The City of El Cajon is closely monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on our community, including businesses and employees. Resources on this page will be updated as new information is available. Check back regularly for updates.
**Updates for Non-Essential Businesses Owners**
To help local businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, El Cajon City staff has created a streamlined process for expanding outdoor seating capacity for eligible food establishments. For more information, click here.
Effective 5/26, Hair salons and barber shops are permitted to open provided that both patron and stylist wear face masks the entire time. However, facial hair, eyebrow and other serves which would require a face mask to be removed are not allowed. Nail salons are still not permitted to open. Businesses that reopen must complete the Safe Reopening Plan.
Beginning May 20, the state approved San Diego County to allow dine-in restaurants and in-store retail to reopen with modifications. Food businesses will need to complete:
- Onsite Dining Plan
- Restaurant Operating Protocols
- Guidance for Food Facility Re-Openings
- For additional guidance, visit the County of San Diego's Restaurants, Food, and Beverage web page.
Retail businesses will need to complete:
- Safe Reopening Plan
- For additional guidance, visit the County of San Diego's Safe Reopening web page.
On May 18th, the Governor announced new specifications that will allow larger counties to move deeper into phase 2 reopening. Additional guidelines for reopening dine-in, in-store retail, and haircut sectors are being developed and expected to be released within a week.
The County of San Diego stated that they are optimistic about moving quickly through Stage 2 and that Stage 3 reopening is expected in the next few weeks. Businesses that are preparing to reopen are urged to complete their Safe Reopening Plan (SRP) checklist so that when the time comes, they can reopen.
Effective Friday May 8, the State has entered Phase 2, which enables certain businesses to open that are able to provide curbside and deliveries. Examples are bookstores, clothing/shoe/furniture retailers, sports stores, and florists. Additionally, manufacturing, warehouse, and logistic businesses which support these types of retailers may open. All businesses MUST complete a Safe Reopening Plan (SRP) checklist which is to be posted at the entrance. A copy of the SRP must also be distributed to each employee.
The County of San Diego also has created a general framework for businesses to reference as restrictions continue to be eased. Businesses which are still required to remain closed should reference both documents in anticipation of reopening.
Other Business Updates
- Business License late fees are waived through December 2020. Businesses can also apply for licenses online.
- Sewer bill late fees are waived for the remainder of 2020. Late fees will resume January 2021.
- Temporary easing of banner, sign, and temporary use regulations during this time to help businesses increase presence.
- The City has contacted roughly 5,100 businesses and regularly updates information on its web page with information and resources to keep our business community informed.
Workplace Health and Safety
- Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control's website for guidelines and recommendations during COVID-19.
- Additional information for protecting workers is available through Cal/OSHA's site.
- Employees working in essential business establishments that serve food must wear face coverings while working.
- Effective 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2020: All employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, convenience store, gas station, restaurant or other business establishment that serves food shall wear a cloth face covering as described in the California Department of Public Health Face Covering Guidance.
- Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol
- No later than 12:00 a.m. on April 7, 2020: All businesses that remain in operation in accordance the the Order that allow members of the public to enter a facility must prepare and post a "Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol" on the form attached to the Order for each of their facilities open to the public in the county.
- A copy of the Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol must be posted at or near the entrance of the facility, and shall be easily visible by the public and employees.
- A copy of the Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol must be provided to each employee performing work at the facility.
- All businesses shall implement the Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol and provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing this Order upon demand.
- The Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol must ensure all required measures are implemented and must identify and require measures necessary to implement social distancing and sanitation at the facility.
- If the measures identified and implemented are not effective in maintaining proper social distancing and sanitation, additional measures shall be identified and implemented or the facility shall be closed.
- A fillable Social Distancing Protocol template is available on the County's website.
FINANCIAL BUSINESS RESOURCES
Small Business Loans (Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program) CLOSED APRIL 28
(Only excepting applications from agricultural businesses).
The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides small businesses, including non-profits with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to hardships related to COVID-19.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayment plans of up to 30 years in order to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower's ability to repay.
- Details about the simplified three-step process to apply can be found here.
Reduced Operating Hours
Employers experiencing a slowdown in business or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs - retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced,. not to exceed 60 percent.
Paycheck Protection Program - RESUMED AS OF APRIL 27
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Lenders may begin processing loan applications beginning April 3, 2020 and the PPP will be through June 30, 2020.
Potential Closure or Layoffs
Businesses planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of COVID-19 can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses.
Businesses may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file your state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For questions, call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at (888) 745-3886.
- The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation provides additional resources and information for both small and large businesses, as well as non-profit organizations.
- Understanding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)
Reduced Work Hours
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. If you are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with your employer within a few weeks, you are not required to actively seek work each week. However, you must remain able and available and ready to work during your unemployment for each week of benefits you claim and meet all other eligibility criteria. If you’re eligible, benefits can range from $40-$450 per week. Unemployed workers with an active unemployment insurance claim are also eligible to receive an additional $600 per week payment from the federal government.
The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
Sick or Quarantined
If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and our EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.
If you are self-employed, you may have benefits available from EDD employment insurance programs that you or your employer may have paid into over the past 5 to 18 months. You may have contributions from a prior job, or you could have been improperly classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Apply for the benefit program that best fits your situation and include details about your employment to help us process your claim.