The City of Lancaster recognizes the impact COVID-19 is having on local businesses and our regional economy. Here, we have compiled resources to assist you during closures mandated by Los Angeles County and ultimately for recovery. Please check back often for updates as new resources become available.
Special thanks to the City of Los Angeles for the source material for this toolkit.
Business Loans & Financial Assistance
City of Lancaster Stand Strong Reopening Assistance Program
In an effort to help small businesses prepare to reopen as quickly and safely as possible under the guidelines of Los Angeles County and the State of California, the Lancaster City Council has enacted the Stand Strong Reopening Assistance Program. The program is designed to lessen the costs of reopening for small businesses, save business owners time and effort sourcing hard-to-find supplies, and keep our community safe as we reopen our economy.
For more information and to apply, click here.
On March 24th, the Lancaster City Council directed the issuance of up to $1,250,000 in loan funds to aid small businesses in Lancaster through the Stand Strong Business Recovery Loan Program. Qualifying businesses may apply for no- and low-interest loans of $5,000 - $20,000.
For more information and to apply, click here.
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts COVID-19 Rebate Program
The Sanitation Districts have created a rebate program to aid businesses facing financial challenges due to COVID-19. The program allows commercial users and properties with reduced wastewater discharges to potentially receive a reduction in their wastewater discharge service charges for the period from March 20 to June 30, 2020. For more information and to apply, click here.
LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund
The LA Regional COVID-19 is a partnership between Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and corporate and philanthropic partners to provide relief to small businesses and microenterprises. The Fund has three program components:
- Grants: The Fund will deploy $3 million in grant funding in several rounds over the course of four months, beginning July 6th. Grant amounts are $5,000 for micro-entrepreneurs and $15,000 for small businesses and non-profits. Details and applications are available here.
- Loans: The Fund will deploy loans for micro-businesses, small businesses, and non-profits throughout the region in Fall 2020.
- Coaching and Technical Assistance: The Fund partners with community organizations to provide free technical assistance and one-on-one coaching before, during, and after loan and grant application submission. For details, click here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Loan Advance through the Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The CARES Act provided for a $10,000 cash advance to be awarded within 3 days of a successful application, which does not have to be repaid.
- Apply online, receive additional information, and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
- For more information, call (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
- For information about available SBA resources and services, visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.
Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration
The Paycheck Protection Program provides federally guaranteed loans to qualifying small businesses through the Small Business Administration, which can be forgiven if certain criteria are met. Additional funding was approved on April 24. If you had previously applied for the program and were notified that funding ran out, check with your bank or lender as soon as possible to determine your application status. Some institutions held applications pending in a queue, while others may have discontinued the process, in which case a business would need to reapply.
Businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as funds are expected to run out. You can apply through any participating lender; a complete list as of April 23 is available here.
- Paycheck Protection Program Guide and Checklist
- Guidance from the US Treasury
- Application Form
- Frequently Asked Questions
Main Street Lending Program through the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve has established the Main Street Lending Program to enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. Loans are offered via eligible banks. For more information, click here.
State of California
Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank)
IBank offers loan programs for businesses affected by disasters in California. IBank, a unit within California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), offers the following loan programs for businesses from one to 750 employees (small businesses) through its Small Business Finance Center:
- Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program: Loan guarantees up to 95% of the loan to help small business borrowers impacted by disasters who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital.
- Jump Start Loan Program: Loans from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in the declared disaster and emergency areas.
California Capital Access Program (CalCAP)
CalCAP encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. CalCAP is a form of loan portfolio insurance which may provide up to 100% coverage on certain loan defaults. Loan proceeds can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including inventory purchases and working capital. Click here for more information.
Loans under this program are also eligible for a Severely Affected Community (SAC) Contribution.
Jewish Free Loan Association
The Jewish Free Loan Association offers no-fee, interest-free loans to a variety of borrowers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Loan recipients must have a guarantor. For more information, visit jfla.org.
Open for Business
The City of Lancaster has created the "Open for Business" portal in collaboration with Bludot to provide businesses with an opportunity to communicate their current status to the public. The portal is featured in social media, e-newsletter, print, and other City marketing campaigns. To add or update your business, click here or visit cityoflancasterca.org/open.
Outdoor Dining Program
To combat the intermittent closures of indoor dining and provide a mechanism for patrons to enjoy outdoor dining, the City has established the Dine Out Lancaster program. For more information and to apply, visit cityoflancasterca.org/dineout.
Take Out & Chill
The City created the "Take Out & Chill" campaign to highlight restaurants offering takeout and curbside service amidst COVID-19. This list is regularly featured in social media, e-news, and other City marketing efforts. To include your business, click here or visit cityoflancasterca.org/open.
To mitigate the impact of closures on fitness-related businesses and provide the community with an avenue to stay healthy, the City Council has instituted the "Stand Strong, Stay Active" program. The program allows Lancaster fitness businesses to rent a portion of City parks to host their fitness classes in, free of charge.
For more information and to apply, visit cityoflancasterca.org/stayactive.
Employee Financial Assistance
- Keep LA Working and Worker Resiliency Funds offer grants for workers unemployed due to COVID-19. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible; funds are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and only available through June 30.
- State of California One-Stop Portal for Assistance & Job Opportunities
- Sick or Quarantined - File a disability insurance claim if you are unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19.
- Caregiving - File a paid family leave claim if unable to work because caring for ill or quarantined family member. Up to six weeks of benefits, processed and issued in a few weeks.
- School Closures - You may be eligible for unemployment insurance if school is closed and you have no other care options and if you are unable to work your normal hours remotely.
- Reduced Work Hours - If employer reduces hours or shuts down, file an unemployment insurance claim to prove partial replacement benefit.
- Self Employed - Available benefits through insurance programs; to be eligible, you and your employer must have made contributions in the past five to ten months. Please note that self-employed individuals and independent contractors are eligible to apply for benefits under new program guidelines.
Employer & Employee Resources
- America's Job Center of California - Rapid Response Program
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources through SBA
- Employer & Employee Resources
- CISA: Risk Management for COVID-19
A number of government entities and utilities have put policies in place to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Click below to learn more.
- City of Lancaster Eviction Moratorium and Emergency Ordinances
- SoCal Gas Suspension of Service Disconnections
- Southern California Edison Suspension of Service Disconnections
- Federal Tax Day Delayed to July 15th
- State of California Tax Day Delayed to July 15th for Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19
- State of California Tax, Regulatory and Licensing Extensions for Businesses
Small Business Recovery Resource
The City of Lancaster is here to help! We have established a dedicated team of staff members who stand ready to assist you in identifying available resources to help get your business through, and ultimately recover from, the pandemic. For more information and to request assistance, visit cityoflancasterca.org/sbr.
Get Help Navigating Available Resources
Are you lost among the resources available from different agencies? Would you like assistance determining which programs are the best fit for your business? The Small Business Development Center is actively operating and stands ready to help you with navigating disaster assistance resources and business sustainability. Free, personalized assistance is being offered via phone and Zoom Video, and you can also participate in a wide range of webinars. Call (661) 362-5900 or visit cocsbdc.org to set up your appointment.
Businesses within the City of Lancaster are subject to the requirements put in place by Los Angeles County and the State of California. For more information on these requirements, mandated closures, and businesses identified as critical infrastructure that are not affected by the closures, please visit the following websites:
- State of California
- Los Angeles County/City of Los Angeles
A number of banks are providing assistance to individuals and businesses facing hardship due to COVID-19:
Preparing Your Business for COVID-19
- 8 Things Your Small Business Needs to Do
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Information for Communities, Schools, and Businesses
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations - Community Facilities
- DOL: Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus
- DOL: OHSA Resources for Workers and Employers on COVID-19
- WHO: Get Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
- EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19