Yesterday, the Long Beach City Council unanimously adopted 25 individual actions related to a historic local Economic Relief Package designed to help working families and small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m proud that this economic relief package protects workers and small businesses. Long Beach residents deserve paid sick time during this health crisis and our small businesses need loans and access to grants.
The comprehensive Economic Relief Plan programs will help working families and small business owners address the following critical needs, among others:
- To fill gaps in federal supplemental sick leave policy, the City Attorney will draft an ordinance requiring Long Beach employers with more than 500 employees nationwide to provide supplemental sick leave.
- To help impacted hotels and motels, creating a Hospitality Recovery Task Force to develop a plan to develop strategies for the recovery of visitors, business travel, leisure tourism and overnight stay rooms in Long Beach.
- To help mortgage-holders partner with nonprofits to promote state and federal foreclosure protection programs, and work with nonprofit economic development or community development corporations to develop a mortgage assistance program.
- To assist hotel and janitorial workers who have been laid off, the City Attorney will draft an ordinance to provide worker retention and recall policies.
- To provide working capital to local small businesses and non-profit organizations unable to secure federal loans, the City approved the creation of a new Emergency Microloan Program.
- To protect the health of both customers and workers, the City Health Officer established new protocols including a new user-friendly small business checklist to be posted at all essential businesses by April 15.
- To reach more residents with information about support services in a variety of languages, the City will expand its Language Access Program.
- To safely assist people under self-quarantine, with a priority on older people. City management will continue to offer current resources and expanding on opportunities to help those in need, especially people over 60 years old.
- To make these programs more accessible to local workers and small business owners, the City offers many resources, including:
- A hotline, 562-570-INFO (4636), for general COVID-19 questions
- A hotline, 562-570-4BIZ (4249), for businesses and workers
- A new website for businesses and workers
- A website for COVID-19 informational resources
- A website for business and worker resources
- To collect and distribute donations to organizations helping people affected by COVID-19, the City created the Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund, in partnership with the Long Beach Community Foundation.
- To connect people who want to volunteer their time or resources to help others in quarantine, a new Volunteer website has been established.
The City will continue to update these resources by:
- Continuing to seek grants and donations to benefit local non-profits to promote the diversity of fresh food or other goods to those in quarantine.
- Adding resources to the call center and web page.
- Promoting partnerships with local non-profit organizations to stay connected with people in quarantine.
Long Beach City Manager Tom Modica and Economic Development Director John Keisler prepared and presented the Economic Relief Package. On March 17, City Council directed Modica to work with the City Attorney and all relevant departments to evaluate the feasibility of implementing an economic relief package for working families and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
Staff conducted outreach to City departments, private sector partners, lending institutions, property owners and community-based organizations impacted by the COVID-19 emergency, to review 12 issue areas and recommend strategies for consideration by the City Council.
The ordinances will return to the City Council for review. City Council must approve the ordinances before they become effective.