California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.

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Available assistance

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:

Labor and workforce support for businesses

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:

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

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