Newsom announces state plans to assist small businesses, job seekers amid coronavirus pandemic

California Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday announced plans to assist small businesses and the launch of a new website created as a resource for job seekers who have been laid off due to the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Newsom announced he is calling for a one-year reprieve of sales taxes for small businesses, which gives businesses up to $50,000 to be used in what he calls a "bridge loan," over the next 12 months. 

Since March 12, 1.9 million Californians have filed for unemployment, Newsom said. He also said within the last seven days, the state has averaged 111,000 unemployment insurance filings per day. 

“The economic consequences are profound,” Newsom said in response to the coronavirus crisis.

On a nationwide scale, 6.6 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, which doubles the record that was set the week prior.

RELATED: US unemployment claims hit record 6.6 million amid coronavirus outbreak

According to Newsom, with the one-year reprieve, small business owners will not face fines or penalties and the “bridge loan,” consists of money that has already been collected.

He emphasized the need for small business owners to apply for federal support loans because “we need to be able to get federal dollars back into California.”

Newsom also recently signed an executive order that will extend the amount of time business owners will have to file their state taxes to July 31.

The governor also mentioned the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loan, which provides financial assistance in relation to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. With that, businesses could get a $10,000 loan upfront as applications are being processed. 

Presuming eligibility, the loan provides up to $2 million paid over a 30-year period, with an interest rate of 3.75% and 2.75% for nonprofits.

Californians can log onto COVID.CA.GOV with links to support and services.

The other program Newsom mentioned was the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, which provides businesses up to $10 million in loans for businesses that continue to pay their employees during the virus pandemic. Businesses are required to provide 75% of the loan benefit to payroll, he said. 

RELATED: Senate passes historic $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package on unanimous vote

In Thursday’s press conference, Newsom also announced the launch of a new website, OnWard CA. The website, created with the partnership of  Salesforce, Bitwise and LinkedIn, serves as a resource for Golden State residents who have lost their jobs in the coronavirus crisis.


Starting April 3, business owners can begin applying for the $349 billion available funds in federal support.

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates. 

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