COVID-19 Guidance for Employers
Employer Info / FAQs
North Coast SBDC

The Smart Center

CA Employment Development Department

CA Department of Labor

Society for Human Resource Management
Multi-Employer Layoff Help Events
Multi-Employer/Employee Layoff Help Event on Friday, April 3rd from 10 - 11:30 am. Learn more and register here.

  • North Coast SBDC, The Smart Center/Job Market and partners will co-host the first of several virtual events for employers and employees in Humboldt County.
  • TODAY: Support for Employers in Crisis. North Coast SBDC "Surviving Together" Webinar Series # 3 on Friday, March 27 12-1 pm. Register here by 11 am on the day of the webinar to receive your Zoom login link. Webinar will be recorded.

Hiring Employees
Essential Services businesses! If you're hiring to respond to increased demand  (grocery, stockers, delivery drivers, etc) 

  • Turn to The Job Market for help posting jobs and hiring.
  • You can also just email your job posting info to (Angela Dennis, Program Supervisor, Smart Business Resource Center, Eureka, O: 707.382.3414)

Del Norte

Form I-9 Alert: From 3/20 - 5/19/2020 employers may perform inspection of I9 form via webcam, email, or fax.
Keeping Employees
  • Employers who have been affected by COVID-19 but want to avoid permanent layoffs might consider the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program. This program allows you to retain your workers by reducing their hours and wages 10 - 60% and partially offset the wage loss with UI benefits. Visit the EDD web site to apply for CA Work-Share Program.
  • An employer may furlough employees rather than permanently laying off. (Also called "temporary layoffs" and similar to an unpaid leave of absence.) A furlough is a mandatory period of time off work without pay initiated by the employer and intended to be for a temporary or limited duration. The employee should be encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance immediately. They may remain eligible for benefits, including health insurance coverage. A furlough helps an employer reduce its compensation costs and potentially also hiring costs when it brings furloughed employees back to work instead of having to hire and train replacements. Read more on SHRM page.

Del Norte County

Humboldt County
  • Email to (1) talk with a SBDC business advisor about how to decide or plan layoffs, (2) access a Rapid Response layoff event to help your employees connect to services while unemployed.
  • Employers and Employees: sign up for the first Multi-Employer/Employee Virtual Layoff Help Event on Friday, April 3rd 10-11:30 am. (Humboldt County only - In Del Norte, please contact Del Norte Workforce Center for help.)
  • Employers affected by closure or lay offs please complete and send the Laid-off Employee Roll Sheet immediately so your employees can access special services through the Dislocated Worker Program. Send it to and cc Direct questions about dislocated worker services to: Angela Dennis, Program Supervisor, Smart Business Resource Center, Eureka, O: 707.382.3414
Recent Legislation...
Tax Filing & Tax Credits
State. Reminder: you can request 60 day extension of state payroll tax reporting and payments. Call EDD for help: 1-888-745-3886

Federal. In case you missed it, click here for March 20th announcement that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.
WARN Act Update
CA Governor suspends 60-day WARN notice requirement for *some* businesses.
CARES Act ( Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security)

Highlights from

  • Small and medium businesses with fewer than 500 workers will be able to apply for government-backed, forgivable ["paycheck protection"] loans to cover the costs of their workers’ wages, as well as some other business expenses such as rent, up to a maximum of $10 million. If companies lay off workers, however, parts of the loan will not be forgiven.

  • For workers who still lose their jobs, the bill offers additional support to unemployment programs.

  • It creates a special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that will expand coverage to the self-employed, independent contractors and people with limited work history, who typically are iced out of the benefit.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Click here for information on the Dept of Labor web site
  • Effective April 1st. Not retroactive.
  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • Expanded paid sick leave changes
  • Family & medical leave changes
North Coast SBDC Center Service Continuity
Stay Updated COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Small Business is updated daily or more:

Get Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 for your business  here and download the California SBDC's COVID-19 Survival Guide for Small Business here .

Sign up for the Small Business Emergency Response mailing list:

Get confidential layoff or closure help ... manage and support your employees during forced closures or layoffs emailing or calling (707) 445-9720

Get confidential management or finance help ... figure out how to maximize income, reduce expenses, apply for disaster funding and more by signing up to speak with a business advisor at
Is the Center headquarters open?
The office is closed BUT your North Coast SBDC team is working from home during our Shelter in Place order. Please call 707-445-9720 or email instead. Visit the  North Coast SBDC Service Continuity Update page   to understand how we are handling your needs and questions. 

Also, please be aware that staff are working at top intensity to respond to increased demand during the crisis so please start by accessing the resources above to see if we've already answered your question.

Is my workshop still running?
Probably. Most of our workshops through May are still on and are being offered virtually via Zoom. Register for the workshops you want to attend and we will send you login instructions. You'll need a computer, decent Internet speed, and ideally a separate phone. The workshops that require a high level of interaction and/or computer labs will be postponed.

Can I still meet with my business advisor?
Yes. Our advisors are independent contractors so we leave it up to you two to decide where and how to meet. Many of our advisors are prepared to meet with you by phone and/or videoconference to make sure you continue to get the help you need.

How do I use Zoom to access services virtually?
Zoom is the videoconferencing services we're using to deliver our workshops live. Most of our business advisors are also using to be in communication with you. It's flexible--can be used as a phone service, a videoconference service, to share views of what's on your computer so you can look at financial statements together, etc.

Please make sure that you have downloaded and installed the  Zoom program  on your computer in advance. It’s fairly fast and easy, but does take a few minutes.

And if this is your first time here is a short video tutorial on YouTube from Geeks on Tour: How do I join a Zoom meeting?
North Coast Small Business Development Center
Humboldt: (707) 445-9720 | Del Norte: (707) 464-2168
North Coast SBDC Learning Programs also generously funded by: