California Stimulus Checks and Renter Assistance

Posted by Ardis Bazyn, President of ABWA Verdugo-Glen Chapter

California’s post-pandemic recovery is underway. This week Governor Newsom announced a proposed $100 billion plan which helps strengthen our path to recovery. It provides a multi-pronged approach to providing immediate relief to Californians that need it most. Among the largest investments will be a tripling of the state’s direct stimulus effort to include a total of nearly $12 billion in direct cash payments to Californians. Governor Newsom’s plan will expand the Golden State Stimulus to middle class families, who will benefit from a stimulus check of $600, and families with kids will benefit from an additional $500.

The California Comeback Plan would also include the largest statewide renter assistance program in the country, helping qualified low-income Californians pay back 100% of their back-rent and rent for several months into the future and giving billions to Californians to pay their overdue utility bills.



  • $600 direct payments to all taxpayers who make up to $75,000 a year and did not receive a first payment.
  • Additional $500 in direct payments to families with dependents.
  • Additional $500 in direct payments to undocumented families.


  • The California Comeback Plan includes $5.2 billion for low-income renters to cover their back-rent and their rent for several months into the future. It also includes $2 billion to help Californians pay their overdue water and utility bills.

Helpful Resources as LA County Moves Into The Yellow Tier

Posted by Ardis Bazyn, President of ABWA Verdugo-Glen Chapter

Los Angeles County’s road to COVID-19 recovery has been anything but smooth.

The region’s economy — like the rest of the world’s — ground to a halt last spring, when officials imposed sweeping restrictions after confirming the early embers of what would become a raging pandemic.

Things got moving somewhat a few weeks and a flatter curve later, only for the arrival of a summer surge to once again put the brakes on.

Another round of reopenings was abandoned in the fall, when what would prove to be the worst wave of COVID-19 yet roared to life.

But, despite the fits and starts that have typified the region’s journey over the last 14 months, this time feels different.

L.A. County on Tuesday progressed into the least restrictive, yellow tier of California’s reopening system — clearing the way for the nation’s most populous county to unshackle its economy to the widest extent currently possible.

A swath of businesses and venues, including gyms, movie theaters, amusement parks, stadiums and museums, can operate at higher capacity starting later this week.

Some of the last indoor spaces that had yet to be cleared for reopening, including bars that don’t serve meals, saunas and steam rooms, will be able to do so.

Getting to this point is the culmination of months of progress in driving down the numbers of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

And, notably, those numbers have all continued to slide even as the county has gradually progressed through the state’s reopening roadmap — sparking hope that, unlike earlier in the pandemic, L.A. won’t have to pull a U-turn this time.

In a statement, the county Board of Supervisors said reaching the yellow tier “matches the sunny optimism of the season. Now it’s up to all of us to keep up the good work.”

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed the sentiment, saying the progression “is a tribute to everything Angelenos have done to stay safe, stop the spread, and defeat COVID-19.”

“Our sacrifices have gotten us to a promising point in the life of this pandemic, but we know for a fact that continued momentum for our businesses, workforce, families and communities depends on us remaining vigilant, following public health guidelines, rolling up our sleeves and getting vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said in a written statement Tuesday.

While the state’s tier assignments set the floor of what’s allowed, counties have the power to impose additional restrictions — something L.A. County has periodically done throughout the pandemic.

During a briefing Monday, though, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county would “be aligning fairly significantly with the direction the state is moving.”

“We’re just going to want to make sure that wherever you’re going, you can always keep distance of at least six feet from others, that everyone is always wearing their masks appropriately — with the exception of vaccinated people and a handful of … activities — and that infection control is still apparent everywhere that people are going to be where they’re intermingling,” she said. “So we still have to protect our workers. We still have to protect children.”

Ferrer said the county plans to issue a health order pertaining to the wider reopenings Wednesday that will go into effect Thursday.

What tier a county is placed in hinges on three metrics: its rate of new coronavirus cases, adjusted based on the number of tests performed; the rate at which conducted tests come back positive; and a health-equity metric applied to ensure that the positive test rate in poorer communities is not significantly higher than the county’s overall figure.

Counties must record two consecutive weeks of qualifying data to advance to a less restrictive tier and have to stay in a tier at least three weeks before moving again.

California is aiming to scrap the tier framework and fully reopen its economy on June 15, as long as vaccine supply is stable and hospitalization numbers stay low, though some safety rules will remain in place.

In the meantime, however, reaching the yellow tier requires an adjusted daily new case rate of fewer than 2 per 100,000 people, overall test positivity of less than 2% and a health-equity positivity of below 2.2%.

L.A. County’s test positivity has been within the yellow range for about a month, but only last week did its adjusted case rate finally fall below the necessary threshold.

Even so, at 1.9, the rate was just barely in the qualifying range — with even a slight regression threatening to delay its advancement.

But the county’s adjusted case rate instead fell further, to 1.6, according to state data released Tuesday.

“We’ve done a really decent job holding our own if you look at our case numbers,” Ferrer said. “And people are really invested, I think, at this point in seeing our recovery move forward.”

Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity

Posted by Ardis Bazyn, President of ABWA Verdugo-Glen Chapter

Funding Opportunity Description: The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will provide Federal assistance to support innovative projects that promote and seek to ensure the growth and resolve the challenges faced by minority business enterprises   The primary drivers of a MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Project (AMP) program are capacity building and job creation/retention (see additional details on page 2 of NOFO).

A total of $1.6 million will be available to fund the financial assistance awards under this announcement utilizing FY2021 appropriated funds. The FY21 funding will be approximately $400,000 (see page 5 of NOFO).

MBDA will issue awards for a 5-year term from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2026. Receipt of any prospective funding also is contingent upon the availability of funds from Congress, satisfactory performance, and continued relevance to program objectives and will be at the sole discretion of the Department of Commerce.

All proposals must be received on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 8, 2021.

Find out more!


California Enacts New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Entitlement Similar to FFCRA

Posted by Ardis Bazyn, President of ABWA Verdugo-Glen Chapter

As the federal government passed extended tax credits for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (“EFMLA”) in March 2021 under the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”), California was busy crafting its own paid sick leave expansion.

Shortly after passage of ARP, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 into law, which codifies additional paid sick leave for most California workers in line with the requirements of the FFCRA and, thus, allows employers to take advantage of federal tax credits for providing EPSL under the same conditions as would have been mandated under the FFCRA were it still in effect.

While the ARP extension is voluntary, employers with more than 25 employees will have to comply with California’s new sick leave entitlement. Employers providing in-home supportive services should contact us directly to discuss how their industry is treated differently in terms of providing COVID-19 paid sick leave in California.

 To learn more, visit: https://www.raineslaw.com/

ABWA Verdugo-Glen’s Fundraiser – Drag Queen Bingo on Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m.

Posted by Ardis Bazyn, President of ABWA Verdugo-Glen Chapter

Tired of doing nothing on a Friday night?  Want some excitement and lots of laughs?  Then have we got a great time for you!

Please don’t tell us you never wanted to play virtual BINGO hosted by drag queens!? By the way, this is family-friendly.

Join us virtually on Friday, March 19 at 7 pm for four games of BINGO hosted by Bingo Boy himself, and co-host Deven Green.

Our prizes include gift cards for Bloomingdale’s, Trader Joe’s, Target and Amazon.

The cost is $20, and funds go to the Verdugo-Glen Chapter of American Business Women’s Association for Business Success Scholarships. We are a 501(c)(6) charity, if you would like to make an additional donation.

Please click on the PayPal link below. Payment deadline is Tuesday, March 16. You will receive more information, and bingo cards, after that date.

Looking forward to seeing you,

Your friends at American Business Women’s Association Verdugo-Glen Chapter