COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

In order to support small business employers facing financial impacts and potential layoffs from the novel-coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), the Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Solano County has established the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. The fund will provide grants to small employers experiencing economic stresses in order to prevent potential layoffs or facility closures during COVID-19.

The WDB has designated $60,000 of local and state Rapid Response funding for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. Applications will be accepted beginning April 7, 2020 and continuing through 30 calendar days following the discontinuation of the State of Emergency related to COVID-19, or until funds are exhausted.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants include businesses or industry associations that:

  • Have a business location in Solano County (NOTE: funds may only be utilized for Solano County locations)
  • Have 500 employees or less
  • Are up-to-date on Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes and are in good standing with the state of California
  • Can demonstrate a need for layoff aversion support due to the impacts of COVID-19

Use of Funds

Employers must utilize the funds to create solutions that mitigate layoffs. Requests must be reasonable, necessary, and directly related to preventing potential layoffs or facility closures as a result of COVID-19. All applications will be reviewed by the WDB.

Examples of permissible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing remote access equipment or software that allows employees to work from home rather than being laid off (e.g. computers, printers, telephones, headsets, video conferencing software, etc.);
  • Paying for services or tools for restaurants or retail establishments to convert to online sales or delivery during Shelter at Home orders;
  • Purchasing cleaning/sanitation supplies and/or services that will allow an essential small business to maintain an on-site workforce by reducing the exposure to COVID-19 (view Solano County’s essential businesses); and/or
  • Other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs.

Funds may not be used to pay for employee wages or benefits, nor for support services for employees such as childcare, transportation costs, lodging expenses, or meals. Any equipment or software costs over $5,000 require prior approval before expenditure is made.

Grant Requirements

The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund was created in part from federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding. As a result, selected employers must attest to the Certifications and Assurances and complete the contract process before funds are expended. Funds will be reimbursed as expenditures are made. Businesses will be required to submit brief performance reports and proof of expenses before reimbursements are issued. Performance reports will include number of jobs saved, estimated amount of annual wages saved, and project-specific measures and results.

Entities receiving an award may be subject to local, state, or federal monitoring. Fund recipients must retain receipts for at least three years beyond the term of the grant period.

How to Apply

If you are a business and interested in applying for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, please complete the APPLICATION and submit it to April Ziomek-Portillo, Senior Manager of Business Services, at aziomek@solanowdb.org.