Financial resources for workers, businesses hit by California stay-at-home order

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the state cracks down on COVID-19 restrictions, Governor Gavin Newsom is pointing to the state's financial assistance as a way for businesses and employees to get by.

For workers, there is expanded COVID-19 sick leave benefits, health coverage for uninsured to treat COVID-19 and childcare options for essential workers.

Click here for more information about assistance to workers.

There is also accommodation available for essential workers to self-isolate if contaminated or exposed.

The Housing for Harvest program extends resources to farmworkers.

"They don't have to have tested positive, but even if they have to be required to quarantine and are unable to do so at home, we provide them with a hotel room," said Misty Gattie-Blanco from Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission.

This week, $500 million in emergency relief grants were made available for small businesses, non-profits and cultural institutions. Up to $25,000 is available to each applicant.

"We are just getting started in terms of the business relief and business support," said Newsom.

The governor described the grants, along with $125 in low-interest loans and $100 million in tax credits, as a bridge for small businesses before more assistance comes next year.

Click here for more information about assistance for businesses.

"It will literally not do anything to sustain a business over the next three to four months that is already barely hanging on by a thread," said Republican state senator Andreas Borgeas of Fresno.

Sen. Borgeas said it's not enough. He'll introduce the Keep California Working Act at the start of the next legislative session. Borgeas said the bill would take 10% of the state's surplus, $2.6 billion, to assist small businesses and employees. The bill will be introduced with an urgency clause so it can take effect immediately if approved.

"What we need over the next three to four months is significant capital investment in our economy," he said.
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