On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a stay-at-home directive for all California residents, and pushed for all non-essential businesses to close. Newsom’s notice arrives only days after calling for all California bars to close and restaurants to cease dine-in service; the small restaurant business fallout has been immense. Now facing financial shortfalls, laid-off employees, and an uncertain future — even as many attempt to continue to navigate take out, delivery, drive-thru, and curbside pick-up services — many restaurants have banded together to reach out for government intervention. In California, officials addressed some concerns with a halt to evictions and rent abatement, while the federal government works on a stimulus package.
To help, below is a list of resources for restaurant chefs and owners from the State of California, advocacy groups, and non-profits that support restaurants. Eater has also composed a list for food service workers, and will update this page as new information becomes available.
City and state assistance
The City of Los Angeles launched a new micro-loan program for small local businesses. These loans range from $5,000 to $50,000.
The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) developed a useful page with information, support, and financing options. Those include loan guarantee programs from local government agencies and banks. Because this is now a federal and state emergency, funds are available now. Find out more at the SBFC website.
Employers experiencing any hardship due to COVID-19 can request a 60-day extension to file state payroll reports without penalty or interest. There are a few hoops to jump through to get this moving, so head right to the Employment Development Department website.
If an employee becomes unable to work because they fell ill due to coronavirus, or caring for a quarantined or ill family member, Governor Newsom eliminated the one week waiting period for a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI is a short-term benefit payment for those eligible, and range from $50 to $1,300 per week. The same amount applies for Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim in California.
A week ago, the Small Business Administration announced a disaster assistance loan program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These are low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills.
The Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) is offering no fee and interest-free loans of up to $10,000 to cover small business losses, lost wages, child care costs, or funds lost. The organization offers help to any race, age, religion, or gender.