Coronavirus California: Gov. Newsom announces reprieve on sales tax for small businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday a series of actions intended to help California's small businesses and struggling workforce during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the state's actions, California will be granting a one-year sales tax reprieve to small businesses.

Newsom said small businesses can take out $50,000 loan and not have to pay the sales tax.

RELATED: Newsom calls for all healthcare workers to help during COVID-19 pandemic

In addition to the sales tax reprieve, the governor announced the Paycheck Protection Program -- which will reimburse businesses up to $10 million as long as businesses commit to paying employees.

Applications can be submitted here, beginning Friday, the governor said.

The governor also announced a new website, in partnership with Central Valley-based company Bitwise, Salesforce and Linkedin, to connect California workers with available jobs.

Onwardca.org will match job seekers with employers during the pandemic.

Newsom said as of Thursday there are 70,000 available jobs on the website.

The jobs are primarily in the agriculture, logistics, transportation and grocery industries.

The goal is to get Californians off of unemployment insurance or avoid residents needing the assistance in the first place, Newsom said.

This comes as 6.6 million Americans file for unemployment insurance.

During Thursday's briefing, Newsom also provided updated numbers on those infected with coronavirus in California.

A total 1,922 Californians are hospitalized with coronavirus with 816 of those patients in the ICU.

Newsom said that is a 5.4 percent increase in ICU patients since Wednesday.

Despite the increase, the governor said the state is "well within our capacity to serve and meet this moment."

In terms of protective gear, Newsom said there's still more that needs to be done in California.

"We recognize we have to do more as a state," the governor said.

Newsom closed the briefing by acknowledging California's law enforcement and Santa Rosa Police Detective Marylou Armer, who died of the coronavirus this week.

Newsom expressed empathy, acknowledging the detective's death, saying she was "44-years young."

He went on to thank law enforcement for continuing to put on the badge every morning amid the outbreak.

The governor began holding daily press briefings Monday on the virus and California's response.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

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