The circumstances that have been created by the COVID-19 crisis pose a daunting challenge for all of us. In many cases, this crisis has taken a serious financial toll on Orange County households and businesses. In response, several Federal and State programs are dedicated to providing support to our employers and the Orange County workforce through the challenges of COVID-19.
FINANCIAL HELP FOR BUSINESS OWNERS:
Federal Assistance – CARES Act
COVID-19: Paycheck Protection Program - The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides small businesses with funds, in the form of a loan, to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. This prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. Under this program:
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance - In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
- Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- If you maintain your workforce, THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE LOAN MAY BE FORGIVEN if the funds are used properly.
SBA Debt Relief - The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. Under this program:
- The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
SBA Express Bridge Loans - Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
U.S. Small Business Administration, Guidance and Loans - Guidance for businesses and employers, government contracting, and local assistance information. Live agents are available to guide you through the process at 1-800-659-2955.
FINANCIAL HELP FOR EMPLOYEES:
Sick or Quarantined:
If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
Reduced Work Hours:
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week.
Additionally, if you are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting your financial institution:
- 90-day grace period for mortgage payments
- No negative credit impacts resulting from relief
- Moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions
- Relief from fees and charges
Click here for details on how to apply for relief.
My office and I are still here working for you. My staff is observing the stay at home order by working from their homes, but they continue to take dozens of calls and emails every day to assist in helping the residents of Assembly District 73. If you are looking for updates about COVID-19 in Orange County, or information about essential services, be sure to visit the county’s website. Keep practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and when this is all over, we will come out stronger. Stay safe and healthy.
Assemblyman William P. Brough represents the 73rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Trabuco Canyon.