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Chamber Update 2.26.21 - Stillwell's Birthday Drive-By, New Grants For Business from State, County and City of PG, and More


Chamber News

Chamber to Hold Drive-by Birthday Celebration for Richard Stillwell

The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce will host a drive-by birthday celebration for “Mr. Pacific Grove” Richard Stillwell, on March 17th, 2021, for Mr. Stillwell’s 91st birthday from 4:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.

 

The event consist of a drive-by from well wishers and residents wishing to say “Happy Birthday” to Richard in a safe and socially distant manner. Richard and family will greet drivers from outside his residence at the corner of Jewell Avenue and Cedar Street in Pacific Grove. Mr. Stillwell was born in Modesto, California and moved to Pacific Grove in 1945, where he has lived for over 75 years, making many contributions toward defining Pacific Grove’s unique culture and quality of life.

 

He served on the Pacific Grove Economic Development Commission and Historic Resources Committee and also as Chief of the Pacific Grove Volunteer Fire Brigade and owner of the Pacific Grove Ace Hardware Store that he founded in downtown Pacific Grove in 1978. He has supported numerous City events including the Good Old Days, Feast of Lanterns, and started the annual Fun in the Park event and P.G. Pride organization.

 

The birthday drive-by will take place rain or shine. Drivers will be directed to drive down Cedar Street toward Jewell Ave., where Richard will greet drivers, participants are requested to notify the Chamber in advance of their wish to attend. Due to ongoing concerns around COVID-19, gifts are discouraged. More information can be found at www.pacificgrove.org or by calling Chamber Marketing & Events Manager, Peter Mounteer, at (831) 373-3304.

Chamber Releases Restaurant Specials Survey

The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce has released a simple three question survey for restauranteurs to update as needed to collect information about restaurant specials and special offerings. The form is available for restaurants with consolidated results published weekly online and on social media. Restaurants are encouraged to keep the Chamber appraised of weekly offerings and changes to hours and specials by emailing peter@pacificgrove.org or contacting the Chamber at (831) 324-4668.

 

Own a restaurant? Running a special? Fill out the survey here!

Chamber to Host Free Tax Tips Webinar with SCORE Central Coast

March 2

The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce and SCORE Central Coast have partnered to provide free or low cost webinars to new and experienced business owners during the pandemic. This webinar focuses on tax season and will be held Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 at 1:00p.m. via Zoom. Soothe your tax season headaches with this workshop! We will cover common questions around entity types, deductions, tax planning techniques and more. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions specific to your business by submitting them on the registration page.

 

Key Topics:

Business Entities

1st Year Elections

Deducting Assets & Auto

Returns to be Filed

Areas of IRS Focus if Audited

Tax Planning Techniques (recordkeeping, deferrals, etc)

 

To register, please visit the link here, or email Chamber Marketing & Events Manager, Peter Mounteer with the subject line: "tax webinar registration".

 

Register for Free Here

County Small Business Grants Available

Monterey County, through its Monterey County CARES Small Business Relief Program, is providing a second round of financial assistance to local small businesses that have experienced a loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

 

This program provides up to $10,000 in grant-funded reimbursement to businesses with 2-25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for eligible COVID-19 related operating expenses.

 

Informational Webinar here. Habla espanol? Vea el webinar aquí.

 

Apply here. Deadline March 8th.

Missed CHOMP's Vaccine Town Hall? Watch Here

 

The Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula recently held a town hall on the COVID-19 Vaccine, covering the COVID-19 vaccine and includes a question and answers session from the community. Dr. Blum discussed the following regarding the vaccine:

  • Benefits
  • Side effects
  • Who is eligible to get the vaccine in the early stages

Watch in English here. Espanol here.

Pacific Grove Business News

Stay Tuned: Pacific Grove Small Business Grants Opening Next Week

The City of Pacific Grove is offering grants to eligible Pacific Grove small businesses through the Community & Economic Development Department. The grants are in $5,000 dollar amounts to Pacific Grove small businesses that are independently owned. Eligible businesses must possess a valid Pacific Grove business license, demonstrate a loss of income caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic, and have been in operation since January 1, 2020 Grants will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with the potential for additional grants to be provided based upon community donation response. Grant funding could be used for payroll, operational needs, business improvements for Shelter in Place requirements (ex., outdoor dining expenses, such as heaters, chair and tables, etc.). The application will be ready next week and your Chamber is available to assist in accessing the application.

Everyone's Harvest Offering Cooking Classes Online

Next One is Tuesday March 2nd

The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Everyone's Harvest is offering virtual cooking classes online on a regular basis. The popular classes incorporate farm fresh ingredients from Chefs from around the Peninsula's most popular restaurants. The next class will feature Chef Brandon Miller of Chef's Stash on Tuesday, March 2nd from 4-6p.m. The program also features bilingual recipes in English and Spanish.

Interested? Register Here

Can't make it? No Worries! The Everyone's Harvest Farmer's Market meets on Mondays in Pacific Grove at Forest & Central Avenues from 3:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. More information at www.everyonesharvest.org

Eddison & Melrose To Release Cookbook

Cozy Tea Shop & Bakery Celebrating 20 Years in Business!

Chef Karen Anne Murray is celebrating 20 years of Eddison & Melrose with the announcement of her soon to be released cookbook "Tea Table, Inspiring Teatime Creations from California’s Central Coast."

 

The book celebrates teatime and encourages readers to awaken their creativity with easy, uncomplicated recipes and augmented by beautiful photography of the California Central Coast.

 

The book is published by Pacific Grove Books, a small portion of each of the first prints book sale to be donated to Friends of Pacific Grove Library.

The recipes in the book are newly created especially for the home or professional chef with a slight focus on healthy eating and teatime dining. Karen was born and raised in England to parents who immigrated from Jamaica. Having lived in North America for over 30 years Karen brings her West Coast flair to these specially created recipes. She is excited to share with her family, friends, customers, fellow business owners and tea seekers some personal ideas and secrets that add ease to entertaining at teatime.

Eddison & Melrose offers a variety of tea-time treats and teas, including Karen Anne’s Granola, fresh baked scones, afternoon tea, high tea and a variety of custom blended loose leaf teas..

The book is scheduled to be released Spring 2021. For more information you may reach Karen:

Phone: 1 (831) 601-4851

Email: tea@eddisonandmelrose.com

www.eddisonandmelrose.com

Let Your Representative Know

How You Feel About the Proposed $15 Federal Minimum Wage

On February 9, the Committee on Education and Labor approved the bill including the minimum wage increase by a vote of 27-21. Next week, the House Budget Committee is expected to consider this legislation and the following week the full U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill. On February 11, Speaker Pelosi reiterated the House will consider the bill with the $15 per hour federal minimum wage included.

Consider relaying your concerns with your legislators in sharing how a $15 federal minimum wage mandate would impact jobs, the economy, and small businesses.

Use the NFIB's letter form here

Or write to your federal official here (House) and here, (Senate).

COVID-19 Positivity Rates for Monterey County

Monterey County has 6.6% positivity rate and 18.2 new cases per 100K per day, a slight improvement from last week. The county has split the requirements for entry into the red tier. With a 7.8% positivity rate, that's below the 8% required for admission into the purple tier. However, in order to enter the Red Tier and allow more sectors to re-open, the county's Positivity Rate must be between 5.0 - 8.0 % AND the adjusted daily case-rate must be between 4-7 new cases per 100,000 people per day.

Important Links and Information for Coronavirus in Monterey County

Local Data for Monterey County

COVID-19-Related Business Resources

Coronavirus Related Tax-Relief Information

General Local Information

Monterey County COVID-19 Homepage

California Department of Public Health Guidance on Household Gatherings

State Regional Stay at Home Order (Dec 3)

Make Your Voice Heard

Monterey County COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey

Monterey County COVID-19 Non-Profit Impacts Survey

COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Information

Monterey County to Get Additional Vaccine Doses

On February 23rd, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) increased Monterey County's vaccine allocation, the County is to receive 10,600 vaccine doses this week including additional doses for farmworkers.

Based on State guidance and local considerations, at this time the following Monterey County residents are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Health care workers
  • Residents age 75 years and older

 

Effective now, the following Monterey County residents are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Health care workers (continued)
  • Residents age 75 years and older (continued)
  • Residents 65 to 74 years of age who are at risk of exposure while working in food and agriculture, childcare and education, and emergency services
  • Residents 65 to 74 years of age who live in one of the following ZIP code:
  • North County: 95012, 95039, 95076
  • Peninsula & Big Sur: 93933, 93955
  • Salinas: 93901, 93905, 93906
  • South County: 93926, 92927, 93930, 93960

Vaccine supplies are extremely limited. Not everyone eligible for vaccination may be able to schedule an appointment until supplies increase.

 

Beginning March 15, individuals with certain medical conditions that place them at high-risk for serious illness will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Health care providers may use their clinical judgement to determine if their patients have one or more of these conditions. The list of conditions can be found at

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Provider-Bulletin-2-12-21.aspx.

In anticipation of the March 15 date, the Monterey County Health Department has released its projected timeline for advancing through the remainder of Phase 1b of California’s Vaccine Plan. The below graphic outlines the Health Department’s projected timeline:

If You're Eligible, Register Here

Monterey County Health Department will schedule community-based clinics when new shipments of vaccine are received. Monterey County’s vaccine appointment registration website www.mcvaccinate.com will be updated as clinics are scheduled. Please note that individuals are required to show proof of being at least 65 years of age and of being employed in an open industry sector, and/or show proof of residence in a prioritized ZIP code when presenting for community-based vaccination appointments.

Until more vaccine is available, the Department asks residents to continue taking steps that will limit transmission of the virus and reduce strain on our health care systems. These include:

  • Staying home except for essential activities
  • Wearing a mask when leaving home
  • Limiting interactions with people outside your immediate household
  • Keeping physical distance of at least 6 feet apart
  • Washing hand for 20 seconds
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible and when vaccine is available

For more information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination, please visit www.montereycountycovid19.com or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 831-769-8700 Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Interested in Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine? Sign Up Below

The Monterey County Health Department has launched an online portal for residents to indicate their interest in getting a COVID-19 vaccine and to be notified when additional tiers are opening for vaccinations. This is not an appointment portal, but a way for the county to give residents a better estimate as to when they might be able to receive vaccine. You can access this portal at: www.montereycountycovid19.com

Click Here to Sign Your Business Up

By the Numbers: COVID-19 Vaccinations in Monterey County

Employer Resources & Information

Governor Signs $2 Billion Dollar Stimulus Bill with Aid For Small Businesses And Expanded Grants

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a comprehensive package of immediate actions that will speed needed relief to individuals, families and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The package, passed by the Legislature this week, builds on the initiatives in the Governor’s January state budget proposal to provide cash relief to lower-income Californians, increase aid to small businesses and provide license renewal fee waivers to businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Below are key provisions of the bills signed into law:

Immediate Relief for Small Businesses

Provides $2.1 billion – a four-fold increase over the $500 million currently being distributed – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and allocates $50 million of this total for non-profit cultural institutions.

Fee Waivers for Heavily Impacted Licensees

Two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235. The action also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Direct Relief to Individuals and Families

Incorporates the Governor’s Golden State Stimulus plan to assist California households that have borne the disproportionate economic burden of the COVID-19 Recession – those with incomes below $30,000, as well as those unfairly excluded from previous federal stimulus payments.

Provides $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020. In addition, the agreement provides a $600 one-time payment to taxpayers with Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) who were precluded from receiving the $1,200 per person federal payments issued last spring and the more recent $600 federal payments. Today’s action also provides $600 payments to households with ITINs and income below $75,000. ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California EITC would receive a total of $1,200. The payments will be provided to these households shortly after they file their 2020 tax returns.

Provides direct relief to additional lower-income Californians through a $600 one-time grant to households enrolled in the CalWORKS program and recipients of SSI/SSP and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

Grant payments for CalWORKS households are expected by mid-April; timing for the delivery of SSI/SSP and CAPI grants is currently under discussion with federal officials.

Combined, the package represents a total of 5.7 million payments to low-income Californians.

Additional Aid for Individuals and Families

Provides an additional $24 million for financial assistance and services through Housing for the Harvest – a program providing support for agricultural workers who have to quarantine due to COVID-19. The effort also provides a combined $35 million for food banks and diapers.

Emergency Financial Relief to Support Community College Students

Provides an additional $100 million in emergency financial aid for qualifying low-income students carrying six or more units, with award amounts to be determined locally and made available by early April. In addition, the agreement provides $20 million to reengage students who have either left their community college studies because of the pandemic or to engage students at risk of leaving.

From CalChamber and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce:

California Help to Small Businesses & More Bills to Watch

The California Chamber of Commerce produces a weekly podcast and accompanying article outlining best practices, rules and regulations and trends for employers to adhere to and know. Among them is an ongoing series on COVID-19 and the workplace for employers. This episode discusses three CalChamber-supported bills moving through the legislature that will provide economic relief to small businesses: SB 87, AB 83 and AB 80. The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce reproduces these articles and amends them for clarity, brevity and additional resources relevant to local industry.

SB 87: COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

One important bill that has been introduced is SB 87 which significantly expands the California Relief Grant Program. The program will re-open for new applications at a future date, your Pacific Grove Chamber will keep you appraised of all developments.

SB 87 (Caballero; D-Salinas) appropriates $2.075 billion from the General Fund to the Golden State Stimulus Emergency Fund and awards grants to small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural institutions that have experienced economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. This expands the 2-round program the Chamber disseminated information about in early February and late January.

In order to be eligible to apply, a business needs to make between $5,000–$2.5 million in annual gross revenue. Grants awarded would vary anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.

Grant money can be used for payroll, health care benefits, rent, utilities, and more.

Read the Bill here. More on SB 87 Above

SB 83: License Renewal Fees Waiver

Another important measure is AB 83 (Committee on Budget), which is a companion bill to SB 94 (Skinner; D-Berkeley).

AB 83 waives license renewal fees for bars, restaurants, and businesses licensed by the barbering and cosmetology board.

Although the bill is narrowed to license renewal fees, these fees can range from $455 to more than $1,200, and for many businesses right now, every penny counts,

The bill still has to be approved and signed, and then there likely will be an application process. More information will be available once the bill is finalized.

Read the Bill here. Voice your opinion on the bill here or contact our State Assemblymember and Senate Member.

SB 80: Tax Consolidation

The last bill is AB 80 (Burke; D-Inglewood). The bill brings California into partial conformity with the federal government’s tax treatment of deductible business expenses paid for using PPP funds.

Under this bill, businesses can deduct up to $150,000 in expenses covered by the PPP loan from their state income taxes..

Calchamber estimates that the bill will be signed into law in March.

Read the Bill here. Voice your opinion on the bill here or contact our State Assemblymember and Senate Member.

Read or listen to the full article here. For more information for employers click the links at Department of Public Health and the Division of Occupational Health & Safety

COVID-19 Vaccination: What Employers Can Do To Prepare

There are a few things employers can do to prepare while California progresses through the early phases and tiers of California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan:

1. Keep abreast of the changes and where we are locally in moving through California’s Vaccine Plan. The situation is very fluid and rapidly evolving. Check the Monterey County COVID19 vaccine website frequently: https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-ah/health/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/2019-novelcoronavirus-covid-19-vaccines.

Following the Health Department’s social media sites is another quick way to stay informed (@MCHDPIO for Twitter and @mtyhd for Facebook).

2. Designate a point person who will coordinate with the Monterey County Health Department.

3. Begin developing a list of staff/employees who are at risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19. To get started, the list should include name, date of birth, email address, phone number, worksite location, job classification/title, and whether they are willing to be vaccinated.

4. Submit your organization’s interest in vaccinating employees at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=qsBxyii g7EOMMAVrYO10FMw4msASlr5Ct5BLe66TX99URDFONldO WFVOMVY3QTAzMVJMM1BZRFVPNC4u.

Monterey County Health Department staff will contact the person indicated on the form when vaccine clinics for the appropriate phase and tier are available.

5. Set up a system to alert staff when it is time to vaccinate their phase and tier, as well as provide direction on where to go and how to prepare.

6. Share information with employees about COVID-19 prevention including vaccination.

7. Continue to follow California Department of Public Health guidelines for business sectors and CalOSHA regulations.

Because vaccine is arriving in California slowly and in unpredictable quantities, it is difficult to predict how quickly California and Monterey County will progress through the phases and tiers of California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan.

For more information on these recommendations, contact the Monterey County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center: 831-769-8700 or email the center at COVID19HealthCallCenter@co.monterey.ca.us

Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce | www.pacificgrove.org

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