We are here to help.  We proudly stand with our businesses and employees throughout Merced County during this difficult time. 

Merced County and our city partners are committed to assisting our business community and workforce during this COVID-19 pandemic.  Please take a moment to review these links to several resources that are currently available designed to assist businesses, non-profit organizations and their employees.  As additional resources become available, we will keep this list updated. 

Local Assistance

Worknet Merced County is here to help you, our county’s business owners, as you reopen.  Worknet will help you find employees, connect you with government funding and tax breaks, direct you to the latest guidance to maintain employee and customer health, and bring you expertise from a leading state business organization on human resources issues.  Reach out to us at business@worknetmerced.com or call us at (877) 267-9675 to be put in contact with a business services representative.  We are ready and able to help.

Worknet Merced County has contracted with a statewide leader in advocacy for employers, the California Employers Association, to host a Human Resources Hotline.  This service is available to all employers from Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm.  It is operated by a trained professional who can give advice on questions regarding any HR issue you might be facing, such as potential layoffs, leave issues, or others.  Please call (888) 906-0041 to get help with the Human Resources issues that you have questions about. 

As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), the SBDC can help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business. Despite the impact of COVID-19, rest assured the SBDC is here to help and they value the privilege to be of service.

SBDC business advisors are here to help answer your questions, apply for business resources and plan during a disruption. They can help with applying for relief, guiding you through available resources, cash flow concerns, supply chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more – at no cost.

State Assistance

Senate Bill 1447 was enacted on September 9, 2020, and allows a small business hiring credit against California state income taxes or sales and use taxes to certain California qualified small business employers that receive a tentative credit reservation.

On December 1, 2020, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will begin accepting applications for tentative small business hiring credit reservation amounts through an online reservation system.  Qualified small business employers must apply with the CDTFA for a credit reservation. The credit reservations will be allocated to qualified small business employers on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation system will be available from December 1, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., through January 15, 2021. Within 30 days of receiving an application, CDTFA will notify each applicant via email whether a tentative credit reservation has been allocated to them and the amount of the tentative credit reservation.

For more information, https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/SB1447-tax-credit.htm


The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state. Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply. Full eligibility requirements are included in the Business Requirements tab.

The loans are flexible, transparent and are designed to help businesses access the capital and advisory services they need to get through these challenging economic times.

For more information, please click here.

Up to $50 million in state funding has been made available for those who do not qualify for other types of loan programs from the federal government.  All businesses in California with 1-750 employees that have been negatively impacted or experienced disruption by COVID-19, as well as eligible nonprofits, are able to take part in this program.  A list of lenders is forthcoming, and all details on the program are available at iBank’s website.

Small businesses may also be eligible for loans through California State entities. The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank offers loan programs for businesses (from one employee up to 750 employees) and eligible non-profits affected by disasters in California.

Under the Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program, the IBank will issue loan guarantees up to 95% of the loan through its partner Financial Development Corporations to help small business borrowers who were impacted by disasters or public safety power shutoffs and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital. Small businesses, including small farms, nurseries, agriculture-related enterprises and nonprofits that have suffered an economic and/or physical damage may apply.

To apply for a loan guarantee or to get additional information, please visit the IBANK’s Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program Website.

For businesses who are experiencing a slowdown as a result of the coronavirus’ impact on the economy, applying for the UI Work Sharing Program will allow employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset by UI benefits.  Visit the Work Sharing Program website to learn more about the program.

As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. The provisions of the program include:

  • Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic.
  • A new 13-week federal extension for those who run out of their regular state-provided UI benefits (maximum 26 weeks). File a PUA claim and you may be converted to the federal extension once it is available.

Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. With questions or to learn how to apply for COVID-19 relief, please visit the EDD’s COVID-19 assistance website, or call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at (888) 745-3886.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Pursuant to this Executive Order, through May 11th, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has the authority to assist individuals and businesses impacted by complying with a state or local public health official’s imposition or recommendation of social distancing measures related to COVID-19. On April 2, 2020 the Governor stated that businesses will be able to defer up to $50,000 in sales and use tax payments to the state, and that details would be available through the CDTFA.To get in touch with CDTFA, please visit their COVID-19 State of Emergency Website.

The FTB administers two of California’s major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax.  This relief includes moving the various tax filing and payment deadlines that occur on March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. This includes partnerships and LLCs who are taxed as partnerships whose tax returns are due on March 15 now have a 90-day extension to file and pay by June 15. The FTB will also waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. With questions or to learn about how to apply for COVID-19 relief, please visit the FTB’s website.

California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19. 

Click here to learn more about the programs and services offered by the State of California.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled helpful information for employers, employees, and all Californians as it relates to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Click here to view the GoBIZ website.

Fourth Notice of Regulatory Relief

Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of California, Article XX, Section 22, and in furtherance of Governor Newsom’s emergency declarations and orders regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control previously provided temporary relief measures which remain in place, and the Department now adds two new measures to this list.


Federal Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration is releasing loans in the amount of up to $10 million dollars for a small business to keep workers on payroll and to help pay for certain other expenses.  If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.  More information is located here: SBA Paycheck Protection Program

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

Eligible agricultural businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.


  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Other Assistance

With generous support from their industry partners, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and PBA Charities have created a new fund to help their industry during this unprecedented crisis.

The PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. The funding, if awarded to you, is intended to be emergency aid for short-term immediate needs such as food and bills.

Beauty Changes Lives is providing $1000 relief grants to beauty professionals with the help of CND™ and the Horst M. Rechelbacher FoundationBoth brands are repurposing funds originally intended for scholarships to instead go to benefits for licensed and aspiring beauty professionals who’ve been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here’s How To Apply:

  • There are two grants available: The Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation COVID-19 Relief Funds and the CND x BCL Nail Professional Relief Grant. You can apply for the COVID-19 Relief Funds here and the Nail Professional Relief Grant here.
  • The temporary relief grants are only available to US residents and licensed beauty professionals or beauty students who have either been employed or are attending a program in cosmetology, esthetics, massage or barbering for 12 months before March 16, 2020.
  • You must live in a state or country that has closed non-essential businesses and currently not earning any income.
  • Each grant has two parts to the application. Make sure you complete both to be eligible for the funds.

For more information, visit beautychangeslives.org/licensed-professionals.

Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability.

The third and final round of funding opens May 14th.

Click here to learn more.

Launch a capital raise on Mainvest and you may be eligible for a zero-interest $2,000 loan.

If you have an existing brick & mortar business that has been negatively effected by the COVID-19 outbreak and you launch a capital raise on Mainvest, you may be eligible to receive a $2,000 zero-interest loan immediately*. Then through your capital raise, you can receive up to $250,000 of investment from your community.

Kiva is a non-profit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world. More than 2.5 million people have raised over $1 billion on Kiva.

WeFunder may be able to provide emergency funding for your business during the coronavirus crisis.

Raise funding from your fans on very generous terms. Payments based on revenue and deferred until 2021. Reward investors with perks when business is back.

Are you looking to hire. OnwardCA.org allows for free posting of your job openings.

Opportunity Fund is committed to supporting small businesses who are financially struggling amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are a small business owner whose business has been impacted, click here to learn more about the Opportunity Fund’s programs.

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