Wear a Face CoveringRequiring Face Coverings

Date of Order: 7/5/2020  (VIEW ONLINE)

This Order requires that all individuals in Contra Costa County wear face coverings in accordance with guidance issued by the State of California. Subject to the exemptions set forth in the State Face Covering Guidance, including but not limited to exemptions in industry guidance documents issued by the State of California, individuals and businesses in the County must comply with the following local requirements, as applicable:

  • Individuals shall wear Face Coverings when less than 6 feet away from any person who is not a member of the individual’s household or living unit.

  • Individuals must wear Face Coverings when inside or on the grounds of, or waiting in line to enter, any business.

  • All businesses must:

    • Require their employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a Face Covering

    • Take all reasonable steps to prohibit any member of the public who is not wearing a Face Covering from entering and must not serve that person if those efforts are unsuccessful.

Click below to read the following documents:

Roadmap to Reopening June 29, 2020 Update

Contra Costa to Postpone COVID-19 Reopening Timeline

Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) will delay the opening of businesses and activities previously planned for July 1 until the COVID-19 outbreak in Contra Costa is better contained.
The county is closely monitoring recent data showing COVID-19 activity increasing in the community, as it is statewide and throughout the country. Read press release here >>

Businesses and activities that have already reopened are not required to close.

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program – Accion Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund – MONDAY NIGHT DEADLINE

Lafayette For-profit businesses,

We’d like to deliver a time-sensitive update on the Accion Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund. Applications are currently open until Monday, June 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm.  We recommend applying as soon as possible while COVID-19 funding is still available.  Based on the information you’ve provided us at the Lafayette Business Assistance Program (LBA), you should be eligible for this grant opportunity. This competitive grant program will provide COVID-19 relief grants to struggling small businesses. The application is very straightforward and can be completed in less than one hour. Let us know if you have any questions!

Funding Info:

  • Selected small business owners will receive a grant of $5,000
  • All grant recipients will be randomly selected from a pool of finalists.
  • Grant recipients will be notified on or around July 14, 2020.

 

Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be the owner of the business
  • Must have been in business at least 1 year, since June 2019
  • Must meet ONE of the following criteria:
    • Entrepreneur of color
    • Woman entrepreneur
    • Business annual revenue is less than $1 million
      • If you are not a woman or a person of color, you may still apply if your annual revenue is under $1 million.

 

  • Business who are note eligible to apply:
    • National chain businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have a national affiliation
    • Branch Banks
    • Payday loan stores
    • Pawn shops
    • Astrology, palm reading
    • Liquor stores, night clubs
    • Adult bookstores, massage parlors, strip clubs
    • Track waging facilities
    • Trailer-storage yards
    • Junkyards
    • Marijuana dispensaries
    • Multi-level marketing
    • Churches (non-religious activities are eligible, i.e. if they have a bookstore or cafe)

 

Steps To Apply:

Grant Application Checklist

Please find a LBA – SBLRGF – Application Checklist outlining the entire application and all information needed to apply. Feel free to use this checklist as an offline resource to prepare your application.

 

Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund Application Portal

 

Documents Required

  • You will need to submit the following three (3) attachments in order to apply for this grant:
    1. 2018 or 2019 tax returns
    2. Four (4) total business bank statements from June 2019, September 2019, December 2019, and March 2020
  1. For sole proprietorships, please provide your most recent (2019 or 2018) Schedule-C if you do not have business bank statements
    1. A scanned copy or photo of a valid identification card (driver’s license, government-issued ID card, passport, matricula)

 

Tips To Be Competitive:

  • At least 50% of funds will be allocated to current Accion and Opportunity Fund loan clients.
    • If you are a current client, make sure you include your account number in questions #21 and #22 of the checklist.
  • Special consideration will be extended to business owners who identify as:
    • People of Color
    • Specifically Hispanic, Latino and Latinx
    • Women
    • Low income and struggling small businesses
      • If you are not a person of color or a woman, you may still be competitive. A low annual revenue in comparison to your business size will make you a competitive.
  • All grant recipients will be randomly selected from a pool of finalists.
    • If you score high on the above special considerations, you will automatically be included in the pool of finalists.

More info on the Lafayette Business Assistance Program>>

 

Statement from Contra Costa County Regarding COVID-19 Reopening Timeline

Friday, June 26, 2020

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is evaluating whether the county should continue its current reopening timeline, due to recent data showing COVID-19 activity is increasing in the community.

CCHS is closely monitoring key data indicators that show how the virus is spreading in the county and will announce a decision about the timeline Monday.

During the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased 42%.

The seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases has increased from 39 a day to 68 a day. The positivity rate of test results – the percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive – has also increased. This suggests the change is not simply due to more testing, but indicates a true increase in community spread.

We are also seeing a shift with more young people testing positive. In June, 55% of cases were 40 years and under compared to 38% for that group in April. It’s a sign that younger people are playing a major role in driving the increase in new cases and potentially infecting vulnerable individuals. This highlights why it’s important for everyone to avoid social gatherings, observe physical distancing and wear masks or face coverings when around others.

CCHS encourages all residents to get tested. Increased testing for COVID-19 is a critical part of the community effort to slow local spread of the virus, and necessary to continue reopening in the future.

Contra Costa’s data are consistent with increases in COVID-19 activity now being experienced in communities across the state and the nation.

There is concern that these increases may lead to a surge in very ill people that could overwhelm the local healthcare system. We realize many people are eager to resume normal activities. However, if we adjust the reopening timeline, it will be because we have a chance to prevent the pandemic from getting out of control in the county.

Any change to the timeline would immediately affect businesses and activities that are currently scheduled to resume July 1, including indoor dining, bars, gyms, hotels and some personal care services, including nail salons and tattoo parlors.

CCHS is releasing this information today to provide businesses and residents as much time as possible to prepare for a potential change to the timeline.

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, CCHS also reminds everyone that it’s a healthy choice to observe physical distancing when outside the home – maintain six feet of space whenever possible – and to wear face coverings. Anyone who feels sick should stay home. People should also wash their hands frequently.

# # #

Reopening Roadmap June 26, 2020

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program – EIDL Update 6.17.2020

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) has been reopened to all business industry types. If you have not already applied, you may do so now while funds are still available. This application will provide loans of up to $150,000 and Emergency Advance grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please Note: if you have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds or if you anticipate that you will receive PPP funds, the Emergency Advance grant will be deducted from your PPP loan forgiveness. You may refuse the Advance in the EDIL online application.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions regarding this funding resource:

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Steps For You To Apply:

Attached to this email, please find a checklist outlining the information that the SBA will ask in their online application. Feel free to use this document as an offline resource to prepare your application.

 

Where To Apply

 

Lafayette Business License Letter

 

Waiting In Queue

  • If your application has already been submitted, SBA funding should continue processing your application on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Look out for any correspondence from SBA asking for clarification on certain items in order to get your funds approved.
  • Regularly check your spam folder for any missed correspondence.
  • Beware of scams. Any legitimate emails from the SBA will have “sba.gov” at the end of its email address.
  • Feel free to contact us with any questions.

 

EIDL vs PPP

  • You may apply for both the EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • However, if you receive both the EIDL Advance Portion and the PPP, the amount you receive in EIDL Advance will be deducted from your PPP forgiveness.
    • For example, if you receive $10,000 in EIDL Advance and $30,000 in PPP funds, only $20,000 total can be forgiven from you PPP loan. The deducted $10,000 will have to be paid back at the PPP interest rate of 1%.
    • If you do not want this Advance Portion, you may refuse it in the Applicant Awarding Information section of the online application.

 

EIDL Advance Portion:

Designed to provide rapid relief of up to $10,000. This advance portion will be fully forgiven and will not have to be repaid.

  • The advance portion is calculated by the number of your pre-disaster (as of January 31, 2020) employees:
    • $1,000 is allocated to you for each employee.
    • Maximum advance amount is $10,000.
  • Eligible use of funds include:
    • Keep employees on payroll
    • Pay for sick leave
    • Meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions
    • Pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

 

EIDL Loan Portion:

Designed to provide low interest loans to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.

  • The loan portion does not have any option to be forgiven, and must be repaid.
  • These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.
  • Maximum loan amount is $150,000.
  • Maximum loan term is 30 years
  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations
  • You are not required to commit to this loan portion in order to receive the advance portion. Once approved, you may opt out of this loan portion and receive only the advance portion.

⇒ https://www.lovelafayette.org/businessassistance

PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/16/2020

This Order supersedes the June 5, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

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On Monday, June 8 the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously to approve a relief package to our local businesses as we begin to re‐open our downtown.

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020

The assistance to date includes:

  • Temporary waiver of sign regulations
  • Furnished signs for curbside pick‐up (15 minute zone) and “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” A‐frames
  • Temporary Suspension of Parking Meter Collection
  • Assistance in procuring State and Federal Funding

Collaboration between the City of Lafayette and the Chamber of Commerce, we are adding these temporary remedies

  • Business guidance, re‐opening checklists and self‐certification
  • Temporary use of private and public open space and rights of way\
  • Re‐Open Kits

Outdoor dining will be allowed in private parking lots and limited public rights of way to increase seating  capacity until “social distancing” is no longer required.

Plan Details
Before reopening, all facilities must:

  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a site‐specific protection plan
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID‐19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  • Set up individual control measures and screenings
  • Put disinfection protocols in place
  • Establish physical distancing guidelines

Private Spaces
Beginning Friday, June 19th, restaurants and retail establishments will be able use their parking lots for seating and shopping. The City is temporarily waiving the parking requirements to allow for additional seating.

  • Social Distancing and Masks will be mandatory when you are within 6’ of another person
  • Restaurants can serve their full menu and with a temporary license issued by the ABC, beer & wine & alcoholic beverages. (You must already have a liquor license) and you must have your temporary outside area enclosed with a barrier.
  • You can deliver full service or To‐Go menus.
  • It is the restaurants responsibility to provide the tables, chairs, and all other equipment
  • Tables and chairs must be sanitized by your staff after each turnover
  • Current state guides for restaurants: This guidance for dine-in restaurants provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
    Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for dine-in restaurants in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Public Spaces

  • Plans are underway to prepare two public spaces that will support the open dining scene. The plan is to close Lafayette Circle between the two driveways between TuTu’s and Coffee Shop. The second closure will be the wide sidewalk between Joe and the Juice and Sideboard. The street will be open and all parking spaces will be available.
  • These closures are planned to be from 4:00pm on Friday nights through Sunday nights.
  • We plan to begin these closures Friday, June 19, 2020.
  • A reminder – if you sell alcohol, your customers must be seated within your private dining area or purchasing the beverages TO‐GO. Alcohol will not be allowed in public spaces.
  • As we move closer to July 1st, when Restaurants will be allowed to open their dining rooms (with social distancing) the city is considering the closure of more public streets to create a safe and friendly street scene. The theme will be WELCOME BACK!

Statewide industry guidance to reduce risk during Re‐Opening: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry‐guidance

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Please don’t let “I told you so” happen…

June 11, 2020

As someone who has been at the forefront of pleading with county officials to allow the re-opening of our local economy, I urge everyone to stay vigilant. Lafayette businesses are so happy to be serving you again. And it’s not just because they miss you. They must open if they are going to survive. We have a chance to help them and stay healthy at the same time.

The citizens of Lafayette want to say thank you for the pro-active steps Contra Costa took to support the safety and health of our community. We know those measures were necessarily made with a broad brush and those decisions saved thousands of lives. We all sacrificed much – please don’t stop now. We have done a lot of hard work to keep everyone safe. As retail and restaurants open I want to remind both residents and business that our work is not done.

Community Members – as cities and towns around the country have started to reopen there have been spikes in new cases and Northern California is no exception. We should all agree that basic safety precautions need to be followed by all businesses and customers. This includes crowd control, social distancing, extra space in isles, masks and in some cases gloves, proper postings for staff and customers, and enforcement by business owners. Anything less should be considered non-conforming and irresponsible. We all know how to do it now. If you have already tested positive, you really don’t know with certainty about your immunity or that you are not capable of spreading the virus. If you are young and feel invincible, you can still spread the virus.

Businesses – we have fought hard with county health officials to be reasonable and allow prudent businesses to operate safely. But now it is up to you to ensure your customers and your employees are SAFE. No shortcutting. And a note to customers, you would not believe the list of mandatory guidelines businesses must implement before they can open their doors. You can visit these necessary measures https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.

Contra Costa has done such a good job, but we all know we can do better. Put the masks back on. I hate them too. I really do. But I want to hang around a little longer. We are closing in on 5,000 COVID-19 deaths in California. We can do better than this. Be kind. If you are not doing it for yourself, please consider the rest of us.

Jay Lifson, Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

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Statewide industry guidance to reduce risk

https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#top
Last updated June 8, 2020 at 4:08 PM

As California reopens, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment. If you own or manage a business, follow the guidance below to protect your workers and customers.

The industry-specific guidance below applies to businesses statewide. Review the guidance that is relevant to your workplace, make a plan, and put it into action. Post your completed checklist so everyone can know the steps you’ve taken. Feel free to add more safety measures to the ones listed here.

Some counties have received state approval to move further into the reopening roadmap. Learn more and find related industry guidance on the County Variance page. [See Contra Costa County Road to Reopening graphic below.)

Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  3. Set up individual control measures and screenings
  4. Put disinfection protocols in place
  5. Establish physical distancing guidelines

It’s important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies will need to support that. See information on:

View Industry Specific Guidance here >>
Includes guidance for childcare, construction, day camps, workspaces, real estate, and retail.

This guidance for hair salons and barbershops provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.  Extended personal services are not yet allowed by the state, but they have provided guidance here.  More info: County variance info.

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Resources for businesses reopening during COVID-19 (yelp) >>

Cal Osha Industry Guidelines COVID 19 Restaurants >>

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Road to Reopening!

Updated June 8, 2020, 4:00pm

Thanks to your collective efforts & sacrifices for the health of the community, we are making progress in our fight against #COVID19.

More info on our website: cchealth.org/coronavirus

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/5/2020; 1:20pm

​A new Health Order effective today at 5:00 p.m. allows Outdoor Dining, Outdoor Worship Services, Swimming, Dog Parks, and Camping. Learn more in Supervisor Candace Anderson’s email notice: https://conta.cc/3eSwret

This Order supersedes the June 2, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

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COVID-19 TEMPORARY CATERING AUTHORIZATION APPLICATION

Posted June 5, 9:40am

We are expecting an updated health order today at approximately 1pm. Included in this new order is allowing restaurants to open for outdoor dining with social distancing using their own parking lots as of today, 6/5 at 5pm.

RESTAURANTS –  if you decide to serve alcohol, make sure you apply for the temporary ABC license ABC 218CV19.  It can now be found on the ABC Oakland office website. The fee is $100.

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Lafayette Business Assistance offered by the City of Lafayette: PPP UPDATE

Posted June 5, 2020

The City of Lafayette has collaborated with us, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Townsend Public Affairs to run the Lafayette Business Assistance Program, a way for Lafayette businesses and non-profits to get help on Small Business Administration (SBA) loan and grant applications. The City designed the program to make it as easy as possible for our businesses to get the support they need during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Lafayette Business Assistance (LBA) program wanted to provide you with a brief update regarding Payroll Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief funding:

On Friday morning, the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was signed into law. This bipartisan effort gives substantial expansions to how you may use PPP funds and still receive forgiveness.

These expansions include:

  • Allowing you a window of 24 weeks to spend PPP funds instead of the original 8 weeks.
  • Allowing you to spend up to 40 percent of PPP funds on non-payroll costs (such as rent and utilities) instead of the original 25 percent maximum.
  • Allowing you until December 31, 2020 to rehire employees to their pre-disaster (February 15, 2020) wages with PPP funds instead of the original June 30, 2020 deadline.
  • Extending the loan term to five (5) years instead of the original two (2) years, for any amount of PPP funds that are not forgiven.
  • Adding that you may defer employer payroll taxes due for PPP funds. You may defer 50% of the employer’s share of payroll taxes until 2021 and the remaining 50% until 2022.

Much of Congress’ motivation to enact these expansions stemmed from their displeasure in the rigid way the SBA and US Treasury have decided to interpret and enact the PPP to date. We will continue to update you as the US Treasury announces what their interpretations of the program will be under this new law.

For those of you that have already received PPP funds, this gives you much more flexibility to use your funds in a way that will support your business as Contra Costa County slowly facilitates reopening. This will also give you much more time to apply for loan forgiveness.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding your loan forgiveness process in light of this change. We are here to be your information resource and want to provide any assistance that we can!

Find out more about the Lafayette Business Assistance program and how you can benefit on the City’s webpage here. Find out if you qualify for assistance by filling out the Lafayette Business Verification Form.

For more information: www.LoveLafayette.org/BusinessAssistance

BusinessAssistance@LoveLafayette.org, (925) 284-1968

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Guide

Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.

The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. The forgiveness forms, instructions, and worksheets can be downloaded here.

PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan. This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.

 

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Lafayette Retail Businesses

You may open your doors to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3, once you have satisfied the rules, regulations, and social distancing protocol.

Please make sure your read and understand everything in the new order issued today.

Order of the Health Office of CCC (PDF)

Press Release – Business Re-openings set for June 3rd

Social Distancing Protocol (PDF)

Appendix C-1 Additional Businesses Permitted to Operate beginning June 3rd (PDF)

Here are postings and checklists to help you get open safely.

Checklists and Planning to Re-Open Playbook (PDF)

Legal and Helpful Postings for Employees and Customers (PDF)

Helpful Links (PDF)

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/2/2020

This Order supersedes the May 18, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

 

PLEASE NOTE: Retail is now open however please read ALL Health Order information for details and specifics,  Appendix C-1:

2. Indoor Retail. All retail businesses may operate for indoor shopping, subject to applicable industry guidance issued by the State of California
(https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf). The number of Personnel and customers inside the store or other enclosed space must be limited so that Personnel and customers can comply with Social Distancing Requirements.

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Loosening of Restrictions Expected This Week

On Friday, May 29, Supervisor Candace Andersen made the following statement:

So, what’s next? Our Health Officer, Dr. Farnitano, indicated this morning that he is working with the other Bay Area Health Officers on getting a consensus to loosen restrictions to move our County to the State’s full Phase 2. It will likely allow for the reopening of all retail, outdoor museums and galleries, malls (with an approved plan to reopen), childcare/camps open to all to children, outside visiting may be allowed within small, set groups, service providers such as cleaners and piano tuners will be allowed back into our homes, and offices can be reopened where telecommuting is not possible. It is also anticipated that the order will allow for some smaller primarily outdoor worship services being permitted starting on June 15.

The new order is expected to be announced next Tuesday, June 2, with allowed activities resuming on Wednesday. The Health Order that is in effect now does not have an expiration date. Unfortunately, we do still have many COVID cases in our community, and it would be irresponsible to open everything up all at once. We still need two weeks between each loosening of restrictions so we can evaluate the impact of each change.

Please read press statement here.

Learn more here: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/health-services-updates.

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Lafayette Business Financial Relief Survey

Have you … Applied for a grant or loan? Was it successful? Would you be interested in learning about the loans that are still available?

This survey will help us assess how Lafayette businesses are accessing COVID-19 financial resources. Take this important survey now >>

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City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

Update regarding Payroll Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief funding:

May 20, 2020, City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program / Townsend Public Affairs, Inc.

Over this weekend, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the application for PPP loan forgiveness. Attached please find the official loan forgiveness application form. This application also includes concrete rules for calculating your loan forgiveness as well measures to reduce compliance burdens. Your lender should be reaching out to you this week with specific instructions on how to submit the loan forgiveness application to SBA through them.

SBA staff have confirmed that more information on loan forgiveness is forthcoming. Now that this official loan forgiveness application has been released, SBA staff are able to give concrete clarification to existing rules, rather than guidance on what the rules may be. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have on loan forgiveness as we reach out to SBA staff.

If you have successfully received PPP funds, please update us with how much you have received and what date you officially received funds. This will aid us as we reach out directly to SBA staff to clarify loan forgiveness terms relevant to your situation. If you are still waiting for approval from the SBA, please keep us updated on your progress and reach out to us if you are encountering any problems at all.

Below please find some of the most common Q&As regarding loan forgiveness:

  • Q: Can I adjust the eight-week (56-day) Payroll Covered Period or does it have to be when I receive funds?
    • Yes, you may choose the Alternative Payroll Covered Period option.
    • Borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule may elect to calculate eligible payroll costs using the eight-week (56-day) period that begins on the first day of their first pay period after their PPP Loan Disbursement Date.
    • For example, if the Borrower received its PPP loan proceeds on Monday, April 20, and the first day of its first pay period following its PPP loan disbursement is Sunday, April 26, the first day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is April 26 and the last day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is Saturday, June 20.

 

  • Q: How should I calculate the number of employees I should be rehiring and the hours they should be receiving in order to receive loan forgiveness?
    • You will calculate the PPP wages based on your total average weekly full-time equivalency (FTE) during the chosen “pre-disaster” reference period.
    • The reference period is, at the Borrower’s election, either:
  1. February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019;
  2. January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020; or
  3. In the case of seasonal employers, either of the preceding periods or a consecutive twelve-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019.
  • Q: Can I still get loan forgiveness if I am unable to rehire an employee?
    • Yes. An employee position will be exempted from the loan forgiveness calculation if the employee:
  1. Rejects your good-faith offer to rehire them. You must deliver a written offer to rehire and you must retrieve a written refusal from the employee.
  2. Is fired for cause.
  3. Voluntarily resigns.
  4. Voluntarily requests and receives a reduction of their hours.

 

  • Q: If an employee position is exempted from the loan forgiveness calculation, can I spend their portion of PPP funds on other costs and still receive forgiveness?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may only use these exempted funds to hire a replacement employee.

 

  • Q: Can I spend more than the required 75% of PPP funds on payroll costs? Can that be spent on increased wages for employees?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may do this.
    • For each individual employee, the total amount of cash compensation eligible for forgiveness may not exceed an annual salary of $100,000.

 

  • Q: What is the full list of forgivable non-payroll costs?
    • All non-payroll costs must have documentation that your contractual obligation to pay them began before February 15, 2020.
  1. Payments of interest (not including any prepayment or payment of principal) on any business mortgage obligation.
  2. Business rent or lease payments pursuant to lease agreements for real or personal property.
  3. Business utility payments for a service for the distribution of:
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Telephone
  • Internet access
    • Current SBA guidance states that no other non-payroll costs are eligible for forgiveness.

 

  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay for something that won’t be billed until after the eight-week (56-day) Covered Period?
    • Yes. An eligible nonpayroll cost may be incurred during the Covered Period and paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the billing date is after the Covered Period.
    • SBA guidance recommends that you provide as much documentation for costs as possible.
  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay for something that is past due from before the eight-week (56-day) Covered Period?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may do this.
    • An eligible non-payroll cost may be paid during the Covered Period.
    • SBA guidance recommends that if you must pay something past due from before the Covered Period, request an invoice that is dated during the Covered Period.

 

  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay off credit card debt?
    • Current SBA guidance states that this is only acceptable if it is to pay off eligible non-payroll costs that would have been past-due if not paid for via business credit card.
    • SBA guidance recommends that you clearly document the eligible non-payroll costs being paid off with PPP funds.

 

If you are encountering any roadblocks regarding different COVID-19 relief funding, please reach out to us so that we can help troubleshoot. We are here to be your information resource and want to provide any assistance that we can. (925) 284-1968, businessassistance@lovelafayette.org

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 5/18/2020: This Order supersedes the April 29, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume. But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa and neighboring counties, the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n of the Health Order and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o of the Health Order) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Click below to read the following documents:

New order goes into effect 6am Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

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Guidelines for Reopening

The County will be following State Guidelines for various segments of our economy. Guidelines specific to the reopening of retail businesses can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf. Information for restaurants: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf
General guidelines for reopening other sectors can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

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Face Covering & Social Distancing Resources for Businesses

Attached are a number of items to assist business with the cover-your-face order:

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Essential Businesses Need to Post these Notices

There are two important documents you must have while doing business during the Shelter-In-Place period of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  1. The first is a template for the SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOL that every “essential” business must have in place by Friday, April 3, 2020. You must complete, post and implement a social distancing protocol for each facility that remains open, using this template.
  2. You must post the attached PDF as of April 1, 2020:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act).

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Contra Costa County to Allow Vehicle-Based Gatherings and Services

  • Press release: Contra Costa County to Allow Vehicle-Based Gatherings and Services – 5/15/2020

  • Health Order: Highly-Regulated Vehicle-Based Gatherings – 5/15/2020

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COVID-19 Information for Businesses (May 11, 2020 Email Blast)

 

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COVID-19 Update – Testing Available for Anyone

The Contra Costa County Health Department announced today, May 7, 2020, that COVID-19 testing is now available for anyone who wants to be tested, regardless of whether you have COVID-19 symptoms.  Testing is done by appointment only at one of eight (8) testing locations throughout the county.  Anyone who is interested in being tested should telephone (844) 421-0804 to learn more about the testing process and make an appointment. Previously, tests were only offered for patients with symptoms of illness.

The increased access to community testing will help Contra Costa County reach its goal for easing social restrictions in the current shelter-in-place order, which lasts through May. Click here for testing information.

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Childcare Resources for Contra Costa County during the Pandemic

Greetings from CocoKids (formerly the Contra Costa Child Care County), the nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of quality child care and early education for young children and their families in Contra Costa County. We hope you are keeping safe and healthy in this unprecedented time.

During this pandemic, CocoKids would like to inform the LAFAYETTE BUSINESS COMMUNITY about the resources available for child care providers and the families they serve including free child care for essential workers, free child care referrals for families, and funds for cleaning materials, PPE,  and other supplies for child care providers that are currently open or intend to open.

FREE CHILD CARE for Essential Workers
CocoKids can pay for child care for essential workers. Here’s the link to apply for free child care: https://apps.childaction.org/CEL/home.aspx?CountyID=10699013&County=Contra%20Costa

FINDING CHILD CARE (including emergency child care sites)
CocoKids is the county’s Resource and Referral Agency that helps families find child care (including emergency child care) that best matches their needs and preferences here. Find child care here: https://www.cocokids.org/find-child-care/

ACCESS to CSCP State FUNDS for CLEANING SUPPLIES for Child Care Providers
Licensed Family Child Care (FCC) Providers and Centers and Exempt providers that are currently open or intend to open can apply for the state’s  Cleaning Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP) funds that  they can use to purchase much-needed cleaning supplies, PPE, and other supplies. Apply for the CSCP funds here: www.cocokids.org/cscp/

FREE SUPPLIES for CHILDCARE PROVIDERS
Cleaning materials, hand sanitizers, gloves, and other supplies are also available for providers at our Concord Office on 1035 Detroit Ave #100 Concord CA 94518. Providers can call our Donation Supplies Coordinator Monica Joseph at (925) 787-1536  to arrange for pickup of these supplies.

For questions or more information about child care resources in our community, please visit www.cocokids.org or email Letty Quizon at letty.quizon@cocokids.org. CocoKids is here to help children, their families, and their providers.

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Facebook Live Event with Mayor Mike Anderson and Supervisors Chair Candace Andersen

Post Date:05/04/2020 10:33 AM

To answer your questions about the new Public Health Order, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson will be joined by Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Candace Andersen, and Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer, for a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m. Also on the broadcast will be Lafayette City Manager Niroop Srivatsa and Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt. Please send your questions to Lafayette’s Communication Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at jheyman@ci.lafayette.ca.us. You can also post questions live on Facebook during the broadcast. Participate in the event, Wednesday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m., on Lafayette’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lovelafayette.

 

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From the office of Supervisor Candace Andersen, Wednesday, April 29, 2020

New Health Officer Order Extends Shelter in Place through May 31st but Eases Current Restrictions on Some Business and Recreational Activities

Summary of New Health Officer Order
The seven Bay Area Public Health Officers who ordered a shelter in place in mid-March will extend the orders through May 31 while some restrictions are eased and tools to strengthen containment of COVID-19 are put into place.

All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions.

These new Health Officer orders, which takes effect May 4, cover everyone living or working in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley, an independent public health jurisdiction.

This next phase reflects regional progress, thanks to the collective action Bay Area residents have taken since mid-March in response to Health Officer shelter-in-place orders. Those actions have saved lives and staved off mass hospitalizations from the COVID-19 virus, which spreads easily and causes severe illness in many people. There is not yet an effective treatment or cure for the disease.

This initial, measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases that could overwhelm hospitals for a particular jurisdiction or the region as a whole.

Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols included with the order. All real estate transactions will also now be able to resume, but with continued restrictions on open houses and limitations on in-person viewings. Any employee allowed to return to work at a facility can also access childcare programs that are allowed to operate.

Certain outdoor businesses can also begin operating again, and people are allowed to visit those businesses to perform work or obtain goods, services, or supplies. This includes wholesale and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services as set forth in the order. Outdoor businesses do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating.

Other activities that can resume under the new order include residential moves and the use of certain shared outdoor recreational facilities that were previously ordered closed, like skate parks, but not others that involve shared equipment or physical contact.

This order is generally consistent with the state’s shelter in place order. On any issue where the local and state orders may differ, the stricter order applies.

Health Officers are also releasing indicators that will be used to measure progress in containing the virus and ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to protect the community from COVID-19. These indicators will be critical to decisions in the coming weeks and months about when and how to ease shelter-in-place restrictions.

The indicators include:

• Whether the total number of cases in the community is flat or decreasing;
• Whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing;
• Whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for all health care workers;
• Whether we are meeting the need for testing, especially for persons in vulnerable populations or those in high-risk settings or occupations; and
• Whether we have the capacity to investigate all COVID-19 cases and trace all of their contacts, isolating those who test positive and quarantining the people who may have been exposed.

What Changes Does This New Order Make?

Note – Please refer to the FAQ’s for descriptions about what is now allowed. The FAQ’s are a searchable document and are being continually updated.

This updated Order continues to restrict most activity to essential functions and needs. But because of progress we have collectively achieved in slowing the spread of the disease and limiting hospitalizations, the Order allows certain additional essential businesses and activities to resume, allows certain low-risk outdoor businesses to being operating again, and authorizes certain additional outdoor activities to take place even though they are not essential. The new Order also introduces a framework to guide the Health Officer’s decisions about further easing of restrictions, focusing on progress achieved addressing COVID-19 and ensuring that there are adequate health care resources available.

This new Order replaces the shelter order issued on March 31, 2020. the March 31 order is the “Prior Order” and the April 29 Order as the “new Order” or “Order.”

This new Order will go into effect on 11:59 pm on Sunday May 3, 2020, and will remain in effect until 11:59 pm on Sunday May 31, 2020, unless the Health Officer amends or extends it.

Most of the Prior Order’s restrictions remain in place. However, the new Order makes a number of significant changes, which are highlighted below:

Essential Businesses:

• Under the new Order, all construction projects can resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued as part of the Order. (These protocols replace the COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines applicable to the Prior Order).

• Commercial as well as residential real estate transactions are allowed to fully resume, but with continued restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.

• Under the new Order, childcare establishments, summer camps, schools, and other educational and recreational programs can operate to provide care and supervision for children to allow all persons who are working in essential businesses or outdoor businesses or performing minimum basic operations to access childcare. All of these operations must comply with restrictions specified in the Order, including that they be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children. This category is also subject to the State’s Shelter in Place Order, but the Health Officer will assess whether to ease childcare restrictions further in coordination with the State and as the spread of COVID-19 is further contained.

Outdoor Businesses:

• Outdoor Businesses (as defined in the Order and described below) are now allowed to operate, and people are allowed to visit them to perform work or to obtain goods, services, or supplies.

• Outdoor Businesses are those that normally operated primarily outdoors prior to the Shelter in Place Orders, and where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained between all people. These include outdoor retail businesses like nurseries, outdoor service providers like landscapers, and agricultural operations.

Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses:

• All business facilities operating in the County, including businesses carrying out minimum basic operations, must comply with the requirement to create a Social Distancing Protocol. (Note: construction activities must instead comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols.)

• In their Social Distancing Protocols, businesses must now ensure that personnel and customers wear face coverings when entering their facilities (except those customers for whom face coverings are not recommended, like very young children).

• All existing Social Distancing Protocols must be updated to reflect the new requirements.

• We encourage businesses that are not yet allowed to operate to focus on planning to effectively implement social distancing and related measures in their facilities so they are ready to safely reopen when allowed.

Essential Activities and Travel:

• All residential moves are now allowed to proceed.

Recreation:

• The new Order allows use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-touch equipment.

COVID-19 Indicators

• The Health Officer will consider easing or expanding restrictions based on progress we collectively achieve on several key indicators described in the new Order and referred to as the COVID-19 Indicators.
Read the Full Order and Accompanying Documents Here

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What’s In The New Stay-At-Home Order: COVID-19 Town Hall Thursday

Join California State Senator Steve Glazer for a Virtual Town Hall Thursday to hear a discussion of the Bay Area’s new Stay-At-Home order, which was modified this week. This event will be Thursday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

Guests will include Contra Costa County’s top Public Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano, and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chair Candace Anderson. They will discuss the latest order, changes in the order that will allow more activities, and what indicators local health officials will be watching as they consider further changes in the weeks ahead.

You may join this conversation starting at 3 p.m. Thursday by streaming the audio over my website at https://sd07.senate.ca.gov/.

We will also have a limited number of listen-only telephone lines available. Shortly before 3 p.m.. Thursday, call 844-291-5489 and use this access code: 903739 #

Because of the number of participants, we will be taking only written questions for this conversation. Please submit any questions you may have before or during the call to senator.glazer@senate.ca.gov.

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FREE ZOOM Webinar: Wednesday, April 29, 12noon.

Steering Your Business in the Face of the Pandemic: Managing Through COVID 19

The unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have presented new and constantly changing challenges for businesses. Business owners and employers are faced with a myriad of obligations and decisions ranging from employee concerns and safety, properly handling paid sick and family leave, qualifying for and participating in various funding programs, generally staying afloat, understanding leasing or tenancy obligations, as well as addressing many general contractual obligations. While the legislative responses are encouraging, DLHA Law Group’s webinar will help businesses navigate the changing legal landscape and determine the next course of action with practical, business-oriented solutions.

Missed it? This webinar was recorded and can be viewed through May 6 here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/v-55f_bR0FxJHqfm4hHWU4oHQJumX6a8gCcf__ZYnUhL49clOYnobTEP9ekHSsVx Password: 4L#88UV3

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New Contra Costa Call Center Helps Small Businesses

A new call center is now available in Contra Costa County to connect businesses and workers with helpful federal, state and local programs. This includes providing resources and referrals on loans and grants, unemployment insurance, payroll subsidies, and other critical concerns. The line will help small businesses learn how to scale back or survive a temporary closure, and how to ramp back up as COVID-19 restrictions ease off. The trained team who answer calls can also assist with tapping into programs to reduce utility costs, access online career training, and other business services.

Small Business Call Number: 833-320-1919 8:30am to 5pm – Monday through Friday

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Contra Costa County suspends evictions, rent increases amid coronavirus shutdown

Read East Bay Times article here, April 21, 2020
Contra Costa Health Press Release
Official signed ordinance >>

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Contra Costa Health Officer Issues New “Cover Your Face” Order

Post Date: 04/17/2020 1:06 PM, City of Lafayette
A new health order in Contra Costa County requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, such as a grocery store or gas station, to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order, effective Wednesday, April 22, also requires public transit and government workers to wear masks when they come close to others, or where the public is likely to be present.
Members of the public must mask when they:
  • work at an essential business
  • are inside an essential business, such as a grocery store
  • visit a healthcare provider or facility
  • wait in line for or ride public transportation
Businesses must take reasonable measures, such as posting signs, to remind visitors about masking, and not serve customers who do not observe the order. Workers do not need to mask if they are alone in a personal office but must put them on when others enter.  READ MORE >>

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City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

To learn more about this FREE program offered by the City of Lafayette including a description of the program, links to resources,  the Lafayette-Based Business & Non-Profit Verification Form, and a contacts for the Lafayette Business Assistance staff members, click here. 

You can also watch a Webinar, introduced by Mayor Mike Anderson, explaining how the program works and providing answers to questions from Lafayette businesses here.

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Lamorinda Cities Launch Covid-19 Community Information Portal

The Lamorinda Cities and Fire Districts in cooperation with Bay Area-based Zonehaven have released the Covid-19 Community Information Portal at https://ccc.community.zonehaven.com.
The portal allows residents to locate Covid-related resources in and around Lamorinda. Residents can find information about medical offices, social services, food (groceries and take-out), parks and recreation opportunities, pet services and home/auto supplies by visiting the portal. If they enter a home address, they can create a list of services organized by distance from home. Clicking on a business or service in the list locates the business on a new map and provides a link to create directions using the Waze application.
The intent of the portal is to continue to support our residents during the stay at home order and make finding community resources easier. The portal also provides links to Covid-19 information from the State of California and Contra Costa County Health Services.
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President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

This is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/

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Quick Links

 

Important information and resources or Lafayette businesses:

Coronavirus Aid Funds: New CARES Act Guidelines for Arts Organizations and Employees

The National Endowment for the Arts has posted the applications guidelines for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds almost a month earlier than originally planned. Implementation of the CARES Act and quickly providing those funds to arts organizations to preserve jobs and keep their doors open is the top priority of the Arts Endowment.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. For information and application visit: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/CARES/grant-program-description

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Almost Daily Briefing, April 3, 2020, Friday Edition

Post Date: 04/03/2020 9:32 AM. Published news articles from local, regional, and national media on topics of interest to the #LoveLafayette Community

COVID-19 UPDATE

This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by Townsend Public Affairs and includes Cal OES announcements. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s COVID-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

  • Small Business Assistance: Today the Governor Newsom highlighted new assistance that the State is offering small businesses, as well as federal efforts that were part of the stimulus measures signed into law in March.  More information on the below programs can be found here:  https://covid19.ca.gov/business-and-employers/.
  • Sales Tax Bridge Loan: The State has announced the free deferral of sales/use tax, up to $50,000, for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable assets. The State is allowing qualified businesses to defer their payment of sales/use tax for up to one-year with no fines or penalties.  Additionally, there will be no interest payments required for any deferred payments.  The intent is for this funding, which businesses collect and remit to the State, to act as a bridge loan.
  • California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program: This program is being started with $50 million in funding being provided to the IBank.  This program is targeted at small businesses with 1-750 employees who do not qualify for federal funds.  The loans would be eligible for businesses and non-profits, and the funds could be used for operating costs, such as rent and payroll. Businesses can apply directly with a private lender or through a participating Financial Development Corporation.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan: This program was previously approved by Congress and is available through the US Small Business Administration. This program can provide qualifying businesses with a loan of up to $2 million. The loan can be paid back over 30 years at an interest rate of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits). Applicants can receive an upfront advance of up to $10,000 while their application is being processed.
  • Paycheck Protection Program: This program was approved through the CARES Act and begins accepting applications tomorrow (April 3) Congress has made $349 billion available, nationwide, for this program.  The program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll.
  • This program can provide qualifying businesses with up to $10 million loan. The loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 0.5%. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities (at least 75% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll0. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels.  Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.
  • Water Shutoffs: Today, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that will restrict water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 100 public and private water systems have already voluntarily suspended water shutoffs for non-payment due to COVID-19. The State Water Resources Control Board will issue best practices and guidelines on support for the state’s water systems. Under the Executive Order, water systems shall restore any residential service to occupied residences that has been discontinued for non-payment since March 4.
  • Unemployment: The US Department of Labor published updated data on unemployment claims nationwide. The number of initial claims continued to spike, jumping from a weekly total of 3.3 million to 6.6 million. State Unemployment: Governor Newsom indicated, that since March 12th, over 1.9 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits.
  • To help handle the increased volume of those seeking benefits, the Employment Development Department has reorganized staffing in order to speed up the processing of eligibility and distribution of benefits.  The State is making every effort to keep up with a 21-day turn around for those who apply.
  • Property Taxes: In response to a question from the media, Governor Newsom indicated that there are currently no plans, at the state level, to delay or relieve property owners of their property tax obligations.  The Governor has been in communication with representatives for local governments and they have stressed the critical need for the funding they receive from property tax.  Local governments have requested that the State not delay or suspend property tax payments, unless the State backfills the revenue to local governments.

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Lafayette Small Business and Covid-19 Webinar [recording]

Tuesday, March 31, 5pm via Zoom. Watch recording here.

The Lafayette Chamber hosted a Zoom Webinar on Tuesday, March 31 for Chamber members. Moderated by Chamber President John McCormick (Lamorinda Music) this 1 hour Zoom meeting covered the state of the city and answers to some of the most often asked questions about the shelter-in-place and business/disaster recovery.  We heard from Jay Lifson, Executive Director of the Chamber, Niroop Srivatsa, Lafayette City Manager, and Senator Steve Glazer. There was time for Q&A during the webinar.

It was recorded. Watch recording here. If you have any further questions send an email to info@lafayettechamber.org.

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Contra Costa County Stay Home Order for COVID-19 Extended Until at Least May 3rd.

The COVID-19 public health crisis in Contra Costa County has worsened significantly over the past two weeks. Confirmed cases in the six most populous Bay Area counties have increased more than eight-fold since the prior Stay Home order. While the prior Stay Home order has been effective in reducing the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 disease (“flattening the curve”), it is not enough.

The County Health Officer has determined that more and stricter social distancing is needed to slow the rate of spread, prevent deaths, and stop the health care system from becoming overwhelmed. The new order strengthens, extends, and clarifies the restrictions for parks, childcare, construction, recreation, and enforcement, and adds additional requirements for essential businesses. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the County must complete, post, and implement a social distancing protocol for each facility that remains open, before Friday, April 3, 2020.

You can read the press release on the new Stay at Home Order here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64726/Stay-home-order-press-release_0331_final-1

The full Health Officer Order can be found here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64727/2020-0331-Health-Officer-Order-COVID19

A summary of the new Stay at Home Order can be found here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64733/2020-0331-Summary-Superseding-Order-Changes

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Lafayette Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Matching Campaign

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lafayette Community Foundation (LCF) is increasing its support to local non-profits. Now through April 30, LCF will match every dollar that is donated up to $25,000. This year, LCF has already committed to giving $50,000 for its Excellence Grants. The COVID-19 Community Matching Campaign will allow LCF to grant up to $100,000 to financially challenged organizations that provide essential services in the community, empowering them to continue to do what they do best…..assist those in need.

To Donate please visit https://lafayettecf.org/donate/ or mail your check to Lafayette Community Foundation, PO Box 221, Lafayette, CA 94549.

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Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson to Hold Virtual Lunch on Facebook Live

Post Date: 03/31/2020 11:15 AM
Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson will hold a Virtual Lunch Wednesday, April 1, at noon on Facebook Live to answer residents’ questions concerning the Covid-19 emergency and how it affects Lafayette.  Mayor Anderson, who will be joined by City Manager Niroop Srivatsa, will talk about how the City is responding to the Stay at Home Order, what steps it is taking to keep the City operations functioning, and how best to get in contact with the City during the crisis. Please send your questions for Mayor Anderson to jheyman@lovelafayette.org, and write “Mayor’s Virtual Lunch” in the subject field. You can also submit questions on Facebook during this live event. Please join Mayor Anderson’s Virtual Lunch at noon, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1, at https://www.facebook.com/lovelafayette.

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The City of Lafayette is urging everyone to sign-up for the latest Covid-19 information for Lafayette residents and businesses.

You can subscribe to City of Lafayette notifications, including Covid-19 updates, here: https://bit.ly/LafayetteNotifications.

You can also find the latest Information on Covid-19 on the City’s website here: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

During the Covid-19 emergency, here is how to contact City of Lafayette offices: https://bit.ly/LafayetteCovid-19Contact.

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March 27, 2020 Daily Briefing by the City of Lafayette

Read article here that includes information on the CARES Act, unemployment insurance, Small Business Administration and more.  (www.lovelafayette.org/)

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Before You Break That Lease Over COVID-19, Negotiate First, Brokers Say

Read article here. (www.bisnow.com)

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US Chamber’s analysis on the COVID-19 Stimulus Package passed yesterday, 3/25/2020, by the Senate.  CARES Act

View document here (PDF, 12 pages)

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Townsend Public Affairs Update 3/25/2020

This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by Townsend Public Affairs. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s COVID-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

  • White House: President Trump has been signaling that he hopes that American life will be back to normal by Easter.
  • In a Fox Town Hall today, the President indicated that his Administration would be reevaluating the 15-day self-isolating guidelines that are currently in place. The President indicated that indicated that they would keep the guidelines in place if more time was needed, but that there is also a need for the country’s businesses to reopen.
  • Governor Newsom has previously indicated that there is no concrete timeframe in which he would like to end statewide safety actions. The Newsom Administration has indicated that they are closely monitoring the spread and infection rate of COVID-19 in California and will lift the emergency actions when they feel that they can do so without jeopardizing public health.
  • Congress: The House and Senate are deep in negotiations to finalize a “Phase 3” coronavirus package, but face hurdles in the forms of policy disagreements, quarantined members, and a recessed House disinclined to risk flying back to vote.
  • Public agency provisions: TPA has been working with elected officials, public agencies, and national stakeholders to advocate for provisions within the Phase 3 measure that would benefit public agencies. We have been in constant communication with Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris, as well as most members of the California Congressional delegation advocating for the following provisions: Aid to local public agencies with flexibility to use address various impacts from COVID-19; Aid to small businesses, including no-interest loans that can convert to grants; Paid leave reimbursement for public agencies, especially those that do not pay certain payroll taxes; Aid to transit agencies, fire relief, first responders, and other critical local resources; Increased funding and flexibility to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the homeless;Increased funding and flexibility for existing funding streams, like CDBG; and avoiding inclusion of provisions that would limit local control in a time of crisis.
  • Remote Voting: The House Rules Committee has concluded that remote voting is not a viable option at this time, given the security, logistical and institutional concerns.
  • The Committee is recommending the House try to pass the next stimulus package by unanimous consent, according to a new Rules report commissioned by leadership to study the issue.  Unanimous consent would take agreement from every single member of the House.
  • The Committee also laid out “proxy” voting, allowing a colleague to vote in someone’s place, which would require a rule change.
  • Statutory Timelines:  The League of California Cities has sent a letter to Governor Newsom (attached) to relieve public agencies from certain statutory requirements during the current COVID-19 public health crisis.  TPA has been working with the Newsom Administration, members of the Legislature, local public agencies, and other stakeholders, to have the Administration provide temporary relief from certain statutory deadlines so that cities can focus on responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The letter to the Governor requests temporary relief from timelines related to: Review and Approval of Development Projects; Housing Element Submission; Housing and Community Development Grant Programs; California Environmental Quality Act; Transportation Funding
  • Public Records Act; Public Reform Act – Form 700; California Government Claims Act
  • Solar Permits; Wireless Telecommunication Facilities; Financial Reports; and Police Department Registration.
  • Department of Finance: This morning the Department of Finance (DOF) issued a letter (attached) to the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees indicating that, due to the potential revenue impacts from COVID-19, the Department of Finance will not be proposing any modifications to the current budget year appropriations.  Additionally,  DOF will be reevaluating “all budget changes within the context of a workload budget.”
  • This letter is the first official communication to the Legislature confirming what most already know, the budget proposal that the Governor put forth in January did not envision any scenario like the current COVID-19 crisis, and the impact on the state’s economy from dealing with the public health emergency.
  • Since the Governor has extended the deadline for the payment of state taxes until July 15, two weeks into the new fiscal year, it is likely that the budget that the Legislature approves on June 15will need to have multiple revisions throughout the year to accurately respond to the actual level of available state revenue.
  • FEMA: FEMA released a new fact sheet on their public assistance application process: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/23/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-public-assistance-simplified-application
  • Defense Production Act: The Trump Administration will use the Defense Production Act for the first time to procure nearly 60,000 coronavirus test kits.
  • Trump signed an executive order last week that set the stage to use the law, but has so far resisted using the authority.
  • Governors have called for him to use the authority to increase production of medical supplies, but President Trump cited concerns about nationalizing American businesses.
  • U.S. Postal Service: Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) indicated that the Postal service has seen a ‘drastic’ reduction in mail volume and could shutter by the summer without intervention.
  • This collapse that could jeopardize access to mail-order prescription drugs for millions of Americans, especially in rural communities.
  • Collapse would affect the ability of voters to cast ballots by mail.
  • Olympics Postponed: IOC officially postponed the 2020 summer games in Tokyo for a year.
  • Increasing Bed Space: On Friday, March 20, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to convert hotels, university dormitories, and similar spaces into hospitals to increase clinical bed space to support the COVID-19 response.
  • States will identify suitable spaces—principally, those currently out of service and empty—and lease them to the Army Corps of Engineers, which will rapidly convert the available rooms for clinical care, with capabilities similar to intensive care units (ICUs), using standardized construction plans.
  • FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services will provide supplies for these units.
  • The program is already being implemented in New York, and the Department of Defense plans to extend it to at least 18 states in the coming weeks. States will also be permitted to implement the program on their own, without needing to wait for the Corps of Engineers, using the same conversion plans and operational model.
  • The plan is also adaptable to other settings like gymnasiums, arenas, or convention center, but those sites may focus on a lower level of clinical care due to the inability to separate patients into individual rooms.

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An Update to the Business Community

With the speed at which things are changing it is amazing how fast information is being provided for small business to wrap their arms around some of the decisions they will need to be making over the next weeks and months ahead. Please take a look at these documents and links that can help navigate through the programs and products that SBA and EDD are supporting. There will be upcoming webinars to provide even more guidance.

COVID-19 Survival Guide – every business should start by downloading this – it is 16 pages long. Be sure to read all of the information – A lot of questions are addressed here regarding business interruptions, insurances, SBA Disaster Injury Loans, Unemployment Insurance and resources for employers and employees.

Key Areas of Focus in the Survival Guide
1. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
2. EDD for Business Owners
3. EDD for Business Employees
4. Business Interruption Insurance

Key Links:
• For Contra Costa County – https://www.contracostasbdc.org/
• For Alameda County – https://www.acsbdc.org/
• Northern CA SBDC Finance Center (main portal for loan and policy updates) — https://www.norcalsbdc.org/

See also: State and County Resources for Small Business Employers & Employees

This information was made possible by State Senator Steve Glazer, District 7.

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SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Low-interest loans

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster loan product that’s being used to provide financial aid during COVID-19 situation is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. At an interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for non-profits, SBA offers terms of up to 30 years.

If interested DO THIS TODAY. Demand is high and processing time may be 3-4 weeks, so don’t wait. View the time-line, filing requirements and a list of documents required, HERE. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The three-stage loan application process:

  1. Apply online (30-45 min pending required documentation)
  2. Verification, documentation, credit review, and loan processing by the SBA (3-4 weeks)
  3. Loan closed and funds disbursed. (commonly a disaster loan is not disbursed all at once. The loan is drawn in phases)

Refer to this PDF which does a nice job outlining the process.

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United States Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Legislative Update 3/19

Yesterday afternoon (3/18), the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak.  Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations.  Below is a chart from the House Ways and Means Committee which describes the employer paid leave requirements and the tax credit provisions.  You may click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.  
HR 602
Congress’s focus will now turn to the Phase Three stimulus package.  Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s letter to Congress and the President with the business community’s recommendations.
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A Message about COVID-19 Testing from Candace Andersen, Chair of the Contra Costa County, Board of Supervisors, District 2

The lack of test kits has been one of the most serious problems with this pandemic. There have not been enough of them, and on my Morning Briefing call our Health Officer stated that it was getting the collection tools — such as the swabs and vials —that are most challenging right now. Because of this shortage the original requirements for getting tested have been very restrictive — you needed to have been exposed to the illness, had traveled in one of those countries where the COVID-19 is prevalent, or had all three symptoms: 1) Fever; 2) Cough; 3) Shortness of breath.

Our County Health Officer believes that by using alternate collection supplies, all medical providers will be able to start doing more testing in the next few days. You will still need to start with your own doctor or healthcare provider, but the standards they are using to determine who gets tested should be relaxed a little — if you have ANY of the three symptoms you could be tested.

Healthcare providers want most people to call ahead, although all of our local hospitals now have Triage tents to screen patients who arrive at Emergency Departments. Please refer to the COVID-19 Call Center: tel:844-729-8410 along with the Corona Virus FAQ’s https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/Stay-Home-Order-FAQs.pdf.

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Mayor’s Message to Lafayette Residents and Businesses

[Wednesday, March 18, 2020]

Due to concerns expressed by Lafayette residents, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson, working with Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jay Lifson, today sought to clarify which businesses are allowed to remain open in the City of Lafayette during the duration of the Public Health Order (https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf) issued by Country Costa County on March 16. The order, which also requires residents to stay in their homes except to conduct essential business and to exercise, is in effect until April 7, 2020.

The Lafayette Police Department will be monitoring the operation of essential businesses. Should you have any concerns about a business that is operating during this period, please call the Contra Costa County Call Center at 1-844-729-8410. If a violation is identified within the City of Lafayette, the Lafayette Police Department will follow-up. Here is a summary of the list of “Essential Businesses” that are allowed to function, according to the March 16 order:

• Healthcare operations and infrastructure (police, fire, hospitals, pharmacies, garbage/sanitation, utilities)
• Grocers, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, and other retailers selling food — including those that also sell products aside from food
• Take-out/delivery restaurants and food-delivery services
• Food cultivation businesses (farming, fishing)
• Businesses or organizations providing social services, food or shelter to the needy
• Hardware stores/plumbers/electricians and those who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
• Newspapers, television, radio, and other media
• Gas stations and auto-related businesses, including repair shops
• Banks and financial institutions
• Shipping and mailing businesses
• Educational institutions to provide distance learning and other essential functions
• Laundry services (laundromats, dry-cleaning companies)
• Businesses that supply people with items required to work from home, or businesses that supply essential businesses with necessary supplies
• Businesses that ship groceries and supplies directly to homes
• Public transportation, airlines, taxis, and private transportation services
• Home-based and residential care for seniors, adults, and children
• Legal and accounting services that keep businesses in compliance
• Childcare facilities, with certain stipulations, like only having groups of 12 kids together at a time
• Cemeteries

In summary, Mayor Anderson stated, “I want to thank Lafayette residents and businesses for their cooperation and patience during these extraordinary times. All of us are confronting hardships in complying with this critical Public Health Order. However, as we always do, I have seen Lafayette residents and businesses coming together to support each other, help each other, and do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our city. Let’s all do what we can, and I can assure you, that the City staff will be working to keep essential services functioning throughout the duration of the County’s Public Safety order. Again, thank you for making ours a model city, even in such trying times.”

For additional information, please refer to the County’s Public Health Stay Home Order FAQ information sheet at http://bit.ly/CountyStayHomeInfo-03-17-20. For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation and how it affects Lafayette, please visit the City’s webpage at http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

Who’s Open in Lafayette?

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U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Disaster Declaration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared Contra Costa County a disaster area as a result of economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration is effective for the period beginning January 31, 2020 and is continuing. Eligible small businesses may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans directly with the SBA by December 16, 2020. Check www.sba.gov/disaster or see below for more information. See attached letter from CalOES for additional information and details.

Disaster Loan Assistance

Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters

The Small Business Administration outlined their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Program. We are in a declared disaster area (no surprise) and any small business (less than 500 employees) can apply for an emergency loan of up to $2M to meet normal business obligations, payroll, etc. Interest rate is 3.75% for small business. The term can be as long as 30 years. Plus there is a 1-year deferment on any repayments, which is significant. Details are here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans. You can apply here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login. They said they would process them as quickly as possible and be very generous with criteria.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

[Click here for Press Release]  The unprecedented economic impacts of the Coronavirus on the business community in California are already being felt. CAMEO, in coordination with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance, will be holding a call on Wednesday, March 18th at 4:00PM to explain the SBA disaster loan application process and answer questions from small business support organizations. They’ll cover: • What the program is, • How it works and how to apply, • Common missteps or misunderstandings that impact business owner applicant.  Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ws6-7uyQR3eekbeo54im3w

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Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency is keeping a central summary chart of resources available to employees from different state and federal programs. Employers should share this resource with their employees. See the Summary Chart Here.

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Helpful items from the CA Employment Development Dept’s website

https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

Sick or Quarantined Employees:

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, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

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 CaliforniaSM.

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Message from Casey Elliott, Townsend Public Affairs, Inc.
3.17.2020 11:00 AM PT

Congress

o The Senate will look to begin consideration of the House-passed coronavirus bill today, a day after the House made technical corrections to the measure.

o The revised bill would permit the Labor Department Secretary to issue regulations exempting businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirement if it “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” Verbatim language was included in the family leave section as well.

o The House also modified definitions for both leave programs to narrow their scope, including focusing the family leave program on caring for children without access to school or child care. It also changed the emergency family leave to kick in after 10 days instead of 14, and capped the assistance at $10,000 per employee.

o The tax credits created by the bill for paid sick leave and family leave were increased to include amounts employers pay for an employee’s health care plan while they are on leave.

o Senators opened session this morning at 10 a.m. EST and could act on the bill this afternoon, though some Republicans oppose the measure, saying the bill’s paid leave requirements are too much of a burden on small businesses.

o Congress will soon begin discussing plans for a third economic stimulus plan. The measure may address issues including hospital capacity, provide emergency child care, delivery of food and medicine to seniors, and place a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

o Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will present a $750 billion Democrat-led proposal to appropriators as soon as today. Measure would include $400 billion in emergency appropriation to assist seniors, public housing, schools and children.

White House

o The White House held a briefing this morning and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the IRS is allowing the deferment of up to a $1 million (individuals) and $10 million (businesses) in tax payments for 90 days interest and penalty free. The IRS still encourages those who are able to file their taxes by the traditional April 15th deadline to do so.

o Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also indicated that the economic stimulus package could now cost $1 trillion and will be discussed with Senators and possibly the House this afternoon. The plan is to include a payroll tax holiday over the next 6-8 months and $1000 payments to American citizens whose jobs may be impacted.

o During the briefing, it was indicated that as of today, public laboratories have reported out nearly 32,000 COVID-19 tests. Clinical laboratories have reported out 27,000 tests. Of those 27,000, nearly 8,200 were conducted yesterday. Numbers from individual hospitals will be forthcoming in the coming days. 47 Drive-Thru laboratories will also begin in 12 states by the end of the week.

Airlines

o Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is endorsing the outline of a U.S. airline industry proposal for the federal government to provide as much as $58 billion in grants and loans to mitigate the impacts from the severe decrease in airline travel due to COVID-19 concerns.

o Support for airlines could become part of a stimulus package, but Democrats would insist that there be limits on the aid such as no stock buybacks, no sending jobs overseas, no outsourcing jobs to usually low-paid workers

o President Trump indicated during this morning’s White House briefing that assistance to aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and GE is also being considered.

REAL ID

o Lawmakers have asked the White House to extend the October 1 deadline for most travelers to have new federal identification cards to fly. The identification card, Real ID, was required by an act of Congress following the 2001 terrorist attacks as a measure to force states to exert greater oversight of identification.

o Beginning Oct. 1, air travelers 18 years of age and older will need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable identification to board a commercial aircraft or enter federal buildings.

What Else To Know

o Elections: 3 states, Arizona, Florida and Illinois will hold votes today despite concerns about voters and poll workers becoming infected with the coronavirus. Ohio was scheduled to have a primary as well, but court action late yesterday resulted in the election being delayed until June 2.

o Senators Ask Saudi Arabia to Review Oil Supply Plans: 13 Republican Senators asked Saudi Arabia to calm economic anxiety in the oil and gas sector as the coronavirus continues to impact markets. The letter came after guidance was issued by the country’s energy minister to lower crude prices and boost output capacity. Gas prices across the US have dropped as a result and experts are predicting national gas prices may drop as low as $2 dollars per gallon over the next few weeks.

o Justice Department Targets Criminals Exploiting Fear: Federal prosecutors across the U.S. will make it a priority to investigate and punish criminals who seek to take advantage of public fear over the coronavirus crisis, such as peddling fake cures or carrying out cyber attacks, Attorney General William Barr announced yesterday. The mandate was conveyed in a directive that Barr issued to the nation’s 93 U.S. attorney’s offices following reports of online scams, including individuals and businesses selling bogus treatments as well as hackers insert ing malicious software onto mobile apps designed to track infections.

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Shelter In Place Order Issued For All Contra Costa County Residents

Post Date: 03/16/2020 1:34 PM

An important Order from the Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa has been issued. The Order directs all individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential businesses and governmental services; exempting individuals experiencing homelessness from the shelter in place order but urging them to find shelter and government agencies to provide it; directing all businesses and governmental agencies to cease non-essential operations at physical locations in the county; prohibiting all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals; and ordering cessation of all non-essential travel.

This Order will become effective at midnight tonight (12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020) and will continue to be in effect until midnight on April 7, 2020.

Please read the Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.).

The full text of the Order can be found here: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf

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To the businesses and residents of Lamorinda:

Post date: 3/16/2020

The physical office of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce will remain closed until further notice.  Our staff is still here to help you, just virtually.  You can reach us by calling (925) 284-7404 or by sending us an email at info@lafayettechamber.org.  We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

COVID-19 is not just a local or business problem.  This is a national problem, a world problem.  Follow the guidelines and policies.  They have been enacted to SAVE LIVES. The best way you can help our community and our businesses is to stay healthy, watch out for your neighbor, and follow social distance recommendations.  Let’s DO this.  Be the model.

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Mayor Issues Emergency Proclamation, Lafayette City Offices Closed to Public

Post Date:03/15/2020 9:12 PM

To address the quickly evolving COVID-19 threat, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson today proclamation a local emergency in the City of Lafayette, effective immediately. (Read the Mayor’s full Emergency Proclamation here: http://bit.ly/LafayetteEmegencyProclamation03-15-20.)

As a result of the Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation, City Manager Niroop Srivatsa directed that City Offices be closed to the public through the end of March 2020 to protect residents and city staff from possible exposure to the virus.

The Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation comes following declarations of emergency from California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Today, Governor Newsom issued new directives to slow the spread of COVID-19 in California, including:

  • Home isolation for everyone over 65 or with chronic illnesses;
  • Closing all bars, nightclubs, wineries, and brewpubs Statewide;
  • Keeping restaurants open but reducing occupancy by half to facilitate social distancing;
  • Moving homeless people from encampments to hotels and motels; and
  • For nursing homes, no visitors will be allowed except in end-of-life situations.

Please visit Lafayette’s COVID-19 Webpage for the latest updates: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo

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A timely message from your Chamber of Commerce

[View as PDF]

Jay Lifson, Executive Director
March 13, 2020

Containment and management of the virus will come with great sacrifice and economic hardship. The Chamber supports our local businesses, and we have never needed to support them more than we do now.  Small business is Lafayette.  These are hardworking people that have created the kind of town we want to live and work in. So how can we support the local merchants and services without exposing ourselves or others to the threat of contracting the virus?

  • Start by calling your local favorite businesses. Ask them what you can do to support them at this time. Some businesses are now offering private shopping experiences, curbside pickups and/or free delivery to local addresses.
  • Continue using common sense while you practice “social distancing.” Dine a little early or late. Consider take-out from your favorite restaurants – many will deliver them to your car when you pull up.
  • Go to the grocery store during off hours.
  • If a local store has online shopping or offers delivery, use it.
  • If you are not part of the “most vulnerable” group that experts tell to stay home, show kindness and shop for a neighbor.
  • Purchase gift certificates now and treat yourself later!

Small business owners are our friends.  They donate to our schools and community organizations.  They employ our kids.  They help generate nearly 30% of the General Funds that pay for our police, public works and many of the things that give you reason to live here.  Our support is crucial for their survival. Many small businesses cannot afford a month or two of reduced income. They will surely make decisions to help their bottom line that will not be easy.  But if you can find a way to help them now, the recovery will be that much easier.

We all know how easy it is to shop on Amazon. However, investing in our community has never been more important.  Not only do businesses need to find creative ways to connect with you during this phase, they also need to provide a safe environment for you and their employees.  They need to be flexible with sick leave and show compassion to their employees, many of whom do not have health benefits.

If you are a property owner, consider giving your tenants a little more time to pay rent.

As the recession began back in 2008, the Chamber launched the “TRY LAFAYETTE FIRST” campaign.  We asked residents to take a pledge that they would shop here in Lafayette before going elsewhere.  During that time, Lafayette experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the State of California.  The loss of business and sales tax revenue barely made it into double digits.  Our residents got it!  They understood why shopping local was so important for all of us.  We now stand at the gate of the unknown.  We have never faced this kind of assault on our health and the strength of our community. We need everyone to once again look out for one another.

We encourage you to come up with ideas and suggestions to keep us safe and to keep our business community healthy.

Here are some links that could help us all:

The Lafayette Chamber will be open for business just not physically. Our staff will begin rotating shifts working from home.  There will typically be someone in the office to answer your calls and questions during regular hours. We will work in that capacity until it is safe to change.
(925) 284-7404   info@lafayettechamber.org

We have a responsibility to you and the community.  We take that responsibility very seriously.

And one more time, the basics

  • Stay Calm and do what is necessary to protect you and the community
  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze
  • If you are sick or have symptoms – STAY HOME

Let’s do this together!

Sincerely,

Jay Lifson
Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

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Events through the Lafayette Chamber

[Update 3/11/2020, REV 3/16/2020]
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, like most organizations that put on events, is taking a measured response to the threat of COVID-19 as it relates to gatherings of people.  We are watching this outbreak closely and are evaluating protocol on a day to day basis.  Public Health Officials are offering guidance intended to slow the spread of the virus.

Contra Costa Health Services has recommended that canceling or postponing all mass gatherings with 50 people or more.

We along with the CCHS understand these recommendations will impact all of our lives and may be difficult to implement, but we are following their guidelines as best we can at this time.

Here is what the CCHS has recommended:

Cancel Large Community Events

  • Cancel or postpone large gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, celebrations, conventions, religious services and community events where 50 or more people are within arm’s length of each other.
  • Cancel or postpone events for or attended by older adults or others who are at higher risk for severe illness.
  • If a large event does take place, organizers should follow California Department of Public Health.

Please note that we have postponed the Citizen of the Year Dinner until July 10. Janet and Rick Cronk understand and have graciously agreed to the new date.

In-person gatherings through the end of March have been cancelled. Please refer to our Chamber Calendar for further updates.

Thank you for your understanding!  We will update this information as it is sure to change from day to day.

Respectfully,
Jay Lifson, Executive director

 

 

[Updated 3/10/2020]
Please refer to the attached information provided by Contra Costa Health Services:
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Interim Guidance for Social Distancing:
Public Health Recommendations for COVID-19 – March 10, 2020

 

 

[Updated 3/5/2020 2:45pm]
Resources:
US Chamber Workplace Tips for Employees (PDF)
US Chamber Guidance for Employers (PDF)

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The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-19-2) has not been seen by scientists before according to Yale Medicine.  So there are many key questions they can not answer without more investigation, starting with how it is transmitted between people. But with thousands of cases identified and the spreading from China to other countries, the CDC came out yesterday, 2/25/2020, to say that, like emergencies, it is not IF the virus will hit, but rather WHEN.

We know this is already – it is causing the stock market to plunge – but what could this mean for our downtowns and local businesses?

  1. For now, this year’s flu presents a greater danger to us than this new illness.
  2. The virus is contagious, even before symptoms appear. The exact mechanism for transmission is still unclear. Data is needed to understand which body fluids contain the virus and how those may contaminate surfaces and even the surrounding air. The virus is contagious during the incubation period which can last from 5-14 days after exposure. Person-to-person contact in the U.S. has been confirmed, but it has not spread through a community yet. Close contact where droplets spread from coughing or sneezing seems to be the most common way the virus spreads.
  3. If you feel ill, here’s what you should expect:
    • Fever of over 100.4 F
    • Cough
    • Sore throat in some people
    • Difficulty breathing that can be severe enough to cause people to seek hospital care.
  4. What you can do to protect yourself:
    • There is no vaccine and the flu vaccine will not protect you. However, getting a vaccine for the flu is good idea.
    • Take care of yourself. Wash your hands, especially after eating, going to the bathroom and touching your face.  Avoid other people who have flu-like symptoms.
    • There is little evidence that supports using masks, but it can’t hurt. Because they don’t seal around your mouth, much of the air you inhale remains unfiltered.
  5. Precautions remain extremely important:
    • There is an exponential growth in infections worldwide and rate is expected to climb.
    • Caution should be taken since there is so little known about this virus.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF INFORMATION OUT THERE.  MAKE SURE YOU CAN TRUST THE SOURCES YOU ARE GETTING THE INFORMATION FROM.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
California Department of Public Health:  https://www.cdph.ca.gov/
Contra Costa Health Services: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/

Plans are in place for a pandemic.  Lafayette and Lamorinda have planned for such an emergency.  You can always contact Jeff Heyman, Communications Analyst for the City of Lafayette, at jheyman@ci.lafayette.ca.us for additional information. Or visit www.LoveLafayette.org/connect.

Just like in China, the possibilities of businesses shutting down and unemployment rising are a concern for us too. According to a Peking University survey of small businesses and firms, respondents said they would go out of business if the outbreak lasts three months.  By the six month, 90% of the companies would collapse.

The advice I have read suggests, STAY CALM and prepare!