If you need help or have questions regarding financial aid, the Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center has consultants standing by to help.

Local Financial Support | In early December 2020, the City of San Luis Obispo voted to allocate $3.4 million to economic development initiatives to support local businesses hardest hit by the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Here’s what’s available now with more on what’s to come.

State Financial Support | In December 2020, the State announced a number of programs designed to assist small businesses including tax relief, loan programs and $500 million in grants for small businesses impacted by pandemic restrictions. Here’s what you need to know about each of the elements.

Federal Financial Support | In December 2020, Congress approved a $900 billion coronavirus relief package. The relief package will include $600 individual payments, an injection of $248 billion into the Paycheck Protection program and a partial extension of the enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Click here for the breakdown.

Federal Funding Opportunities

Paycheck Protection Program

UPDATE: Jan. 8 | U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announce that the Paycheck Protection Program will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Key updates include:

  • Borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures
  • Eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations
  • Greater flexibility for seasonal employees
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan

Dec. 21 | Second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans

  • Nonprofits(including 501(c)(6)’s and local newspapers, TV and radio stations are now eligible 
  • $15 billion is reserved for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions

On July 6, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resumed accepting applications. Deadline to apply was August 8, 2020. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for:

  • Payroll costs (60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll)
  • Interest on mortgages
  • Rent
  • Utilities

View a list of participating lenders by state here.
View more details, application, and other forms regarding PPP here.

On June 5, 2020, the President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The measure makes significant changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that are designed to help small business borrowers.  

The key provisions include:

  • Extends the time period in which borrowers must spend their PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • It lowers the percentage of loan proceeds that must be spent on payroll from 75 to 60 percent.
  • It extends the loan coverage period from June 30 to December 31, 2020.
  • For the portion of the loan that isn’t forgiven, the measure extends the loan term from 2 years to 5 years.

Find an overview of the PPP here. The SBA and Treasury released a “formula” to calculate the amount of loan forgiveness a borrower can claim. Find that document here. Click here to view the SBA’s official press release.

The PPP was created Friday, March 27 as part of the CARES Act created to help businesses keep their workforce employed during this crisis. To apply for the PPP you will need to go through a SBA approved lender. To prepare, please have these documents ready:

If you need help or have questions regarding the process, the Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center has consultants standing by to help.


Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep people employed. And, if small businesses maintain or later restore their payrolls, they may not have to repay some — or possibly any — of the loan. Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process. 

See how the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package breaks down.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

UPDATE: On June 16, to further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration has now reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.

See full press release here.

The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Applicants will need to complete the forms below and sign where required.  Scan the completed forms as a pdf to be uploaded onto the online application.

SBA | Guidance for Small Businesses and Employers

EIDL application link:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2Fela%2FLoanApplication%2FStartApplication

Forms:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

With the pause on the SBA loans in mind, Governor Newsom announced that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), for sole proprietors and independent contractors applications, will be available starting April 28th.  Applicants will be issued checks within 24 – 48 hours. 

Find more information about the PUA here.

Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program

Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs. The Work Sharing Program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced:

  • Receive UI benefits.
  • Keep their current job.
  • Avoid financial hardships.

The Work Sharing Program helps employers:

  • Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs.
  • Keep trained employees and quickly prepare when business conditions improve.
  • Avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.

See requirements here.

Tax Relief and Information

UPDATE: December 2020 | The State announced a number of programs designed to assist small businesses including tax relief. Here’s what you need to know.

November 30, 2020 | Governor Newsom Announces Immediate Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Including Temporary Tax Relief and $500 Million in Grants

Watch employment law specialist Kathy Eppright and accountant Tim Dossa share what business owners need to know during this ever-changing situation.

IRS | Tax Relief and Information

Here is what you need to know about your Economic Impact Payment. For most taxpayers, payments are automatic, and no further action is needed. Taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees will receive payments.

Jim Hamilton, the San Luis Obispo County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, announced procedures for taxpayers to request a waiver from property tax late charges incurred due to COVID-19 hardships. The Tax Collector’s Office will process these requests as soon as possible and will notify property owners whether they qualify.  

Regulatory Updates from Glenn Burdette:

Mortgage Forbearance

The CARES Act provides help to borrowers with eligible mortgages who are experiencing a financial hardship that is due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 national emergency. Specifically, the CARES Act provides that such borrowers may request and receive “forbearance” for mortgage payments on eligible loans if they affirm they are experiencing a financial hardship during the COVID-19 national emergency.

This summary and the FAQs from Guaranteed Rate will help you better understand the details, requirements for and impacts of forbearance.

It is important to understand that forbearance under the CARES Act is available only to borrowers with “Federally backed mortgage loans” (a term that is explained in the FAQ) and that this information only applies to these Federally backed mortgage loans, and do not address other situations or loan types.

Educational Webinars

Watch SBDC Director Judy Mahan share updates on the additional funding for the federal EIDL and PPP loans, and Morris and Garritano Insurance HR Business Consultant, Louise Matheny and Director of Compliance, Keith Dunlop provide insights on employer’s responsibilities during this time including how to navigate through the FFCRA.

Watch Small Business Development Center Director Judy Mahan and employment law specialist Kathy Eppright from Andre, Morris and Buttery share updates on federal funding and employer practices, below.

Watch our webinar with SLO City Manager Derek Johnson and SBDC Director Judy Mahan on COVID-19 crisis resources for business, below.

Watch employment law specialist Kathy Eppright and accountant Tim Dossa share what business owners need to know during this ever-changing situation.

Watch Judy Mahan, Director of the Cal Poly SBDC give a primer on Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

All small business in San Luis Obispo County are now in a declared disaster area. If your business has suffered substantial economic injury you may be eligible for an EIDL. You can start your application here.

The Community Foundation SLO | Disaster Support Fund Rapid Response Grants Available for Local Nonprofits

Visit California | Coronavirus Resources for California Tourism Industry

Please reach out if you know of an additional resource you think should be on this list or if there is anything the SLO Chamber team can do to be of service to you.