The County’s October 5th Risk Reduction Order, which requires everyone to follow all State orders and guidance, maintain distance, and wear face coverings as much as possible, remains in effect. The Order also requires all businesses and other entities to maximize telework, post a Social Distancing Protocol outlining specific COVID-19 safety plans, and promptly report any cases to the Public Health Department.
Courtesy of Kaiser Permanent
Pandemic Assistance Programs for Businesses
Here’s a list of several pandemic assistance programs for businesses, including those that provide financial assistance and forgivable loans for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19:
Paycheck Protection Program
The PPP, which is overseen by the Small Business Administration, is arguably the most widely known pandemic relief program for businesses. It’s designed to incentivize small businesses to keep workers on the job by providing funding for payroll.
The biggest draw of this program is that while it is technically a loan, borrowers can have the amount written off if they apply for forgiveness within 10 months of the last covered period of their agreement. It’s basically free assistance for those who qualify for it.For more details about the program, including help for finding a qualified lender, visit the SBA’s official PPP website
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
known as EIDL, this is another program overseen by the SBA and provides economic relief for small businesses as well as nonprofits that have suffered from a temporary loss of revenue. The assistance can be used to pay for financial obligations or operating expenses that a business would have been able to cover on its own had the pandemic not occurred.
Like the PPP, this program has been around for a while but has one key difference.
Borrowers can also apply for both the PPP and EIDL, but funds from both are not allowed to be used for the same purpose. Applicants also must be physically located in the United States and have fewer than 500 employees.
The maximum loan amount is $150,000, with loans above $25,000 requiring collateral. The interest rate is 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, with payment terms up to 30 years.
For more information or to apply for a loan, visit the SBA’s official EIDL website
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Known as SVOG for short, this program was amended by the American Rescue Plan Act and provides more than $16 billion in grants to venues that have been closed due to COVID-19. Of that number $2 billion is set aside for smaller operations with 50 employees or less
Applicants that qualify for the program will receive grants equal to 45% of their gross revenue. The maximum grant amount for one applicant is $10 million.
Entities that are eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives
Note that booking agencies can qualify even if they don’t operate a venue.
If you apply for the SVOG, you can no longer apply for the PPP so people need to get their PPP first before applying for the SVO. Learn more here.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
This $26.5 billion fund was established by the American Rescue Plan Act for food and drink establishments. The program, which will be awarded by the SBA, will set aside $5 billion of its funds for smaller businesses with gross revenues of less than $500,000. There will be a cap of $10 million for each business, including $5 million for each physical location of a business operation.
According to the American Rescue Plan Act, businesses that can apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund include:
- Food trucks
- Food stands
- Food carts
- Tasting rooms
Publicly-traded companies are ineligible, which is good news for smaller operations that were squeezed out by large chains during the first round of PPP funding.
Funds will be allocated within phases, with businesses that lost a larger percentage of revenue being prioritized first. The RRF will also give higher priority to small businesses run by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged proprietors.
According to the National Restaurant Association, eligible businesses “may receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by subtracting its 2020 gross receipts from its 2019 gross receipts.”
If you already received PPP funding, that amount will be deducted from your eligibility for the RRF. Learn more here.
SBA Debt Relief
The SBA Debt Relief Program provides financial assistance for borrowers of three types of SBA loans:
As part of the program, the SBA will pay six months of principal, interest, and any associated fees owed by borrowers for such loans that are in “regular servicing status.” The assistance will be automatically provided without needing an application and will apply to loans that were approved up to September 27, 2020. Learn more here.
COBRA Premium Assistance
This program provides insurance assistance to employees who lost their coverage and the subsidy will come in the form of a payroll tax credit for employers. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the Department of Labor announced on April 7 that the federal government will provide eligible employees who lost their healthcare coverage a 100% subsidy on their COBRA insurance premiums between April 1 and Sept. 30.
For more details, visit the Department of Labor’s COBRA Premium Subsidy web page
Pandemic assistance from State and Local government
A number of local foundations and other philanthropic groups have also launched COVID-19 small business relief funds. Here are just a handful of them:
Small Business Relief Fund provides loan and grant funding, as well as technical assistance, to small businesses and self-employed individuals. It's overseen by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in partnership with Opportunity Fund.
Facebook's Small Business Grants Program is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits.
Pacific Community Ventures offers free remote business advising with financial, human resources or crisis management experts.
Santa Clara County is currently in the Orange Tier
- Restaurants (dine-in) - Indoors with modifications at max 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. See guidance forRestaurants, wineries, and bars
- Retailers/Malls - Can open with modifications. See guidance for Retail
- Gyms and fitness centers - Indoors with modifications at max 25% capacity. See guidance for Gyms and fitness centers
- Movie theaters - Indoors with modifications at max 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.See guidance for Movie theaters and family entertainment centers
- Hotels and lodging - Can open with modifications. See guidance for Hotels and lodging
- Changes for each sector
- Mandatory Health Officer Directives for specific business sectors and activities.
- See Capacity Limitations to calculate capacity for different types of businesses.
- What should customers see in EVERY business?
If you have any questions, call Santa Clara County COVID Business Center at
2-1-1 phone and text services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 150 languages to answer your questions about COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing: Do I still need to get tested?
- YES! And here is why. The data from testing is critical to help understand the spread, particularly the spread of variants.
- As SARS-CoV-2 variants continue increasing in prevalence in the Bay Area and across the country, County public health officials reminded community members this week to get tested frequently if they have been at risk of exposure to the virus. New cases of concerning variants have been detected in Santa Clara County, including those linked to variants B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 – which were first identified in South Africa and the United Kingdom, respectively.
- Testing remains free, easy, and confidential, and is available seven-days-a-week and there are a number of options for different needs, including appointment or walk-in, drive-through or walk-up, and specimen collection by nasal swab or saliva. Frontline workers should get tested at least once a month and up to once every two weeks, and continue testing even after being vaccinated.
COVID-19 testing is free, easy, and available near you. Check here for test sites.
Meals and Groceries
- Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Call 800-984-3663 or text GETFOOD to 408-455-5181 to request assistance with food resources.
- Senior Nutrition Program: Serves adults aged 60+, their spouses, and disabled adults living with older adults. Following a take-out model at most locations.
- If you are at risk of losing your housing or missing an upcoming rent payment, contact the Homelessness Prevention System to request financial assistance and supportive services.
- File a claim with the California Employment Development Department if you are unable to work, have reduced hours or are caring for an ill or quarantined family member.
- The Red Cross needs healthy, eligible people to give blood or platelets. Visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).
Sunnyvale Specific Resources
- City Service Impacts – Before calling or visiting a City facility, check the City COVID-19 webpage.
- Sunnyvale Serves Phoneline – If you need assistance related to the shelter-in-place order, call the City at 408-730-7360, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or submit inquiries online at Access Sunnyvale.
- Sunnyvale Community Services – SCS helps low-income families and seniors with financial aid, food distribution and case management. Learn about services and how to donate.
- Support Sunnyvale Businesses – Support Sunnyvale restaurants and businesses providing essential services. Find store listings and information on the new Sunnyvale Business webpage.