There’s no question that small businesses in Fremont and around the country are continuing to experience devastating setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And now that the deadline to apply for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) expired on August 8, many are wondering what’s next. At Small Business Majority, a national small business organization with offices across California, we’re advocating for policies at the state and federal level to bolster small businesses, and provide them with free webinars and resources that promote equitable small business growth. Read on for some important updates for small businesses, and learn about our initiatives in California and how to connect to timely news and advice. 

Federal policymakers have stalled on negotiations for the next stimulus package that would have included additional small business relief. While negotiations are currently at a standstill, there are some important proposals on the table to reform the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be aware of. The Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act includes provisions such as streamlined forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000 and allowing some small businesses to apply for another round of funding. 

We know many small businesses in Fremont are struggling to keep their lights on while these negotiations are at a stand-still. In California, Small Business Majority is taking a holistic approach to building small business resilience by advocating for affordable healthcare policy, free and portable workforce benefits for small business owners, and working to ensure a level playing field for small business owners to compete for a talented workforce and remain an employer of choice. We are raising awareness about programs that small business owners can take advantage of today like Paid Family Leave and CalSavers, a portable workplace retirement savings program for private sector workers in California whose employers are unable to offer a way to save for retirement. CalSavers will enable 7.5 million Californians without access to a workplace based retirement plan to begin saving, at no cost to their employer. What’s more, being knowledgeable about programs like Paid Family Leave allows a worker to draw from State Disability Insurance (SDI) when taking care of a family member in lieu of remaining on an employer’s payroll.

As small businesses continue to navigate this unprecedented situation and developments continue to unfold, we know that many small business owners have questions about these policy developments, as well as information and resources to sustain their businesses. We encourage them to learn about these programs on Venturize where you can keep track of updated emergency grants in your area, PPP loan forgiveness forms and FAQ. We also offer free, virtual workshops in the California region on how to access new markets, on business strategy and analysis, and for free legal expertise for your business.