San Marcos Chamber's COVID response

Keeping our community healthy

The San Marcos Chamber is working in collaboration with San Diego County Public Health, San Marcos City, California state government offices and other trusted sources to help share information for our community. We want to remind everyone that the San Marcos Chamber is not a health official or government organization. Our goal is to share resources for our business, including relief as well as links to important official public health information that is accurate and unbiased in a timely manner.

Dr. Riehl and I just wanted to personally thank you, the Chamber members, and the City of San Marcos for such a rapid approval of our Business Sustainability Loan. It brings us tremendous peace of mind at this otherwise very unnerving time. It has been such a pleasure to become part of the San Marcos business community and the last thing we want is to have to give that up. We greatly appreciate the confidence that the City has shown in our hospital, as well as the rapid, financial assistance. Thank you all very, very much.
Dr. Paula Thomas and Dr. Sunshine Riehl
Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo
Being a member of the San Marcos Chamber helped us to quickly get introduced to other business owners who could get the word out about our growing business - this was crucial, especially during the hiring stages of growing our company in the midst of the pandemic. I am an active member and volunteer on the Membership Outreach Committee, which has allowed me the opportunity to connect with our member businesses. Being able to provide a listening ear to the needs of other business owners helps me as a business owner to feel connected to our business community. Having the support of the Chamber has proven to be essential to our business' well-being as we navigate these challenging times together.
Jeb Butler
Synergy HomeCare of North County



  • (4/19/21) The SBA released a sample application and guide so that restaurants can review and prepare: click here
  • (3/31) The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will offer $28.6 billion in grants to hard-hit restaurants and bars, with restaurants able to apply for grants based on lost revenue. As of 3/31 Restaurants will not be required to acquire a System of Award Management (SAM) number.
    • Who is eligible for RRF grants?

      Most American restaurants and bars that lost revenue in 2020 versus 2019 will be eligible to apply for RRF grants. The ARPA explicitly names the following types of establishments that should be eligible: “restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products.”

      However, any restaurant or bar that is part of a publicly-traded company or owned by a state or local government is not eligible to apply. Also, owners that operate more than 20 restaurants are ineligible. Notably, if you are the owner of a franchise and you do not control more than 20 locations, you are likely eligible to apply.

      How and when can I apply?

      The Small Business Administration (SBA) will administer and disperse the RRF grants, but the program does not yet have an official launch date as of mid-March 2021. Those interested in obtaining RRF grants should keep a close eye on the SBA’s COVID-19 relief options web portal.

    • How much can I get from the grant program?

      Generally speaking, restaurants can apply for grants that are equal to 2020 gross revenue minus 2019 gross revenue. For businesses in operation for all of 2019 and 2020, the maximum grant size will be $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups. Grant funds will not be taxed like income.

      If a restaurant was not operating for all of 2019, the maximum grant value is the average monthly gross receipts in 2020 minus the average monthly gross receipts in 2019. If a restaurant was not in operation for all of 2020, it could potentially receive a grant that totals the amount of “eligible expenses” put into the business to date.

      The SBA will release more information later to clarify the amount restaurants established after January 2019 can apply for and how it may adjust grant amounts based on “relative local costs.”

      What can grant funds be used for?

      The RRF grants are only able to be used on specific expenses. These include:

      • Payroll costs.
      • Payments of principal or interest on any mortgage obligation.
      • Rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement.
      • Utilities.
      • Maintenance, including new outdoor seating construction.
      • Supplies, including PPE and cleaning materials.
      • Food and beverage inventory.
      • Covered supplier costs.
      • Operational expenses.
      • Paid sick leave.
      • Any other expense SBA says is essential to maintain operations.

      The “covered period” for what expenses can be paid by the grant must be incurred between February 15, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

  • (3/19) The State of California has opened new rounds for its California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which is granting up to $25,000 per business.
      • Round 4: Starting March 16, eligible nonprofit cultural institutions may apply. Applications close Tuesday, March 23. 
      • Round 5: Starting March 25, new applicants may apply. Applications close Wednesday, March 31. 
      • Round 6: Dates will be announced soon.

Please note: Applications are not first-come, first-served. Applicants who submitted their application and all documentation in earlier rounds do not need to reapply. Watch San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center’s on-demand webinars or contact EDC to learn more.

To apply, visit San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center. Manufacturers may apply via CMTC’s Lendistry link.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Deadline approaching
    • PPP loans are designed as direct incentives for small businesses to keep workers on payroll. Both first and second-time borrowers may apply for a loan. Priority goes to companies that haven’t received a first loan and those in heavily impacted sectors. Companies may receive both a PPP loan and EIDL loan without compromising PPP forgiveness. PPP loans are nontaxable and will be forgivable if used for appropriate expenses. Apply by March 31, and find a lender here.
  • The American Rescue Plan
    • The American Rescue plan was signed into law last week, and includes a number of relief programs for individuals and businesses. As specific programs become available, we will add links to resources here.  
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. There is currently no expiration for this loan program. Apply now.
  • Target EIDL Advance
    • Last year, applicants to the EIDL program were eligible to request an immediate advance grant of up to $10,000. For companies that previously applied for an EIDL and received a grant of less than the $10,000 maximum, the SBA may reach out directly to you via email with instructions to determine eligibility and submit documentation.  All communications from SBA will be sent from an official government email with an ending.
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
    • The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant will distribute $15 billion to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of gross earned revenue up to $10 million, with $2 billion reserved for applicants with up to 50 full-time employees. Applicants must not have applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. Sign up for email alerts about the program
  • (3/9) Businesses growing in the state of California over the next five years, or considering leaving California: Apply for a significant tax credit to offset your state income tax liability by March 29.
    • Awards are primarily based on the following factors, including:
        1. Number of jobs created or retained in California
        2. Capital investments in California over the next 5 years
        3. Overall economic benefit to the state and its people
        4. Commitment to remaining in California

For more information on eligibility and assistance, visit the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) website.

  • (3/4) California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced four new funding rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. The four competitive funding rounds will be conducted by CalOSBA’s selected intermediary, Lendistry. Additional information can be found at and below:
    • Round 3 (waitlisted applicants from Rounds 1 and 2): Friday, March 5th through Thursday, March 11th, 2021
      – Eligible applicants: This is a closed round and only available to eligible applicants who were waitlisted in Rounds 1 and 2 – only existing applicants will be selected. If you were waitlisted, you do not need to reapply. New applications will not be accepted in this round.
      – Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
      – Details: This is a closed funding round; no new applications will be accepted.
    • Round 4 (non-profit cultural institutions only): Tuesday, March 16th through Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
      – Eligible applicants: Only non-profit cultural institutions with any revenue size that meet eligibility criteria found at
      – Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000
      – Details: Eligible non-profit cultural institutions must complete a new application even if they already applied in Rounds 1 and 2; grants will only be available to non-profits cultural institutions that did not receive funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3; grants will be prioritized based on the documented percentage revenue declines based on a reporting period comparing Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus Q2 and Q3 of 2019.
    • Round 5: Thursday, March 25th through Wednesday, March 31st
      – Eligible applicants: current waitlisted small businesses and non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, or 3 and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria found at
      – Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000
      – Details: Applicants not selected to receive a grant in Rounds 1, 2, & 3 do not need to reapply as they will be automatically moved into Round 5. New applicants will need to apply at
    • Round 6: Date to be announced soon
      – Eligible applicants: current waitlisted small businesses and/or non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria found at
      – Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000
      – Details: Applicants not selected to receive a grant in Rounds 1, 2, 3 & 5 do not need to re-apply and will be automatically moved into Round 6. New applicants will need to apply at

Torrey Pines Bank (please reach out directly to contact below)

Luke Nastich

VP / Commercial Banker

[email protected]

T (760)444-8401

2760 Gateway Road, Carlsbad, CA 92009


State Business Resources

Official California State Government Website

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) COVID-19 Business Resources website is the central hub for all state-related information related to businesses during this crisis. It serves to support small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, and independent contractors.

COVID-19 Business Hotline: (877) 345-4633

Submit a request to GO-Biz Help Center

IBank – Small Business Finance Center for small business financing options and additional benefits for disaster areas: SBFC programs can be accessed locally by calling your nearest Financial
Development Corporation. 

California Southern Small Business Development Corporation
San Diego Website:

North San Diego Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The North San Diego Small Business Development Center (SBDC) exists to serve dedicated entrepreneurs and business owners who want to strengthen their path to success by utilizing the powerful partnerships of the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center Network.

We believe that every entrepreneur should have access to expertise, relationships and an understanding of the business community at large. The North San Diego Small Business Development Center  offers business consulting and training. Our goal is to help emerging and existing entrepreneurs gain control of their business operations. We provide free local guidance and consulting in all aspects of funding and developing small business. 

Phone: (760)795-8740
Email: [email protected]

San Diego SBDC COVID-19 Small Business Resources
FREE 1:1 Business Consulting

San Marcos Chamber Calendar of Events is located on the Chamber’s website for an up-to-date list of Chamber Events.

San Diego County Update for the Business Community

Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

U.S. Chamber Releases Two New Step-by-Step Guides for COVID Employer Tax Credit, Disaster Loans


Guide to Emergency Payroll Protection Loan (CARES Act) – see more below

Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist

San Marcos’ Business Sustainability Program

Apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Permit

Paycheck Protection Program

Guide to Independent Contractors’ CARES Act Relief

Business Toolkits and Information

New guidance for informal, social gatherings and private events went into effect April 15, 2021. Access Guidelines here: link

Access the template to submit your Safe Reopening Plan here: link

Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Your Small Business by the U.S. Chamber

San Marcos launches new COVID-19 Business Economic Recovery Plan loaded with tools and resources to help business owners prepare to reopen when they are ready. 

No COVID-19 Testing Required Before Employees Can Go Back to Work. Based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is no longer recommended that employers require employees who tested positive for COVID-19 to be tested again before they can return to work. The CDC test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except in certain circumstances. Please see the Employee Flowchart for Non-healthcare Personnel to determine what to do in the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

  • On June 17, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) approved revisions regarding COVID-19 safety requirements. Employees are no longer required to wear face masks if they have been vaccinated. However, this new revision to the COVID-19 regulation will require employers to provide respirators / N95 masks for unvaccinated workers upon request. The San Marcos Chamber has partnered with the States Office of Emergency Services (OES) in a program to enable our local businesses to be in compliance with this revision.
    • Please contact the Chamber by phone at (760) 744-1270 or by email [email protected] if you are interested in picking up masks at the Chamber office. Masks are expected to be available by the end of next week.
  • The White House News – Visit this site for the latest updates from the Trump Administration, including briefings and statements, Presidential actions, and news articles. 

  • US Department of Agriculture – Frequently asked questions on USDA Loans, service centers, food safety, trade and more.

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a nationwide Order that temporarily halts all Evictions for non-payment of rent due to a household’s loss of income or extraordinary medical expenses. The order by the CDC can be read HERE.