Layoff Aversion Support Fund Program

We have received the maximum number of applications allowed.

The application period is now closed.


In order to support small businesses facing financial impacts from the COVID-19 emergency, California Employment Development Division (EDD) provided $700,000.00 in Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Funds to Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB) in partnership with Orange County Community Services - Community Investment Division to support Orange County Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19.


The OCWDB COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Support Program shall assist local small businesses in Orange County with accessing these funds in order to mitigate layoffs and adhere to “social distancing” provisions established by state and federal public health entities, including California Executive Orders N-33-20(COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders).



  • Completed program applications will be reviewed for eligibility by OCWDB. Eligible applications will then be submitted to the Layoff Aversion Application Review Committee for approval consideration on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been committed. Applications start on August 3, 2020 at 9 AM pacific standard through August 6, 2020 5:00 PM pacific standard or until 50 Applications are received and 80 applications placed on a waiting list. Consideration will/may be given to the geographic distributions of awards districts.

  • Funding will be provided on a reimbursement basis; therefore, adequate documentation will be required to substantiate allowable costs incurred and paid by the employer.

  • Employee wages and benefits (including Hazard Pay) are NOT allowable/reimbursable costs under the terms of this grant funding. Please see below for allowable activities/costs.

  • Businesses may not use this funding opportunity to operate in violation of the COVID-19 Stay-at Home Order during the duration of the California Governors Orders N-33-20.


Employer Eligibility Requirements

An employer must meet the following general criteria to be considered for local funding:

  • Priority consideration will be given to Small Businesses located within the Orange County Workforce System,

  • Be located within Orange County;

  • Are up-to-date on Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes and are in good standing with the State of California

  • Employer must have a workforce of 500 or fewer staff (self-employed with no employees are not eligible)

  • Employers may only apply for one-site or location in Orange County

  • Only one application may be submitted per business/organization

  • All jobs must pay minimum wage or more

  • Applicants must use the funds to help avert imminent layoffs or furloughs as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis

  • Must be able to demonstrate a need for layoff aversion support due to the impacts of COVID-19; 

  • Must be able to enter into an agreement with Orange County that includes the conditions outlined in the application.

  • Must be able to complete quarterly reports for up to one year after the award


Program Funding

  • The range for COVID‐19 Layoff Aversion Support funding is $500 ‐ $10,000 per business/organization (based on demonstrated need and availability of funding).

  • The employer must document the impact of the COVID-19 National Health Emergency on the company.

  • Applications will be accepted by Orange County and reviewed for approval consideration by the Layoff Aversion Application Review Committee on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. The application period will start August 1, 2020 and is scheduled to end August 7, 2020 or when 80 applications are received and 50 applications placed on the waiting list, whichever comes first.

  • Consideration will be given to the geographic distributions of awards.

  • Applicants will be required to submit receipts to support purchases made utilizing the WIOA federal funding. 


Allowable Activities

The following are examples of allowable activities/costs that Layoff Aversion funds can be used to address COVID-19-related effects on essential employers and workers:

  • Cost of cleaning/sanitization service to perform a deep cleaning of a small business that needs its employees to be at work, on-site.

  • Purchase of specific software program(s) and/or hardware (computers) that employee(s) would need to work from home/remotely to support “social distancing” and limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

  • A call center environment requiring the purchase of remote access supplies, including laptop computers and/or smartphones, that employee(s) would need to support working from home/remotely.

  • A company may purchase an online sales platform to sell services virtually so that existing staff roles can be repurposed for order fulfillment.

  • To support social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID-19, a company that usually runs two shifts of workers adds a third shift, so that fewer employees are onsite at any given time.

  • Funding may assist small businesses with resources to repurpose their business to meet the current community needs. 

  • A company may use layoff aversion funding towards liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under COVID-19 emergency circumstances and/or stay at home orders

  • Funding may be used for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; 

  • A company implements training to redirect/reassign existing employees (Incumbent Workers) to support the production of goods and services that are needed to address COVID-19 and to preserve critical business operations. Layoff aversion funding could be used to help pay for this type of Incumbent Worker Training project.

  • Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs 

This is not an all-inclusive list. Additional allowable activities that support layoff aversion for small businesses may be considered.


Prohibited Costs

Resources from the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund may not be used for the following:

  • Food and beverages

  • Indirect administrative costs

  • Rent

  • Mortgage Payments

  • Entertainment

  • Fines and penalties

  • Donations

  • Fundraising activities

  • Individual memberships and subscriptions

  • Employee wages/ benefits

  • Hazard Pay

  • Support services such as childcare, transportation costs, lodging expenses, or meals;

  • Equipment with a per-unit value over $5,000; (must obtain OCCS prior approval before purchase)

  • Political or religious activities;

  • Branding and marketing projects;

  • Fundraising, Fines, Penalties, Donations; or

  • Costs that are not reasonable, necessary, and directly related to the purpose of the approved COVID19 Layoff Aversion project.




For consideration, eligible employers must complete a program application found on the OC One-Step website (

At a minimum, a completed application must include:

  • The number of employees affected;

  • A brief profile of the business including industry, occupation, and physical location(s);

  • A brief narrative describing the layoff aversion plan, timeline and need for funds;

  • The amount of funds requested and brief budget description;

  • A commitment to keep employees on staff through 365 calendar days from the date of the grant award;

  • Proof of Identification; and

  • Completed W-9 form

A commitment of the employer to adhere to the required certifications and reporting requirements.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Application Review

The OCWDB COVID‐19 Layoff Aversion Support funding application period shall commence on August 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM PST and end on August 6, 2020 at 5:00 PM PST or once 130 online applications have been received, whichever comes first. 


Completed applications will be reviewed by OCWDB for eligibility and submitted to the layoff aversion application review committee for approval consideration. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis until all the available funds have been committed.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Amount requested

  • Regional and Local Need;

  • Size of Business (Priority will be given to small businesses, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Please visit the SBA website for more information.)

  • Impact of the Project; and

  • Number of Layoffs Avoided

  • Targeted Industries and Occupations (as outlined in the Regional Workforce Plan)

  • Economic Impact on Community

  • Geographic Distribution of Awards.

The Layoff Aversion Application Review Committee, comprised of Staff from Orange County and Members of the Orange County Workforce Development Board, must ensure that approved application adheres to the purpose of the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Support Funds.

If approved, the OCWDB in partnership with OCCS – Community Investment Division will inform applicants via email of whether their COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Support Fund application has been approved or denied no later than August 28, 2020.

If approved, the OCWDB in partnership with OCCS – Community Investment Division will provide the business with a COIVD-19 Layoff Aversion Support Fund Award Notification to be executed by the business and an Orange County Grant Agreement.  Approved businesses MUST submit completed grant agreement to Orange County for review within five business days of notification.  Orange County uses DocuSign for electronic signatures. Once signed, the grant award is considered executed.  After a grant agreement has been formally executed, Orange County shall directly pay business on behalf of approved organizations.

If denied, within seven calendar days from the notice of denial, the applicant may appeal the decision.  The appeal must be emailed to and; (1) state the grounds for the appeal; and, (2) state the reasons why the appellant should be approved. The OCWDB in partnership with OCCS – Community Investment Division will consider all appeals and provide written response to the applicant within seven calendar days of appeal receipt. 




  • The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Support Fund was created with federal and state WIOA Rapid Response resources.  As a result, participating businesses and organizations shall be required to submit quarterly reports and expense receipts.  

  • The outcome measures for these grants include the number of jobs averted, the estimated amount of annual wages protected, and other relevant project-specific results.

  • Orange County will be required to gather specific information regarding each employer project under this grant and report program activity (quarterly) and final outcomes to the Layoff Aversion Application Review Committee.

  • This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and grantees must follow all applicable WIOA regulations.

  • All costs must be documented in accordance with the eligible layoff aversion activities and must be documented in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 

  • and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards located at 2 CFR Part 200.

  • TEGL 19-16 (particularly pages 26-27)

  • 20 CFR 682.320

  • Must provide a D-U-N-S Number.  If one doesn’t exist, go to the Dun & Bradstreet website to apply for a free D-U-N-S number.

  • (The D-U-N-S Number is a unique 9-digit identifier issued and maintained by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) that verifies the existence of a business entity. The D-U-N-S number is needed to coordinate with the System for Award Management (SAM) that combines federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system.

  • Debarment/Suspension Certification

  • Request for Modification of award must be submitted in writing to Orange County

This grant will be monitored by the County of Orange Community Services -Contracts Monitoring & Program Compliance Team.

This WIOA Title I financially assisted program or activity is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. TDD/TTY users, please call the California Relay Service (800) 735-2922 or 711.  If you need special assistance to participate in this program, please contact 714-480-6500 at least 72 hours prior to the event to allow reasonable arrangements to be made to ensure program accessibility.