Carlsbad Business Update – Red Tier

Joint Communication to Carlsbad Businesses Regarding COVID-19 #28

San Diego County Moves to Red Tier

Today, San Diego County moved into the state’s red tier. This move is based on improving public health indicators across the board; yesterday, the county saw its fewest daily COVID-19 cases since October of 2020. While health experts still advise caution and warn that the progress made does not yet signal the end of the pandemic, it is a welcome relief and cause for optimism that we will keep progressing in the right direction. The county’s next target is a move into the orange tier. The county already meets two of the orange tier criteria, however, the current case rate (6.8/100,000) is still too high to qualify.

The good news is that according to the state, “if both the test positivity and health equity metric are especially low, and the case rate is declining but does not yet meet a less restrictive tier’s level, a county can still move forward towards more reopening.” If the county does not qualify for accelerated progression, we will need to have a case rate below 4/100,000. As our case rate continues to fall, we will keep an eye on indicators and distribute information on what restrictions will change. 

To see the latest tier status and what that means for different industries, visit the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy page.

Here’s a reminder of what is changing:

  • Restaurants can open indoors up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums can open up to 25% capacity
  • Retail can open up to 50% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers can open indoors up to 10% capacity
  • Movie theaters can operate indoors up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less
  • NEW – Breweries, tasting rooms, and distilleries are not required to serve food when selling alcohol (other restrictions still apply)
  • NEW – April 1: Live sports will be able to have up to 20% audience capacity
  • NEW – April 1: Live outdoor events with assigned seating will be able to open with up to 20% audience capacity

Businesses that are expanding or changing their operations, including adding or increasing indoor operations should ensure their Safe Reopening Plan is up to date and posted. A template for the SRP can be found here.

Commercial Eviction Moratorium Extension

Earlier this month, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that includes an extension of authorization for local eviction moratoria through June 30, 2021. The City of Carlsbad’s commercial eviction moratorium relies on this authorization, which means our commercial eviction moratorium will remain in effect until June 30, 2021 or until the local state of emergency is lifted.

Updated Relief Programs for Businesses

American Rescue Plan

As more details emerge about the recently passed American Rescue Plan, the city is working to communicate applicable relief information to Carlsbad businesses. Updates will be sent through future Joint Communications or Updates to Businesses in impacted industries.

Paycheck Protection Program – Deadline approaching

The deadline to apply for the current PPP round is March 31 and funding is still available.  PPP forgivable loans have been the most impactful relief program according to a recent survey of Carlsbad businesses. If you are interested in applying for a PPP loan, contact your financial institution. If you are having trouble finding a lender, try this resource. You are not obligated to use a local lender.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

More details have emerged around the restaurant relief program included in the American Rescue Plan. While applications are not yet being accepted, we know that the SBA will be administering the program. This summary from the National Restaurant Association provides more specifics about the program.

California Small Business Relief Grant

Funding for the Small Business Relief Grant Program was recently quadrupled to $2 billion, with multiple funding rounds announced. The program provides grants between $5,000 and $25,000  and prioritizes small businesses in disadvantaged communities. Businesses that do not get funded in a particular round are automatically waitlisted for subsequent funding rounds. New applicants will need to apply through the program website. 

  • The fourth funding round for this grant program is now open and will close March 23. It is reserved specifically for non-profit cultural institutions. 
  • The fifth round will open March 25 and close March 31. Waitlisted applicants will also be considered in this round.
  • The sixth round has been announced but no specific dates have been cited. New and waitlisted applicants will be considered in this round.

Carlsbad Business Loan Program

The Carlsbad Business Loan Program has been updated to provide increased access to relief and rebuilding funding for Carlsbad small businesses to keep operations going. There are two loan types for Carlsbad small businesses. Applicants may apply for multiple loan products if they meet all eligibility requirements. Those that have been approved for a loan, may reapply for a second loan up to the current total limit. Businesses can receive up to $60,000 total between all loan products.

  • Small business microloans of between $5,000 -$10,000 for businesses with $2,000,000 or less in gross revenue or 15 or fewer employees
  • Small business recovery loans of between $10,000 – $50,000 for businesses with $5,000,000 or less in gross revenue and 50 or fewer employees
  • Both loans types include scaled interest rates depending on how quickly the loan can be repaid. Neither loan type is forgivable. Access the application

Inclusive Recovery – Stakeholder Engagement Opportunity

Between February and May 2021, the City of Carlsbad Office of Innovation and Economic Development is assessing COVID-related impacts and response for future economic strategy and programming. As part of the process, a series of stakeholder engagement sessions with local businesses and intermediaries will provide essential context on COVID impact, city response, and potential gaps to address.

Next week, OIED will be hosting a series of stakeholder input sessions, with emphasis around business support organizations, innovation companies and start-ups, tourism businesses, local small businesses, and disables, veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses. To participate, please contact us at [email protected] by Friday, March 19 for more information.

Onward and Upward

We are optimistic that the operating environment will continue to improve. With your help, we can do a lot to keep things on the right track. Wear a mask, wash hands, keep distance, #STAYSAFESTAYOPEN.

As new relief and recovery programs are announced, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce