By Renee Santos


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday several new tools to try and help small businesses and workers get through the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom highlighted a new website, OnwardCA.org, that aggregates thousands of job opportunities across critical industries still hiring and still operating. He noted that there were over 70,000 job openings posted from across the state.

“Through no fault of their own, more than a million Californians have lost a job and countless more are seeing their businesses fail,” Newsom said.

The website was put together with the help of Central Valley company Bitwise, as well as LinkedIn and Salesforce.

To help small businesses, Newsom also highlighted a new federal program starting sign-ups on Friday where owners could apply for a loan of up to $10 million. The program is first-come, first-serve, so Newsom stressed the importance of starting the process as soon as possible.

“California will emerge from this crisis stronger than before, and until then, the state will work overtime with the federal government and private sector to get families the help they need,” Newsom said.

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Newsom also talked about how the State of California is setting aside $50 million for loan guarantees for small businesses. As part of that, small businesses are being allowed the choice of deferring their sales tax payment of up to $50,000 for up to 12 months.

Employees at Flamingo House have been working on to-go orders for people to enjoy at home but manager Amadeu Goncalves says getting to this point, hasn’t been easy for staff.

“It’s been definitely challenging really shifting our entire program but we are getting through it and a lot of other small businesses are in the same boat,” Goncalves said.

However, he says the assistance now available for small businesses like his is a big relief and plans to take advantage of it.

“We have upwards of up to 20 employees and that is our main concern right now so any type of package that can help us keep the great employees that we have and help us maintain the culture,” Goncalves said.

The governor also announced on Thursday that he had signed an executive order restricting water shutoffs for families and small businesses unable to make ends meet amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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