City Calls on Governor Newsom and the State Legislature to set Timetable and Begin Reopening Businesses in California

Rancho Cucamonga, California – On the agenda for the May 6, 2020 Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting, staff will be recommending that the City Council adopt a resolution calling on Governor Newsom and the State Legislature to set a timetable and begin reopening businesses in California. 

As some states have begun slowly reopening their economies, California Governor Newsom had earlier released an outline of six indicators that the State would have to meet before modifying the stay at home order. The State’s stay-at-home and physical distancing orders have been effective in “flattening the curve”, slowing the virus' spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any one time, ensuring that the hospitals and healthcare have enough capacity to treat those when they need it.  

To slow the rate of spread of COVID-19, Governor Newsom issued the “stay-at-home” order on March 19, 2020, requiring the closure of all nonessential businesses. Meanwhile, the State’s economy has fallen into a deep recession, leaving millions of workers jobless. In the six weeks since the stay at home orders, the State of California has experienced more than 2.7 million claims for unemployment. With nonessential businesses closed and millions unemployed, revenues for California cities have plummeted. According to data released by the League of California Cities, cities statewide are projecting a nearly $7 billion general revenue shortfall over the next two fiscal years. This shortfall will grow by billions of dollars the longer the stay at home orders remain in place. 

Rancho Cucamonga is committed to doing what we can to support our Rancho Cucamonga businesses. On March 18, 2020, the Rancho Cucamonga City Council adopted a resolution proclaiming a local emergency due to COVID-19. At the same meeting, the City Council also adopted an urgency Ordinance which established a temporary moratorium on evictions of residential and commercial tenants unable to pay rent due financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The City’s Fire Prevention Bureau and Community Improvement team implemented a targeted effort to assist businesses in the community by conducting wellness checks for businesses, providing resources and information that are available from the City, State, and Federal Governments.    

“After several weeks, the State ordered closure of non-essential businesses has deeply impacted our city, especially small businesses,” stated Mayor L. Dennis Michael. “We will continue to do all we can to support our Rancho Cucamonga businesses, the data shows that the State and even more so the County of San Bernardino has flattened the curve and it is time to take the next steps to reopening and begin to recover.”  

The City has also been collaborating with the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce to maintain a list of businesses that are able to be open and operating. Business owners can submit an online form to add their business to the interactive list, https://bit.ly/rcopenforbusiness and the City has shared this resource with the community. Community Development is continuing to assist businesses with processing permits for construction improvements, emergency repairs, business license applications, and development permits.      

The proposed resolution recognizes the need to address two disasters: the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession. It urges the Governor and the State to provide, no later than May 22, 2020, a clearly defined, multi-phased plan for the reopening of businesses in California, including specific dates and timetables. The resolution also urges the State to provide additional flexibility within the State Health Order to allow different regions and subregions of the State and different types of businesses to safely reopen at differing speeds based on risk determination and health data metrics. The resolution makes it clear that the Rancho Cucamonga City Council recognizes the need for physical distancing and limit large gatherings in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19; however, it is also recognized that this sudden and deep recession is having a devastating effect on the lives of Californians.