New Requirement for Essential Businesses in Marin County
On March 31, 2020, the Marin County Public Health Officer issued a new Public Health Order which extends the previous stay-at-home order through May 3, 2020.
This order includes a new requirement that states essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the County must create, post and implement a Social Distancing Protocol for each facility frequented by employees or the public by Friday, April 3, 2020.
The Social Distancing Protocol must be completed using the County of Marin's Social Distancing Protocol Template and posted at each public entrance to the facility, as well as easily viewable by the public and employees. Essential businesses must provide a copy of their Social Distancing Protocol to all employees and provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing the public health order upon demand.
To help you understand the restrictions of the order, please review the additional resources provided below:
Executive Summary of New Marin County Stay at Home Order Issued on March 31, 2020 (see "For Businesses" section on page 4)
The City of Novato and its partner organizations recognize that the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is affecting Novato’s businesses. We are working closely with the County of Marin and Marin Health and Human Services (HHS) to monitor and respond to COVID-19, as well as gather resources and information for our community.
Helpful Tips for Businesses and Workers Impacted by COVID-19
We are committed to helping our business community get through this uncertain time. Below please find information and resources for employers and workers impacted by COVID-19.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act contains new provisions and programs that could help businesses that are struggling financially due to COVID-19. Programs will soon be available to address needs that business have right now. Major programs and provisions include the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Debt Relief Program and Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grants
Free assistance on navigating the loan process is available through the Marin Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a City of Novato partner and the local entity for the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information is available at marinsbdc.org.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Paycheck Protection Program is a forgivable loan program geared towards encouraging businesses to maintain their payroll through the COVID-19 emergency. If all employees are kept on payroll, or are rehired by June 30, 2020, borrowers are eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount the borrower spent on the following during the covered 8-week period:
- Payroll costs
- Employee salaries, commissions or similar compensations
- Costs related to the continuation of group healthcare benefits during periods of paid sick, medical or family leave and insurance premiums
- Mortgage Interest
- Interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period
Loans amounts are awarded based on a rate of 250% of average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $10 million. Loan payments are deferred for at least 6 months and up to 1 year. Loan forgiveness is based on employee retention and salary levels. Any loan amounts not forgiven are carried forward as an ongoing loan with term up to 10 years and a maximum interest rate of 4%.
Businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and 501(c)(19) veterans organizations and Tribal concerns will less than 500 employees as well as sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals and independent contractors described in the Small Business act are eligible to apply. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the Small Business Association’s size standards for those industries.
SMALL BUSINESS DEBT RELIEF PROGRAM
The Small Business Debt Relief Program is designed to provide immediate relief to small business with non-disaster Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Under the Small Business Debt Relief program, the SBA will cover all payments on SBA loans such 7(a), 504 and microloans, including principal, interest and fees, for a period of six months. This relief is also available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the CARES Act becoming law.
Disaster loans are not eligible and debt relief under this program will not apply to Paycheck Protection Program loans.
ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN ADVANCE GRANTS
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grants are now available as an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small business and private non-profits who have been impacted by COVID-19 and have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the SBA.
EIDLs are lower interest loans up to $2 million and are available for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, cooperatives and employee owned businesses and tribal small businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible. Small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that meet the applicable SBA size standards are also eligible, as well as most private non-profits of any size.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grants will be issued upon request within 3 days of applying for an EIDL. Advances do not need to be repaid under any circumstances and can be used:
- To keep employees on payroll
- To pay for sick leave
- To meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions
- To pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments
Businesses may get both an EIDL and a Paycheck Protection Program loan, however the funds may not be used for the same purposes.
EXPRESS BRIDGE LOANS
The SBA Express Bridge Loan program can help small businesses who have an urgent need for cash. The program enables small businesses who already have a current business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to quickly access up to $25,000 while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS
Due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated Marin County a disaster area. This declaration makes SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size. These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
ADDITIONAL SBA LOANS
The 7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.
The Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
The Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
The 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.
The Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.
More information is available at sba.gov
CA IBANK SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE CENTER
IBank Small Business Finance Center offers low-interest and state-guaranteed business loans and microloans for small business borrowers who have been impacted by regional disasters and who need term loans or line of credit for working capital.
CALIFORNIA CAPITAL ACCESS PROGRAM (CalCAP) FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) for Small Businesses encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion or working capital, you may be eligible for this program.
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OFFERING LOANS OR GRANTS:
EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT (EDD)
The Employment Development Department provides a variety of resources and support services to employers who have been affected by COVID-19.
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 UI Work Sharing Program. 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.
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 (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact your local America’s Job Center of California.
CALIFORNIA LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Unemployment Insurance and other tools for affected workers, available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019
EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT (EDD)
The Employment Development Department provides a variety of resources and support services to workers who have been affected by COVID-19. The Governor’s Executive Order has waived the one-week unpaid waiting period, so benefits can be collected for the first week out of work.
Expanded Unemployment Insurance
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, expands Unemployment Insurance eligibility criteria to include part-time workers and those who are self-employed, including sole proprietors, freelancers and independent contractors. This expanded criteria is valid from January 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The provisions of the CARE Act provide eligible recipients an additional 13 weeks of benefits and pays an additional $600 per week in addition to state issued unemployment payments. Those who were collecting unemployment before the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible for the additional payments, and those who have previously exhausted Unemployment Insurance can reapply to receive the $600 payment for 13 weeks.
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 or injury.
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.
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 EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.
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, through no fault of their own. 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.
The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) provides many services to employers affected by COVID-19. For the most up-to-date state resources for businesses, visit the GO-Biz resource page.
CA STATE TAX
Effective March 30, 2020 all taxpayers who file a return less than $1 Million dollars will have an additional 3 months to file their return, between now and July 31, 2020. Those with a tax liability of $1 million or more may still request an extension if they are unable to file and pay timely. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and taxpayers will be notified if their extension has been approved or denied
Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability.
More information is available on the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS)
The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
More information is available at irs.gov/coronavirus.
CA EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DIVISION (EDD)
The CA Employment Development Division (EDD) is granting a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest for employers experiencing hardship from COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, visit CA EDD’s COVID-19 resource page.
CARES ACT SMALL BUSINESS TAX PROVISIONS
Employee Retention Credit for Employers subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship
This provision of the CARES Act provides for a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid to certain employees by employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of governments limiting commerce, travel or group meetings. It also applies to employers who have experienced a reduction in quarterly receipts greater than 50 percent.
For employers with less than 100 employees, all employee wages are eligible regardless of whether they were furloughed. The credit is provided for wages and compensation, including health benefits, for the first $10,000 in wages and compensation to an eligible employee. Wages do not include required paid sick leave, required paid family leave or paid family medical leave.
The credit is provided through December 31, 2020. It is not available to employers receiving assistance though the Paycheck Protection Program.
Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes
This provision of the CARES Act would allow taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of FICA taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of SECA tax liability.
Deferral is not provided to employers received assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.
MARIN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Knowing how the disaster program works, what documents are required, and how to fill them out correctly, is key to ensuring the highest chance of approval in the shortest time frame.
The Marin Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a City of Novato partner and the local entity for SBA, is available to help businesses navigate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan process. There is a team of experts available to work with businesses, at no charge, to answer questions and serve as a guide through the application process.
The Marin SBDC is also hosting a series of free, online webinars to help local businesses apply for SBA loans and connect to available resources. More information is available at marinsbdc.org.
DOWNTOWN NOVATO BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
The Downtown Novato Business Association (DNBA) is using their marketing and public information platforms to promote open businesses and creative solutions that are being implemented.
To promote your Downtown Novato-based businesses, contact Executive Director, Stephanie Koehler at (415) 599-6880 or info@DowntownNovato.com.
NOVATO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Novato Chamber of Commerce is working with their members to develop strategies and share valuable information. For the latest updates and business resources, visit the Chamber online at novatochamber.com or reach them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many non-profits are working to ease the burdens of lost wages to individuals and families.
North Marin Community Services (NMCS) is a Novato-based non-profit that runs several programs to support our community. NMCS Rental & Housing Assistance Program is available for residents of Novato who are experiencing a financial crisis and may be at risk for becoming homeless. To learn about eligibility requirements and to apply for this program, please visit northmarincs.org.
For information on protecting workers from COVID-19, refer to the Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus.
Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with planning and responding to COVID-19.
On March 24, 2020 the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution issuing a temporary moratorium on residential and commercial evictions for non-payment of rent due to direct impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This temporary moratorium applies to all cities, towns and unincorporated areas within Marin County and is currently scheduled to be in place until May 31, 2020.
The temporary moratorium applies to all residential and commercial tenants within Novato city limits, as well as unincorporated Novato that are directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including those suffering from a substantial loss of income due to:
- Business closure
- Loss of work or wages
- Missed work or childcare expenditures due to school closure
- Medical expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a member of the household ill with COVID-19
- Other similarly-caused reason resulting in a loss of income due to COVID-19
Under provisions of the resolution, tenants must provide notice to their landlord, or their landlords designee, within 30 days after the date that rent was due that they are unable to pay due to financial impacts of COVID-19. Within one week of providing notice, tenants are required to provide documentation or other objectively verifiable information of these financial impacts.
This resolution does not relieve the residential or commercial tenant of the liability for the unpaid rent, and the landlord may seek payment after the expiration of the local emergency.
More information is available at marincounty.org/renterlandlord
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a foreclosure and eviction moratorium on March 18, 2020. Under this moratorium, all foreclosures and evictions for properties secured by FHA-insured Single Family mortgages are suspended for a period of 60 days. Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is providing mortgage help for homeowners impacted by COVID-19. The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprise) to suspend foreclosures and evictions for a period of at least 60 days. Enterprise and Federal Home Loan Banks may also be eligible to delay making monthly mortgage payment for a temporary period of time, and additional assistance may be available for those who have trouble catching up after the temporary relief period ends.
On March 25, 2020, Governor Newsom announced that the State of California was working with financial institutions on residential mortgage forbearance policies and relief from fees and charges. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo and almost 200 state-charted banks, credit unions and servicers have committed to providing relief, including:
- Mortgage forbearance of up to 90 days, allowing mortgage payment reductions or delays
- Relief of mortgage-related late fee and other fees for at least 90 days
- Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days
Please contact your financial institution and work with your mortgage servicer directly to find out more information or to apply.
Novato to Hold Virtual Public Meetings
Public invited to provide public comment online for City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Commission meetings
4/1/2020 3:15:43 PM
Public Health Officer Issues NEW Shelter Order for Marin County in Response to COVID-19
More time and additional restrictions needed to slow the spread and reduce future impact on local hospitals
3/31/2020 8:00:00 PM
Temporary Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions in Marin County
Marin County Board of Supervisors adopts resolution to temporarily restrict residential and commercial evictions arising from COVID-19
3/25/2020 10:02:36 AM
Novato Park Restrictions, Trails Remain Open
Novato Skate Park and Dogbone Meadow Dog Park closed; residents encouraged to walk or bike to neighborhood parks
3/24/2020 11:00:00 AM
Resources for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
City launches webpage with resources and information for businesses and workers
3/19/2020 5:33:11 PM
Novato City Council Ratifies Proclamation of Local Emergency in Response to COVID-19
Regular City Council meeting of March 24, 2020 cancelled
3/18/2020 1:30:00 PM
City Closing All Public-Facing Sites & Postponing Events through March 29, 2020
City services remain available by phone, online or by appointment. Emergency services available 24/7.
3/15/2020 9:00:00 PM
City Temporarily Closing Several Sites & Postponing Events through March 29, 2020
For immediate release: March 13, 2020
3/13/2020 5:11:27 PM
Novato Declares Local Emergency in Response to Coronavirus
Prevention and preparedness remain top priority
3/13/2020 4:00:00 PM
Coronavirus Status Update: March 12, 2020
What the City is doing in response to coronavirus and how to reduce your risk
3/12/2020 7:07:55 PM
City Temporarily Closing Senior Center & Postponing Some Events
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2020
3/10/2020 2:10:00 PM