As the Pandemic Takes Its Toll, California Launches New Small Business Relief Programs

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a package that includes tax deferrals, credits, grants, and more

Small businesses have had to adapt and pivot time and again during the pandemic–if they’ve managed to survive at all–often with little in the way of relief from the government. Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a package of new small businesses relief measures designed to help entrepreneurs stay afloat.

The small business relief package includes tax deferrals, tax credits, grants, debt relief, and new loans. Applications to receive aide will open on Tuesday, December 1.

Among specific policies announced by today are an automatic three-month deferment of sales tax for businesses that generate less than $1 million in sales tax, and the Main Street Hiring Tax Credit, will help businesses keep their staffs, offering a credit for up to $1,000 for every qualifying worker kept on the payroll. Both measures, Newsom wrote on Twitter, are designed to primarily help restaurants, hair salons, small shops, and other pandemic-hit sectors.

Many of the state’s arts and culture institutions have remained fully shuttered for nearly a year. A second program, offering grants of up to $25,000, is targeted to help them, along with small nonprofit organizations and other small businesses. The grants will come from a pool of $500 million in reserve funds released by the state.

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