Resources for Businesses and Workers

Resources for Businesses and Workers

California Phase 2 Reopening: Guidelines

Updated on May 21, 2020

On May 18, 2020, Governor Newsom announced updated criteria for counties to meet in order to request a variance to the State Stay-at-Home Order, meaning the additional businesses could re-open during Stage 2. 

Expanded Stage 2 industries include:

  • Destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets
  • Personal services, limited to car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening
  • Office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
  • Dine-in restaurants (other amenities like bars or gaming areas are not permitted)
  • Outdoor museums and open gallery spaces
  • Schools

Industry-specific business guidance is available here: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/

Per the California Department of Public Health, all facilities must complete the following before reopening:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

It is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay at home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in your workplace. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19.


For Businesses:

CARES Act: Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help keep workers employed in the CARES Act. Visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s guide and checklist to help small businesses through the process. 

Federal Paid Family Leave: This is a new federal policy, which includes tax credits to reimburse small and medium businesses for the cost of paid family leave.

Disaster Loan Program: SBA is providing low-interest disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of Coronavirus. 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. This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. Apply online and check application status. 

Local Community Engagement and Safety Mini-Grants: Mini-Grants aim to build street level community resiliency and increase the safety of vulnerable street users. SCAG will award up to $10,000 to selected projects and strategies, which shall all be implemented between May 2020 and July 31, 2020. Guidelines and Application can be found here. Community-based organizations, non-profits, artists, students, and creators may apply for a Mini-Grant. Funding is available to recipients across the SCAG region, and the deadline for applications is May 14, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

Capital Loans: SBA works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses. The agency doesn’t lend money directly to small business owners but sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations that makes it easier for small businesses to get loans. Loans guaranteed by the SBA range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital.

Work Sharing Program: Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of coronavirus's impact on the economy may apply for the UI Work Sharing Program.

SCORE will continue to offer business mentoring by telephone, video or email.

The Economic & Business Recovery Call Center will offer information and resources to help Orange County businesses navigate the current economic climate. These resources will support businesses with challenges such as lay-off aversion, loans, utility reduction programs, and community resources mapping. Businesses can call the Economic & Business Recovery Call Center at (714) 480-6500 during hours of operation Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bilingual call center operators will be available to assist and assess situations, and offer resources tailored to meet individual business needs. Translation for the call center will be available in over 240 languages.

CA Business Resources
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled helpful information for employers, employees, and all Californians as it relates to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from COVID-19
Workplace safety and health regulations require employers to protect employees from infectious diseases by following safety requirements. Find the safety requirements for your business.

CDC Resources for Businesses and Employers
Guidance for businesses on how to plan, prepare and respond to COVID19.

Nonprofit-Hardship Fund - Grants Available
Sempra Energy grant application for non-profits experiencing hardships.

Preventing Legionella in Building Water and HVAC Systems 
In an effort to prevent disease outbreaks and to protect public health, the OC Health Care Agency is committed to providing education, technical assistance, and resources to area facilities that have cooling towers or other potential sources of Legionella. 

Great Plates Delivered: Home Meals for Seniors -This program will proivde essential economic stimulus to local restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Interested Restaurants can SUBMIT YOUR INTEREST HERE

For Workers:

Chart of benefits available for workers affected by COVID-19

Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim: This provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. For individuals who have or will be laid off due to business closure, downsizing or business bankruptcy, please track the loss of business during this time.

Disability Insurance (DI) claim: 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. 

Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim: This provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim: If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

State of California Labor & Workforce Development Agency
Provides COVID19  guidance and information on reduced work hours, potential closure or layoffs, and tax assistance, and more.

Onward California 
One-stop resource for the people of California impacted by job loss during this COVID-19 pandemic.