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Chambers of commerce share business guidance, resources 

–The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and Templeton Chamber of Commerce are reaching out to businesses and community members with suggestions, guidance, and resources during the coming weeks of closures.

The Center for Disease Control and the SLO County Board of Public Health have recommended keeping gatherings to under 50 people. This has an impact on any business that relies on high traffic, in person interactions.

It is critical that the community support these businesses during this temporary slow in traffic. The Paso Robles chamber provided the following suggestions to ensure the continued economic health of impacted businesses:

– Order food to go and tip service staff generously
– Write positive reviews for local business on Yelp and other review sites
– Buy gift cards to your favorite local businesses to use once the situation improves
– Consider donating the cost of your ticket to a canceled event back to the event hosts instead of asking for a refund

The Paso Robles Chamber is in conversation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other similar organizations including tourism partners, city officials, and community partners in order to effectively bring you the resources you need for healthy business practices during this time.

The chamber is also working with platform providers to establish an online communal marketplace where people can buy gift cards to their favorite local small businesses. (Note that the City of Paso Robles has temporarily limited on-site alcohol sales from Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. to Wednesday, March 18 at 12:01 p.m.

California Governor Newsom has called for closure of bars, pubs, and wineries. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance would like to inform the public that this closure only applies to in-person tastings, not wine pickups or sales. All members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines’ preventative workplace measures.

The Federal government is poised to pass a Coronavirus response act that aims to, among other things, provide relief to small business and their employees. H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act has several provisions relevant to small businesses in Paso Robles.

Click here to read the full text for specific information as to the qualification conditions.

– Section 4102: 1 billion for unemployment compensation related to the virus.
– Section 7001: Refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified paid sick leave paid by employers.
– Section 7002: Refundable tax credit equal to 100% for sick leave for self-employed individuals who must self-quarantine due to Coronavirus.

The Paso Robles Chamber, in accordance with CDC and SLO County Public Health Department guidelines, is canceling all in-person events through April 10, 2020.


Templeton Chamber of Commerce logo

Update from the Templeton Chamber

Late last night, the Governor issued several new Executive Orders and the CA Dept. of Public Health posted some related guidance, including Halting eviction proceedings during the Covid-19 pandemic and working with utility companies to ensure consumers do not incur late payment fines during this time period.
In conjunction with the Federal government, the availability of loans for small businesses, up to $2M, with a payback over the course of a two-year period. Waiving of enforcement of expired CA licenses and vehicle registration for 60 days.

The state has procured two hotel leases for the purposes of housing those who are currently unsheltered, with jurisdiction being turned over to local authorities to assess priority. Gyms and movie theaters are now directed to close. Restaurants are directed to operate on a take-out only basis with no in-restaurant dining.

Here are the key related takeaways from the CDPH guidelines:

Retail Beverage Service Venues
Bars, wineries, breweries, and pubs should be closed, except for venues that are currently authorized to provide off-sale beer and wine to be consumed off-premises are allowed. (This means you can still sell from a tasting room, but no public tastings.) This guidance is not intended to affect the production of beer and wine. Bars, breweries, pubs, and wineries that include meals provided by a full kitchen should follow the restaurant guidance below if they provide delivery or pick-up options.

Restaurants/Cafeterias
Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing per CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection guidance of all hard surfaces, including tables and countertops that are being utilized by employees and patrons during pickup/delivery options.”

Remind employees of best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Restaurants should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and should be open only to a drive-through or other pick-up/delivery options.

Here is a link to the CDPH guidance.

Here is a link to the Governor’s speech.

Restaurants selling bottles of wine with takeout 
We connected with Jacob Applesmoth, Director of ABC, and he said that as long as there was nothing in a restaurant’s permit specifically prohibiting sales of bottles of wine, restaurants could also sell bottles of wine with their take out food.

Employee resources

Some may have to layoff or reduce the hours for hourly employees. Programs and resources to support them are evolving. Immediately, they should apply for unemployment insurance. The one-week unpaid waiting period has been waived and they will not have to look for another job if this is a temporary layoff. Right now, provide them with these resources:
ResourcesEDD:
https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm

If your employee has questions and needs any kind of support, 211 may be able to answer. They can call (211), text 211211, or go online.

The Templeton Chamber of Commerce created a page on their website that we will keep updated as new resources get released for businesses. Please bookmark the page: https://www.templetonchamber.com/covid-19-resources/

Their office will be closed to the public but their CEO will be working remotely and still available by phone at (805) 434-1789 or email jessica@templetonchamber.com.

The Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) has compiled a list of resources now available for employees and employers who have been impacted by COVID-19. This was created by the EDC for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, however, it has valuable information that could be very useful for our local businesses in SLO County.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance is working with the State of California to complete this step. Once SBA makes an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration in response to a Governor’s request, small businesses in primary declared counties, as well as contiguous counties, will be able to apply online for EIDL assistance at SBA.gov/disaster. Visit this site for more information: SBA.gov/coronavirus. For COVID-19 questions & concerns go to: ReadySLO.org.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians: https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/

Employment Development Department Resources for FAQs about COVID-19 and employees https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

Visit SLO CAL is working closely with the California Travel Association (CalTravel) to communicate directly with Lenny Mendonca in the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development about the impacts our communities and industry partners are facing. They have drafted a survey to help quantify and qualify the impacts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9R3HSFJ.



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.