Fed. Aid | Our Help | Resources | Reaching Customers | Who Must Close? | Updates

ALERT for April 2

5:00 pm – We are all waiting for one of the most promising financial relief programs to become active. It is the Paycheck Protection Program and it is the closest thing to free money out there. The application (version 3) is now live. But there is no bank to send it to yet.

There are also pre-existing loan programs that can come in handy right now.

To learn which programs are potentially the most useful for your downtown Ventura business, please join a Zoom meeting or schedule a phone appointment to speak with us directly. Look below in the section Our Help To Get You Moving to sign up.

Please contact us with any questions. We’re here to help! Check back regularly for new information.

Shoppers: Support these shops and businesses online.


Federal Aid – Don’t Miss This Chance!

Closest Thing to Free Money – Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan for payroll and certain other expenses.

If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest payments, utilities, and health-care benefits for employees, including paid sick leave. In some cases they also can cover interest on other debts. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable. This guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is helpful to learn details.

The program is designed to get cash in the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs.

The new loans apply to costs incurred retroactive to Feb. 15 through June 30. 

If you are forced to lay off employees because of economic conditions, you may be able to preserve some of your loan guarantee by hiring them back.

Two sites offer information directly. Information from the Treasury Department offers the most details. The SBA site has limited information but is straight from the horse’s mouth, if the Treasury is the brain. The SBA is likely waiting to publish their next iteration with a fully-prepared Q&A and site functionality. That makes some sense. Pushing out dribs and drabs of info can leave a person feeling disempowered. We’re all now waiting for the full unveiling. 

Application Form (version 3)

You can grab it two ways. We are offering the second-hand route in case the Treasury Department web site crashes from the expected high volume of simultaneous visits.

Who is eligible?
Businesses – including eligible non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply.

Where do you go to participate in this program?

You will apply through a bank, preferably your current bank because they know you.

You can apply for the program at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury.

This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank.  You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. Call your bank to see if they participate. If not, keep reading.

FIND a BANK

The SBA has added a “find a lender” button as of April 2 at 5 pm. It’s located a few inches down on the PPP page.

Find A Lender on the SBA site

When will you be able to apply for the PPP?

We simply don’t know yet. The SBA and Treasury Department are still finalizing elements on the back end. Steve Mnuchin was hoping for April 3 but it’s not looking promising. 

What can you do in the meantime?

  • Download the form, print it out, and look through it.
  • Identify and collect the information required on the form.
  • Fill out the form and ensure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Join a group virtual meeting or make a phone call appointment with us to discuss the form and the loan itself. Look in the Our Help section below for details.
  • Call your bank to see if they plan to participate. 
  • If not, find out which local banks will participate with the “Find a Lender” button on the SBA site. Find A Lender on SBA Site

Note: Direct payments to people
The relief package also will send direct payments of $1,200 to Americans earning up to $75,000 — gradually phasing out for higher earners and end for those with incomes more than $99,000 — and an additional $500 per child. No one needs to apply for these payments. They will be sent automatically, and likely direct deposited, as long as you filed a tax return.


Our Help to Get You Moving

We are providing the following support.

  • Assistance in applying for the PPP forgivable loan
  • Assistance with ideas to keep you on your feet

You can connect with us for support in two ways.

  • Participate in a Zoom session. Sign up now (11 am Monday to Friday)
  • Participate in an individual one-to-one phone session. Sign up now
Other Immediate Actions to Stay on Your Feet

The loans, lease advice, and insurance information below may be of immediate value for our Downtown Ventura business owners. 

Four disaster loans that you must pay back

Four loans are designed to help through crises such as this one. We realize in talking to many of you that repayable loans are not high on your list of recovery options. However, in the long run, they may be a good choice for some of you. 

DISASTER LOAN FUND from Economic Development Collaborative

4.25% interest rate | $5,000- $50,000

Purpose: To give a cash flow boost to businesses impacted by reduced sales and other challenges related to COVID-19.  Learn more: Call 805.409.9159 for more information.

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC VENTURES (WEV) QUICK RESPONSE LOAN

4.5% interest rate | Up to $10,000 | 36 month repayment

Purpose: To provide financial support to businesses experiencing economic hardship. Learn more: Go directly to the loan application.

Details: No fees and no payments for the first three payment cycles. Your residence and business must both be located in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties.

WEV stands for Women’s Economic Ventures, but gender is not a criteria for approval.

QUICK RESPONSE LOANS from the JEWISH FREE LOAN ASSOCIATION

The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering no interest quick response loans to those who have been impacted by COVID-19. Loans can be applied for business economic injury, childcare costs and much more. Learn more: Visit their website for more information.

Applicants must be a resident of Ventura or Los Angeles County

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS

3.75% interest rate | Up to $2 million | individualized repayment

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Low Interest Loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

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. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Learn more: 1) Go directly to the loan application. 2) Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 3) Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Advice for Lease Payments

Start talking with your landlord. In some cases, lenders are providing mortgage deferrals to landlords.  If they don’t have to make a payment to the bank, they might be in a position to defer your lease payments.

If You Had Purchased Business Interruption Insurance

Check whether you have business interruption insurance. If so, you may have coverage that supplements any income or sales loss during this time.


Resources

Employment Development Department

Site – Information for employees and employers, including an FAQ.

File for unemployment insurance now. Start here.

Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County

Site – Includes a guide that will be updated as appropriate.  Also includes an “Immediate Steps to Take” section.

Free counseling from the Economic Development Collaborative

For businesses that have experienced disruptions, Small Business advisors can provide free guidance and discuss small business loans and other financing options during this time. Contact the EDC office at 805-409-9159 to request an appointment.


Reaching Your Customers

Current Initiative

Let’s keep your business front and center for your customers.

Tell us how customers can connect with you for transactions and purchases, such as online shopping, curbside pick-ups, and deliveries.

We will promote customer options for your business in two ways.

  1. Web site featuring a list of businesses for each transaction method.*
  2. Weekly newsletter reaching 3000 subscribers.*

Please fill out this form to be included in this initiative. 

* DVP’s strategies to market to your customers will evolve as conditions evolve. 


Who Must Close?

Three sources can help you navigate closure orders. Please consult the Ventura County List first. 

Your employees must stay home unless their work provides an essential function and cannot be performed from home. Ventura County’s Stay Well at Home Order states: “Unless your work includes an essential function, you cannot go to work.” 

Example: You own an automotive repair shop and your mechanics are repairing vehicles that deliver food to grocery stores. You can stay open. Your marketing person must work from home. 

Ventura County List

Ventura County List

From Ventura County’s Stay Well at Home Order, within FAQ section, currently #5.

The following essential activities will remain open:

City/County government services:

  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Jails
  • Courts
  • Garbage/sanitation
  • Public Transportation
  • Water, power, and gas utilities
  • Public works construction, including construction of housing
  • Airport and Port operations
  • Gas service stations, auto supply, auto repair, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.

Health care providers, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Medical and scientific research
  • Laboratories
  • Healthcare suppliers
  • Home healthcare services providers
  • Veterinary care providers
  • Mental health providers
  • Physical therapists and chiropractors
  • Cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services
  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • Healthcare operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities

Food providers, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Water retailers
  • Certified farmers’ markets
  • Farm and produce stands
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Warehouse stores
  • Food banks
  • Convenience stores
  • Take-out from restaurants, drive-thru restaurants, and delivery from restaurants
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
  • Hardware stores and nurseries
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other essential activities
  • Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies.
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, (including gang prevention and intervention and domestic violence agencies).
  • Laundromats/laundry service
  • Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and other media services
  • Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities — for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible
State List

State of California List

Open: Examples of essential businesses in the State of California that are open. Not an exhaustive list.

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies 
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants 
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services

Closed: Businesses in the State of California that have been ordered to close

  • Dine-in restaurants (take out and delivery still available)
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention Centers
Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Homeland Security has posted guidance and a list of workers for state-level decision makers and industry partners to consider when creating their own policies to best address the pandemic and “maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.” This is not a definitive, exhaustive list and again, is intended for guidance at the state level. 

View the list of workers starting on page 5 of the the following document, Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response.


Updates from DVP to Biz Owners


March 22-28 Updates

April 2, 2020

Every SBA preferred lender is in a holding pattern regarding the Paycheck Protection Program details

We’ve spoken with a few local SBA preferred banks and business support organizations and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to learn further details about the Paycheck Protection Program.

It provides you with a forgivable loan in an amount equivalent to two and half months worth of payroll expenses at your business. If you’re a sole proprietor or one-person business, you can also receive money.  See full details above in the Federal Aid section. 

Yesterday the Treasury Department made the application form available. However, banks have not yet been given the green light to receive and process applications. The Treasury and Small Business Association are still working out some of the processing kinks before it goes live. 

In the meantime, sign up for a phone call or Zoom session to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program. You can do that above in the Our Help to Get You Moving section.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

DVP will offer one-to-one and group guidance for applying for free money

The Paycheck Protection Program is about to “go live” in a few days and you can participate to receive the closest thing to free money around. We’re offering support to help you move smoothly through the process. Look above in the Our Help to Get You Moving section to sign up for an appointment.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Survey to help us best meet your needs – Fill out ASAP

On March 27, Downtown Ventura business owners received a survey. If you did not receive one, please email Julie Henszey and she will get one out to you. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Legislative Action  

The Senate passed their bill today promising federal assistance for individuals and businesses. It will be enacted into law within the next few days. Please see the section Federal Aid Coming above.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Our crews keeping the area clean and safe

Members of both of our Clean & Safe Ambassador and Park Safety Ambassador teams are working. Our efforts have been deemed an essential service.

To help our dedicated team during this time, work shifts are not mandatory. Anyone not feeling well, concerned about exposure or responsible for a family member is encouraged and allowed to stay home, under the shelter-at-home order, receiving normal pay. Everyone who is working is choosing to be at work. We are grateful for their commitment and work ethic. 

Kevin, the Executive Director, and Steve, our operations manager, have  been at the office every day overseeing things while Julie works from home. We have ample cleaning supplies, gloves and lots of precautions in place. We’ve received many compliments and happy waves from owners and stakeholders who are pleased to see us continue to safeguard closed storefronts and keep things tidy and clean. Thank you! We will continue to operate 7 days a week.

We also are working closely with City staff and Police Department staff to ensure we keep our community safe and secure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Are you allowed to be open? 

Ventura County has posted a helpful list of “essential activities that will remain open.” See Section Who Must Close? above.

March 15-21 Updates

Friday, March 20, 2020

IRS filing deadline extended to July 15

You have three extra months to file your tax return.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

All Californians ordered to stay at home by Governor Newsom

“Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all Californians to stay at home, marking the first mandatory restrictions placed on the lives of all 40 million residents in the state’s fight against the novel coronavirus,” according to the New York Times. See “Gov. Gavin Newsom orders all Californians to stay at home,” LA Times, March 19, 2020, by Taryn Luna.

In a briefing yesterday, Newsom said “a Navy hospital ship and two mobile hospitals would help the state care for an anticipated surge in patients.” The state would need “roughly 20,000 more beds” if more than half of Californians come down with the coronavirus. 

8 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Restaurants must stop all dine-in services, VC Health Officer says

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, all restaurants, along with drinking establishments that have remained open for in-house dining,  must halt dine-in services. They may provide food for drive through service, take-out, and delivery.

Restaurants that do provide take-out must require patrons to remain 6 feet apart while inside the facility. The order, the latest step to help prevent a local outbreak, remains in effect until midnight on April 1.

Further, restaurants can offer curbside alcohol sales with take-out and delivery orders. This is helpful for restaurants with pre-packaged containers.

4 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

File your taxes by April 15 but you may have extra time for “money owed” 

The IRS won’t need to see any federal income tax payments from individuals and many businesses until July 15. You still need to file your tax return by April 15. See “U.S. delays April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days for millions,” LA Times, March 17, 2020.

10 am, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How isolation and “staying put” prevents overrunning our medical system and saves lives

While it may seem okay to maintain a routine that involves a portion of time spent among strangers and in small gatherings, it does more damage than we can see at the time. This piece describes the life-saving benefits of distancing and isolation measures increasingly encouraged in many communities by medical experts. See “Why Outbreaks like Coronavirus Spread Exponentially and How to Flatten the Curve,” The Washington Post, March 14, 2020, by Harry Stevens.

2 pm, Monday, March 16, 2020

Shelter at Home in 6 California Counties, via the New York Times

Six counties around Silicon Valley, one of the hardest-hit areas in the nation, announced a shelter-at-home order that begins Tuesday, which Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose said was the strongest directive yet in the United States. Residents were told not go out for three weeks except to meet “essential needs.”

2 pm, Monday, March 16, 2020

Guidelines from President Trump, via the New York Times

The Trump administration on Monday released new guidelines for the public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He asked people to avoid groups of more than 10 people and discouraging people from going to bars, restaurants and food courts for two weeks. He also discouraged discretionary travel.

Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed that some of the White House guidelines were inconvenient, but they would stop the spread of the virus. He conceded that some would say the government was overreacting, but he was emphatic: this was not an overreaction.

“I say it over and over again: When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are,” he said at a noontime press conference.

7:15 pm, Sunday, March 15, 2020

Restaurant and Bar Directives from Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday directed all neighborhood bars, wineries, brewpubs and nightclubs to close their doors as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state continued to rise.

He directed:

  • All bars, nightclubs, breweries, brewpubs and wineries to close.
  • All restaurants to reduce occupancy by half and follow “social distancing” guidelines for spacing out tables. Newsom said restaurants could add or continue curbside food service and home food delivery.
  • Seniors (65 years old and older) self-isolate at home.

View Governor Newsom’s press conference HERE. (Restaurant section begins at around the 10:55 min mark.)