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.
The City understands that COVID-19-related information from the State, County, and City can be confusing, and at times overwhelming. The weekly newsletter provides businesses centralized informational with links to resources, information, and guidance for businesses and workforces.
- 06/21/2020 - West Hollywood COVID-19 Business & Workforce Newsletter
- 06/14/2020 - West Hollywood COVID-19 Business & Workforce Newsletter
- 06/07/2020 - West Hollywood COVID-19 Business & Workforce Newsletter
- 05/31/2020 - West Hollywood COVID-19 Business & Workforce Newsletter
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.
- Restaurants - check out the County's Toolkit for Dine-In Restaurants released on June 9, 2020
- Outdoor Museums & Galleries
- Warehousing, Manufacturing, Logistics
- Office-Based Protocols
- Shopping Centers
- Vehicle Based Parades or Drive Thru Events
- Places of Worship
On June 11, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a modified health officer order: "Moving the County of Los Angeles into Stage 3 of California's Pandemic Resilience Roadmap" which allowed for the reopening of certain businesses on June 12. The following sectors are now allowed to reopen with modified operating procedures and social (physical) distancing requirements:
Through the Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit, the City offers streamlined approval for eligible businesses to use sidewalks, on-street parking spaces, and private parking lots as areas to expand outdoor dining operations without requiring amendments to existing minor conditional use permits or administrative permits. Fees related to an encroachment permit are temporarily waived; however, liability insurance is required. Parking requirements are also temporarily waived while the permit is active.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has released a series of Regulatory Relief measures. The Fourth Notice of Regulatory Relief allows restaurants to expand their footprints to outdoor dining through a Temporary Permit. The Fifth Notice of Regulatory Relief allows bars to partner with businesses to sell 'bona fide' meals in conjuction with to-go containers of alcoholic beverages. This permit requires approval from the local jurisdiction prior to ABC application and a $100 fee.
How to Expand Your Restaurant or Bar Outdoors
Businesses interested in participating in the temporary program must submit the following:
- Submit a complete Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit Application to Planning@weho.org
- Step-by-step guide to create your own site plan using Sketchup
- Submit an Encroachment Permit for Outdoor Dining (will be provided if expanding into public right-of-way)
- Liability insurance requirements for expanding into public right-of-way
- Following local approval, businesses interested in serving alcohol in the temporary outdoor expanded area must submit an application to ABC for the COVID-9 Temporary Catering Authorization (ABC-218 CV19 Permit).
Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permits are approved on a case-by-case basis and require certain standards to be met as outlined in Exhibit A, Temporary Outdoor Expansion Design and Operational Standards. The outdoor areas can be on private property, including parking lots, or in suitable locations on sidewalks and plazas, or on-street parking spaces. Exhibit B provides several design scenarios that businesses may use as a model for their application.
Staff is to assist local businesses with application documents and the review process. Review and approval of these applications is a staff priority. Please contact Tara Worden, Business Development Analyst, at email@example.com if you need direct assistance prior to submitting your application.
COVID-19 Webinar Series: Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit
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.
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
- 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.
For more information, please visit www.weho.org/business