Message from the President/CEO

Welcome to 2021! On behalf of our leadership and board of directors, I wish you a Happy New Year and hope this message finds you safe and healthy. We are seven days into the new year, and we are already hard at work in providing timely programs and webinars – including information on the latest stimulus package and the second-draw paycheck protection program (PPP) that is so critical to many of our businesses; a career and professional education series; and many more updates and services to our membership. Many of these details are included in this issue of your Chamber Express.

We also continue to update our COVID resource page for our members and the Long Beach business community, which once again you can find some of that information in this issue and also by clicking here. This includes the latest on the California Small Business Relief grant which has been in the news recently. Nonprofits are also eligible, and we encourage both our small business and nonprofit members to apply. If we can be of help or if you have questions about these programs or any of the assistance our Chamber team is here to assist and can be contacted here.

Lastly, I want to address the violence and disruption that occurred yesterday in our nation’s Capitol, which was nothing short of horrific. Our nation, while battling this current health and economic crisis, saw one of our darkest days for our democracy. I know that I speak for many who strongly condemn the assault on the heart of American democracy. Yet, even in the context of this unrest, I am confident in the strength of our American institutions and our resiliency as a nation. As we move past this dark day, we must look forward to a period of national healing.

I look forward to continuing to assist our business community, pushing forward to reopening our economy as the vaccines roll out, and once again seeing you all in person when appropriate. Be well and stay resilient!

-Jeremy Harris

  • The state announced a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. The color-coded tiers, ranging from purple (widespread) to yellow (minimal), place Long Beach and all of Los Angeles into the purple category. The new tiers also dictate the reopening phase. Details regarding what’s allowed to be open and what’s closed under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy are available at https://covid19.ca.gov/.



Federal Pandemic Relief

  • On December 27, 2020 the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133) funding bill into law to provide more than $900 billion in emergency assistance for individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic.  
  • Beyond PPP expansion to nonprofit associations and other 501(c)(6) organizations, the year-end legislation includes several important provisions for first – and second – PPP applicants:
  • Loans are available until March 31, 2021 (i.e., deadline to apply for PPP).
  • The loan forgiveness process is simplified for loans of $150,000 or less.
  • Organizations with 300 or fewer employees that can demonstrate a revenue decline of at least 25-percent
  • in any quarter in 2020 over the same quarter in 2019 can receive a second PPP loan of up to $2 million.
  • $35 billion of PPP funds are reserved for first time loan recipients.
  • Forgiven PPP loans will not be classified as income and tax deductions are now allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of forgiven PPP loans.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
  • Additional $20 billion added to the EIDL Program. These loans provide eligible applicants with favorable 30-year loans accompanied by forgivable grants, as an advance, of up to $10,000. Payments on these loans are deferred for a year. Applicants must employ 500 or fewer employees and demonstrate a working capital loss due to COVID.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)
  • Extends the refundable tax credit starting January 1, 2021 through July 1, 2021 and significantly expands access:
  • Increases the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 for each quarter; • Increases the credit rate from 50 percent to 70 percent of qualified wages; • Expands eligibility by reducing the required year-over-year decline in gross receipts from 50 percent to 20 percent;
  • Increases the 100-employee delineation for “large employers” for determining the relevant qualified wage base to employers with 500 or fewer employees;
  • Allows employers with 500 or fewer employees to advance the credit at any point during the quarter based on wages paid in the same quarter in a previous year; and
  • Retroactive to the CARES Act, this bill would clarify that employers who received a PPP loan may still qualify for the ERTC with respect to wages that are not paid with forgiven PPP loans.
  • Child Care and Developmental Block Grant (CCDGB)
  • $10 billion in federal grants to provide childcare subsidies for low-income families with children under age 13. The CCDBG also allows for flexibility to pair state and federal funds to improve the overall quality of childcare available to families within existing state and local systems.
  • Payroll Tax Deferral
  • Employers that utilized the payroll tax deferral executive order issued in September would now have until the end of 2021 to pay back deferred taxes, rather than the end of April.
  • Health & Vaccines
  • $69 billion for vaccines, testing, tracing, and to support community health and health care providers
  • Direct Payments
  • Includes another round of stimulus checks of $600 for individuals who make up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples who make up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible dependent
  • Unemployment Insurance 
  • Extends federally enhanced unemployment benefits at $300 per week through March 14, 2021. Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides enhanced benefits to those self-employed, gig workers and others in non-traditional employment through 3/14/21 and offers a phase-out to that program with three weeks of additional benefits. 
  • Rental Assistance
  • Creates an emergency federal rental assistance program run by the Treasury Department and administered by state and local governments. Includes $25 billion in funding for the program, which will provide targeted assistance to renters impacted by the pandemic. Eligible renters will be able to use this assistance for past due rent, future rent payments, as well as to pay utility and energy bills and prevent shutoffs. The eviction moratorium was also extended through the end of January 2021
  • Universal Charitable Deduction
  • Includes an extension of the $300 universal charitable deduction for nonitemizers through 2021 and doubles the cap to $600 for joint filers.
  • Other
  • Transportation: $45 billion
  • Education: $82 billion
  • Nutrition and agriculture: $26 billion
  • Community development: $12 billion
  • Broadband access: $7 billion

REMINDER! 


  • Governor Newsom and the Legislature announced a package of assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including $500 million in grants.
  • The Round 1 application deadline has been extended from January 8 to January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
  • This grant program is not first come, first served, nor a rolling approval process.
  • All applications will be reviewed following the now extended application deadline. The funds will then be disbursed as originally planned to avoid any possible delay to small business owners receiving their grants.
  • To apply click here.
Providing Free PPE to your business
LA County has partnered with public and private sector organizations to create access to personal protective equipment for small businesses across the County of Los Angeles through PPE Unite™. 

PPE for small businesses may include: Face masks, Hand sanitizers and Face shields. Get your Free PPE here
Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund

Wells Fargo announced a $2.6 million small business recovery grant to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation (PCR) and Genesis LA Economic Growth Corporation (Genesis LA) to help small businesses manage the economic effects of COVID-19 during the holiday season and beyond. Wells Fargo’s funding will help increase access to capital with low rate loans for diverse Los Angeles County small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

With $2.1M in funding from the Open For Business Fund, Pacific Coast Regional has established the People of Color Business Elevation Fund focused on helping Black and Brown small businesses across southern California recover. The People of Color Business Elevation Fund will provide low rate micro-disaster loans up to $50,000 to eligible and impacted diverse small businesses. Those interested in applying can apply now at APPLY HERE.

Genesis LA will deploy its $550,000 award to provide financial support to small businesses who are struggling to pay bills due to lower profit margins and higher expenses as a result of the pandemic. With support from Wells Fargo, Genesis LA will provide flexible and forgivable loans to minority led businesses across Los Angeles County. Small business owners interested can begin applying early 2021.
The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing the most up to date resources and assistance on how to locate local, state, and federal guidance, information, support and financing options. 

Please continue to check-in with our COVID-19 resource page at www.lbchamber.com/covid-19/.

For more information on this topic or other questions, please contact Government Affairs Manager Christine Bos at cbos@lbchamber.com or 562-435-9594.
Update on Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Cal/OSHA adopted emergency regulations with the goal of preventing infections and responding to cases and outbreaks in the workplace.

The regulations went into effect on November 30, apply to all employers with employees working outside the home (except health care employers covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard), and are immediately enforceable.

As discussed below, the regulations are separated in to five compliance categories: COVID-19 Prevention Program; Outbreaks; Major Outbreaks; Employer-Provided Housing; and Employer-Provided Transportation.

COVID-19 Prevention Program
Though employers were already required to include COVID-19 elements in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program pursuant to prior guidance documents from Cal/OSHA, the regulation added some specifics and broadened those requirements. According to the regulation, the Prevention Program must be in writing and contain information on the following subjects:

  • System of Communicating COVID-19-Related Information.
  • Identification and Evaluation of Hazards.
  • Investigating and Responding to COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace.
  • Correcting Workplace COVID-19 Hazards.
  • Effective Training and Instruction to Employees Regarding COVID-19.
  • Procedures for Physical Distancing.
  • Face Coverings.
  • Other Infection Controls and Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Reporting, Recordkeeping and Employee Access to Employer COVID-19 Records.
  • Excluding Employees from the Worksite and Job Protection.
  • Return to Work Criteria.

Some key components of the Prevention Program deserve special attention, primarily concerning COVID-19 exposures in the workplace. Under the regulations, when an employee tests positive—regardless of the source of the infection—the employer must conduct contact tracing to determine which areas of the workplace were exposed, as well as whether any close contact occurred between the infected employee and other employees.

First, the employer must determine what areas are now considered an “exposed workplace” pursuant to the regulation, which roughly means any work area the infected employee used or accessed. Once the employer has determined the exposed workplace, it must determine whether the infected employee had close contact with any other employee during the “high-risk period,” which is calculated in two ways:
  • If the infected employee developed symptoms, the high-risk period is two days before symptoms developed until 10 days after the symptoms appeared—as long as the employee has been fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication, and other symptoms have improved.
  • If the infected employee never developed symptoms, the high-risk period is two days before until 10 days after the initial specimen collection for the employee’s first positive test.
  • “Close contact” means the infected employee was within six feet of another employee for a cumulative 15 minutes during any 24-hour period. Whether the employees were wearing face coverings doesn’t change this definition.
Once an employer has determined whether any close contact with the infected employee occurred during the high-risk period, the employer must do the following:
  • Notify all employees who may have had an exposure and their authorized representatives within one business day without revealing the infecting employee’s personal information;
  • Offer no-cost testing during work hours to all exposed employees;
  • Prevent the exposed employees from returning to the worksite until the return-to-work criteria has been satisfied (usually a 10-day isolation, pursuant to recent CDPH guidance) and continue their salary and benefits while the exposed employees remain away from the worksite;
  • Investigate the outbreak and determine whether any protocol changes need to be made; and
  • Record and report COVID-19 cases as appropriate.

Recognizing that the Prevention Program requirements are extensive and detailed, Cal/OSHA released guidance for creating and implementing the Prevention Program. Within this guidance is a model Prevention Program that employers may use as a template to comply with the new mandate.

Outbreaks and Major Outbreaks
An “outbreak” is defined as three or more positive cases at an exposed workplace within a 14-day period. If an employer experiences an outbreak, they must, in addition to the Prevention Program, do the following:

  • Immediately provide no-cost testing to all employees in the exposed workplace and repeat testing again one week later. Employers must continue testing weekly after that until there are zero cases in the workplace for a 14-day period.
  • Employers must contact their local health department within 48 hours of discovering the outbreak.
  • Employers must investigate workplace hazards that may have contributed to the outbreak and make any modifications or corrections to their Prevention Program accordingly.
  • A “major outbreak” is defined as 20 or more positive cases in a 30-day period. If an employer experiences a major outbreak, the employer must, in addition to the Prevention Program, do the following:
  • Immediately provide no-cost testing to all employees in the exposed workplace twice weekly until there are zero cases in the workplace for a 14-day period.
  • Implement ventilation changes to the worksite’s mechanical ventilation systems including using at least a MERV-13 filter or the highest efficiency compatible with the system.
  • Evaluate whether portable HEPA air filtration units are needed due to poor ventilation.
  • Determine the need for a respiratory protection program or changes to an existing program.
  • Consider whether to halt all or part of operations.

Employer-Provided Transportation and Housing
When supplying transportation or housing to workers, employers must meet additional and specific COVID-19 safety protocols, such as providing face coverings, symptom screenings, physical distancing measures, testing availability for exposures, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of the vehicle and housing.
Employers must prioritize assigning vehicles and housing as follows:
  • Group employees together that reside in the same household outside of work.
  • Group employees who work in the same crew or worksite.
  • Group all other employees only if there are no other transportation or housing alternatives available

What’s Next
  • Cal/OSHA will be holding an advisory committee meeting in January to discuss changes to the regulation’s text or to the present Frequently Asked Question document.
  • Cal/OSHA has also promised to release additional FAQ documents in the next few weeks to address ambiguities surrounding some of the most burdensome portions of the regulation, including: (1) employers’ obligation to “maintain” an employee’s “earnings” while they are excluded from the workplace because of potential COVID-19 exposure; (2) the regulation’s notice requirements and their consistency with last year’s AB 685’s similar notice requirements; and (3) the definition of an “exposed workplace” which employers will need to identify when a case is identified in the workplace.
  • After that, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board is expected to hear testimony about the regulations during the March Standards Board meeting.
  • Cal/OSHA specifically requested employers to provide feedback regarding difficulties they have had with complying with the regulations’ testing requirements. So all employers struggling to locate sufficient testing supplies, or unable to find medical facilities where their employees can get prompt testing to comply with the regulation, should document their situations and forward that information to rs@dir.ca.gov.
HR Compliance Alert!
2021 California and Federal
Employment Poster
Compliance Alerts: 2021 all-in-one poster includes mandatory updates effective January 1, 2021 to the California Minimum Wage notice, the EDD’s Notice to Employees (12/30/20), the Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave notice, and to the Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee notice.

Order Here to receive Chamber Member Exclusive Pricing.
California Mandated
Preventative Harassment Training

CA employers with five or more employees must provide harassment prevention training to all employees by January 1, 2021 (supervisors for 2 hours and non supervisory employees for 1 hour). Training must take place within six months of hire or promotion and every two years thereafter.
We've partnered with your fellow chamber member, CABIA to offer online preventative harassment training to our members at the Chamber member only exclusive pricing. Click Here to access the chamber member only training site. Employees: $12 and Supervisors: $18
Featured Speaker:
Patrick Gangitano
Gangitano Law
Good Afternoon Long Beach
Tuesday, 1/12 @ 12:00pm

BRING YOUR LUNCH AND JOIN US VIRTUALLY FOR GOOD AFTERNOON LONG BEACH!

Join us as we hear from Patrick Gangitano of Gangitano Law, PC regarding 2021 employment laws.

Get to know your fellow professionals!

Each attendee will have 30 seconds to present an introduction of their business, so have your best elevator pitch ready!

Stick around for the whole webinar for your chance to win a $50 gift card from Parkers' Lighthouse or a healthy gourmet dinner for 4 people from Primal Alchemy, ready to heat and serve in your home.

American Lending Center
SBA's Paycheck Protection Program Update: Getting Ready for the Next Round
Wednesday, 1/13, 2:00pm-3:00pm

ALC supported over 500 PPP Loan applications on the prior round and have expanded our ability to prepare and execute PPP loans once the program starts accepting loans again.

Join the Conversation!
Friday, 1/15, 10:00am-11:00am

The Chamber’s International Business Association would like to invite you to join us in an open conversation about key issues facing the international trade community. We would like your expertise and insights into the international trade sector which is important and critical to our regional and state economic recovery.

Long Beach Young Professionals Networking Breakfast
Wednesday, 1/27 @ 9:15am

Come join your fellow Long Beach Young Professionals for an educational networking breakfast with featured speaker Mark McGraw, CEO of Sales Engine, LLC/Sandler Training.

Chamber & DeVry Joint Webinar Series

Thursday, January 14th @ 10:00am
Thursday, January 21st @ 10:00am
Friday, January 29th @10:00am
Wednesday, February 3rd @ 10:00am
Wednesday, February 10th @ 10:00am
Wednesday, February 17th @ 10:00am
Wednesday, February 24th @10:00am

SBDC Webinar Series

Tuesday, January 12th @ 10:00am
Wednesday, January 13th @ 2:00pm
Friday, January 15th @ 10:00am
Tuesday, January 19th @ 10:00am
Tuesday, January 19th at 5:00pm
Wednesday, January 20th @ 2:00pm
Friday, January 22nd @ 11:00am
Thursday, January 28th @ 11:00am
COVID-19 and the Digital Divide
10AM-11:30AM on January 8 via Zoom

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s webinar series, Downtown Discussions, returns on January 8, 2021 with a seasoned and diverse panel of technology professionals who will discuss the topic of COVID-19 and the Digital Divide. The virtual event will examine how the pandemic has revealed the extent of the digital divide within Long Beach and urban communities, and how high-speed internet access is becoming a human right. Guest speakers will discuss lessons learned during the pandemic, creative solutions implemented, and how these experiences and initiatives could influence future strategies to address the digital divide – with a contextual focus on urban areas, small business, and Downtown Long Beach. 

The event will take place January 8, 10-11:30 AM, via Zoom Webinar and will also be livestreamed on DLBA’s Facebook account @downtownlongbeach. The event will include a 10-minute introduction, a 60-minute roundtable discussion, and a 20-minutes Q&A session. Audience members may submit questions via Zoom’s Q&A function, and the moderator will ask those she chooses.
Your Advocate: Fall 2020
Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the CATALYST for business growth; a CONVENER of leaders and influencers; and a CHAMPION for a stronger community. Check out our Fall 2020 edition of our magazine featuring our statewide ballot measure positions and Chamber endorsed candidates.

Also Featuring:
Erik Miller for Long Beach Unified School District
Al Austin for 8th District City Council
Cindy Allen for 2nd District City Council
Circle Marina Speedwash

Please note: The Chamber's "Your Advocate" magazine is temporarily distributed digitally.


Adin Miller, CPA
Adin Miller, CPA New York Life Agent
Helping people obtain financial security through fulfilling their preplanning needs: whether this be retirement planning, college funding planning, Long Term Care planning, and/or simple to complex life insurance planning.

Gangitano Law, PC
Gangitano Law, PC is a law firm specializing in business law and employment law matters.

Tinsel and Bow Gifting Services
Since 2015 Tinsel & Bow has been making gifting easier on the givers and delightful for the recipients. Whether its gift design, consultation or fulfillment we can take care of all your corporate and social gifting needs.

DS Technicians, Inc. dba
Fitness Machine Technicians/LA Coast
Fitness Machine Technicians Los Angeles Coast specializes in fitness equipment repairs and maintenance along the Los Angeles Coast including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Culver City, Inglewood & Torrance.

Cutco
Cutco is a line of American made, forever guaranteed items for the kitchen and outdoors. Everything from cutlery sets, cookware, flatware, garden tools, and more.