Practical Biz Tools & Tips to Navigate COVID-19 Crisis (Updated 1/25/2021)
s we navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis, here are some essential resources you'll need for your business (this post is being continually updated so check back again soon):
FREE BUSINESS COUNSELING
- City of Montebello Small Business Assistance Program
- Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)
- LA County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
Notice From LA County: LA County understands there are a lot of people interested in getting vaccinated. However, we must proceed with administering vaccinations within the priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with additional guidance provided by the State of California. We understand that some people may feel they should be or are in these priority groups. However, there are clear definitions that we have posted on our website – these are very specific groups according to the priority tiers. Visit VaccinateLACounty.com for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and to find out if you are currently eligible to receive one.
RESOURCES FOR REOPENING BUSINESSES
JANUARY 25 UPDATE: While we wait for an updated health order from the LA County Public Health Department, the state's purple tier guidelines can be helpful as of January 25, 2021 with the exception of Restaurants which must wait until the new health order is released before opening outdoor dining (the new order is expected on Friday, January 29, 2021). For guidelines on all other businesses, CLICK HERE and enter "Los Angeles" in the County field.
- NEW! LA County Public Health Order - December 30, 2020
- NEW! Reopening Guidelines for Shopping Center Operators - Appendix E - December 27, 2020
- NEW! Updated Reopening Guidelines for Office-Based Worksites - December 24, 2020
- Reopening Protocols for Restaurants, Breweries & Wineries - November 25, 2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Car Washes - November 28,2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Car Dealerships - November 28, 2020
- Reopening Protocol for Cardrooms – Appendix Q - November 25, 2020
- Reopening Guidelines for Mini Golf, Batting Cages & Go Kart Racing - Appendix V - November 25, 2020
- Reopening Guidelines for Retail Establishments - November 28, 2020
- Reopening Guidelines for Grocery Stores & Retail Markets - November 28, 2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Personal Care Establishments - Appendix R - November 28, 2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Day Camps - Appendix K - November 28, 2020
- Updated Reopening Protocols for Gyms & Fitness Centers - 11/28/2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Office-Based Worksites - December 24, 2020
- Reopening Protocols for Day Care for School Aged Children - October 22, 2020
- Updated Reopening Guidelines for Hotels, Lodging & Short-Term Rentals - October 26, 2020
Still closed are: Lounges/Nightclubs; Bars; Public entertainment venues: movie theaters, live performance theaters, concert venues, theme parks,and festivals;Family entertainment centers such as bowling alleys,arcades; Indoor in-person dining at restaurants; indoor and outdoor playgrounds for children (except in schools or childcare centers); hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas not located on a residential property; all events or gatherings except as allowed by the public health order (see above).
- Customizable Signage Letting Employees/Customers Know What Steps You're Taking to Protect Public Health
- Standardized Employee Screening Questionnaire for Returning to Work Post-COVID-19
- Required Poster for Public & Employees- Not Entering Business if Experiencing Symptoms of Illness
According to the New Public Health Order, essential businesses will need to provide hand sanitizer/disinfectant/soap & water for public as well cloth face masks for to employees who will interact less than 6 feet away for 10 minutes or more with other employees or the public. We are continually monitoring and finding sources for face masks and hand sanitizer. If your business needs a supplier for any of these required items, please reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- FedEx Small Support Grants
- PPP Forgiveness Application and YouTube Video Reviewing Application
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program Info and FAQ's
- Webinar: Treasure Fiona Ma & Small Business Experts (4/17/2020)
- Questions about your PPP Loan? Email LA District Office of SBA: email@example.com
- How to Check on Your Submitted EIDL Application for Disaster Relief Funds: (800) 659-2955, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find an SBA Lender for PPP Loan/Grant
- Podcast: COVID-19 Business Loans Explained
- 3-Step Cheat Sheet for SBA Disaster Relief Application
- Video: Disaster Relief Packages Explained
- Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Fill Out Disaster Relief Application - #1
- Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Fill Out Disaster Relief Application - #2
- Small Business Guide to the CARES Act (info on all current disaster relief available to small businesses)
- Small Business Guide & Checklist to Loans
- SBA Disaster Loan Application
- SBA Express Bridge Loan
- Small Business Relief Fund: Matching Grants for Businesses Raising $500+ on GoFundMe
- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Non-Profit Organizations
- Webinar: Funding Updates for CA Small Businesses affected by COVID-19
- Article: SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Standardized Employee Screening Questionnaire for Returning to Work Post-COVID-19
- LA County COVID-19 Employer's Guide
- For Employers with 50 or more Employees: Workplace Poster for Family Medical Leave Act in English & Spanish, Employee Guide on FMLA
- Article: Information on Staffing Issues for Employers During COVID-19
- Employer's Guide to Coronavirus Paid Leave Programs
- EDD Document: California's Programs for the Unemployed
- Podcast: Federal COVID-19 Leaves: Key Points
- CA Entrepreneurship Task Force Rapid Response Session on Friday, March 27, 2020 & PowerPoint Slides
- Podcast: Employers' FAQs Related to COVID-19 Answered
- Article: What Employers Need to Know about Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Employer Help: If you anticipate having challenges with payroll, or if your organization is considering layoffs, please contact LAEDC immediately and their team will help avoid the need for layoffs. Email LAEDC: Covid19response@laedc.org
- Webinar: Resources for Employees of California Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (you'll need to type in name and email to access)
- Article: Furloughs Versus Layoffs: Is There a Difference in California?
REORGANIZING FOR VIRTUAL OPERATIONS
- Article: COVID-19: Preparing for Remote Work
- Article: Best Practices for Remote-Managing Your Small Business
- On March 18, Square Online Store released the option for curbside pickup, and later this week a local delivery feature will be available for all businesses so that you can quickly adapt to this changing environment. They are also waiving curbside pickup and delivery fees for the next three months. Square Online Store already offers online orders for in-store pickup with no monthly fee.
- For businesses that have accounts with them, Square is refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March, which includes Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything.
- Square is also offering a resource hub with information and advice for businesses to navigate this new environment, which covers how to offer local delivery, set up and promote electronic gift cards, utilize free marketing campaigns, turn off signature requirements for in-person purchases, and more.
- E-Gift Cards: Restaurants are adapting quickly by offering carryout, curbside and delivery orders to customers, but what if you're not a restaurant or providing an essential service? You may not be able to serve the same number of customers or none at all until this crisis subsides, however, you can selle-gift cards which can be used later when things normalize. Offer these at a discount to create an incentive for people who are currently focused solely on health and survival (for instance, $50 gift card for $40); this way you can get some cash flow into your business and also keep customers invested to come back to you when the crisis ends. We're told you don't have to use Square in your business to process credit cards to use this features. Here's a tutorial video to show you how it works: Square E-Gift Cards Tutorial Video
Patreon: If you have a business that can provide services via video or audio recording or in written or graphic form such as classes, coaching or advice, this app can allow you to monetize by signing up monthly subscribers at varying levels of commitment while giving them access to video, audio or written content. You set the levels and what you will provide at each level and that can include a physical product if you like.
Zoom: This app that works on computers and mobile devices to host a virtual meeting. The free version will hold a 40 minute meeting with up to 100 people, and if you need more time or larger groups, the paid plans start at $14.99 per month.
RingCentral: This service can provide voice over IP phone service, virtual receptionist, voicemail and Fax, as well as virtual meetings. During the current crisis, educators (K-12 schools), health-care providers, and non-profit organizations can use this software free for 3 months with no obligation.
BUSINESSES TO HELP YOU
Here are Chamber members who are ready to help local businesses with some of the challenges they're facing right now:
- ACRO Printing, Inc - for all your printing needs including signage
- Aion Web and Graphic Designs - Now offering a $499 website package normally valued at $999 to help businesses with their online presence.
- Columbia Business Forms - Now providing floor stickers, branded face masks and other signage to help with physical distancing after reopening. Also all your printing needs.
- DigiCal, Inc. - Whether you need help with website design, mobile apps, or accessibility and SEO services for your website, DigiCal can help. Also providing video and drone services.
- Express Employment - While some businesses are shutting down, others are amping up. If your business needs help, there is a new pool of people looking for work and owner Frank Valencia and his team can help you with this.
- G&C Protective Services - With over 30 years combined experience, the owners offer security assessments and security guards and patrols for both residential and commercial properties.
- K-9 Protective Services - Offering free security analysis and walk-through to provide proposal. They can perform hourly sweeps to observe any property damage or malicious acts (loitering, tagging, vandalism/theft, keeping vagrants off your property).
- Orbit Event Rentals - If you need more space to provide physical distancing of employees during breaks, Orbit can create an outdoor break room with tents, tables, chairs and floor coverings.
- RG Pacfic LLC - With social distancing becoming the new norm, businesses are adapting by doing more business online. If you need help doing this quickly, Ray Galan and his team can get up and running fast! Now offering discounted services for local companies: immediate online ordering, social media advertising, Google advertising.
- Roquemore, Pringle, & Moore, Inc. - This Law Office advises businesses, both corporations and individuals, in various aspects of business law, including bankruptcy. They also do estate planning and assist clients in probate and trust disputes. They are available to meet with potential clients for no charge for the initial consultation.
- Universo Cleaning, Inc. - Sanitation has never been more critical, and Universo can help protect your employees and clients by cleaning and sanitizing your workplace.
PUBLIC HEALTH & GOVERNMENT ORDERS
- LA County Public Health Order - November 19, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - October 23, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - October 5, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - September 2, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - August 12, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - July 1, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - June 28, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order - June 19, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order Update on June 11, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order Update on May 29, 2020
- LA County Public Health Order Update on May 13, 2020
- Governor Newsom's Executive Order - May 8, 2020
- LA County Extends Safer at Home Order to May 15, 2020
- Article: Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order to Help Small Business During Crisis
- Governor Newsom's Executive Order - March 21, 2020
- Governor Newsom's Executive Order - March 19, 2020
- LA County Public Health Dept. Safer at Home Order - March 21, 2020
- LA County Public Health Dept. Safer at Home Order - March 19, 2020
- Article: 6 Steps to Closing a Business While Staying Compliant
- South Coast AQMD Expediting Permits to Aid COVID-19 Efforts
- Website: Safer At Home Order for Control of COVID-19
- Webinar: COVID-19 - What Small Businesses Should Do (you'll need to type in name and email to access)
- Article: COVID-19 Business Resources
- Webinar: Business Interruption: Actionable Steps for Small Business Owners presented by Karie Armstrong, Business Advisor at the SBDC