COVID-19 Resources for North County Small Businesses

1. [IMPORTANT UPDATE] The State of California issued a “stay in place” order effective Thursday 3/19/2020.  You can find the order here. This page also has a link to a list of “essential businesses” to help if you are uncertain as to whether your business should or should not move fully to work from home. The County of San Diego’s COVID page can be found here.  We suggest this is your best resource for questions regarding how local public health officials are responding to the crisis and short term responses.

THE COUNTY HAS REVISED ITS REQUIREMENTS.  Effective, Saturday, April 4, all employees of essential businesses must wear a facial covering at supermarkets, grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and pharmacies.  For more guidance click here.

The county is also encouraging the general public, if you have to leave your home, to wear a face covering.

2.  We STRONGLY encourage employers to review and follow CDC Guidelines to determine planning, preparation, and response to COVID-19. Employers should encourage employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to call their health provider for medical advice. Hospitals will not test persons who do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Guidelines for testing for COVID-19 can be found here.

3.  [UPDATED AND IMPORTANT PPP information] 

On Thursday, the initial appropriation to the PPP was exhausted and lenders were instructed to stop submitting finalized applications to the SBA.

SDNEDC is suggesting the following:

1)  If your application had been finalized and submitted by your lender or other financial institution, call them to find out the status and whether submitted prior to the deadline.

2)  If you have not submitted, still contact your lender.  Some are asking businesses to start over but others are asking you to complete as much as you can so that if the program receives additional funding you are ready to submit ASAP.

3)  Stay positive. It is VERY likely that there will be additional funding provided to the program.  We know that it is not a magic bullet and has been very frustrating.  We remain committed to doing all we can to get you resources that can help you access this program. 

4. [NEW AND UPDATE]  Supervisor Jim Desmond is collecting input from North County businesses on how to speed the recovery. You can submit your information and ideas at http://sandiegobacktowork.com/. The Supervisor has added an additional section to collect information about the kind of practices that would be either practical or not practical for your business to implement in the near term.

5. [NEW] Hiring SURGE – North County biotech company Argonaut Manufacturing is dramatically ramping up its services as the world leans into defeating COVID-19.  They are hiring both for those skilled in biomanufacturing as well as for entry level manufacturing positions.  You can find more information at https://www.argonautms.com/jobs/ 

6. [NEW]  As part of the first stimulus, many Americans have and will be getting a stimulus check. For taxpayers that received a refund, this should be made to you through automatic deposit.  However, for taxpayers that either owed money to the IRS or some which used tax preparation software there could be a delay.  We urge you to go to www.irs.gov and follow the links to make sure that the IRS has your up to date information and gets you the stimulus check ASAP.

7. The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have increased regional coordination and communication during this unprecedented time to provide uninterrupted access to clean and abundant supplies.

  • Tap water in the San Diego region remains safe to drink due to numerous robust treatment processes used by local and regional water providers.
  • There is no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted through treated waterThe U. S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that Americans continue to use, and drink tap water as usual.
  • The Water Authority has implemented protections and protocols to protect its workforce from the virus, including additional protections for highly specialized water system operators who are critical for ensuring water deliveries.

To learn more about the Water Authority’s response, go to www.sdcwa.org

8.  [NEW]  SDNEDC- Investor Cox Media is offering FREE advertising to local restaurants who are open for business for take-out. The free advertising will include graphical information about the restaurant, so no video footage is required, and the advertising will run for a minimum of two weeks for each restaurant. The commercials will air across a wide variety of networks – nearly 50 channels including all types of genres. Channels include A&E, AMC, Bravo, Comedy Central, CNN, Discovery and more. Airtime is limited, so interested restaurants should call 1-855-755-2691 or email MarketingInsights@CoxMedia.com to reserve a spot.

9. The State of California has launched a new site to help connect individuals with resources and job opportunities.  Click here to go to the OnwardCA site.

10.  The State also announced that small businesses with smaller sales tax remittances can delay payments to help manage cash flow.  More information can be found here.

11.   The North County SBDC  has a dedicated team to help businesses navigate these programs.  They are here to help and their services are free.   Register here and a SBDC consultant will be in touch as soon as possible. The local SBDC also has a set of on-line seminars and educational programming.  You can see the schedule here.

12. Some North County employers ARE hiring to meet a surge in demand.  We have a link to those we know of here.  Employers that are hiring to meet the surge are encouraged to contact ebruvold@sdnedc.org so we can spread the word among our North County partners. We have several new employers listed on the page.  The UnionTribune ran a piece on 4/8 with several other employers hiring.  You can access that piece here (possible paywall – if problems email us and we will get you the info).

Also the San Diego Regional EDC has stood up a “who is hiring” page.  You can access that here as well as update it with new information.

13. As part of the first stimulus bill, there was a new provision put in place for sick and family leave that is likely to impact small businesses.  Please review carefully the brief link put together by CalTax as it impacts businesses of between 1 and 500 employees.

14. SDNEDC-investor Cox Communications is making sure their customers can stay connected during the pandemic. Click here to find out what Cox is doing to ensure robust, reliable service for their consumer and business customers, employees and partners.

15. [NEW]  The Del Mar Village Association has launched a new philanthropic program – Fuel the Frontline San Diego.  It is designed to support both health care providers at local hospitals and local restaurants.  Allowing one to donate meals to front line heroes – it has raised in excess of $25,000 since its launch last week

16.  [UPDATE] North County cities have compiled lists of restaurants open for take out, drive thru, and delivery.  SDNEDC has a web page with links to all.  Please, if you can, frequent these North County businesses.

17.  The County of San Diego has compiled data on how businesses can help fight the disease and links to guidance from the CDC. You can find that letter at this link.

18. The U.S. Small Business Administration, because of the unprecedented demands on its IT infrastructure,  is advising applications for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to fill out a hard copy of the application and then upload the documents.  You can find out general SBA information at this link and about the disaster relief program here. The SBA disaster assistance customer service center can be reached at 1-800-659-2955  or e-mailed at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Locally, the SBA’s office in San Diego can be reached at 619- 557-7250 and their website found here.

SDNEDC is advising businesses to first reach out to SBDC (item #3) and/or an SBA-approved lending institution (list here) to develop the best mix of options since SBA is overwhelmed and likely to take some period of time before making decisions on the loan application.

19.  You should be aware of options your employees may have in respect to making an unemployment or disability claim if their work hours and compensation are impacted by COVID-19. You can access information at the EDD website.

20.  The San Diego Workforce Partnership can assist business owners with issues surrounding workforce reductions. You can fill out a form here and the partnership has committed to a 24-hour turn around in responding. SDNEDC can also assist you with connecting you with members of SDNEDC who are HR experts.

21. Each North County City has an economic development manager or director available to assist you.  Their contact information can be found here.  The Innovate78 collaborative also has a blog you can see here which contains similar COVID-19 information.

22. SDNEDC is EXTREMELY proud and honored to have as an investor and partner the North County Food Bank.  You can follow this link  to see what they are doing and ways you can help.

23. Several ISP and Utilities have announced a grace period for paying bills.  SDG&E’s guidance is here. SDNEDC is encouraging businesses to reach out to these providers as well as your landlord to start discussions as you manage cash flow during this crisis.

24.  SDNEDC-investors with commercial real estate have offered to assist North County businesses with understanding your commercial real options if you do not have a pre-existing relationship with a commercial broker. Click here to send an email on this subject to Erik.

25. Many companies in North County are stepping up to help the community through this uncertain time of COVID-19. Click here to learn about the great work being done in our region.

Updated 04/17/20