COVID-19 Update: Resources for Business Owners

RESOURCES AVAILABLE 

FOR CANNABIS BUSINESSES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

CANNABIS BUSINESSES DEEMED ESSENTIAL, ALLOWED TO STAY OPEN AS PART OF MAYOR’S ‘SAFER AT HOME’ EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING COVID-19

On March 19, Mayor Garcetti issued a ‘Safer at Home’ emergency order — ordering all residents of the City of Los Angeles to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.

Under the Mayor's ‘Safe At Home’ Order cannabis businesses with Temporary Approval are authorized to stay open in the City of Los Angeles. 
Please see the bolded excerpt of the order below.  For a link to the entire Emergency Order click here

City of Los Angeles Stay at Home Emergency Order:

Under the provisions of Section 231(i) of the Los Angeles City Charter and Chapter 3, Section 8.27 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code, I hereby declare the following orders to be necessary for the protection of life and property in the City of Los Angeles, effective on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 11:59 PM:

2. Subject only to the exceptions outlined in this Paragraph and Paragraph 5 below, all businesses within the City of Los Angeles are ordered to cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace :

(vii) Essential Activities Exempt. Certain business operations and activities are exempt from the provisions of this Order, on the grounds that they provide services that are recognized to be critical to the health and well-being of the City. 


These include: (a) All healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care providers, mental and behavioral health providers, substance use providers, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers. Healthcare operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

City of Los Angeles Resources for Business Owners

City of Los Angeles Resilience Toolkit for Los Angeles Businesses

The Mayor’s Office of Community Business, the Economic Workforce and Development Department, and the City’s Business Portal have developed a ‘Resilience Toolkit for Los Angeles Businesses’ to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Toolkit includes resources for impacted businesses, resources for impacted workers, an emergency response checklist and more.

To access the Toolkit, click here.

Los Angeles City Small Business Emergency Microloan Program

The newly established Small Business Emergency Microloan Program now provides financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises in this time of acute need. Businesses that meet the criteria may apply online for a City of LA Small Business Emergency Microloan that provides loans from $5,000 to $20,000.

To view eligibility criteria and to receive additional information, click here.

Economic and Workforce Development Department Rapid Response Team

If layoffs are unavoidable, then the City’s Rapid Response Team is trained to support your employees and your business free of charge through any transition process. They bring experts to your location to walk your outgoing employees through the Unemployment Insurance Benefits process, and various other resources to support them in transitioning to a job as quickly as possible. 

To learn more about this service, click here.

State and County Resources for Business Owners

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation offers a Layoff Alternative Program

The County’s Layoff Aversion Program (Layoff Alternatives) is provided at no cost or obligation. Confidential consulting for businesses is performed as part of LAEDC’s non-profit, public-benefit mission to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs in the regions of Los Angeles County. Services include:

  • Resources for hiring and training employees, including giving existing workers new skills to help you compete; 
  • Identify incentives and resources that can save you money; 
  • Assistance with access to financing; 
  • Resources for permitting, utility problems, tax problems, staff training, cost containment, transition of ownership, real estate issues, and more. 

For additional information on this program, click here.

Resources from the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA)

Los Angeles County DCBA has launched an informational video on LA County resources for small businesses during a public health emergency.  

Additional resource videos will be forthcoming on the LA County DCBA Youtube Channel. 

For additional information, click here.

State of California COVID-19 Response FAQs

The State of California is working to support people financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. There are benefits available to workers and employers during this time. One important thing to note is that the state has removed waiting periods for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and published resources for workers affected by COVID-19, which employers can share with employees as necessary.

The state has also extended the state tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 for all California taxpayers.

In addition to the above, California has developed a webpage with Frequently Asked Questions and Resources for employers.

To access these resources, visit their website here.

State of California Employee Payment Assistance

Employers can apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) 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. 

For more information on this program, click here.

COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY RESOURCES

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for businesses and employers. The interim guidance is based on what is currently known about COVID-19. Some of the recommended strategies for employers include: 

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. 
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance. 
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees. 
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning. 
  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, or dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools. 
  • Create an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan 

For a full list of updated suggestions and guidelines, click here.

Ways for Small Business to Mitigate the Effects of COVID-19

  • Find alternatives that work for your business. (teleconferencing, live streaming,etc.) 
  • Cancel work travel. 
  • Don’t force employees to attend big meetings. 
  • Look into business interruption insurance. 
  • Risk management planning that puts a framework in place to allow key business functions to continue. 
  • Ready yourself for operational disruption. 
  • Look into continuity of supply. Consider diversifying products and/or services if you are unable to find manufacturers from unaffected areas. 
  • Encourage healthy behaviors in your team by following CDC recommendations. 
  • Engage with customers. Continue to communicate with them to provide reassurance. Market and promote protective measures you’ve implemented. 
  • Support other local Los Angeles small businesses.  
  • Access capital through a financial institution, LA BusinessSource Center, or SBA office.  

STAY UPDATED

Sources for the Latest Information and Business Resources:

Sign up for NotifyLA, the City’s emergency alerts system, which we are using to push out updates about COVID-19 prevention. Please encourage your families and friends to do the same.