California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.
On this page:
- Grants and loans
- Other help for small businesses
- How to manage COVID-19 in the workplace
- Questions and answers
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 email@example.com.
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:
- Resources and services for small businesses collected by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
- Tax relief and extensions from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration
- Federal tax credits like the Employee Retention Credit (available through June 30, 2021) and paid leave credit for vaccines (available through September 30, 2021)
Labor and workforce support for businesses
- Check the Employment Development Department’s resources for employers for information about workplace health and safety guidelines, reduced work hours, potential closure or layoffs, California WARN Act requirements, and tax assistance.
- Visit the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s employer resources and assistance.
- Check the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s information about COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
- For information about recording and reporting requirements for COVID-19 infection, check the frequently asked questions provided by the CA Department of Industrial Relations.
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:
- Provide unvaccinated employees N95 respirators for voluntary use.
- Follow statewide ventilation guidance for businesses operating indoors.
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:
- Tell employees to stay home if they are sick.
- Routinely clean the workplace.
- Reduce travel. Encourage video conferencing and limit large gatherings.
- 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.
- Follow CDC guidance on keeping the workplace safe.
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.
- CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers
- CA Employment Development Department: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: Coronavirus 2019
- California Department of Tax and Fee Administration: COVID-19 State of Emergency
- Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – FAQs on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office
- CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing: COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
- CA Department of Industrial Relations: COVID-19 Resources and Workers’ Compensation
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Coronavirus Tax Relief
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs
- U.S. Department of Labor: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act