Updated April 3, 2020
Pasadena EDC recognizes the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus and the way it is impacting your business and personal life. Our team is working closely with the City of Pasadena and other regional partners to ensure we can provide the Pasadena community with most up-to-date information. This page is designed to provide resources and information around the virus to businesses and individuals in our city and region. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available at the local, regional and federal level during this unprecedented time.
Interactive GIS Data COVID-19 Mapping Tool
(Source: GIS Planning)
The data tool below updates daily and maps the following variables for the U.S. as a whole and each county:
- Chmura's JobsEQ Job Loss Vulnerability Index
- Total Cases
- Total Deaths
- Cases Growth
- Cases % Growth
"Stay Home - Work Safe" Order for Harris County Extended Through April 30th
Judge Linda Hildago issued a mandatory “Stay Home-Work Safe” Order for all Harris County residents that went into effect on Tuesday, March 24th, the order has been extended through April 30th, at 11:59 pm. Learn more about the "Stay Home-Work Safe" order here. Harris County’s advisory of essential workers will include the 16 sectors listed in the document provided by CISA. To view the full list of essential workers click here.
Inquiries on the order can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the COVID-19 Business Survey
The City of Pasadena is collecting business loss information to submit to the State of Texas, FEMA, and SBA to ensure local businesses are supported by federal disaster assistance to mitigate the economic/financial impacts of COVID-19.
Resources for the Workplace and Employers
- Resources for unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission
- Texas Workforce Commission Shared Work Program
- Resources for job seekers through the Texas Workforce Commission
- Resources for employers through the Texas Workforce Commission
- Safety Guidelines from the CDC
- Business Pandemic Planning Checklist
- Interim Planning and Responding Guideline for Businesses & Employers
- Key Facts on COVID-19
- Resources from the Office of the Governor
For assistance or questions contact:
Business Assistance Resources
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the US Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $2 Trillion Economic Relief Package for the Coronavirus pandemic (Learn more about the bill here). This legislation provides multiple forms of assistance to businesses and private individuals. An outline of the many provisions within the bill can be found here. The CARES Act has been designed to distribute capital quickly and broadly. There are a number of provisions that impact small businesses. These provisions include:
1. The Paycheck Protection Program - one of the largest sections of the CARES Act, is the most important provision in the new stimulus bill for most small businesses. This new program sets aside $350 billion in government-backed loans from private banks that can, in some cases, be converted to grants, which means that if you meet the requirements you won't need to pay the loan back. For more details and information on how to apply click here.
2. Business Tax Changes - the CARES Act makes select changes to taxes and tax policies in order to ease the burden on businesses impacted by COVID-19. These changes include:
- Businesses are eligible for an employee retention tax credit if 1.) your business operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19 shut-down order; or 2.) gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Eligible businesses can get a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee. The credit can be obtained on wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
- Businesses and self-employed individuals can delay their payroll tax payments. These payments, the employer share of Social Security tax owed for 2020, can instead be deferred and paid over the next two years. Fifty percent must be paid by the end of 2021 and 50% must be paid by the end of 2022. (Note: The ability to defer these taxes does not apply to a business that has a Paycheck Protection loan forgiven.)
- Businesses that have net operating losses (NOLs) have some limitations relaxed. If your business had an NOL in a tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020, that NOL can be now be carried back five years instead. This may improve cash flow and liquidity for some businesses. Pass-through businesses and sole proprietors will also be able to take advantage of the relaxed NOL limitations.
- Businesses that were due to receive corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) credits at the end of 2021 can instead claim a refund now, in order to improve cash flow during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Businesses will be able to increase their business interest expense deductions on their tax returns. For 2019 and 2020, the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns is increased to 50% from 30% of taxable income.
- Businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, will be able to immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities, increasing cash flow.
- The government will make a temporary exception from the excise tax normally applied to alcohol, if that alcohol was used to produce hand sanitizer in 2020.
3. FMLA Changes - The CARES Act makes small changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in regards to paid sick leave, paid FMLA and more. These changes include:
- Paid family and medical leave (FMLA) under the FFCRA is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 total per employee.
- Paid sick leave under the FFCRA is capped at $511 per day and $5,110 total per employee. This amount drops to $200 per day and $2000 total for sick leave taken by an employee in order to care for a family member in quarantine or care for a child whose school has closed.
- Workers that were laid off after March 1, 2020, but then rehired, are eligible for paid FMLA leave provisions described in the FFCRA immediately instead of needing to be an employee for 30 days.
- Businesses can keep money that they would have deposited for payroll taxes in anticipation of refunds from the Treasury Department for paid sick leave and paid FMLA leave outlined by the FFCRA, including amounts that would have been refunded later.
Read more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act here.
(Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
For a comprehensive guide on most of the small business provisions and programs included in the CARES Act, download the Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as the result of COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.
SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
Want to understand the difference between the various loan options offered? The SBA has put together a helpful guide to answer your questions. Click here for more information.
To apply for assistance visit sba.gov/DisasterAssistance
SBA Webinar Series | March 30th - April 3rd
The SBA Houston District Office will provide the latest information from SBA to help small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of the Coronavirus through a series of webinars from March 30th - April 3rd. Sessions will allow for chat Q&A. For specific times and more information click here.
If you are not able to attend a webinar, you may also find a copy of the presentation at PasadenaEDC.com/SBAWebinars
Marketing & Advertising Support
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. More information can be found on the Facebook Boost Grant website
- Free branding program for small nonprofits
On-ramps is accepting applications through April 3, 2020 for small nonprofits to receive a free marketing rebrand. Click here to apply.
- Free advertising for restaurants and bars
Yelp is waiving fees and providing free advertising for restaurants and bars impacted by the Coronavirus. For more information click here.
- Free online storage for businesses
DropBox is providing a FREE business subscription to those businesses affected by COVID-19. For more information click here.
- Free Google ads
Google is donating more than $800 million to support small businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers impacted by Covid-19. The amount includes $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses with active accounts in the past year. For more information click here.
Resources from the IRS
Federal Income Tax Filing Date Deferred to July 15th
Federal income tax returns, along with Federal income tax payments, that were due April 15, 2020, have been automatically postponed to July 15, 2020 without any interest or penalties. More information can be found here.
Federal Tax Credit for Required Paid Leave
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.
For more information and details visit irs.gov/newsroom
Other Grants & Helpful Resources
- The TX Restaurant Relief Fund will distribute grants of up to $5,000 PER UNIT to immediately support their financial needs. These funds are earmarked specifically for use to keep their doors open and their workers employed. For more information click here.
- Texas Woman's Center for Women Entrepreneurs has launched a new AssistHer COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant to assist woman-owned businesses that have been severely impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). A total of $1,000,000 (100 grant awards at $10,000 each) is available. For more information click here.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together resources to help combat the COVID-19 crisis. For more information click here.
- SCORE has paused their face-to-face mentoring and physical workshops due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, their mentors are available to help businesses by video chat, email, or telephone. Help is also available in Spanish. For more information click here.
- The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce has put together a list of restaurants offering curbside, carry out and delivery. Click here to view the list.
- The James Beard Foundation is launching a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information click here.
- JP Morgan Chase makes $50 million available to help address immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 for small businesses and existing non-profit organizations. For more information click here.
Resources at the Local, Regional & State Level
Pasadena EDC is in constant communication with our local, regional and state allies to monitor the situation and ensure we can provide you with the latest news. For additional information we encourage you to visit the following pages with additional information.
- City of Pasadena
- Harris County
- Office of the Governor
- Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Houston Partnership
Note: Programs continually evolve and everything listed may not be available at the time inquiries are made. For the latest news and real-time updates be sure to follow us on social media. FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN