Chamber Special Message: update from Jimmy Panetta, applying for disaster aid

Dear Business Owner,

As we on the Central Coast take decisive public health action to contain COVID-19, employers of all sizes and their employees, especially in the hospitality sector, face significant financial threats. I have heard from business owners across our communities who worry about how to persist during this pandemic and protect their workers and their livelihoods. Please know that my colleagues in Congress and I are working on solutions to protect our community members and local businesses, and I remain committed to helping you through this difficult time with the appropriate federal resources.

Currently, California businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans directly with the Small Business Administration (SBA). You can find more information about SBA support here and can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans here. If your business needs help with your application, please do not hesitate to contact my Salinas office at 831-424-2229 or my Santa Cruz office at 831-428-1976. You can also reach out to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), either Cal Coastal SBDC in Salinas at 831-424-1099 or Santa Cruz SBDC at Cabrillo College in Aptos at 831-479-6136.

Recently, Congress acted to assist businesses by providing $20 million for SBA loan administration and $1 billion in small business loan guarantees, which will facilitate up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans. I am working to make these loans more accessible, flexible, and affordable. Congress also acted to ensure that workers who are sick have the means to stay home and get well rather than potentially infect other Central Coast residents.

However, that is not enough, and more work must be done to ensure that our job creators on the Central Coast are able to handle the strain being imposed upon them, continue to stay in business, and remain the economic engine of our communities. That is why I am working on proposals to provide federal support directly to affected businesses and their workers that are most impacted. Our work is not complete, and I will continue to fight for the well-being of our Central Coast employers and employees.

I know that Americans are upending their lives for the sake of combatting and blunting the spread of this dangerous virus. I also understand that it is our local small businesses, our hospitality industry, their employees, and independent workers that are bearing the brunt of those policies. As a community, it is incumbent on all of us to help these businesses and workers and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously as your U.S Representative. Please know that my staff and I are available to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and work on solutions for you.

Jimmy Panetta

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