Top California Officials Talk with NFIB Members

Date: July 10, 2020

In an exclusive conference call, the director of Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and director of the Office of Small Business Advocate provide the latest news on state efforts during the pandemic

Providing its members with the latest state and federal news during the COVID-19 crisis has shifted NFIB into over-drive, whether it be the valuable guidance offered by its national Wednesday webinars or exclusive conference calls with top state officials.

On July 9, one such conference call was held with Chris Dombrowski, acting director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and Isabel Guzman, director of the Office of Small Business Advocate in the governor’s office.

Dombrowski and Guzman started out the call with the latest information on business openings and closures and the important role local public health officials play in determining that. Before taking members’ questions, they also touched on two initiatives Gov. Gavin Newsom launched this week: A proclamation declaring July California for All Small Business Month and as part of that a #ShopSafeShopLocal campaign, providing tools and resources for what is becoming a new economy.

“With this new [campaign] what we want to emphasize is the marketplace has changed, small businesses are to adapt in a new way, so it’s a dual purpose of shopping safe and shopping local,” said Guzman, who called the 77 percent of small-business owners who have adopted technology a big “shift in culture.”

During the Q&A part of the call, Dombrowski and Guzman fielded questions:

  • from a member in Folsom on the California minimum-wage rate and whether he is required to check the temperature of his employees
  • from a member in Victorville about liability protection against COVID-19 lawsuits
  • from a member in Seaside asking what further things he could do to make his workplace safer
  • from a member in Stanislaus enquiring about business opening phases
  • and from a member wondering if South Lake Tahoe could prohibit visitors from coming.

Click the arrow below to hear the one-hour conference call, and below it are audios of prior conference calls from state officials.

Prior Conference Calls

  • April 30—Heather Luzzi, a top-level district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, provided information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs.
  • April 8—State Treasurer Fiona Ma joined NFIB members for an exclusive conference call where she pointed out state resources available to them and answered their questions.
  • April 2—Isabel Guzman, director of the Office of Small Business Advocate in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, joined NFIB staff attorney Luke Wake for a conference call to apprise NFIB members of the latest tools available to them to help them stay open.
  • March 24—Julie Su, secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency; Stewart Knox, undersecretary of the Labor & Workforce Development Agency; and Isabel Guzman, director of Governor’s Office of The Small Business Advocate joined NFIB members on a conference call to discuss how to financially cope during the coronavirus crisis.


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