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CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance

Commissioner Lara’s Virtual Town Halls

Small Business Tele Townhall Events Calendar and Resources

California businesses of all sizes are suffering great losses because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. While we have encountered business interruption questions in the past following wildfires or other disasters, we have seen nothing on this scale – with thousands of businesses closed and drastically reducing payroll. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is partnering with Legislators and local service organizations to address the most pressing issues faced by California’s small businesses.

Following is a listing of past and upcoming Virtual Townhall events. You may also listen to the audio links for some past events. If you have questions or need assistance, feel free to contact us at (800) 927-4357 or email at


Events | Past Events | Small Business Resources | Request Assistance


Past Events


Small Business Resources

Table of Contents

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Request Assistance with the Department of Insurance:

Federal Resources Through U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Government-backed loan programs are available, including special disaster assistance at the state and federal levels:

  • The federal Small Business Administration provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, includes the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance. This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending and will be forgiven.
  • Small businesses and non-profits can use the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance for payroll or other business operating expenses. The amount of the advance will be based on number of employees, at $1,000 per employee, and will be capped at $10,000.
  • Additionally, SBA Disaster Loans for previous disasters that are still in repayment are automatically deferred through end of 2020.
    • Covers up to $2 Million dollars in assistance
    • Offers a long-term repayment process for up to 30 years
    • Interest rates for small businesses is 3.75%, and for non-profits it is 2.75%.

For personal assistance, please go to small business development centers, women’s business centers, veterans business outreach centers and SCORE – Service Corps of Retired Executive Business Centers. You have until December 31, 2020 to apply for these loans.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • Eligible to all businesses including non-profits, veteran organizations, tribal concerns, sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals
  • Up to $10 million
  • There is a loan forgiveness component to this if the proceeds are used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the eight weeks following the date of the loan origination.
  • All of these loans under the program have an interest rate of 0.5%
  • Maturity date in two years
  • First payment is deferred for six months
  • This is 100% guaranteed by the SBA
  • No collateral, no personal guarantees, and no borrower or lender fees payable to SBA

These loans will be done through lending partners. In addition, SBA is currently in the process of recruiting additional lenders who may have not traditionally been participating in SBA loan programs, but for this response effort SBA is recruiting additional lenders that will be able to help put money back into the hands of small business owners.

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FAQ's and Complete PPP Information:

  • The CARES Act Provides Assistance to Small Businesses
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance – the SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)- COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • SBA Small Business Debt Relief ‐ if you are a current borrower under SBA 7(a) not through PPP, 504 loan program or a microloan, you are eligible for debt relief and SBA will cover all loan payments for 6 months. Contact your lender directly to confirm if funds are still available.

Find a Lender:

State Resources:

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz):

Check these links at regular intervals, as guidance continues to evolve:

California Office of Small Business Advocate

The Governor’s Measures for Financial and Tax Relief Include:

  • Franchise Tax Board payroll extension set up for July 15th, and you may also apply for an further extension.
  • 90 day mortgage payment forbearance
  • Moratorium on residential evictions
  • Call for local governments to provide these protections for commercial businesses. Check with local cities or counties to find out if these have been implemented.
  • More information can be found at the State’s COVID-19 response site
  • California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) automatically extended sales tax payments through July 15th for small businesses that are filing returns under$1 million. Also created a program for those with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales – 12-month interest-free payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability.
  • New capital assistance program for businesses that do not qualify for federal programs. Low wealth businesses and those who may not have proper documentation but have business entities can qualify for $50 million small business finance center at the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) to fund small business disaster relief loan guarantees for microloans of up to $50,000.
  • California Treasurer’s Office has CalCAP – Small business loan program for special disaster assistance as well
  • Employee assistance

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California Small Business Centers (833) 275-7232

Capital Assistance Program- $50 Million in Funding

Capital Programs Through IBank and Treasurer’s Office:

  • On April 2, Governor Newsom announced that the State of California is allocating $50 million to the Small Business Finance Center at California’s IBank to mitigate barriers to capital for small businesses and nonprofit organizations that may not qualify for federal funds (businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities). The $50 million allocation will be used to re-capitalize the IBank Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program.

California Treasurer’s Office has a small business loan program with special disaster assistance that is used by CDFIs, banks and other lenders. To apply, find a lender.

Labor/Workforce for Employers, Employees, and Self-Employed:

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Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims:

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation Program: On April 28, the application for these benefits will be available to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, and those employees whose wage data or work history is not sufficient to qualify for unemployment insurance, and to others who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits. Check the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Website for current information

Financial Relief

  • Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers ‐ relief for eligible consumers and homeowners mortgage-payment forbearances, up to 90 days
  • Residential eviction protections: California issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent, from March 27 and through May 31, 2020.
  • Commercial eviction protections: On March 16, Governor Newsom authorized local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shut offs. The protections are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended. The order also requests banks and other financial institutions to halt foreclosures and related evictions during this time period. Check with your local cities and counties to see if they have taken local action.
  • Price gouging protections: On April 3, Governor Newsom signed an executive order expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent.
  • The California Public Utilities Commission is taking action to help ensure that utility bills do not become an added hardship. There are utility assistance programs to help mitigate the impact of anticipated higher energy residential bills due to the stay-at-home order and COVID-19 pandemic.
  • California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) provides a 20 to 35 percent discount on utility bills.
  • COVID-19 Consumer Protections Web page tracks what all Water, Energy, and Telco utilities are doing during the crisis.
  • There is also a Telco page with info about new programs available for broadband including an interactive map to find what’s available in your zip code.

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Tax Relief

  • The CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will allow small business taxpayers to enter into an immediate 12-month interest-free payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. This is in addition to the previous announcement that CDTFA is also providing an automatic 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a first-quarter return for less than $1 million in taxes. No request is necessary. Small businesses will have until July 31, 2020 to file their first-quarter returns.
  • State Payroll Taxes: Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.
  • EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center: Toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-888-745-3886 TTY: 1-800-547-9565 Outside the US or Canada: 1-916-464-3502.
  • Individual and Business Tax Relief.

    FTB is postponing until July 15 the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities for: 2019 tax returns, 2019 tax return payments, 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, 2020 Non-wage withholding payments.

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Guidance on Critical Infrastructure/Essential Businesses

Information on critical infrastructure with the latest state guidance on essential businesses.

Other Miscellaneous Offerings:

We also encourage you to check your city and county Websites for local resources. We know that now, more than ever, businesses need our support to build resiliency. We will keep you on future list serves with updated information, and please sign up for GO-Biz’s newsletter to receive the latest updates.

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