Business Updates For December 10, 2020
Shop Ventura - Save Ventura

‘Tis the Season for shopping local. Join the annual Elf Giveaway sponsored by our friends at Visit Ventura.

This holiday season, the Elf will lend a helping hand to the "Shop Ventura, Save Ventura" campaign by giving away unique local gifts. In any year, Visit Ventura’s Elf Giveaway has been a great way for smaller businesses to boost their business in a competitive shopping season. Now more than ever our local shops need your support...because when you Shop Ventura, you Save Ventura!

Regional Stay At Home Order Effective December 6, 2020

The State of California issued a new Regional Stay-at-Home Order that is triggered when a region falls below 15% remaining ICU capacity. 

The County of Ventura is (currently) in the Southern California region, a region that includes the following counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

On Friday, December 4, 2020, the California Department of Public Health reported that the Southern California region's ICU capacity dropped to 13.2%, thereby triggering the new Stay-at-Home Order in Ventura County. This order will remain in effect for at least 3-weeks.

The Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo have petitioned the Governors Office to exit the Southern California region and create a smaller, Central Coast region. For additional details about this effort, please see the article below.

The following activities and industry sectors must now close:
  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and "bubbles" are highly encouraged.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Outdoor operations only.
  • Grocery Stores: 35% capacity
  • Farmers Markets: principal business activity is the sale of food, may operate at 35%.

*Outdoor playgrounds are now allowed to reopen

COVID-19 Testing Sites

The County of Ventura is encouraging everyone to go frequently for COVID-19 testing. It is easy, free, and conveniently located at a variety of sites throughout the County. Testing and tracing are key tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The best way to keep our businesses open continues to be to:
  • Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Self-isolate if you are sick
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household
  • Avoid participating in group/private gatherings with others from outside your household (group gatherings continue to be a high-risk activity)
  • Make a plan to get tested regularly

Reserve the County of Ventura Mobile Testing Unit For Your Business or Organization

The County of Ventura has recently launched the Ventura County Mobile Testing Taskforce (MTT), a mobile testing trailer that can be reserved to provide COVID-19 tests for your business or organization. The MTT is a service provided free of charge by the County of Ventura in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Mobile Testing Team Onsite Testing Requirements Include:

  • Business or organization must have at least 100 people that would like to get tested for the COVID-19 virus. Maximum capacity is typically 300 individuals.
  • Outdoor location must include 100' x 50' open space suitable for parking and maneuvering a truck and 28' trailer.
  • Host location must provide access to restroom facilities for the testing staff within 200' walking distance of the testing location. 
  • Businesses and organizations are responsible for traffic control during the event within their premises.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Your scheduled testing event may be postponed or even canceled if the Mobile Testing Taskforce is deployed to another location to handle a mass COVID-related exposure incident.
  • Sign up requests are subject to review and approval. County staff will confirm your reservation by contact within 24 hours.

Click HERE for more information or to reserve the mobile testing unit.
Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Seek to Exit State’s Large Southern California Region Under the Stay Home Order to Create Smaller Central Coast Region

The County of Ventura, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County are seeking State approval to separate from the large Southern California Region under the State’s Stay Home Order to create a smaller tri-county Central Coast Region.

The Counties have submitted a unified request for the smaller regional approach if the tri-county ICU capacity exceeds 15% in the next three weeks. At that time the Counties will request to be assessed based on the tri-county ICU capacity and not the Southern California Regional ICU capacity.

Petition: Evaluate Central Coast as Sub-Region in Regional Stay at Home Order
Our partners at the Ventura Chamber of Commerce have created a petition that endorses this approach and invite you to join them in supporting the Supervisors by adding your name to the petition.

New State Programs Announced To Assist Businesses

View the recently announced programs below on tax extensions, tax credits, upcoming grant relief and state and local loan options for your small business.

State and Local Tax Extension
California businesses will experience immediate relief in the form of tax deferrals. Small businesses are encouraged to use the sale tax they have already collected to float any applicable obligations. The tax extension is based on sales made and sales tax collected as follows:
  • Provides an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return.
  • Extend the availability existing interest and penalty free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales. Note- businesses in this category must fill out an online form.
  • Broaden opportunities for more businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements.
  • Expand interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.
For more information CLICK HERE

Main Street Hiring Tax Credit
On September 9, 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1447 establishing $100 million in hiring tax credits to small businesses with 100 or fewer employees as of December 31, 2019.
  • An eligible small business can receive $1,000 tax credit for each net new hire that occurred during the second half of 2020 (up to a maximum tax credit of $100,000 per business). 
  • The tax credit can be used against personal and corporate income tax liabilities or sales and use tax liabilities from the 2020 tax year.
  • To qualify, the small business must experience a 50% decrease in gross receipts in the Second Quarter of 2020 compared to the Second Quarter of 2019.
  • In addition, the small business must have a net increase in new hires between July 2020 through November 2020 as compared with the prior quarter (April 2020 through June 2020).
Small businesses must apply for a tax credit registration between December 1, 2020 and January 15, 2021 with the California Department of Tax & Fee Administration (CDTFA). Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis; it is important to apply as early as possible.
For more information and to book your reservation CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Relief Grant for Small Businesses
The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID-19 Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to undeserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Cultural institutions and non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible – to sign up for updates on availability CLICK HERE

Tuesday, December 15, 10:30 a.m.
Join SCORE for a free webinar titled "QuickBooks® Online and Best Accounting Practices for Small Businesses." This live, interactive webinar session is designed to help you understand the features, functions and benefits of QuickBooks® Online for small business owners as well as assist you in implementing accounting best practices to manage your business finances.

Wednesday, December 16, 10:00 a.m.
Join SCORE for a free event titled "Social Media Marketing that Gets Results. Plus a look a Facebook's Recent Changes." Social Media is a powerful tool to use in your marketing mix. It works for both businesses and non-profits. In this webinar we will take a look at how it can work for your organization. We will discuss best practices, give you some tips and show real-world examples. Plus we will also take a look at Facebook's recent changes.

EDC Webinar "Creative Solutions for Commercial Landlords and Tenants During COVID-19". The webinar covered commercial leasing and finding creative solutions to tenant-landlord disputes during COVID-19 with partners and associate attorneys from Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones, & Feingold. Their excellent panel with extensive experience in lease negotiation, civil litigation, and resolving business disputes reviewed:  
  • Lease provisions during COVID-19
  • The September eviction moratorium
  • Effect of bankruptcies on commercial tenancies
  • Strategies to achieving win-win solutions for both tenants and landlords
  • View the recorded presentation HERE

Regional Stay At Home Order (December 6, 2020)

Ventura County COVID-19 Updates, Business Registration & Testing Info

COVID-19 Hotline
For inquiries regarding state and local orders or COVID-19 business compliance questions or concerns, please call the County of Ventura COVID-19 Hotline at:
  • 1 (844) VC-OPENS or 1 (844) 826-7367

CDC Updates

City of Ventura - My Ventura Bi-Weekly Newsletter

Download & Print Free COVID-19 Print & Digital Graphics
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