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  • JEDE COVID-19 Weekly Update - June 1 Edition

    Today’s JEDE update includes information on major federal and state actions and free webinars available to help the small business and economic development community meet the COVID-19 challenges.   The next update will be on Tuesday, June 7, 2021, due to legislative deadlines.     
     
    These updates are in addition to the JEDE COVID-19 webpage, which includes links to key public and private (nonprofit) webpages:  https://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/content/covid-19-resources.  Information from previous JEDE COVID-19 Updates is available at:  https://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/content/covid-19-updates.
     
    MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
    • California COVID-19 Update:   Below is the most current CalOES status update.  www.covid19.ca.gov
     
     
    • Free masks and PPE to Small Businesses:  CalOES and GO-Biz are working with partners to distribute personal protective supplies to small businesses, hospitals, schools, and others who need PPE to safely reopen. Our colleague, Chelsea Irvine is helping to coordinate chelseakirvine@icloud.com  Current inventory:
    • Disposable surgical masks (pallet of 60,000)
    • Hand sanitizer in 2 ounce (10k/pallet), 4 ounce (5k/pallet) and 16 ounce bottles (1k/pallet)
    • Face Shields (216 per case)
    • Anti-bacterial hand soap in 8 ounce bottles (has to be ordered by the trailer-full - 70,000 bottles)
    • Boxes of large or extra small gloves (2,500 per box)
    • US President’s Budget:  President Biden released his 2022 Budget which includes, among other things, two of the plans previously put forward– the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.  file://asmfs.calegis.net/Shares/ajed/2020-22%20COVID-19%20Response/03%20-%20Programs/7%20-%20Federal%20Budget/FINAL-FY22-Budget-Overview-Fact-Sheet.pdf  Below are some highlights from the US Department of Labor:
    • Expand Registered Apprenticeship Opportunities:  The budget proposes $285 million for Registered Apprenticeships, an increase of $100 million from the 2021 enacted level, to expand access for historically underrepresented groups and to diversify the industry sectors involved. The American Jobs Plan will build on this investment with $10 billion over 10 years to create one to two million new Registered Apprenticeships, slots and strengthen the pipeline for more women and people of color to access these opportunities.
    • Pathways to Good-Paying Jobs:  The budget proposes an increase of $203 million to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act state grants to make employment services and training available to more dislocated workers, low-income adults, and disadvantaged youth who have been hurt by the economic fallout from the pandemic. The budget also includes increased investments in programs that serve disadvantaged workers and job seekers, including justice-involved individuals, at-risk youth and American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian individuals. The American Jobs Plan also proposes new investments in proven workforce development models, such as sector-based training programs, comprehensive supports for dislocated workers, and expanded access to intensive, staff-assisted career services.
    • Workers’ Rights, Benefits and Safety:   During the past four years, the US Labor Department’s worker protection agencies experienced a 14% reduction in staff.  The budget reverses this trend with increases totaling nearly $300 million in the worker protection agencies, including $73 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, $67 million for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, $35 million for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and $37 million for the Employee Benefits Security Administration. The American Jobs Plan further bolsters the department’s worker protection agencies with an additional investment of $7.5 billion over 10 years. 
    • Protect Workers’ Paychecks. The budget proposes an increase of more than $30 million for the Wage and Hour Division. This increase will allow the division to more aggressively enforce worker misclassification, prevailing wages, and family and medical leave.
    • Child Care Tax Credit:  The US Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit (CTC) from the American Rescue Plan will be made on July 15. https://home.treasury.gov/news/featured-stories/treasury-and-irs-announce-families-of-88-of-children-in-the-us-to-automatically-receive-monthly-payment-of-refundable-child-tax-credit  “Roughly 39 million households — covering 88 percent of children in the United States — are slated to begin receiving monthly payments without any further action required.”
    • Economic Impact Payments:  The Internal Revenue Service, the US Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced they have disbursed more than 1.8 million additional Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan.  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/more-than-1-point-8-million-additional-economic-impact-payments-disbursed-under-the-american-rescue-plan-total-payments-reach-nearly-167-million This brings total disbursements to nearly 167 million payments, for a total value of approximately $391 billion since these payments began rolling out on March 12.  Overall, the last two weeks of payments contain more than 900,000 direct deposit payments (with a total value over $1.6 billion) with the remainder as paper check payments.
    • US-South Korea Trade Discussions:  US Commerce Secretary Raimondo hosted a roundtable with Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-In; Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Sung Wook Moon; and US and South Korean CEOs to demonstrate “the importance of the economic relationship between the United States and South Korea, and in particular, significant cross-border investments in sectors critical to the long-term growth of both economies”  https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/05/us-secretary-commerce-gina-raimondo-hosts-roundtable-president-moon-jae   In conjunction with the meetings, South Korean businesses announced their commitment to invest over $30 billion in the US, including over $17 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and over $14 billion in electric vehicles, electric vehicle battery production, and related research and development.
    • New Information on California Budget:  The Assembly and the Senate have reached a historic compromise on the budget weeks ahead of the June 15 deadline.  United the two Houses will negotiate with the Administration over the final details, including the inclusion of the Governor’s California Comeback Plan.
    • Assembly Budget Committee meets to approve Assembly Budget on June 2:  https://abgt.assembly.ca.gov/fullbudgetcommittee1
    • Senate Budget Committee meets to approve Senate Budget on June 2:   https://sbud.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbud.senate.ca.gov/files/June%202%202021%20Hearing%20Agenda.pdf
    • CALED has released an economic development summary of the May Revise:  https://caled.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/5.24.21_May-Revise-Alert_PDF-Version_UPDATED.pdf
    • DOF Tracking List of 2021-22 Trailer Bills:  https://esd.dof.ca.gov/trailer-bill/public/trailerBill/pdf/-1
    • NCSL Guidance of the Use of State Funds in the American Rescue Plan:  https://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/statefed/Flexibility-in-Covid-Recovery-Fund.pdf
    • GO-Biz Updates California Opportunity Zone Site:  The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development released a comprehensive update to the California Opportunity Zone site. https://opzones.ca.gov/  According to the release, the new site incorporates feedback and input shared to GO-Biz by the 2020 Opportunity Zone Survey following the release of the 2020 Opportunity Zone & Promise Zone Update. The updated site includes “multitude of funding opportunities, resources, best practices, and tools to support investment, economic development, and business development in economically-distressed communities throughout California.”   More specifically, the update includes:
    • An updated State Integrated Map that highlights additional place-based investments, incentives, and initiatives, such as California’s Climate Investments and California Recycling Market Development Zones
    • A new Community Investment Prospectus page, featuring 54 cities and counties across every region of California
    • 10 new Opportunities Categories featuring 32 unique state supportive programs from infrastructure and affordable housing to small business and healthcare access
    • A new Economic Development Districts page, highlighting tools to support place-based economic development and recovery, such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs), and Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs)
    • A showcase of over $350m in-state public investments in low-income Opportunity Zone census tracts in every region of California
    • A California’s Promise Zones page featuring California’s four Promise Zones in Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego
    • A new Place-Based Resource Toolkit hosting a dozen different state tools and resources to support local community economic development
    • An updated audience-oriented FAQ page and newly created Opportunity Zone 101 page
    • 12 new community-shared examples of the Opportunity Zone tax incentive in use
    • Updated testimonials, facts, partners list, and regulations pages
    • Climate Benefits of Conservation Reserve Program:  The US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced an initiative to quantify the climate benefits of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts. https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2021/usda-announces-new-initiative-to-quantify-climate-benefits-of-conservation-reserve-program This is a multi-year effort designed to “better target CRP toward climate outcomes and improve existing models and conservation planning tools while supporting USDA’s goal of putting American agriculture and forestry at the center of climate-smart solutions to address climate change.”
     
    DATA, SURVEYS, AND ANALYSES
    • April US Employment Data (most current):  US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released national-level employment data for April 2021.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm  According to the report, total US nonfarm payroll employment increased by 266,000 jobs in April, reflecting a 6.1% unemployment rate.  In releasing the data, the BLS stated: “notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers.”  Unemployment among selected worker groups:  13.9% for Teenagers, 5.6% Adult Women, 6.1% Adult Men, 9.7% for Blacks, 7.9% for Hispanics, 5.7% for Asians, 5.3% for Whites.  
    • April California Employment Data (most recent):  The Employment Development Department released state-level data for April 2021.  https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/Publications/Labor-Market-Analysis/calmr.pdf     California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3% in April.  Nonfarm payrolls increased by 37,000 jobs from the prior month.  The civilian labor force was up 33,000 workers from the prior month and 383,000 (2%) from the prior year.  Unemployment among Blacks and Latinx remained significantly higher than the statewide average, reported as 13.9% and 11.8% respectively.
    • Private Investment in Innovation:  The US Census Bureau released the 2019 Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), which shows changes in the investment businesses make on capital goods, including structures and equipment.  https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/05/how-much-do-businesses-spend-on-innovation-to-stay-competitive.html?utm_campaign=20210528mspios1ccdtanl&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery According to the report, for companies with employees, overall capital expenditures for structures and equipment increased 6.4%, from 2018 to $108.7 billion in 2019.  The Finance and insurance, Utilities, and ACES began collecting data on robotic equipment expenditures in 2018. This component will now be a part of annual survey releases. Transportation and Warehousing sectors accounted for 27.4% of total spending in 2019.  Investments for structures and equipment in these sectors increased 10.8%, 9.5%, and 7.1%, respectively.   ACES began collecting data on robotic equipment expenditures in 2018.  The manufacturing of motor vehicle body, trailer,and parts represents a large share of the total robotic expenditures.
    • Designing Equitable SSBCI Deployment Plans:  Smart Incentives released a list of recommendations to state developing strategies to use SSBCI funds, the $5 billion of the $10 billion being awarded by formula.  https://smartincentives.org/state-small-business-programs-can-support-an-equitable-recovery/  Among other recommendations (full descriptions available through the link):
    • Create program rules that broaden access, not constrain it:  Our research found that state incentive and financing program rules are often extremely restrictive. When we looked at eligibility guidelines and applications across states, we often found rules so complex they seemed designed to deter participation. 
    • Devote resources for outreach and promotion to reach intended beneficiaries:  Too many state incentive and financing programs have no budget for outreach. 
    • Design programs to leverage other resources and initiatives:  Incentives are most effective when implemented as part of a broader economic development strategy. 
    • The Post COVID-19 Workplace:  The McKinsey and Company issued a report, “What executives are saying about the future of hybrid work”.  https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis/charting-the-path-to-the-next-normal/from-face-time-to-facetime?cid=other-eml-alt-chr-mck&hlkid=6f834f3fa30b4a1e9becc16e213dde59&hctky=2745601&hdpid=acbcd4a2-02dd-4f6a-8549-ced274db2a9d  According to the report, pre-COVID-19 about 1% of people worked remotely.  Post-COVID-19:
    • 3% of workers will work entirely remotely.
    • 10% of workers are expected to work more than 80% remotely.
    • 40% will for 51% to 80% remotely.
    • 40% will for 21% to 50% remotely.
    • 7% will more less than 20% remotely.
    • Great Plates Delivered:  The Great Plates Delivered program provides three meals a day to qualifying seniors.  FEMA granted another 30-day extension to allow the program to continue to June 7, 2021.  Interested restaurants and food providers are encouraged to fill out this form: https://state-of-california-agency.forms.fm/great-plates-delivered-food-provider-interest-form/forms/7917   
    Great Plates Delivered
    Meals served as of 06/01* 34,704,370
    Individuals Served This Week 32,296
    Food Providers Contracted 585
    Data received from Great Plates Data Portal updated on Sundays.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    GRANTS AND INCENTIVE AWARDS
    • Sales Tax Exclusions:  California State Treasurer Ma announced the approval of $8.6 million in sales tax exclusions (STE) to three companies, a lithium battery manufacturer in Fremont and two companies that operate in Chowchilla, an insulation maker and a producer of renewable natural gas from dairies.  https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/news/releases/2021/37.pdf  Once approved, applicants have three years to purchase the approved equipment.
    • Homeless veterans Reintegration Program:  The US Department of Labor announced the award of more than $52 million in grants under its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which funds state and local programs that support homeless veterans return to meaningful employment and address the complex problems facing homeless veterans. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/vets/vets20210601  This funding also supports Homeless Female Veterans’ and Veterans with Families program and the Incarcerated Veterans’ Transition Program grants.  A number of California organizations received funding including:
    • Volunteers of America of Los Angeles - $400,140
    • People Assisting the Homeless - $500,000
    • People Assisting the Homeless - $333,000
    • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists Inc. - $265,000
    • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists Inc. - $255,000
    • Vietnam Veterans of San Diego - $500,000
    • Vietnam Veterans of California Inc. - $155,055
    • Urban Agriculture Grants:  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2021/usda-announces-grants-for-urban-agriculture-and-innovative-production USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects.  A pre-recorded webinar is available at www.farmers.gov which provides an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. Applications are due by July 30, 2021.
    • Solicitation on Topics Informing New Areas:  The Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy, an agency within the Department of Energy, announced the availability of a $3.7 million grant. https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaId4edadf42-12aa-4916-bf6a-b560a6f20e95  According to the announcement, the scope of the grant intentionally broad in order to cover a wide range of encourage the submission of the most innovative and unconventional ideas in energy technology. The objective of this solicitation is to support high-risk R&D leading to the development of potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications. The deadline for this grant is July 23, 2021.
    • Orphan Site Cleanup Fund:  The California Water Boards State Water Resources Control Board announced the availability of an Orphan Site Cleanup Fund grant for up to $1,000,000. https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ustcf/oscf.html The Orphan Site Cleanup Fund provides financial assistance to eligible applicants for the cleanup of sites contaminated by leaking petroleum underground storage tanks where there is no financially responsible party, and the applicant is not an eligible claimant to the UST Cleanup Fund. There is a rolling deadline for grant applications.
     
    UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE, AND WORKER SAFETY
    • State Unemployment Benefit Data:  The Employment Development Department (EDD) released new unemployment insurance data for California during the week ending May 22, 2021.  https://www.edd.ca.gov/Newsroom/facts-and-stats/dashboard.htm#CandSBreakoutData  Among other information, EDD reports the following:
    • 119,401 initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) claims were filed during the report period.
    • Over 45,770 (26.7%) of initial claims filed during the report week were filed by individuals aged 25-35.  (not all claims included information on age)
    • Over 58,825 (42%) of initial claims were filed by individuals with a high school diploma or GED or less education. (not all claims included information on education)
    • Over 57,856 (37.2%) of initial claims were filed by individuals who self-identified as Hispanic.  (not all claims included information on race)
    • Over 22.4 million initial unemployment benefit claims, including extensions, have been filed with EDD between March 20, 2020 and the close of the report period.
    • $145 billion has been paid to out-of-work Californians since the start of the pandemic. 
    • Tracking UI Benefits:  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) launched identity verification technology to help address the backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit applications, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  On May 28, 2021, EDD released its bi-weekly report to the Legislature addressing the backlog (https://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/CUIC-337-legislative-report-052821.pdf )  covering time period of March 1, 2020 through May 22, 2021.
     
    UPDATES AND STATUS REPORTS ON SMALL BUSINESS ACCESS TO CAPITAL
    State Small Business Disaster Loan Guarantee Program (April 30, 2021)
      Conditionally Approved Loan Amount Guarantee Amount Amount Encumbered Employees
    Total 1621 $69.4 million $65.6 million $ 32.8 million 8136
    The IBank provides the Joint Legislative Budget Committee an update monthly.
     
    CURRENT GUIDANCE ON STATE COVID-19 AND RECOVERY ACTIONS
     
    FREE WEBINARS
    JEDE maintains a list of upcoming and on-demand webinars on our website.  Upcoming webinars are listed here (https://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/content/free-webinars) and on-demand webinars can be found at https://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/content/demand-webinars-available-24-7.  These webinars cover a range of topics, including federal disaster programs, marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and accessing international markets.