Businesses can get help

Marie Waldron
Marie Waldron. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Congress just passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at helping Americans cope with an economy that is suddenly screeching to a halt. Small businesses, along with millions of employees, have been hit hard.

Under the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan is available to virtually every small business in America. There are two qualifications – businesses must employ less than 500 workers and been in business before Feb. 15. The loans will sustain small businesses so they can keep workers employed. The loans will be fully forgiven if used for payroll costs and other operating expenses in the eight weeks following the loan issue date. Businesses with multiple locations in the hospitality and food industry can also qualify if each store has less than 500 workers. To see what’s required, a sample form is available at, and for more information, visit

Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available through the SBA. Loans can be up to $2 million with a 3.75% interest rate on a 10-year term. Once a small-business owner applies for an EIDL, they should also consider applying for a $10,000 Economic Injury Grant – it’s free – they don’t have to repay it. More information is available at

At the state level, $50 million will be allocated to the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to guarantee loans to small businesses that may not qualify for federal funds. California will also allow small businesses to defer payment of sales and use taxes of $50,000 for up to 12 months.

California’s small businesses employ 7 million people, and make up over 95% of all businesses in this region. Small business is hurting, millions are losing their jobs, but help is on the way.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.