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Business Resiliency
As a small business in CA, you face various risks (fire, flood, drought, severe storm, global pandemics, etc.) to your operation. This Resiliency Planning Toolkit was just released for the Capital Region and might have some useful guidance!

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CARES Act, Small Business Loans & Grants

How to access the $360 billion in loans and grants allocated for small businesses and workers through the recent CARES Act.

In addition to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the hardships from COVID-19. This act, signed into law on March 27th, is divided among three small-business programs (also applies to nonprofits that meet size requirements).

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
    up to $10 million in loans that are 100% forgivable if businesses do not lay off any employees or if they rehire employees they’ve already laid off. Submit an application through their banking institutions; apply through any SBA 7(a) lender or federally insured depository institution or credit union, among others!
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL):
    a $10,000 grant that businesses can apply for and which they do not need to pay back. The rest of the EIDL loan, which caps out at $2 million, is not forgivable but can be more flexible than PPP in the types of expenses it covers.
    • Apply for the EIDL directly on the SBA website

For specific questions, organizations can reach out directly to the Small Business Administration via a new 24/7 phone helpline: 1-800-659-2955.
Businesses are also encouraged to connect with advisers at Small-business development centersWomen’s business centers, & SCORE., who are available to provide free guidance.

More information in our running list of resources for Small Businesses and workers.

Take Your Business Online

Shelter in place = empty streets and a push to move businesses online.

From Retail to E-tail
Making a virtual storefront can seem daunting at first but there are thousands of free resources and websites to help you make and manage your online store. Right now consumers are spending their time — reading, watching, researching, socializing and buying — online. 

Looking to move your business online? E-commerce platforms include:

  • Shopify (easy and more affordable than many options)
  • Woocommerce + WordPress
  • Magento (larger business focus)
  • OpenCart (open source and free, some technical skill needed)
  • Square Up, and many more!

Check out this step-by-step guide on how to take your business online from GoDaddy here. Note that they are trying to sell various products and services throughout the piece, but the overall guidance may be helpful.

Don't have products or services to offer online?
Set up an online gift card offering:

  • Create an e-gift card via Square or another vendor of your choice! 
  • Once you are up and running, enter your business on and research other local business listings - many cities, newspapers, and chambers have posted pages of businesses that are open now or offer gift cards.
  • Add a button to your website and announce the gift cards in an email/social media posts to customers.

Celebrate Earth Month 2020

Did you know that 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day?

This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a momentous occasion that would have called for huge celebrations and gatherings spanning the globe. Due to the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 challenge, there’s been a damper on in-person events, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Many of the events will be postponed, not canceled, and all of us can still celebrate from home!

Read our latest blog post! Ten Ways to Celebrate Earth Day from Home

Welcome Innovators!

Gino's Carco 
Gino's Carco Santa Cruz Auto and Truck Parts Recycling
Congratulations to Gino's Carco, the first-ever Innovator level business in Santa Cruz County Green Business Program. Gino has been doing his part to not just improve the environmental impact of his own business, but to welcome many unlikely and hard to reach businesses into the Green Business Network. Providing introductions to business owners in sectors ranging from veterinary hospitals to auto repair shops, Gino has been the B2B referral poster child in Santa Cruz County. He also participated in a regional committee of business leaders working to increase awareness of the program, selflessly committing time and energy to make sure every business owner has access to this great program. It is with great gratitude that we celebrate Gino's Carco Santa Cruz Innovator status!

Robert D Creasy Architecture
The Eastern Sierra Green Business Program recently certified Robert D Creasy Architecture (RDC Architecture) as an Innovator level Green Business! They provide architectural services for new and renovated buildings. The basis of their design work stems from a desire for a sustainable future. They advocate for or incorporate energy-efficient design, passive & active solar systems, and ground loop geothermal systems in all of our clients' projects.

The Innovator Tier allows businesses to go beyond certification to gain additional recognition and benefits. Contact your local program director to find out more about this level of certification!
Copyright © 2020 California Green Business Network, All rights reserved.

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