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This is the forty-fifth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are usually sent on Thursdays.
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Dear members: 

Below you will find the four important things you need to know this week - federal loans, a webinar for theaters and venues that starts at NOON TODAY, information about the extended order the status about SJSU classes for the new semester.  This is a busy week for businesses, so be sure to take a look at them.

Here's to getting through this mess together.

If you need help, be sure to contact one of us at SJDA.  Our staff email list is at sjdowntown.com/sjda.
NEW Forgivable, low-Interest Loans offered through 2021 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The federal COVID relief Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened this week.
 
Applications from businesses for a second PPP loan are available through all participating lenders, such as banks. The full list of vendors is available online.
The new regulations for the next round of PPP include these guidelines: 
  • Maximum loan is $2 million. 
  • The loan is guaranteed by the federal government.  
  • No collateral or personal guarantees will be required. 
  • The loan is calculated based on 2.5x the monthly payroll or 3.5x if this is an accommodation and food services business with a 72 series NAICs code.  
  • Up to 100% of the loan can be forgiven. 
  • The interest rate is fixed at 1% for any loan amount to be repaid. 
  • The loan maturity is five years. 
  • Lenders will process PPP loan applications, and will rely on the business to provide accurate information.  
  • To be eligible, your business must employ fewer than 300 employees and have lost over 25% gross revenue in any one quarter in 2020 compared to 2019. All businesses who received a PPP loan in 2020 may apply for a second loan provided they have fully complied with the current regulations.   
If you want free advice and support on your application, you can contact any of the business support organizations listed here.  SJDA Business Development Manager Nate LeBlanc can help with questions on your application.  Contact Nate at nleblanc@sjdowntown.com.
More info on the 2021 PPE from an article Monday by Laura Davison of Bloomberg: 
“Businesses might have to wait longer for their loan to be processed than they did in the spring. The applications will go through a series of automated checks before a loan number is issued.
Making the loans exclusively available to community lenders for several days and the additional identity checks are intended to correct some of the confusion and fraud seen during the first round in the spring. The program ran out of money within days as businesses rushed to claim the funds with few eligibility restrictions. Many very small businesses without close ties to a lender were shut out of the process and unable to get funding.

“The officials said they do not anticipate that the system will be inundated with requests this time and that the $284 billion that Congress approved for this round won’t run out.

“The new pot of money sets aside $60 billion for businesses that haven’t been able to access the process so far, and it focuses on companies with 10 or fewer employees or those in low-income areas. The initiative also has $30 billion to help boost capacity among lenders active in under-served areas — including community development financial institutions, minority depository intuitions and other small lenders.

“Firms that are eligible for a second loan will be capped at 300 employees, down from 500, and the maximum loan amount this time is $2 million, a decrease from $10 million. Applicants also have to prove that revenues declined at least 25% during one quarter the pandemic, compared to the previous year.

“The streamlined process for those who are applying for a loan of $150,000 or less means they only need to certify that they meet the revenue-reduction requirements at the time they apply for a loan and provide documentation of the revenue loss at a later date. The process to get the loan forgiven is also simplified.

“The eligibility rules are also looser in this round. Housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations and 501(c)(6) organizations, such as chambers of commerce and trade associations, are allowed to apply. PPP loans can be used to cover more expenses, including operations expenditures, property-damage costs, supplier costs and personal protective equipment for employees.

“The influx of cash comes at a critical point, with more than 60% of businesses believing that the worst of the pandemic-related economic crisis is yet to come, according to a recent survey of 600 small business owners by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and insurer MetLife Inc. About half of the survey respondents said they will have to shut down within a year, unless the economy improves.
SBA to Host Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Webinar at noon today
Today at noon, the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a webinar to give a preliminary overview of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program (a.k.a. "Save Our Stages") included in the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.

Eligible organizations with a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have the opportunity to receive up to a $10 million grant under the program. In total, the Economic Aid Act allocates $15 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants.

The webinar will provide introductory information about the grants, who can apply, how potential organizations can prepare, and additional details re: eligibility and applications.

The webinar is free and open to the public.  Registration is required here.

More info: According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the SBA has not yet published its grant guidelines or released details about when applications will open.  It is expected that once the new grant program launches, the windows of opportunity to apply will be very time-sensitive.

State Extends Regional Stay at Home Order for the Bay Area
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health announced in a statement that the State has extended the Regional Stay at Home Order for the Bay Area.  While the County of Santa Clara and several other Bay Area counties took action to implement the State’s Order on Dec. 17 to slow the surge in transmission, the State formally placed all Bay Area counties under the Regional Stay at Home Order until a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than 15%, when the order will be lifted for that area. The Bay Area’s ICU bed capacity currently stands at 3%, well below the 15% threshold for coming out of the Stay at Home Order. Given this ongoing crisis, the Santa Clara County health officials expect to be under the State Order for some time.
San Jose State Update
Classes begin Jan. 27 at San Jose State, but all classes will be virtual in the first few weeks – at least until Feb. 15.
 
About 1,000 students were living on campus for the first semester – their fate for the second semester has not yet been determined.
 
Faculty is also to stay off campus for now.
The letter to the campus community this week went like this:
 
“As many of you know, we are facing a dramatic increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County as well as the state of California. Some estimates suggest that the infection rate is nearly 15 percent of the population, with a “surge” of COVID-19 cases still to come from the winter break and holidays. 

Considering these factors, all planned on-campus face-to-face classes will move to a remote environment until February 15. Online classes are not affected and will resume as scheduled, with the first day of instruction beginning on January 27. Until February 15, faculty are asked not to work from campus unless they are engaged in approved Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) activity.

“We hope that conditions change quickly so that we don’t have to extend the moratorium on face-to-face classes further into the semester. For students currently in university housing or planning to move to campus, more information will be communicated soon. 

“Please know this is a decision we do not make lightly. The current context of the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that we take this approach to safely minimize the density of the population on campus.”
COVID-19 Links
More Local Resources
If you are a business or property owner reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage, you can submit an online police report here.
To report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district, use the Groundwerx Everywhere app for iPhones or Android.
To report damage, graffiti or things that need to be cleaned in city parks/property or outside the district, use the San Jose 311 app for iPhone, visit sanjose.custhelp.com or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to antigraffiti@sanjoseca.gov with their contact information and an address. A kit will be delivered to your place of business. 

SJDA staff can help.  Our list of staff and emails are here.
Let us know how else we can help by replying to this email. We’ll have another message next Thursday. We're in this together.
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