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Newsom signs bills to support small businesses grappling with COVID-19

Legislation builds on previous investments and support

OW Staff Writer | 9/17/2020, midnight
Last week, at Solomon’s Delicatessen in Sacramento, Gov. Gavin Newsom alongside..

Last week, at Solomon’s Delicatessen in Sacramento, Gov. Gavin Newsom alongside Sen. Anna Caballero (D-12) signed bills into law designed to support small businesses grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and jumpstart state construction projects.

“Businesses across the state have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and they need support to keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll,” said Newsom. “Today, we are taking action to keep money in the hands of small businesses while expanding job opportunities for those who lost their jobs because of this virus. We have much more work to do together, but I know these bills will make a big difference for small businesses.”

California small businesses are drivers of economic growth—creating two-thirds of new jobs and employing nearly half of all private sector employees. But from February to April, there was a 22-percent  drop of active business owners nationwide according to data released through the Census Current Population Survey. Minority-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted: the number of active businesses owned by African-Americans dropped by 41 percent, Latinx by 32 percent, Asians by 25 percent, and immigrants by 36 percent.

Newsom signed two bills that will help support small businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 induced recession.

AB 1577 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-62) conforms state law to federal law by excluding from gross income Paycheck Protection Program loans that were forgiven through the federal CARES Act and subsequent amendments in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020.

SB 1447 by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-35), Sen. Anna M. Caballero (D-12) and Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantez (D-60) authorizes a $100 million hiring tax credit program for qualified small businesses. The hiring credit will be equal to $1,000 for each net increase in qualified employees, up to $100,000 for each qualified small business employer.

SB 115, a budget trailer bill, by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review appropriates $561 million in fiscal year 2020-21. This includes $411.5 million to advance economic stimulus with $230.5 million to help jumpstart construction projects.

Opened in 2019, Solomon’s Delicatessen closed in March after stay-at-home orders were announced. In April, they reopened for 10 weeks as a community kitchen through a $75,000 grant from Sacramento Covered and healthcare foundations (Kaiser, Dignity, Sutter) to help feed the homeless and medically fragile.