Introducing the COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program

COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program

Providing $30 Million in Small Business Funding And Supporting All Businesses who Partner

Program Overview – COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program

The County of San Bernardino is committed to rebuilding and sustaining a high quality of life for its residents and businesses.

To support our local small businesses and help ensure ongoing compliance with State and County Health orders and direction, San Bernardino County is implementing the COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program.

This program has two components.

  1. Funding of $2,500 for eligible Small Businesses with 1-100 employees (some exceptions made for businesses with 0 employees)
  2. Support and Partnership for ALL eligible County businesses who wish to become a COVID Compliant Business Partner

This program will support our local small businesses by reimbursing and/or offsetting costs and impacts directly related to complying with COVID-19 related business protocols and providing support to all eligible County businesses who apply for the program.

Prior to receiving funding, San Bernardino County small businesses must demonstrate compliance with State/County public health orders, and incorporate safety and social distancing practices and measures in their business operations. 

Total funding available for this program is $30,000,000. Eligible businesses, per qualifying location, can receive up to $2,500. Deadline for Application: October 31, 2020

Compliance rules policy concept

PROGRAM OVERVIEW – COVID-COMPLIANT BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP – OUTDOOR OPERATIONS PROGRAM

San Bernardino County has further expanded the COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program to support small businesses and nonprofits that have incurred expenses moving their operations outdoors. In addition to the original $2,500 provided to participants, the County is now offering $1,200 per business to restaurants, retail stores and service businesses that relocated their operations outdoors in response to State regulations. 

Businesses eligible for this grant include but are not fully limited to restaurants, shopping malls, nail salons, hair salons, barbershop, religious services/churches, fitness facilities, service businesses, etc.

Prior to receiving funding, applicants must provide documentation and photos that will be helpful in determining eligibility.  For example, photos of receipts for expenses incurred in moving operations outside, photos showing the location and setup of outdoor operations, photos showing additional equipment and supplies required to safely operate outdoors, outdoor permit issued by the respective jurisdiction if available, etc.

Eligible businesses may apply for both the COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program and the Outdoor Operations Program under one application.

Deadline for Application:  October 31, 2020


Post covid-19 era helping hand for business and economy concept

Benefits of Becoming a COVID-Compliant Business Partner

Businesses that meet small business requirements will:

  • Collect up to $2,500 in funding from the County of San Bernardino to offset costs and impacts directly related to complying with COVID protocols for business

All eligible businesses that participate will:

  • Once it has been determined that a company is a COVID-Compliant Business Partner, they will be issued a “This Business Partner is COVID Compliant” window graphic to recognize the business for its commitment to public health and safety. This acknowledgement is encouraged to be prominently displayed for public view at the business location
  • Gain exclusive access to receive PPE directly from the County at County cost

Eligibility Requirements

Many small businesses in San Bernardino County have been significantly negatively impacted financially as a result of this national health crisis. The County is experiencing a greater increase layoffs and furloughs, thus creating a significant impact on many employees, families, and on the State and local economy, especially if these small business fail to recover.

Who is Eligible for Funding?

Businesses must be located in San Bernardino County with no more than 100 employees in total. Barber shops and Hair Salons who rent space but have no employees are also eligible for this program. Stylists who rent space and don’t own a shop are not eligible. Priority is given to those businesses that have been in operations for one (1) year or more. Priority will be given to businesses that have not received any federal and/or state assistance such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sole Proprietors (0 employees) are eligible if they have a retail space or storefront. Home-based businesses that service customers are eligible. (i.e. Home day care center). Non-profits and permitted Short-term rental owners are eligible to apply for funding. Private schools are eligible.

Ineligible Businesses for Funding:

  • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations with federal regulations taking precedence over local or state regulations
  • Race tracks, mobile services, gambling facilities, or adult entertainment
  • Businesses with more than 100 FTE employees as of end of 2019
    • Part-time employee = 0.5 FTE

Who is Eligible for Participation, but No Funding?

Businesses must be located in San Bernardino County and have a storefront location.

male shopkeeper wearing face mask

Private Schools

Partnership program in an effort to support and sustain in-person instruction at waiver-approved elementary schools across the county. Participation in this program will provide financial support for the procurement of personal protection equipment, sanitation supplies and on-site improvements to facilities for the safety of both students and faculty.

Tiers

Supportive Compliance

Public Health will provide Health Education Specialist from the K-12 Response Team to provide on-going support and in-person visits to private school campuses across the county.  At the time of each visit, Health Education Specialist will:

  • Assess the school site for proper signage, the use of PPE and other recommended precautions, and address any gaps or special needs
  • Provide additional education and prevention resources
  • Ensure schools are up to date on the latest guidance from CDC and CDPH
  • Provide training resources for contract tracing
  • Share COVID testing opportunities throughout the county
  • Share best practices and answer questions from Administrators and faculty members

Required Documents

  • CA Private School Affidavit
  • W9
  • Prior Year Tax Documentation or proof of Tax Exemption

All businesses that participate and determined to be a COVID-Compliant Business Partner will be issued a “This Business Partner is COVID Compliant” window graphic to recognize the business for its commitment to public health and safety.  Businesses will also gain exclusive access to receive PPE directly from the County at the same price that the County pays. 

Questions?

Email sbcovidbusiness@eda.sbcounty.gov

Phone – 909-387-3911

door with Open and Covid compliant sign

Funding Structure

The County is accepting applications now. The application deadline is set for October 31, 2020.

  • For business owners with multiple locations, the first qualifying business location would be eligible for $2,500, with each additional eligible business location receiving an additional $1,000.
  • Short Term Rentals (STRs) – Receive financial support of $500 to offset basic cost of safety improvements and increased sanitization requirements.
    • Any additional STR under the same owner would be eligible for an additional $250 each.
businessperson's hand giving check

Application

Business Submission Requirements

  1. Evidence of Business Location in San Bernardino County
    1. For businesses located within city limits, please provide the following:
      1. IRS W-9 Form and
      2. a copy of current city business license
      3. Last year’s (2019) business tax return (to qualify that they were in business prior to May 1, 2019)
    2. For businesses located within unincorporated areas, please provide the following:
      1. IRS Form W-9 and
      2. Last year’s (2019) Business tax Return
    3. For short-term rentals (if approved for funding eligibility), please provide the following:
      1. IRS Form W-9 and
      2. Screen shot of host profile on travel website (i.e. Airbnb, Home Away, Vrbo) to display when host joined.  An example of an image is below:
        screenshot of travel site
      3. For STRs located in the unincorporated area of San Bernardino County, please provide a County-issued permit
      4. For STRS located within city limits, please provide a city-issued permit or business license
  2. Evidence of Number of Employees (NOTE: This does not pertain to STRs)
    1. Recent (2019) Payroll Statement
  3. Photos and Videos (optional)
    1. Applicant may also include up to 5 photos and 2 videos showing how business is complying with state and local regulations.  These may be helpful in processing the application but aren’t required.

You can begin the process by filling out the online application form. This application should be completed on a desktop or laptop computer (not a mobile device) using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

online application on tablet

hand filling in application form

Approval Process

Upon review of the completed application and submittal of required documents as noted, funds will be issued until exhausted, on a first-come, first-served basis. Once approved, the business will be provided the COVID-Compliant Business Partner window hanger to display. Businesses will be expected to continue to comply with guidelines issued by the State and County regarding COVID-related safety measures. Any complaints received may lead to inspection of business and loss or reduction in funding received.

Workplace Readiness Essentials Checklist


Hand holding phone with let's work together on screen

Timeline

Business Compliance Partner

You can begin the process by filling out the online application form. This application should be completed on a desktop or laptop computer (not a mobile device) using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

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FAQ

Upon approval of the application and confirmation of eligibility, a check is expected to be issued within 30 days.

Upon approval of application, a COVID-Compliant Business Partnership window placard will be issued within 30 days.

Unfortunately, no.  This program is intended to support local small businesses in San Bernardino County that employ less than 100 employees, by reimbursing and/or offsetting costs and impacts directly related to complying with COVID protocols for business.  You can, however, participate as a partner and demonstrate to your customers your commitment to compliance with County safety guidelines.

Please also check out federal funding programs at https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications

Applications will be accepted through October 31st, or until funding is exhausted, on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Governor Newsom released new guidelines for businesses.  An updated CA Resilience Roadmap and industry specific guidance can be found here.  The County has prepared advisory and guidance updates here.  More information will be added as it is available.

Faced with complex issues during the 2008 economic downturn, San Bernardino County worked collaboratively and across city and community boundaries and diverse industries to rebuild and sustain a high quality of life for its residents and businesses. The County used community meetings, public and business on-line surveys, and public agency collaborations to create a Countywide Vision – a roadmap for the future.

According to the Countywide Vision “We envision a vibrant economy with a skilled workforce that attracts employers who seize the opportunities presented by the county’s unique advantages and provide the jobs that create countywide prosperity. We envision a model community which is governed in an open and ethical manner, where great ideas are replicated and brought to scale, and all sectors work collaboratively to reach shared goals.”

In the face of an unprecedented economic and health crisis, it is increasingly important for the County of San Bernardino to collaborate, use this vision as its driver, and deliver strategies and resources to support small businesses in our local economy. To that end, the County has launched the COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program.

Third party data indicates there are 20,409 businesses (Source: ESRI Data) in San Bernardino County with 1 to 100 employees. Many of these small businesses have been significantly negatively impacted financially as a result of this crisis and there is potential for layoffs and furloughs, thus having a significant impact on many employees, families, and on the State and local economy if these small businesses fail to recover. With the COVID Business Partner Program, the County plans to reach close to 12,000 businesses, based on a target of $2,500 per qualified business location, which equals approximately 60% of small businesses in the County that could receive funding, assuming 12,000 companies apply.

The estimated cost for this program is $30,500,000 total, including an estimated $500,000 allocated for administrative expenses.

Once approved, businesses will be expected to continue to comply with guidelines issued by the State and County regarding COVID-19 related safety measures. Any complaints received may lead to inspection of business and loss or reduction in funding received.

If they meet the other eligible criteria they would qualify.

The first location would receive $2,500 and each additional location would receive $1,000.

For Short Term Rentals, the first location would receive $500 and each additional eligible location would receive $250.

This is funded by the County, and is expected to be reimbursed from Federal CARES Act funding.

Callers can be assisted by the JIC staff, or they can email sbcovidbusiness@eda.sbcounty.gov for assistance with specific questions

No, this is open to any business who meets the eligibility requirements.

Unfortunately, dispensaries are not eligible.

While the funding is first come, first-served, the ability to be approved to be a partner with the County will exist through October 31st; the County should be able to fund 12,000 small businesses with the funding available.

Short-term rental (STR) owners that meet the eligibility requirements may be issued $500 to assist with sanitation and other basic cleaning costs. Each additional STR under the same owner may receive an additional $250 for each property.

Whether a business is a COVID business partner or not, the business should abide by all State orders and shutdowns.

At this time program eligibility is extended to waiver-approved private schools or private schools that are operating cohorts within CDPH’s Cohort guidance only.  The County will continue to make changes to program eligibility consistent with the Governor’s orders for reopening.  This program is designed to support traditional, brick and mortar private schools not “homeschools” or private schools that operate within a residence. The list of approved and pending waiver applications here: https://sbcovid19.com/schools/

On July 1, 2020, the Governor announced immediate temporary restrictions on certain indoor business operations, including indoor dining. The following guidelines apply to businesses in the unincorporated areas that wish to temporarily relocate indoor seating from a permitted facility for outdoor COVID-compliant dining:

  • These guidelines apply to businesses in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. Businesses within City boundaries need to contact the City for their requirements.
  • Due to the temporary nature of the restrictions, relocating indoor seating to outdoors will be considered in substantial conformance with existing County permits. Only a courtesy COVID compliance/safety inspection is required.
  • A maximum of 50% on-site parking spaces may be converted to dining space.
  • Outdoor seating must maintain six feet of separation between tables.
  • Outdoor dining must not encroach into drive aisles, or conflict with any vehicle traffic or pedestrian access to the facility.
  • Encroachment permits are required for any obstruction in public right-of-way.
  • Other permit requirements, including hours of operation, remain in effect.
  • Outdoor dining must not impede disabled access.
  • CAL/OSHA and Department of Public Health requirements remain in effect.
  • Temporary authorization from ABC is required for outdoor alcohol service.
  • Contact County Code Enforcement at (909) 884-4056 for a courtesy inspection.

If you have any questions about these requirements before calling for an inspection, please contact the Planning Division at (909) 387-8311.  Please note this is a temporary adjustment that would be in effect only during the timeline that the State enacts this temporary closure of indoor dining service.

Covid-Compliant Business Partnership Applications

View Map of County’s COVID-Compliant Business Partners

This map is best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer (not a mobile device) using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.