COVID-19 Business & Financial Support

As regulations, guidance and suggestions change from Riverside County's Department of Public Health, the City would like to provide the business community a landing site for frequently asked questions, concerns, and information.

Please check back often for updates, and email cityinfo@indio.org for feedback, as this page is constantly under construction.

On March 16, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered the cancellation of all gatherings of more than 10, regardless of venue.  You can read the order here, and refer to the FAQ below for specifics on what that means for local stores and businesses.  On March 18th, further clarification was issued about restaurants, stating "all venues regardless of type are limited to a gathering of 10 in one space or space subdivision, employees and patrons combined.  This means that occupancy of patio seating may be counted separate from the occupancy inside the establishment. In addition, social distancing of six feet must be maintained. This includes restaurants and bars, and this occupancy limit essentially makes take-out or drive-thru mandatory for many businesses.  To clarify the order for food service facilities, if a facility can meet the conditions of no more than 10 people inside (regardless of whether restaurant capacity may permit more than 10 persons, and still maintain a minimum 6-foot separation between them, they are not required to close their dining rooms.  This is a health officer order, not guidance, and violation is a misdemeanor.  It is currently effective until April 30, 2020."

The Governor's order on March 19, 2020 for Californians to shelter-in-place, allowed for some exemptions for essential or critical services.  Those exemptions are provided here, and allow for some restaurants and stores to remain operational.  

In an effort to provide support for stores and restaurants in Indio, we have compiled a current list of hours and services available.  That list is available at the bottom of this page.  Please call beforehand for the most updated information.

On March 16, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration also announced low-interest federal disaster loans to help mitigate the economic injury caused by COVID-19, which includes fund available to small businesses in Riverside County.    The Orange County-Inland Empire Network of the USBA is also providing free services and resources for businesses.  

Riverside County Economic Development has also launched a website with resources related to COVID-19 disaster assistance.  

FAQ's on Business and Financial Support

What does the Riverside County Public Health Officer's cancellation order mean for local stores and businesses?

Dr. Kaiser has said, "The limit of 10 people in a space applies to many businesses, attractions and houses of worship.  That means restaurants can’t do dine-in: you’ll have to get take-out or drive-thru. That means services at churches, synagogues and mosques go online. That means some gyms and bars won’t be able to stay open at all. Minimize your trips, buy only what you need and stay home as you can. We need to flatten the curve of disease.”

Kaiser’s new health order also says that gatherings with fewer than 10 people must have enough available room to maintain six feet of space between attendees. There are limited exemptions to the 10-person rule, including healthcare facilities, grocery stores, daycare centers and restaurants serving take-out.

 

How can I support Indio businesses, and those people who are employed there?

The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce is compiling a list of local businesses that are open and are providing services through the COVID-19 crisis.  This list in Indio is being updated daily, and includes those which are offering delivery, curbside or other service special during our current state of emergency.  Those who are interested in supporting these businesses, can also search on social media using the hashtag #CVShopLocal  

The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau is also compiling a list of local restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup. Here’s the link

Also, here is a list of Indio restaurants that are offering take out service, dine in and pickup options to accommodate our citizens.

How can I apply for loans because of COVID-19 through the U.S. Small Business Administration?

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications here.  Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. 

What kind of additional services are available to help local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis?

The Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network offers business consulting, training, and online courses to entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties at no cost. This is made possible through funding by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as well as other private sector funds. For information on specifics regarding COVID-19 contact 1-800-616-7232 or click here.

How can I report a business or individual I believe is taking financial advantage of the COVID-19 situation, i.e. price gouging?

The California State Attorney General's Office has set up a hotline to report price gouging, which is defined as "sellers trying to take unfair advantage of consumers during an emergency or disaster by greatly increasing prices for essential consumer goods and services."  Call 1-800-952-5225 to report price gouging, or send an email via this link.

 

Can short term rentals continue to operate? i.e. Can I rent out my home right now?

The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has provided the following guidance:

Yes, but only under very limited circumstances. In Indio, those found in violation of the County and State orders are subject to fines beginning at $1,500. Read the City’s letter here.

The following uses are permitted:

1. Short-term lodging facilities (including short-term rentals, vacation rentals, timeshares, hotels, motels, and other short-term lodgings) which are used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures:

A. Lodging to protect the homeless population

B. Lodging for persons who have been displaced and cannot return to their residence because there is a person residing at the residence that must isolate or quarantine or is at a higher risk of severe illness

C. Lodging for persons who need to isolate or quarantine

2. Short-term lodging facilities (including short-term rentals, vacation rentals, timeshares, hotels, motels, and other short-term lodgings) which are used to house essential workers.

On March 30, 2020, the County of Riverside’s Health Officer and the Emergency Services Director issued an Amended Order concerning Short-Term Lodging Facilities. The Amended Order identifies that the Short-Term Lodging restrictions shall be in place effective immediately and will remain in effect until April 30, 2020, pending further Order of the Public Health Officer. A copy of this Order is available here.

 

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