COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated on Aprli 6th, 2021.
The Regional Stay Home Order for the Southern California Region has been lifted. This means that both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties are following the colored tier system administered by the State of California.
Does my business need to comply with the state or county orders?
Yes. Failure to follow the state or local health order is a crime. It may be punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. In the case of businesses in violation, the most likely would result is a shutdown of your businesses and/or a loss of your business license, health permit and liquor license (if applicable).
What orders are Conejo Valley businesses subject to?
All businesses must follow 2 different sets of guidance. The state guidance and the county guidance. This can be confusing, as Conejo Valley includes parts of both Ventura County and Los Angeles County. In order for a business or sector to reopen, both the state and the county must authorize it in their orders.
If your business is in Thousand Oaks, you are in Ventura County and subject to their orders.
If your business is in Westlake Village or Agoura Hills you are in Los Angeles County and must follow their orders.
Where can I find the most recent health order or guidance from the State or my County?
For the State of California, go to https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy
For Ventura County, go to https://VCReopens.com
For Los Angeles County, go to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus
How can I find out if my business is allowed to be open?
The State of California has created an online tool to help you find out if the state orders allow a business sector to be open and at what capacity.
- Go to this website: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
- Enter your County (either “Ventura” or “Los Angeles”)
- Enter your business type (i.e. “Hair Salon” or “Bar”)
- The tool will tell you if you are allowed to be open and provide a link to the appropriate guidance from the state that must be followed.
Here is a sample of what the result will look like, in this case for Ventura County hair salons and barbershops:
Please note – This is only the state guidance. The County that your business resides in (either Ventura or Los Angeles County) must also approve of your reopening.
- For Ventura County (Thousand Oaks) businesses, visit VCReopens.com to find your local guidance. You must also “self-attest” that you are ready to open on Ventura County’s VCReopens website.
- For Los Angeles County (Westlake Village and Agoura Hills), visit the County Public Health Website at this link (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/)
Can I host public or private events?
You are allowed to have private events with no more than 3 households.
Do people need to wear facemasks at my business?
Yes, all California residents must wear masks when in public places with a few exceptions.
What funding options are available for my business?
For small businesses, there are many opportunities for funding. Some have been out for a while and are well known and others are still being developed.
The US Chamber of Commerce created a handy guide to the Federal Stimulus Package and its benefits. A few details are list below.
- See the Guide from US Chamber about federal benefits.
- See a recording of the Webinar our Chamber hosted with the US Chamber to discuss the federal stimulus package benefits.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan- This is a loan at a low-interest rate and a long term, to make the repayment as easy as possible.
EIDL Grants were allotted additional funding in the latest stimulus package. In addition, a new Targeted EIDL Advance was created for businesses who are in low-income areas and who have experienced a 30 percent drop in revenue. You can already have received a $10,000 and still qualify.
Paycheck Protection Program - The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, was given new funding in the second stimulus package. This allows for businesses who used all of their PPP funding in the original CARES Act distribution to apply for a “2nd draw” of PPP funds. Also, businesses that did not get Round 1 funding because the fund ran out can apply again at this time.
- To apply for PPP funds, contact your lending institution (bank or credit union).
Employee Retention Tax Credit – This is a credit against the wages paid for employees. The credit is paid to businesses as a discount on their quarterly payroll tax payments. The benefit was increased to $14,000 in the most recent stimulus package. Also, you no longer have to choose between the PPP loan and the ERTC, you can have both!
- Paid as a credit on your payroll taxes. Contact your tax professional for more information.
The State of California has also authorized funding for small businesses.
California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program – This program provides grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to businesses and nonprofit organizations in California that have annual revenues up to $2.5 million annually. This grant is currently in its second distribution round. Applications for this grant program must be made through a trusted 3rd party (a common one for our region is The Economic Development Collaborative (EDC).
Conejo Valley Small Business Relief Fund– Offered by the Chamber of Commerce’s Foundation. Grants of up to $2,500 for businesses in Conejo Valley with fewer than 25 employees. Grants are reviewed and issued quarterly. The deadline for the fourth round of grants is February 19, 2021.
- Visit the Small Business Fund page at the Chamber website for more details.
LA Regional COVID Fund – Keep Our Shops on the Block: Personal Care & Retail Recovery Grants; $10,000 grants to personal care and retail businesses
- Go to the LA Regional COVID Fund Website to apply and to get more details.
LA Business Stabilization Fund – This fund provides businesses located in Los Angeles County the ability to get loans of up to $3 million dollars to pay for working capital, equipment purchases, inventory, or even refinancing higher-interest loans.
- Visit the program website, to see more details and to apply.
Ventura County COVID-19 Assistance Grants – These grants are $5,000 for small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by COVID-19. The County is still developing the details for the second round of these grants and will have details available in mid-March.
Who can I contact if I have any more questions?
Contact the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions. These can be general guidance questions, or questions specific to your business. You do not need to be a Chamber member to contact us. We are here to support all businesses through this COVID-19 pandemic.
We are here to help. There is no question too small.
Call us at 805-370-0035 or email us at email@example.com.