|Joint Communication to Carlsbad Businesses Regarding COVID-19
We are now on week four of the COVID-19 public health emergency and we want to thank our residents and businesses for following the health orders, staying at home except for essential needs, staying away from beaches, trails and parks and following the 6-foot distancing guidelines. Personal responsibility is crucial to slowing the spread of this disease. Thank you for doing your part.
The coronavirus is impacting Carlsbad businesses, particularly small businesses. Some businesses have closed and others have significantly modified the way they operate. The City of Carlsbad, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Carlsbad Village Association are continuing to help by providing relevant information and resources during this emergency.
If you have a question for the city or would like to suggest a topic for an upcoming joint communication please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is what has developed since our last communication.
Stay at Home Extended through April
On March 29, 2020 federal guidance on social distancing, non-essential travel, large-group gatherings and a variety of other measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus was extended to April 30, 2020. The original recommendations were set to expire on March 30.
This guidance called “Slow the Spread” recommends that people avoid gatherings of 10 or more, remain at home except for essential trips and exercise, and work from home unless required as a part of an essential critical infrastructure industry. You can find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
The State of California and the County of San Diego have provided further instructions to residents and businesses which are discussed below.
State and County Health Orders Extended Indefinitely
Please take a moment to review the Governor’s Executive Order requiring everyone to stay at home with few exceptions and that order is in effect until further notice. For more California specific information regarding the coronavirus go to covid19.ca.gov.
Equally important, please review the March 29, 2020 County of San Diego local emergency order that includes information relevant to residents and businesses who live in the county and San Diego cities. In part, this Order emphasizes that:
· All public or private gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.
· Gyms, fitness centers, bars and businesses that serve alcohol but not food must close.
· Wineries and breweries that have an off-sale license can continue selling products for off-site consumption but must adhere to social distancing rules and the public health orders.
· On-site dining in restaurants is prohibited but delivery, takeout and curbside pickup is allowed.
· Daycare and childcare facilities can remain open but care must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer which means the same 10 or fewer children being cared for in the same group each day.
For the most up to date information from the County visit coronavirus-sd.com.
State of California Temporarily Bans Residential Evictions
On March 27, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or the courts.
Tenants must declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19. This does not mean tenants can skip out on paying rent. The tenant must still repay full rent in a timely manner and could face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted.
The order provides relief to tenants who owe rent on April 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020
State Extends Deadlines for Businesses
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses as well as extends various deadlines affecting state government administration. Some of the provisions include:
· A 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes.
· Small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.
· The statute of limitations to file a claim for refund is extended by 60 days.
· The Department of Consumer Affairs will waive continuing education requirements for several professions, also for the next 60 days.
· For businesses regulated by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Director of the department now has the authority to suspend, for up to 60 days, the deadlines for renewing licenses upon payment of annual fees and license renewal penalty fees that are due.
Businesses in Carlsbad also have an additional 30 days to pay any business license fees. The city has suspended shut-off of utilities for non-payment. Late fees will not be assessed on utility bills for March, April, or May 2020. Business customers that have had to close due to the pandemic may contact the Utilities Billing division at 760-602-2420 to discontinue water service. When a business owner wants to reopen, the fees to re-establish the account and to have the water turned back on will be waived.
National Business Resources and Aid
The US Chamber of Commerce is producing a live blog dedicated to providing companies with information during this emergency. Their Coronavirus Small Business Guide is a helpful resource outlining steps small businesses, independent contractors, and gig economy workers can take to access funds available through the recently passed Corona Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2.2 trillion economic relief package includes funding directed towards various industries and small business.
A few highlights in the act for businesses include:
· Significant funding to expand the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its programs including loan guarantees, small business development centers, emergency economic injury disaster loans, loan subsides and secondary market guarantee sales.
· $349 billion for potentially forgivable loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees as well as non-profits and sole proprietorships. This payroll protection loan will be the lesser of two and a half months of payroll costs based upon the 12 months prior to the date of the loan or $10 million
· Businesses that closed or suspended operations due to coronavirus can take a one-year credit against the qualified wages it continues to pay employees between March 13, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. Employers who take this Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) are not eligible if they receive a Payroll Protection Loan.
· Employer Payroll Tax and Self-Employment Tax payments are delayed by CARES.
· Employers can pay up to $5,250 of an employee’s student loan debt on a tax-free basis.
· Employers can defer paying 50% of the 2020 portion of their payroll taxes until Dec. 31, 2021.
There are other provisions of CARES that affect businesses. You can find more business-related information on COVID-19 from the San Diego North Economic Development Council, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Innovate78, Life in Action, the city’s business resource page.
Small Business Assistance Expanded
We mentioned this in a previous joint communication but if you are experiencing economic injury due to coronavirus seriously consider the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The CARES Act added significant funding to this low-cost loan program.
On April 3, 2020 the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will go live. Eligible businesses can apply for funding to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities for up to 8 weeks. The loan can be forgiven based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. As opposed to the EIDL program you do not apply to the SBA for this loan. You can apply through any qualified SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. If you have an existing lender contact them to see if they are participating in the program.
If you need help with any of the SBA programs contact the San Diego District Office at 619-557-7250. If you are a veteran-owned business you can contact the SoCal Veterans Business Outreach Center here in Carlsbad at 760-795-8739 or SoCalVBOC@miracosta.edu. For women-owned businesses you can contact the Women’s Business Center at 619-216-6719.
Survey Still Open
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center of San Diego and Imperial and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Council have released a survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the region. If you haven’t gotten a chance to provide your input please take a few moments to fill it out. This information will be helpful to the city and to the region as we work to support our local businesses.
The city is also developing a Carlsbad specific survey of our businesses that will be released soon.
Eat Local, Eat Well
Our local restaurants are making strong efforts to continue serving you. With public health orders closing onsite dining our purveyors of all things delicious have gotten pretty creative.
The city is doing its part by maintaining a map of all the restaurants that are still operating while complying with the no onsite dining requirements. So, if you’re feeling hungry check out the list of nearly 100 restaurants that are open for delivery, takeout and curbside pickup. Help us get over 100 restaurants on the map by sending your location and business information to email@example.com. For a list of Carlsbad Village restaurants, click here.
Supporting Economic Resiliency
On April 7, 2020 the City Council will consider the creation of a subcommittee on economic relief related to the current crisis. If you have ideas about how the city, state and federal government can help your company send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city, Chamber of Commerce and Carlsbad Village Association are working closely to help our businesses through this tough economic time. In times of crisis our community rises to the occasion. Thank you for doing your part to combat the spread of the virus and support the long-term resiliency of our community.