Injury – Three Step Process.
SBA also works with lenders to provide other types of loans to small businesses. The agency doesn’t lend money directly to small business owners but sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations that makes it easier for small businesses to get loans. Loans guaranteed by the SBA range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital.
Loans to Local Restaurants
The South County Economic Development Council is offering one-time, zero interest loans up to $5,000 to South Bay restaurants to assist in staying open and continuing to serve food. Additional information is available at: Emergency Business Loans.
Reduced Work Hours
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program through the State of California Employment Development Department. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs — retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced. To qualify, employers must reduce hours and wages by at least 10 percent, but no more than 60 percent.
Potential Closure or Layoffs
Employers planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus can get help through the Rapid Response program. 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. For more information, refer to the Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet or contact the South County Career Center at 619-628-0300.
SDG&E will waive late payment fees and will not disconnect service for business customers experiencing financial hardship and unable to pay their gas and electricity bills. Businesses are encouraged to contact the SDG&E Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 for more information and to make late payment arrangements. Additionally, Sweetwater Authority is currently suspending water shutoffs for failure to pay water bills.
KCD Public Relations is offering complimentary crisis communications support to small businesses and non-profits in Southern California. To book your 60-minute consultation, contact CommsTeam@kcdpr.com or complete the online application.
Reduced Work Hours
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, when it isn’t their fault. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.
The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
Sick or Quarantined
If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and can range from $50-$1,300 a week. The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the State of California Employment Development Department processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
If you are unable to do your usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Learn more about your eligibility for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from can range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the State of California Employment Development Department processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and State of California Employment Development Department representatives will determine if you are eligible.
The available benefits are insurance programs. To be eligible, either you or an employer had to make contributions in the past 5 to 18 months. It is possible these contributions were made at a prior job, or if you were misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. We encourage you to apply for the benefit program that is most appropriate for your situation. Visit Self-Employed/Independent Contractor to learn more.