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This is the fourth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear Members and Downtown Stakeholders:

As we continue shelter in place through at least May 3, we hope that you have found some form of routine prioritizing family and loved ones as we all seek some stabilization. For those of you working in essential businesses, we see you. Thank you for supporting your downtown community.  

There’s a lot of content and information in today’s weekly message to downtown business as we are seeing the severity of this pandemic worsen. Let’s get started, but not without this first:  wash your hands often, stay at least six feet apart and, together, let’s beat this thing so we can return to our real routines. 

Let's keep our downtown community strong.

We're committed to helping you

SJDA staff is steadfast in its commitment to you.  We are available to help answer questions and concerns and to provide some moral support, too. Please reach out via email and we'll respond as soon as possible.
Expanded Shelter in Place Order in effect through May 3
The County also has determined that more and stricter distancing is needed to slow the rate of COVID-19. Major new stipulations include:
  1. Social distancing requirements are mandatory. Unless strict compliance is explicitly waived, everyone must comply with the social distancing requirements at all times.
  2. Before Friday, April 3, 2020, 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, using the template attached to the Order. Social Distancing Protocol form.
  3. Essential businesses must maximize the number of employees who work from home, excepting only those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home.
  4. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the county must scale down operations to their essential component only.
  5. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home are no longer essential businesses under the order and must cease operations (except minimum basic operations) at facilities in the county.
  6. All dog parks; tennis, pickle ball, futsal, and basketball courts; outdoor gym equipment and playgrounds; picnic and barbecue areas; drinking fountains; restrooms; disc golf areas and sport fields are closed. Parks and trails remain open, however, they will close if they become overcrowded or if visitors do not follow County and State guidance and orders which include practicing physical distancing of at least six feet. For more information on City closures, visit bit.ly/prnscancellations.
  7. Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response; affordable housing; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency; shelters and temporary housing; projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals; construction necessary to secure an existing construction site; and limited essential residential or business repairs.
Details of the new order

More details for businesses from Santa Clara County
Resources to clean messes, get information, and apply for loans
Here's a roundup of resources that allow businesses to operate as best they can during the current pandemic climate. This week's suggestions for cleaning up messes, gaining valuable COVID-19 information and start applying for loans.

Messes
  • Use the Groundwerx Everywhere App or call 408-287-1520 to report a mess that needs immediate attention.  Download the Groundwerx App for iPhones.
  • Call San Jose 3-1-1 to report graffiti, potholes and streetlight outages.  The City is temporarily suspending vehicle abatement services and some illegal dumping response. Reports of abandoned or illegally stored vehicles will not be investigated, and the City will only address high-priority illegally dumped items like hazardous items blocking cross-streets or ramps. Or, report through the San Jose 311 app.
Information & Getting Answers
  • Ask the Office of Economic Development (OED) questions about how COVID-19 impacts businesses, non-profits, employers and employees at covid19sjbusiness@sanjoseca.gov. OED staff will work to respond quickly with information and resources currently available.
  • For COVID-19-related questions regarding non-profit and community-based organizations, email covid19sjcbo@sanjoseca.gov.
  • Updated resources, including some additions to the City’s list of places that can offer help, are available on the Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 website.
  • Business Owner Space updates its pdf of resource links each week.
  • National Council of Nonprofits coronavirus resources page
  • SJdowntown.com has a list of 50+ restaurants offering take-out and delivery services.  Plus, new web pages that link to fitness businesses offering online classes, arts groups delivering online creativity and programming, and local companies improving work efficiency at home are being added over the next week.
  • The new Team San Jose resource page has launched, featuring a database of nearly 600 San Jose restaurants open for delivery or take-out, plus gift card options to provide support for neighborhood business now, when it is needed most. The site also highlights virtual attractions, online shops, and creative endeavors. San Jose travel, tourism and hospitality industry partners can find support information via quick links to important industry resources.
  • State of California COVID-19 website
  • Silicon Valley Strong continues to update ways people can donate and volunteer to help others who are most vulnerable
Loans

Paycheck Protection Program - Out of the $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package (CARES Act) comes the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. Your loan request would cover 2.5 times the amount of your monthly payroll, but at a max of $8,333 per employee per month (up to $10 million).  Loans cover payroll costs, employee benefits, mortgage interest or rent and utilities under lease agreements all incurred Feb. 15-June 30, 2020. Loan forgiveness is possible if criteria is met. You can have more than one federal loan (such as Disaster Assistance or Economic Injury loan below) as long as the loans are not used for the same thing. Contact your bank to start the process -- and make sure they are an approved SBA-approved lender.  Loans start Friday -- initial loan rate 0.5% and has a cap of 4%. First payment six months after securing loan and paid in full within two years if not eligible for forgiveness.  Here is the application. This Q&A from the Washington Post is helpful for background.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Loan Program - 2.75% interests, payments up to 15 years. No collateral for loans under $25,000. Open to organizations up to 500 employees. Businessownerspace.com partners SBDCAnewAmericaMBDA, and SCORE are available to help prepare loan paperwork.  

Arts Loan Fund - COVID-19 Emergency Fund - 2.5% interest, $50,000 max request. Term up to 24 months.

 
Temporary Shelter at Parkside Hall - 180 Park Avenue
The City of San Jose Housing Department has established a 75-bed temporary homeless shelter at Parkside Hall to help keep unhoused neighbors safe during the COVID-19 crisis. This shelter began accepting individuals April 1, by referral only from the Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing and the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program. This is not a walk-in shelter. The purpose of this temporary shelter is to protect unhoused residents from the pandemic and slow the spread of COVID-19. The shelter is set up to comply with physical distancing guidelines and is operated by the nonprofit HomeFirst.
City Council approves emergency paid sick leave policy
On April 7, the Council is expected to finalize Mayor Sam Liccardo's memorandum to  provide workers impacted by COVID-19 40 hours of paid sick leave, plus one hour of sick leave per every two hours worked, up to a maximum of 80 hours of sick leave for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency.  The Council's unanimous vote Wednesday shores up a leaky part of recent federal legislation the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The thrust of the decision is to assure that lower-wage workers do not show up for work even when they are sick.  Compliance with shelter-in-place orders not to work when sick, minimizing the spread of the virus, is the primary priority, the Council reasoned.

SJDA took a stand on behalf of small business members advocating to the City Council to exempt small businesses of 35 or fewer employees from the city's paid sick leave policy. SJDA asked the Council for leniency for the smallest of small businesses due to the financial burden it causes those businesses already struggling to stay afloat. 
State of California:  Tax deadline and loans
Here's the top line from Gov. Newsome's Small Business Stimulus Package announced at noon today, courtesy Bryant Government Affairs for the California Downtown Association:
 
1. CDTFA will allow small business taxpayers to enter into 12-month interest-free payment plans for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. Offers what is effectively an immediate interest-free loan to small businesses, providing a bridge until they can get relief from the SBA or their businesses can get back on their feet.
 
2. The governor is allocating $50 million to the Small Business Finance Center at California’s Bank to mitigate barriers to capital for those small businesses that may not qualify for federal funds (including businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities).

Also, the governor pushed back until the end of July (90 days) the deadline for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes.  Additionally, the order extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund until the end of June (60 days) to accommodate tax and fee payers.
 
We're in this together.  We’ll have another message next Thursday.  Keep up the good fight.
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