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  • Chamber News: Castro Street Changes on Monday

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    June 19, 2020
    Dear Mountain View,
    This Monday, the City launches "Castro Summer StrEats", where downtown blocks will open to pedestrian traffic. This is exciting news, and also means a lot for businesses (and customers) to understand and consider. Today's newsletter provides the latest information we have available to help you with this important transition.
    In addition, new details are available about government financial aid. Be sure to check that you apply before deadlines and take advantage of streamlined processes.
    What You Need to Know About Monday
    Next Monday, June 22, as part of the "Castro Summer StrEats" program, the City will be placing traffic barricades in the 100-400 blocks of Castro Street so the street can be open to pedestrians. Cross streets (Evelyn Avenue, Villa Street, Dana Street, California Street and Mercy Street) will remain open to vehicles. The barricades will stay in place through Sept 30.
    The street area will be treated similarly to a public park - approximately 60 picnic tables will be placed in the street (15 per block) to accommodate social distancing. The picnic tables are open seating – anyone from any restaurant can use them on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    Set up will occur on Monday and Tuesday, with use of tables to commence on Friday June 26. Tables will be open from 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Please note that this is a pilot program, and adjustments will be made where necessary.
    There are several things that businesses need to do to prepare, and a number of considerations that patrons should know about as well. For more details and to stay up to date, be sure to check out the Chamber's Guidelines for Opening page on our website - we've added specific information related to the opening of Castro Street to pedestrians.
    New Requirements on Face Coverings
    In an announcement made yesterday by the California Department of Public Health, residents are required to wear face coverings in nearly all settings outside of their homes as the state continues to gradually reopen businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. The requirements call for face coverings to be worn when inside or in line to enter any public space. It also calls for residents to wear masks while outdoors in public spaces and within six feet of others.
    The requirement exempts some individuals, including children ages 2 and under and people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks. 
    It also allows people seated at a restaurant offering outdoor service not to wear masks while eating or drinking, provided that they are at least six feet away from people who are not members of the same residence.
    "Back to Business" Series:
    Wednesday, June 24 at 1pm
    The next installment of our popular "Back to Business" series will include tools and resources to market your business in our new reality. We will also have an idea sharing portion, where businesses can share their own tips and tricks on how they've adapted to this rapidly changing climate.
    Please register to attend. Let us know if you have any questions at info@chambermv.org.
    "Back to Business" Series:
    Castro Street and Permitting
    In case you missed it, our latest installment of our Back to Business series was a lively discussion with the City and the business community on the plans for Castro Street and on permit changes that can help businesses recover and grow. It's worth watching prior to the big changes ahead on Monday.
    With Castro Opening, Get a Gift Card!
    Opening Castro to pedestrians is one way to help businesses recover. Another is purchase gift cards to boost their sales and show your appreciation. Please help our local storefronts in a fun and meaningful way. If your favorite businesses is not a part of the program yet, please encourage them to join up - there's still time before Father's Day
    New Free Testing Site Opening
    On Monday, June 22, Mountain View will be opening a new COVID-19 Testing Site located at the Shoreline Athletic Fields parking lot (2450 Garcia Ave).
    • Testing site hours for the first week (6/15-6/18): Monday 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Closed Friday.).
    • The first week is reserved for first responders and frontline workers.
    • After the first week, the ongoing testing schedule will be Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (closed Friday) and will be open to the general public. Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.
    For more information, visit the website.
    Paycheck Protection Program:
    New EZ Forgiveness Application Now Available
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has just released a streamlined form for applying for forgiveness with your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender. You are eligible to fill out the EZ Forgiveness Application if you meet one of the following requirements:
    • You are self-employed and have no employees; 
    • You did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of your employees; 
    • You experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%.
    Note: Businesses that don't meet one of these requirements will still need to complete the Full Forgiveness Application
    The SBA has also updated its PPP guidance to reflect changes enacted by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Businesses now can use PPP funds over a 24-week period, and the covered period for the loan was extended until Dec. 31, 2020. The updated guidance can be found here.
    SBA reopens Economic Injury Disaster Loan application
    The SBA has reopened its application form for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. This program provides flexible working capital loans at a rate of 3.75% (2.75% for nonprofits) with a term of up to 30 years. Applicants also are eligible for an advance amount of up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee). If you have already applied for EIDL and have not received a decision, do not reapply. The SBA is still working on processing EIDL applications it has already received. 
    Mountain View Chamber of Commerce | 580 Castro StreetMountain View, CA 94041
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