California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.

On this page:


Grants and loans 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

  • Available to eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used no later than March 11, 2023
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting applications from all eligible applicants now
    • Certain groups are prioritized through May 24
    • Remaining applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis

The American Rescue Plan Act established the RRF to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. The RRF provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss (up to $10 million per business with no more than $5 million per physical location). 

Learn more at the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund website.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) 

  • Available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters
  • There is currently no expiration date for this benefit

The EIDL is available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. For questions, you can contact SBA’s customer service line at 1-800-659-2955 / 1‑800‑877‑8339 (TTY), or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Apply for disaster loan assistance.

Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program

  • Available to small businesses with 1-750 employees
  • Provides easier access to funds for small businesses 
  • There is currently no expiration date for this benefit

IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides loans to underserved small businesses. Learn more about this program at the IBank website


Other help for small businesses

Additional resources are available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including:

Labor and workforce support for businesses


How to manage COVID-19 in the workplace

As California reopens, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment.

Help employees get vaccinated

You can assist your employees by:

  • Coordinating vaccination events with provider partners
  • Hosting a mobile or pop-up clinic
  • Helping them book appointments
  • Providing them educational resources

Learn more using the Vaccination Toolkit for Employers at saferatwork.ca.gov.

Protect employees from COVID-19 

If you own or manage a business, follow California’s COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards or the CalOSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard to protect your workers from hazards related to COVID-19. These standards are enforced by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Additionally, employers must:

Visit the Employer portal at saferatwork.ca.gov to get customized guidance for your business.

Get proof of vaccination

If your business setting requires people to verify their COVID-19 vaccination status, follow CDPH’s Vaccine Record Guidelines & Standards.

  • Verify records through a private and confidential process.
  • Protect patrons from discrimination.
  • Do not create barriers to essential services or restrict access based on a protected characteristic.

Support employees and their families

As workplaces reopen, employees will need both childcare support and workplace flexibility. It’s also important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies need to support that. See more information on:


Questions and answers

Small business grants and loans

Can I apply for loan forgiveness if I accept a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

Businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds can apply for loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness application instructions are available at the SBA website. You can also contact your PPP lender.

What businesses are excluded from receiving the Small Business Relief Grant?

Businesses that are not eligible include passive real estate businesses (rental income, etc.).

Can I apply for a Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee if I am ineligible for federal disaster fund financing, such as a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan? 

Yes, this program is designed for those who do not qualify for federal programs. 

How can I apply for a Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee? 

The Small Business Finance Center partners with Community Development Financial Institutions, Community Lending Institutions, and Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) to provide loan guarantees for small businesses.  To apply,

  • View the list of participating lenders interested in this Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program. 
  • Contact the lender on the list nearest to your business to apply.

How will this program assist low-wealth and minority communities?

By working with the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) throughout the state of California, this disaster relief program can play an important role in generating economic growth and opportunity in some of our most distressed communities. CDFIs and mission-based lenders play a vital role across the state and have experience steering lending and investment to where it is needed and will matter the most, in particular in low-wealth and immigrant communities. CDFIs and our partner Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) that process the loan guarantees are embedded in communities across the state, speak several languages, and are invested in the community successfully managing its way through this pandemic.

Are faith-based businesses eligible for this loan guarantee program? 

Faith-based businesses (non-profit or otherwise) that have business activity outside of worship are eligible as long as they are a legal business that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

How do I create a safe workplace?

Use the COVID-19 employer portal to find state and local county COVID-19 guidance. No matter what type of business you have:

What steps do I take if an employee has COVID-19 or there is an outbreak at my business?

If one or more of your workers is potentially exposed to  COVID-19 at work, you must notify other workers who may have been exposed:

  • Within one business day of potential exposure.
  • Provide information about available benefits like paid leave and workers’ compensation.
  • Investigate workplace conditions that could have contributed to the risk of COVID-19 exposure and what could be done to reduce exposure to COVID-19 hazards. 
  • Offer COVID-19 testing during normal working hours at no cost to the employee. This is true even if the employee is fully vaccinated.

If you have 3 or more cases of COVID-19 at a worksite in a 14-day period, you must:

  • Report the outbreak to the local health department
  • Notify the local health department if you identify more cases at the worksite

The California Department of Public Health’s workplace outbreak reporting requirements provide more information about what to do.

How can I avoid laying off employees if my business is impacted by COVID-19?

The Employment Development Department offers the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program as a temporary alternative to layoffs.

I am a business owner. Can I ask my patrons to show proof of vaccination?

Yes. If your business setting requires people to verify their vaccination record, follow CDPH’s Vaccine Record Guidelines & Standards.


Stay informed

If you have been financially affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for:

Help for renters, homeowners, and small landlords

Rental assistance for renters and landlords is available through the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. Go to the Housing is Key application portal or call 1‑833‑430‑2122 to apply as a renter or landlord.

Renters

  • Assistance with rental payments is available to anyone with a coronavirus-related hardship, like loss or reduction of income
  • The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act prevents you from being evicted if you declare your hardship
  • Protection from eviction for unpaid rent runs through June 30, 2021

More information is available at Housingiskey.com

Homeowners and small landlords

Mortgage forebearance is available for homeowners and small landlords who have federally-backed mortgages through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Check the Help for Homeowners page for information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Learn more about your mortgage protections and resources.

Small landlords can also apply for California COVID-19 Rent Relief at Housingiskey.com

Golden State Stimulus

The Golden State Stimulus (GSS) is a one-time, $600 relief payment. California will provide the Golden State Stimulus payment to families and individuals who qualify.

See how to get your  Golden State Stimulus payment.

Unemployment insurance

  • Available if you lost your job or had your hours reduced
  • Provides cash payments based on past earnings
  • Maximum of 59 weeks of benefits while the federal CARES Act is in effect

Apply for benefits through the Employment Development Department.

For more information, review the Workers page of the Saferatwork website.

Food assistance

  • Available to anyone who needs help getting food for any reason
  • Resources include government programs and nonprofits like food banks
  • Benefit availability varies by program

If you or someone you know needs food benefits, see our Food and food assistance page.

Related pages

Questions and answers

What effect will late payments have on my credit report?

Financial institutions will not report derogatory information (like late payments) to credit reporting agencies, but may report a forbearance. Typically this does not negatively affect a credit score on its own.

How long will financial relief programs last?

It’s unclear how severe or how long COVID-19 will affect California. Financial institutions have committed to necessary relief and will assess ongoing conditions and need for continuing relief.

What if my financial institution isn’t offering relief?

Call or check their website to be sure. At this time, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions are supporting commitments to relief.

Is mortgage relief available to businesses?

The relief is currently only available for residential mortgages.

What if my mortgage servicer is not communicative or cooperative?

  • File a complaint with the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI)