Courtesy of the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County:
In order to protect the public and in recognition of the current public health emergency, San Benito County has issued an Order to Shelter in Place (Order) that effects our residents and our local businesses.
The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) urges all businesses and residents to review the Order in detail. You can find it at the County’s website at https://hhsa.cosb.us/publichealth/communicable-disease/coronavirus/ This Order is similar to the Orders that have been declared in the Bay Area counties and is consistent with a similar order from Governor Newsom.
It is the responsibility of each business to review the details of the Order and to make their determination as to how best to continue to operate their business while also complying with the needed public health precautions.
As you review the Order, the key sections describing Essential Businesses, and businesses in support of Essential Businesses can be found in Section 10 c. on page 4, and the complete definition of Essential Businesses is Section10 f. on pages 5 and 6 of the Order. Review this wording closely in order to understand how the Order affects your business.
The Order affects our local businesses but it also describes many exemptions for Essential Businesses. These include agriculture, construction, daycare (for up to 12 children), gas stations, auto repair, banks and financial institutions, grocery stores and stores that sell household items. The Order includes more business types and Essential Government functions. These Essential Businesses include MANY of our local businesses.
Businesses must still comply with six feet social distancing, washing hands regularly and other public health precautions as part of your business operation. In particular, eating establishments, coffee shops, etc. are now required to be take out or delivery only. Other businesses may be able to offer online or telephone orders with either pick up or delivery while complying with the ongoing public health precaution requirements.
The EDC will act as the clearing house for available resources to our local businesses. Our website https://edcsanbenito.org/will be updated with links to various resources, including Federal, State and others. Our website will be continually updated as we identify additional resources. Our business association partners, the San Benito County Business Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Hollister Downtown Association and the San Juan Bautista Community and Business Association, are collaborating in this effort.
Here are some additional things that we want businesses to know: The deadline to file federal income taxes has now been extended to July 15, 2020. California has also changed their tax filing deadline to July 15th. Consult your tax advisor. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will be offering small business disaster loans up to $2 Million per business (see our website). If you have insurance for your business, contact your insurance agent to review your policy. Information for employees regarding unemployment and other benefits can be found at the EDC website, or go directly to the State’s Employment Development Department website https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
While it is true that this public health emergency and the County’s Order has great impacts on our businesses and our everyday lives, it is also true that businesses will continue to operate and it is very important that our community support them.
We ask businesses to modify their operation to continue to serve their customers, and ask the community to contact the businesses they use to understand how consumers can still obtain the goods and services they want and need. Businesses are continually adapting. You can still get a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner, but now it’s delivered or picked up. You can still get your car repaired, but it will be done with the proper public health precautions. These are just two examples.
We are truly in this public emergency together. We need our local businesses to support our consumers and consumers to support our businesses. This will help to sustain and improve the health of our local economy as well as offer more consumer choices for all of our residents.