California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.
On this page:
- Available assistance
- Small business relief grants
- Employer policies and resources
- Federal financial assistance
- Questions and answers
- Tax relief, including deferrals and credits
- Providing capital to the California Rebuilding Fund to support small business loans
- $50 million in state funding for the Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program and $50 million for the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program via IBank to provide loans to underserved small businesses
- Small Business Debt Relief for existing Small Business Administration (SBA) borrowers
- Federal small business stimulus programs like Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- State-supported small business centers that provide direct assistance from a local advisor
- Authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters
Small business relief grants
The California Office of the Small Business Advocate will accept applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant from small businesses impacted by COVID-19 between December 30, 2020, and January 13, 2021. $500 million in grants are available. You can begin preparing your documents at CAReliefGrant.com.
Other help for small businesses
California has additional resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19:
- Resources and services for small businesses collected by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
- Tax relief and extensions from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Labor and workforce support for businesses
- Check EDD’s resources for employers for information about workplace health and safety guidelines, reduced work hours, potential closure or layoffs, California WARN Act requirements, and tax assistance.
- Visit the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s employer resources and assistance.
- Check the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s information about COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
- For information about recording and reporting requirements for COVID-19 infection, check the frequently asked questions provided by the CA Department of Industrial Relations.
Employer policies and resources
As California reopens, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment. If you own or manage a business, follow the employer playbook to help plan and prepare your business for reopening. And follow the industry-specific guidance that applies to your business to protect your workers and customers.
As workplaces reopen, employees will need both childcare support and workplace flexibility. It’s also important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies need to support that. See more information on:
- Government programs supporting COVID-19 sick leave and workers’ compensation
- Family friendly practices for employers (PDF)
- Support for working families (PDF)
- Find childcare
Federal financial assistance
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a federal program that provides forgivable loans to first and second-time small business borrowers and nonprofits. Second-time loans are limited to businesses with fewer than 300 employees and at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in a 2020 quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. The maximum loan size for second-time borrowers is $2 million. Businesses taking a PPP loan can take the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC).
PPP loans can be used to pay qualifying expenses, like employee wages, covered property damage, supplier costs, worker protection expenditures, and operating expenses (like rent and utilities). When used for qualifying expenses, PPP loans are forgivable up to $150,000.
Businesses can deduct expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans. This applies to old loans and to new loans and does not include guardrails or limitations. Forgiven PPP loans and expenses paid for with PPP loans will not count as taxable income.
Learn more about the PPP at the SBA website.
Other federal programs
The U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting new applications to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from all eligible businesses. Visit U.S. SBA’s Disaster Loan Applications website for more information. The U.S. SBA will continue to process EIDL Loan applications already submitted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Small businesses may get reimbursed for paid leave costs related to COVID-19. This funding is available for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Employers can receive a credit for wages paid for such leave between April 1 and December 31, 2020. Visit Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for more information. Also check frequently asked questions about tax credit reimbursement for paid leave.
Questions and answers
Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee program
Managing COVID-19 in the workplace
Small Business Administration (SBA) stimulus programs
- CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers
- CA Employment Development Department: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: Coronavirus 2019
- California Department of Tax and Fee Administration: COVID-19 State of Emergency
- Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – FAQs on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office
- CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing: COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
- CA Department of Industrial Relations: COVID-19 Resources and Workers’ Compensation
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Coronavirus Tax Relief
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs
- U.S. Department of Labor: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act