On Tuesday, the State of California updated their county tier assignments, which unfortunately moved San Diego County into Tier 1 – (Purple/Widespread) – the most restrictive tier. Over the past several weeks, the county has seen significant increases in the total number of new COVID-19 cases and an increase in the average case rate per 100,000 people which is a state trigger that affects a county’s tier status. The information below, some of which was originally sent by City Manager Scott Chadwick on Tuesday, expands on what this means for Carlsbad.
Tier Assignment Impact on Business Operations
Moving from the red tier to the purple tier brings several changes for businesses*, including:
- Restaurants may only operate outdoors
- Places of worship may only operate outdoors
- Gyms must close indoor operations
- Museums must close indoor operations
- Maximum occupancy of indoor retail falls from 50% to 25%
- Hairstylists, massage therapists and other personal care businesses can remain open for indoor operations in the purple tier, with precautions in place.
*The state and county require tier operating adjustments to be made by Saturday morning, Nov. 14 at 12 a.m.
Businesses that need to move operations outdoors can take advantage of the city’s quick and easy process to activate private parking lots and public right of way at no cost. Further information and links to the necessary permits can be found here.
Here is a helpful comparison chart showing what kind of operations are allowed in each tier. The full list of industry-specific guidance for each tier can be found here.
Effect of closures
The chart below shows how case numbers went down following the closure of indoor activities and businesses back in July.
While painful, health officials advise that restricting some indoor operations is effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Following measures, like wearing masks, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands and the like, can help slow the spread of the virus. If we are successful in slowing the spread of the virus and bringing down the average daily case rate, then the county can progress to less restrictive tiers which allows for greater indoor operations. Our actions have a direct impact on slowing the spread so please encourage your friends and family to do their part to help keep our businesses open.
Just as the county has experienced two consecutive weeks of missing the thresholds moving us to a more restrictive tier, we will need to experience two consecutive weeks of improved community health indicators to move us to a less restrictive tier. When a county regresses to a lower tier, it must remain there for at least three weeks regardless of community case numbers, meaning new restrictions will last past the Thanksgiving holiday and into December.
An Available Resource – Carlsbad Business Loan Program
The Carlsbad Business Loan Program provides funding to Carlsbad small businesses to keep operations going. There are two loan types for Carlsbad small businesses. The first are 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. The second are small business recovery loans of between $10,000 – $25,000 for businesses with $3,000,000 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 here.
Help Inform the City’s COVID-19 Business Response
With the changing operating environment, the City of Carlsbad wants to hear from Carlsbad businesses. The city would like to better assess the ongoing effects of COVID-19 and understand the impact and outlook for businesses, including continuing challenges.
Please take a few moments to provide information that may be used to guide city programs that support businesses. The survey should take about seven minutes to complete and will close Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 5 p.m.
The Office of Innovation & Economic Development is available to assist businesses with challenges they may be facing. Please email us at [email protected] with any questions.