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Coronavirus Shelter-in-Place Order Expands Dramatically

Yesterday, the counties of Sacramento, Monterey, and Santa Cruz adopted the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order that was passed on Monday by six Bay Area counties. These Orders are in effect for the next three weeks, until April 7. (The nine counties and links to the individual orders are below.)

On Monday, March 16, 2020, Governor Newsom said he planned to extend the Bay Area Shelter-in-Place guidelines statewide; however stopped short of issuing an Order. There is speculation that a Shelter-in-Place order will be issued statewide soon. Please stay up to date with new developments for the region where your business is located at as changes are occurring rapidly.

The unprecedented actions by the governor, legislature, and counties are all intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The enacted Orders essentially require that all individuals remain home, away from others, including their places of employment.

What does this mean for our members?

Simply stated, the Orders require businesses in these counties to cease operations, no matter its size or type of business, except those designated as “Essential Businesses,” as defined below.

For some employees working in printing and creative segments, a work-from-home approach might be possible. Unfortunately, for the print manufacturing side of the industry, the Order is much more impactful, requiring a three-week shut down of operation. (Only “Minimum Basic Operations” are allowed, as defined below. These include payroll and computer support for employees working from home or activities need to secure the place of business.)

There are no exceptions allowed unless the operation falls within the definition of an Essential Business or supporting an Essential Business. (For example, printing directories or labels for a hospital or governmental agencies involved with COVID-19.)

These measures, of course, or nothing short of extraordinary. We will keep you posted over the coming weeks.

For all of us at VMA, we’d like to hear from you. We know this will be a very challenging time for everyone in our industry.

The Order and Its Definitions

The entirety of the order along with resources within the specific county/city can be found below.

Alameda: Alameda County Public Health Dept. • Order • FAQ
Contra Costa: Contra Costa Health Services • Order • FAQ
Marin: Marin Health & Human Services • Order • FAQ
Monterey: Monterey Health DepartmentOrderFAQ
Sacramento: Sacramento County Public Health • Order
Santa Clara: Santa Clara Public Health Dept • Order • FAQ
San Francisco: San Francisco Dept. of Public Health • Order • FAQ 
San Mateo: San Mateo County Health • Order • FAQ
Santa Cruz: Health Services Agency • Order

Berkeley, Alameda County: City of Berkeley
Davis, Yolo County: City of Davis
Manteca, San Joaquin County: City of Manteca

Here’s the operable sentence in the Order:

All businesses in the in any of these counties, except Essential Businesses, are required to cease all except for the Minimum Basic Operations.

Here’s the entire Section 3 of the Order that pertains to businesses:

All businesses with a facility in the County, except Essential Businesses as defined below in Section 10, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations, as defined in Section 10. For clarity, businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). All Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open. To the greatest extent feasible, Essential Businesses shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 10 below, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.

Essential Businesses is defined as:
  • Healthcare operations
  • Grocery stores (establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruit, vegetables, pet supply, etc.)
  • Newspapers, television, radio and other media services
  • Banks and related financial institutions
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home
  • Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate
  • (This might provide some printers a possibility to continue some or all of their operations.)

Minimum Basic Operations is defined as:

“Minimum Basic Operations” include the following and must include that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

  1. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

Recent Government Activity

Senators Scott Wiener and Lena Gonzalez announced they would be co-authoring a measure also focused on protecting small businesses in this uncertain time. Their proposal would prohibit commercial evictions of small businesses based on non-payment of rent.

Senator Wiener has also joined with Assemblymember Phil Ting in calling on the Legislature to pass temporary statewide eviction and foreclosure bans. The Los Angeles Times notes Assemblymember Ting plans to introduce legislation this week as an urgency measure that would need the support of two-thirds in both houses. It has also been widely reported that many cities and counties have already enacted measures implementing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during this crisis.

Franchise Tax Board leaders on Friday announced they would grant an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make tax payments until June 15, in accordance with Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 12 executive order.

State Treasurer Fiona Ma stated last week she will be working with the Governor and the Legislature on actions to suspend the $800 LLC tax and the LLC fee for the prepayment of the 2020 calendar tax filing year, and to extend the state sales tax filing deadlines without interest, penalties, or fines on late payments.

Additional Support

These are extraordinary times so please stay safe. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to contact us as we are here to support your business.

Gerry Bonetto, Government Affairs Specialist, gerry@vma.bz
Dan Nelson, VMA President, dan@vma.bz

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