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Ask the Treasurer

April 2020

Dear Fiona,

I have owned and operated a family-run restaurant for over 11 years. The business is my family’s livelihood. We’ve been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are suffering insurmountable losses. What resources are available to help small business owners like myself? Any help would be appreciated!


Dear Lucas,

Thank you for reaching out to my office for help during this difficult time. As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges that you are facing in today’s unprecedented environment. Fortunately, there are a number of local, state, and federal resources available to assist business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With small businesses facing tough times, access to relevant information is even more critical. That’s why my office launched a resource list for small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes resources available through federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, and the private sector.

The list includes information on such things as the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP), a program overseen by my office that encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. For more information contact CalCAP Program Managers at (916) 654-5610 or

California also offers the following small business loan programs through the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBANK):

  • Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program (DRLGP): IBank will issue loan guarantees up to 95 percent of the loan through its partner Financial Development Corporations to help small business borrowers impacted by disasters or public safety power shutoffs and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital. Small businesses, including small farms, nurseries, agriculture-related enterprises and nonprofits that have suffered an economic loss or physical damage may apply.
  • Jump Start Loan Program: IBank is offering loans from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster and emergency areas through its Jump Start Loan Program.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. To determine if you are eligible for an SBA disaster loan and to apply, visit SBA’s Disaster Assistance website. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have extended income tax deadlines to July 15, 2020. Additionally, 60-day extensions are available from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) for sales and use tax and special taxes and fees, as well as from the Employment Development Department (EDD) for payroll taxes.

Lastly, many local governments are offering resources at the city and county level to assist business owners during this difficult time. I encourage you to contact your local city offices to inquire about additional resources that may be available to you.


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Send your questions for California State Treasurer Fiona Ma via email to:

Address letters to:
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Post Office Box 942809, Sacramento, CA 94209-0001