Guidance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The City of West Hollywood is taking extensive and proactive actions to support our businesses and workers during this unprecedented time. Use the guidance below to determine what is best for you, your business, and your workplace.
On May 26, the County of Los Angeles released an updated order: “Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID-19: Moving the County of Los Angeles through Stage 2 of California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap". The order and referenced protocols are posted on the LA County Public Health’s website, available here and linked directly below.
Houses of Worship (link TBD)
LA County's application for Great Plates Delivered is now available online.
If you're a restaurant owner, you may be thinking of ways to reengage with the community, as you look to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. If so, Great Plates Delivered might be a good opportunity for you.
The program, which aims to assist those in need of home delivered meals and to help get local restaurant, hospitality and transportation communities back to work, provides three meals a day to qualifying older adults.
If you're interested in participating in the Great Plates Delivered program, we've prepared an "Onboarding Packet" for you. It includes:
- Eligibility Requirements for LA County Restaurants
- Nutritional Requirements for Meals
- Step by Step Process for Contracting with LA County, with:
- Data and Reporting Requirements
- Frequently Asked Questions
- LA County Department of Public Health Guidelines
The restaurant enrollment process includes five steps. If you're ready to enroll, you'll want to:
- Fill out the LA County online application.
- Confirm and sign the Master Agreement. See a sample.
- Register as an LA County Vendor here.
- Receive Work Order (based on demand).
- Set up Method of Payment.
Note: Restaurants who've already submitted the Food Provider Interest Form (with the State of California) must also fill out the online application for LA County to be considered.
Individuals can e-mail email@example.com or call 211. Restaurants can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For contract-related questions, e-mail GPDPcontracts@wdacs.lacounty.gov.
Local businesses that would like to request a Temporary Curbside Pick-up Zone outside of their business must submit a request through the City of West Hollywood’s official app or online at https://www.weho.org/services/services/service-requests.
Once the request has been received, City Staff will review the request and install temporary curbside parking signs in front of the affected business. Businesses near Drop Zones are encouraged to utilize these spaces before requesting additional curbside spaces.
- Visit www.weho.org/services/services/service-requests
- Select "Parking Services"
- Navigate to "Temporary Curbside Parking Zone"
- Complete Form
- If your request is approved by parking staff, you will be contacted for next steps.
For additional information, please contact the Parking Services Division at ParkingServices@weho.org.
The West Hollywood City Council approved a temporary moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants on April 6, 2020. This order is effective from March 16, 2020 to May 31, 2020. No commercial landlord should try to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates loss of income, during this period.
Please view the Commercial Eviction Moratorium Factsheet here:
The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of West Hollywood, is offering a Mediation Service for West Hollywood commercial tenants and their landlords. This complimentary, supportive, and confidential process provides counseling, and conciliation between parties that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The Mediation Service aims to help tenants and their landlords reach mutually agreeable settlements on how to structure rent deferral and reductions and other lease amendments where warranted to help businesses reopen and stay in business and landlords best maintain good tenants and preserve their properties over the difficult months ahead.
Please visit www.wehochamber.com/mediationservices to access mediation services.
The City hosted an informational webinar on the Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium on April 15, 2020. A recording of the webinar is available to view on www.youtube.com/wehotv. The presentation slide deck is available here.
What impacted tenants should do:
- Notify landlords in writing as soon as possible of inability to pay rent and no later than 30 days after the rent is due. Provide documentation that demonstrates the business’ financial impact as soon as that documentation is available, this can include:
- Year-Over-Year sales from January to May, comparing 2019 with 2020
- Gross sales receipts from January to May 2020
- Any other supporting documentation that demonstrates a loss in income
- Tenants have up to 90 days to provide full documentation of financial impact
- Tenants are encouraged to provide as much detail and explanation of the impact as possible. Financial information submitted to landlord is confidential.
- Review your financial impact and renew your notice to landlord each month based on income received in that month
- Work with your landlord on a payment plan, which includes paying as much rent as you can now and deferring only that amount of rent that corresponds to your documented loss in income
- Do not ignore any communication from landlord, this includes eviction paperwork or other legal demands. Seek legal advice immediately.
What impacted landlords should do:
- Work with the tenant to negotiate a best-case scenario for both parties.
- Offer payment plans to tenants, which can go beyond the six-month period, if both parties agree to the payment terms.
- Landlords are prohibited from:
- Charging a late fee or interest for delayed payment
- Seeking deferred rent through the eviction process if tenant has complied with terms of ordinance
- Start an eviction during the six-month repayment period, on the basis of non-payment, if tenant is paying current and back rent
- Commencing an unlawful detainer action for non-payment during this period if tenant has complied with the terms of this ordinance
- Landlords are permitted to:
- Agree with tenant to use their tenant’s security deposit as rent payment and replenish the security deposit funds as repayments are made.
- Request supporting documentation that demonstrates their tenant’s claim of financial impact and loss of income as a result of COVID-19.
- Require a partial rent payment that corresponds to the tenant’s income that was generated during the period of loss.
Use the Intuit Aid Assist loan eligibility assessment and get an estimate using their PPP calculator.
Intuit Aid Assist—a free service for everyone—helps U.S.-based businesses, self-employed, contractors, freelancers, and gig workers understand different business relief programs.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Under the CARES Act the U.S. government created a new type of loan which is fully forgivable and easy to obtain via qualified SBA lenders.
The CARES Act directs, among other amounts, $349 billion to small businesses as part of an expansion of the SBA’s 7(a) loan program under a new paycheck protection loan program (PPP). Government funds are accessed via 7(a) lenders and 100% guaranteed by the federal government.
- If the 75% of the proceeds are used for payroll and the remaining 25% are essential expenses (payroll, benefits, rent, utilities, and interest), and deployed within 8 weeks of issuance – the loans are fully forgiven.
- Paycheck Protection Plan is available until June 30, 2020.
For more information on who qualifies, loan details and forgiveness requirements, please visit:
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Call the SBA Customer Service Center for questions at 1(800)659-2955.
The Express Bridge loan program allows SBA Express lenders to provide expedited financing to small businesses located in declared disaster areas. Express Bridge loans are intended to be interim loans. Businesses use these funds for disaster-related purposes while they apply for and await long-term financing.
As a result of state and county public health orders, local businesses are experiencing forced closure, or major changes in normal operation, or intense increased demand for goods, all of which are challenging during this unprecedented health pandemic. The following is a list of items being implemented to provide relief to businesses at this time. For the full text, please refer to the City's Emergency Ordinance.
- Defer Business Improvement District (BID) Assessments that are regularly due in March to July 1, 2020, and waive late fees
- Defer Business Tax Certificates that are due in May to July 1, 2020, and waive late fees
- Defer Regulatory Business License fees on a three-month rolling basis
- Defer Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) - specifically for hotels and similar establishments, upon request and approval of City Manager
- Provide businesses a credit for the Outdoor Dining Encroachment Fees that have already been paid
- Provide businesses a credit for the Valet Meter Encroachment fees that have already been paid
- Allow existing restaurants within hotels to provide to-go meals to non-guests
- Allow off-site alcohol sales for restaurants offering to-go meals, per the State Alcoholic Beverage Control's Notice of Regulatory Relief
- Relax parking standards and traffic plans for restaurants to provide easier access for customers
- Allow temporary banners for businesses featuring access to food, waiving location requirements outlined in zoning code.
- Allow temporary change of use from restaurant to grocery store/market. Please click here for details on how to operate.
- Establish weekly meetings with business stakeholders to gather feedback on resources their businesses need
- Lobby state/federal legislature to assist businesses within the City of West Hollywood
- Allow non-essential retail businesses with supplies that are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 to conduct limited retail sidewalk sales through an encroachment permit.
- Allow closed businesses to board up windows to secure premises during the period of closure provided that the coverings are painted.
This comprehensive Toolkit for West Hollywood Businesses provides the most up-to-date resources for the local business community.
Businesses throughout Los Angeles County have been experiencing impacts associated with coronavirus since it emerged. Businesses and their employees are suddenly facing declining sales, operational challenges, or financial uncertainty. The County, as well as the State, has made resources available to business owners during this time. The County's Department of Consumer and Business Affairs' Office of Small Business can help connect you to local, state and federal resources, including layoff aversion and emergency loans.
Visit dcba.lacounty.gov for more resources businesses. To speak to a small business counselor, contact:
- (800) 593-8222 or (844) 432-4900
If you are a business or individual with urgent financial needs, Jewish Free Loan Association provides interest-free loans of up to $10,000 to cover, small business losses, lost wages because you can’t go in to work, child-care costs when schools are closed, funds lost due to cancelled travel plans, and more.
The LAEDC has developed an online Coronavirus Response and Recovery Resource Guide to help for-profit and non-profit employers of every size, as well as their employees in LA County, survive and recover from the increasingly devastating economic impacts of the necessary government restrictions imposed to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) has a Small Business Loan Guarantee Program for guarantees up to $1 million and a micro-lending program for loans up to $10,000 with accommodations for disasters. The program is run through local mission-based lenders, the Financial Development Corporations: Small Business Finance Center. For business located in West Hollywood, please contact the local lender listed below:
Phone: 213-739-2999, Ext. 222
The CalCAP Program for Small Businesses encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion or working capital, you may receive more favorable loan terms from a lender if your loan is enrolled in the CalCAP Loan Loss Reserve Program.
CalCAP is a loan loss reserve program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. With CalCAP portfolio support, a lender may be more comfortable underwriting small business loans.
Questions about COVID-19 Relief options?
California’s Small Business Development Corporations are hosting a daily live webinar and Q&A on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program.
LA Area Chamber of Commerce | COVID-19 Small Business Forum Series
Designed for small businesses, this weekly virtual forum features the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo, the City of Los Angeles, Small Business Majority and Dr. Lucy Jones translating the science of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other experts to provide resources and insights specifically for small businesses. These facilitated virtual forums will allow for Q&A as appropriate, with questions being collected and posted after each week's forum.
Rethinking and Pivoting Your Business Model During COVID-19
The City of West Hollywood hosted a webinar aimed to assist West Hollywood brick and mortar stores at launching their e-commerce operations during COVID-19. The full slide deck can be accessed via the image below. The full webinar recording will be available soon.
Our City is home to innovative industries and a magnet for highly skilled professionals. Companies ranging from retail, tourism and nightlife, restaurants, entertainment and media, as well as arts and design are drawn to West Hollywood’s creative workforce as well as its high quality of life.
Whether you want to open a business, expand an existing business, you are considering a development project or you are a broker representing properties in our City, our staff is available to assist you and your company through its business planning process.
For more information, please email CreativeCity@weho.org or call 323-848-6429 to speak directly with the Business Development Analyst, Tara Worden.
Starting a business is challenging, but we are here to help you make your business dream a reality. To get you started on the right foot, the Business Development Division has created a series of step by step guides to open three of the most common businesses in West Hollywood.
To learn more, click on each image below.
Start here to get all the information you need to start a new business or grow your existing business.
Are you looking to open or expand a business in West Hollywood? We’ve got great news – it just got easier. The City recently approved a comprehensive update to our commercial parking requirements. Key provisions of the update are summarized below:
- Change in Use: The update allows a change of use to occur (i.e. change from retail to restaurant) within an existing building or tenant space that is less than 6,000 SF to without requiring additional parking. What does that mean for you? If the building or tenant space you’re intending to lease meets the requirements above (less than 6,000 SF and existing prior to December 19, 2018) then the parking that is currently on site, is all the parking that is required for your business. Of course, if you’d like to secure additional parking you may do so through an off-site lease agreement, valet service or through City parking credits, if applicable.
- Baseline Parking Requirements: The minimum baseline parking requirement for nearly all commercial uses has been significantly reduced. The minimum baseline requirements apply to new construction and a change of use in a building or tenant space greater than 6,000 SF and/or a building or tenant space constructed after December 19, 2018. Click here to view the minimum parking requirement for all business types.
- Existing Businesses: Existing businesses, including those that lease off-site parking or satisfy their parking obligation through the City’s parking credits program, may apply to have their parking obligation reduced to the new minimum baseline parking standard. Additionally, businesses that have underutilized on-site parking may also apply for a reduction in their parking obligation, which would free up the business to lease the surplus spaces to employees or neighboring businesses. If you are an existing business and interested in reducing your parking requirement, please contact the Business Development Division and we’ll walk you through the steps.
Attention West Hollywood businesses. The City of West Hollywood follows the State of California minimum wage schedule. The current minimum wage in West Hollywood (January 1, 2019) is as follows:
- For employers with 25 employees or less: $11.00/hour
- For employers with 26 employees of more: $12.00/hour
The minimum wage in West Hollywood as of January 1, 2020 is as follows:
- For employers with 25 employees or less: $12.00/hour
- For employers with 26 employees of more: $13.00/hour
For more information, visit the State of California Department of Industrial Relations website.