Chamber August 21st Business Leader Webinar Recap

The Chamber held our Business Leaders Webinar on Friday, August 21st. The webinar featured Melissa James from REACH, Kirsten McLaughlin from Cox, Lynn Mohrfeld from the California Hotel & Lodging Association and Suzanne Grimmesey from SB County Department of Behavioral Wellness. All four of our speakers had timely and relevant updates on their industries. We started these Friday business leaders call to help us all keep up with the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis.

Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

Chamber of Commerce Distributes Free COVID-19 Protective Equipment to Businesses, Nonprofits

Story from our media partners at Noozhawk.com 

Face masks, face shields and hand sanitizers were distributed for free this week to hundreds of local businesses and nonprofit organizations as part of a collaboration with business-centric organizations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce handed out personal protective equipment to 145 businesses Wednesday at Direct Relief along Wallace Becknell Road in Santa Barbara. The organization provided 6,500 masks, 600 face shields and 1,600 bottles of sanitizer.

“I don’t think we had any idea how much this is needed,” said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce. “Given the response, I think our next phone call needs to be back to the state agencies and ask for more.”

The supplies of PPE were available to California small businesses through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in collaboration with the Office of the Small Business Advocate, and in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network and the Economic Development Collaborative.

People lined up — with proper social distancing and wearing face masks — in the parking lot outside Direct Relief before the distribution started at noon.

The personal protective equipment was in high demand. Face masks and face shields were gone after about 15 minutes.

Cheri Diaz, executive director of the nonprofit Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Centers, attended the supply distribution to get gloves, masks and hand sanitizer.

Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Centers in Santa Barbara are faith-based, nature-centered quality programs for children ages birth through kindergarten, according to the organization.

“Gloves used to be $33 a case and now are about $110 a case,” Diaz said. “We use about five cases a month. … We are one of the few centers that stayed open this whole time, serving as many families as possible.”

The chamber scheduled a two-day distribution event this week, but plans were cut short since supplies were depleted on Wednesday.

However, some hand sanitizers were available, so the chamber took those products to Carpinteria businesses.

The chamber worked in collaboration with Direct Relief and Downtown Santa Barbarato distribute PPE to the business community in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. Businesses and organizations were urged to pick up a 30-day supply of free PPE at the distribution sites.

In Santa Barbara on Wednesday, a 30-day supply was provided for 2,588 employees from 221 businesses, according to Downtown Santa Barbara marketing manager Tim Persson.

A variety of local businesses and nonprofit organizations showed up to get the PPE supply, including assisted-living facilities, health services snd professional services, as well as personal care businesses, schools, retail, restaurants, bars, transportation and hotels.

“We at the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization were happy to be able to support the local business community with distributing this major donation at our office in collaboration with the new South Coast Chamber of Commerce,” Downtown Santa Barbara interim Executive Director Robin Elander said. “It was great to see and catch up with many local business owners and their staff.

“We are all working to get through this unique time together. I know we can come out of this stronger together.”

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce also will be providing free personal protective equipment to any small businesses in the Santa Maria Valley area that have experienced economic injury because of COVID-19.

Face masks, face shields and hand sanitizers were distributed for free this week to hundreds of local businesses and nonprofit organizations as part of a collaboration with business-centric organizations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce handed out personal protective equipment to 145 businesses Wednesday at Direct Relief along Wallace Becknell Road in Santa Barbara. The organization provided 6,500 masks, 600 face shields and 1,600 bottles of sanitizer.

“I don’t think we had any idea how much this is needed,” said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce. “Given the response, I think our next phone call needs to be back to the state agencies and ask for more.”

The supplies of PPE were available to California small businesses through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in collaboration with the Office of the Small Business Advocate, and in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network and the Economic Development Collaborative.

People lined up — with proper social distancing and wearing face masks — in the parking lot outside Direct Relief before the distribution started at noon.

The personal protective equipment was in high demand. Face masks and face shields were gone after about 15 minutes.

Cheri Diaz, executive director of the nonprofit Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Centers, attended the supply distribution to get gloves, masks and hand sanitizer.

Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Centers in Santa Barbara are faith-based, nature-centered quality programs for children ages birth through kindergarten, according to the organization.

“Gloves used to be $33 a case and now are about $110 a case,” Diaz said. “We use about five cases a month. … We are one of the few centers that stayed open this whole time, serving as many families as possible.”

A volunteer carries a box of hand sanitizer for distribution. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The chamber scheduled a two-day distribution event this week, but plans were cut short since supplies were depleted on Wednesday.

However, some hand sanitizers were available, so the chamber took those products to Carpinteria businesses.

The chamber worked in collaboration with Direct Relief and Downtown Santa Barbarato distribute PPE to the business community in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. Businesses and organizations were urged to pick up a 30-day supply of free PPE at the distribution sites.

In Santa Barbara on Wednesday, a 30-day supply was provided for 2,588 employees from 221 businesses, according to Downtown Santa Barbara marketing manager Tim Persson.

A variety of local businesses and nonprofit organizations showed up to get the PPE supply, including assisted-living facilities, health services snd professional services, as well as personal care businesses, schools, retail, restaurants, bars, transportation and hotels.

“We at the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization were happy to be able to support the local business community with distributing this major donation at our office in collaboration with the new South Coast Chamber of Commerce,” Downtown Santa Barbara interim Executive Director Robin Elander said. “It was great to see and catch up with many local business owners and their staff.

“We are all working to get through this unique time together. I know we can come out of this stronger together.”

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce also will be providing free personal protective equipment to any small businesses in the Santa Maria Valley area that have experienced economic injury because of COVID-19.Click to view larger

Members of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce wait for the PPE distribution event to begin Wednesday at Direct Relief. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Free hand sanitizer, face shields and face masks will be available for small businesses with 20 employees or fewere to pick up between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. next Monday through Wednesday at the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce office, 614 S. Broadway.

PPE will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Molly Schiff, the chamber’s marketing and communications manager.

Businesses seeking free PPE must fill out an online request form, available by clicking here. The form is available in Spanish by clicking here.

Masks and social distancing will be required for pickup, Schiff said.

She told Noozhawk that 24,000 face masks, 1,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and 600 face shields will be distributed.

“We know that times are tough for many of our local businesses right now, and we hope that being able to supply some of this necessary PPE can help alleviate at least a small cost,” Schiff said. “We know every bit can help.

“We also want to continue encouraging our businesses and community members to follow the health guidelines issued by our county and state health officials, and supplying some PPE to these businesses can help keep them operating safely.”

Santa Maria’s PPE supply distribution is a partnership between the Economic Development Collaborative’s Small Business Development Center and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“As the North County liaison for the SBDC, the Solvang Chamber helped coordinate the drop-off of supplies to northern Santa Barbara County,” Schiff said. “As a business-serving organization, the chamber felt like a natural fit to distribute these supplies.”

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website offers resources for area businesses, including details on how employers can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, economic recovery, assistance programs and more. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at bholland@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Grants and ReStart Loans for Goleta-Based Businesses

(August 5, 2020)   Grants and ReStart Loans for Goleta-Based Businesses
Support provided by the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara Better Together Fund, Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Economic Ventures
Announcing: ReStart Loan applications open August 6
Reminder: Grant application deadline is August 7

In a collaborative effort to assist Goleta-based businesses and help mitigate the devastating pandemic impacts to our local business community, the City of Goleta has partnered with the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund (SBBT) at the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV). Through funding from the City of Goleta, local businesses may receive grants up to $10,000 (administered by the SBBT) and ReStart Loans up to $25,000 (administered by WEV).  Learn more about the Grant Program (application deadline is August 7) Grants in English or Grants in Spanish, and the Goleta ReStart Loans (applications open August 6) ReStart Loans in English and Spanish.

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “It’s amazing what we can do when great organizations work together to support our small businesses during this unprecedented time of economic upheaval resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is proud to partner with Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) and the Santa Barbara Foundation (SBF) on these much needed financial and technical support programs to assist Goleta small businesses.”

A reminder that applications for the SBBT Small Business Grant Program are available through August 7, 2020 for qualifying Goleta businesses.  Grant awards are available to eligible businesses until funds have been depleted. Priority will be given to childcare facilities, to-go food service, service industry and outdoor dining businesses, but is open to all COVID affected businesses.  “Providing support to local small businesses will help to combat community deterioration.  We believe that this program will benefit the entire community,” said Jackie Carrera, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

The City of Goleta contributed $200,000 to support the small business loan program. Goleta ReStart Loans from WEV will provide capital to Goleta-based businesses who are now open or eligible to open under the most current government orders (subject to change based on updated orders) related to COVID-19.  Loan applications can be submitted starting August 6, 2020 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until loan funds have been depleted.

“Business owners consistently say community support is a key factor in sustaining their resolve through the pandemic,” shared WEV CEO Kathy Odell.  “Our ReStart Loans will provide the capital necessary to retain employees, modify business practices and acquire new equipment and/or supplies required for safe re-opening.  Additionally, ReStart Loan recipients are eligible to receive business advisory services from WEV.”

Kristen Miller, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce said, “Women’s Economic Ventures has a long history of providing access to capital to Goleta start-ups and small businesses. The Chamber is proud to be working with WEV to help identify businesses who would benefit from this new level of loan support during this economic crisis.”

“The WEV ReStart Loan program will provide immediate funding on favorable terms and WEV’s highly-regarded financial expertise to our small businesses. The recently launched SBBT Fund Small Business Grant Program for Goleta’s small businesses will help them reopen and adapt,” said Mayor Perotte.  “Both of these programs are important components of the City’s economic recovery efforts.”

Meet the Chamber Team Webinar

On Friday, July 17th we held a special version of our weekly Regional Business Leaders Webinarintroducing members to the new Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce team. We heard introductions from each staff member and a little bit about who will be managing what items of the Chamber’s program of work.

Click here to view the recording of the webinar. 

 

Chamber of Commerce Reopens State Street Visitor Center as Hub for Safety Information for Visitors and Residents

Chamber of Commerce Reopens State Street Visitor Center as Hub for Safety Information for Visitors and Residents

Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce is announcing the official reopening of the State Street Visitors Center located at 120 State Street, Ste F, adjacent to the Hotel Californian. The centrally located center welcomes visitors year-round and helps distribute information and promote regional businesses and attractions.

The center will provide guests with traditional services including area maps, recommendations for local restaurants, key landmarks and tours, as well as offering a wide selection of locally made artisanal retail items and hotel information. In addition, the center will educate guests on how to enjoy Santa Barbara safely by explaining the County enforced protocols, encouraging everyone to wear a mask and distributing safety information.

The center has a variety of safety information to provide its guests and will be modeling best practices. Several safety enhancements have been implemented to protect staff and visitors. Plexiglass barriers were installed at the counter and decals are affixed to the floor, guiding the flow of traffic and keeping patrons at least 6-feet apart. When inside the store, guests should be prepared to keep a safe social distance and only touch merchandise with the intention of purchasing.  While there is a limit to how many people can enter the center at a time, staff is also hosting a table outside to distribute information and offer free masks and sanitizer to maximize outreach and encourage a safe and smart Santa Barbara experience.

“We are happy to see Visitors slowly coming back to our region,” said Kristen Miller, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce. “We are here to provide much-needed information on what’s open and what visitors need to do to keep us all safe.”

The center’s modified hours are Monday through Sunday, noon-5 p.m. The State Street Visitor Center is a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Santa Barbara. The second Santa Barbara Visitor Center located at 1 Garden Street, is still temporarily closed. 

Carpinteria to join Goleta and Santa Barbara in Chamber Merger – New Name Unveiled

Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara County’s South Coast Chambers are excited to announce the merger of three of the area’s largest business organizations. The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region, the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce will be uniting to form the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce – from Goleta to Carpinteria.

The new Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce will be mobilizing the power of our 1,100 members to create a better business environment out of the devastation of the current economy. We believe this organization will fill the void that has been exposed by the economic meltdown, and be a more effective advocate for our issues and concerns.

If our community is going to recover, it will be the small business community that leads the way, and they can’t do it without this organization providing the vital support and resources.

The group is excited to announce the organization’s new name – Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce – from Goleta to Carpinteria. The name represents our mission, who we are, and who we represent.

The new organization was formed by the unanimous support of the business and civic leaders from all three boards of directors. Recognizing that the business community already has connections throughout the three cities, the united group best represents business and community needs across government boundaries.  The unique and distinct qualities of each community’s culture, events, and neighborhoods will be honored and cherished while a new focus on county-wide and regional issues can be addressed.

“As our current business climate continues to evolve, we tried to forecast our members’ future needs and give Carpinteria a stronger voice in the South County. Being a native Carpinterian, I did not take this merger lightly, but I and my fellow board members believe this is our future,” said Curtis Lopez, Chairman of the Carpinteria Board of Directors.

The newly formed Chamber is dedicated to the economic health and vitality of all communities from Goleta to Carpinteria.  The Chamber will continue its work helping businesses, residents and visitors thrive.  Key work will be advocating for responsible public policy, offering networking and community-building opportunities, providing access to business development resources, and supporting visitor services across the region.

Kristen Miller, who has served as President & CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce for the last 18 years, will lead the organization as the Chief Executive Officer.

“Creating a unified voice for business on the South Coast is both the culmination of a long process and at the same time a natural next step in a rapidly changing world.  Business and community, work-life balance, and sustainable workforce practices are all coming together and making us a more unified community.  While some areas of our lives are becoming more isolated, we are coming together,” said Miller.

Joyce Donaldson, IOM, President & CEO of the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce will serve as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer – Carpinteria Liaison, overseeing operations and Carpinteria-centric initiatives. With 17 years of professional chamber leadership experience, Donaldson has served as President and CEO for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber since 2015.

“The Carpinteria Chamber Board of Directors and Leadership Teams are enthusiastic about the newly formed Chamber,” states Joyce Donaldson. “This is an exciting step to unify the voice of the entire business community in the South Coast Region, combining our robust resources and talent to create an even stronger environment in which businesses can flourish.”

Stephanie Armstrong, Interim Executive Director of The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region, will serve as the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing communications, marketing and public policy. Armstrong is 4th generation Santa Barbara, deeply attached to the community where she grew up. She has been with the Chamber for nine years.

“The current economic and cultural climate we find ourselves in calls for change, innovation, and unity,” says Armstrong. “By joining forces we will be a stronger, more unified voice with the combined leadership from our three organizations in achieving our common goal to help our businesses and represent the unique qualities of our communities. We are excited for this next chapter.”

The organization is eager to preserve the unique character of each City and focus on individual needs as well as the regional needs of the business community. The signature events and networking opportunities of each Chamber are all included in the merged program of work. The organization is working to pivot priorities to serve members in new ways during the current COVID-19 Pandemic given that events are not allowed at this time.

It was announced previously that the Goleta and Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce boards voted to pursue a merger. During recent strategy meetings with leadership, Carpinteria Chamber Board of Directors joined the discussion. Leadership from all three organizations are very excited for the immense potential of a regional Chamber to be a voice for business. The merger will be effective July 1, 2020.

 

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The Goleta Chamber of Commerce represents 450 members and 30,000 jobs in the region.  Operating since 1947, the Chamber envisions a community where businesses flourish, residents thrive, and visitors are inspired by our exceptional quality of life. 

 

Founded in 1878, the mission of The Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region is to enhance and promote the regional economic environment through support of our members and collaboration with businesses, government, and community resources.

 

Founded in 1912, The Carpinteria Valley Chamber has been a unified voice dedicated to supporting local business while enriching our community. The Carpinteria Chamber represents 300 enthusiastic members dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the Carpinteria Valley.

Goleta Chamber and Area Businesses Launch Masks4Biz Program to Provide Masks for Frontline Workers

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce partnered with local companies and the City of Goleta to launch Masks4Biz and provide the frontline staff of Goleta businesses with standard paper masks.  The Chamber recognizes the importance of these essential workers, who interact with the public daily to keep local grocery stores, restaurants, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, and more operational. With this community initiative, the Chamber hopes to support the health of essential workers, flatten the curve, and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The goal of Masks4Biz is to gift Goleta businesses with their first round of masks in recognition of their community dedication, and offer to help procure additional masks if needed.

 

“The Chamber and community are so grateful for our essential workers who are helping to keep our grocery stores and restaurants running,” said Kristen Miller, President & CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. “We want to offer this extra layer of protection by distributing masks to our area businesses.”

 

The Chamber has sourced masks from a vendor that does not compete with masks within the medical supply chain. In the next week, the Chamber team will distribute 20,000 masks with the goal of providing workers with enough masks to cover their face for 2-3 weeks.  Each mask can be worn twice by an employee.

 

To enact this initiative, many local organizations and businesses offered support, including American Riviera Bank, Apeel Sciences, City of Goleta, Community West Bank, Deckers Brands, Kathy Odell – WEV, LogMeIn, Montecito Bank and Trust, Transphorm and Village Properties. The impact of this support was felt immediately.

“We’ve been working toward re-opening with limited service, and one of our challenges was where to get masks,” said Lisa Boelter, co-owner of Anna’s Bakery. “We were so relieved when the Goleta Chamber emailed us the offer to help.  Now we can resume our place in the heart of the community, at least in a small way.”

 

MASKS4Biz is one small way the Goleta Chamber is responding to the pandemic and economic crisis in Goleta.  For more information on this and other programs see the Chamber’s COVID-19 Business Resource page on their website. (https://goletachamber.com/community/covid-19-info/)

 

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The Goleta Chamber of Commerce represents 450 members and 30,000 jobs in the region.  Operating since 1947, the Chamber envisions a community where businesses flourish, residents thrive, and visitors are inspired by our exceptional quality of life. 

 

Goleta Hotels Offer Discounts to Remote Workers During Coronavirus Outbreak

Hotels in Goleta are opening their doors to people working remotely.

Amid the shelter-in-place order related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, hotels are suffering, and many employees are not allowed to work in the office unless it is regarded as an essential service.

The hotels are offering rooms that come with a desk, free WiFi and other business services.

“We are located in the Goleta high-tech area,” said Patricia Kimball, director of sales for the Hilton Garden Inn. “We have been hearing some feedback that they have challenges with WiFi or VPN or connectivity, or a lot of  people don’t have desks or space in their homes.”

The Hilton Garden Inn, 6878 Hollister Ave., has guest rooms including work space, high-speed Internet and Keurig coffee services for $80 a day plus taxes. It also has event spaces for $50 per day plus tax. Prices are valid for an eight-hour work day. The 24 marketplace offers snacks and beverages for purchase

“We are just trying to be part of the community and stay afloat and give employees an opportunity to work,” Kimball said.

At the Hampton Inn, 5665 Hollister Ave., General Manager Christine Heinrich said that “a lot of people are hurting right now.”

She said a lot of people are in flux, but the hotel wants to help people while also trying to bring business to the hotel. The rooms give people their own space to get work done.

She said no advance notice is needed, and people can just walk in if they need a room for the day or night.

“We are very flexible with the hours,” Heinrich said.

The Hampton Inn has guest rooms available for $65, and a half-day rate for five hours anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. for $45. The hotel has one board room available for full day use for $50 a day.

Click here to view all Goleta area hotel offerings. 

Goleta Chamber Leaders Respond to the Federal CARES Act and the local economy and jobs

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce is convening business leaders in response to COVID-19 and the Federal CARES Act, passed on Friday, to provide economic relief to businesses at many levels.

The Goleta Chamber has provided information, online gatherings of leaders, industry-specific programs and communications to manufacturers, hotels, restaurants and service provider businesses in the region. Weekly calls, daily emails and innovative ideas are the main agenda for the Chamber professional staff and volunteer business leaders on the board of directors.

A big focus is on the federal relief package right now.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued the attached guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.

“The CARES Act is a timely and necessary response from government to provide economic relief to business during this unprecedented time,” said Kristen Miller, President and CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce.

Additional Small Business Provisions are included in the act, including $17 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover six months of payments for businesses with current SBA loans.

“As of today, there are many unanswered questions on how to apply for and receive the CARES and SBA loans,” said Kathy Odell, CEO, Women’s Economic Ventures. “WEV will provide assistance to small businesses seeking SBA funding and continue to offer our COVID-19 Quick Response Loans and business advisory services to assist small business adapt to new economic circumstances.”

There are also changes to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to include all non-profits, removing the personal guarantee requirement for loans below $200,000 and a new $10,000 cash advance provision.  The cash advance will be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments, or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.

“Local businesses are the fabric of our communities and we must stand together in support of them,” said Janet Garufis, President of Montecito Bank and Trust. “Loan assistance programs like the CARES Act are an integral piece of the foundation for us to build upon, and as a qualified lender we are eagerly awaiting the additional guidance so that we can help quickly provide relief. As the largest, oldest and locally owned community bank on the central coast, we are well prepared to help businesses navigate these challenging times.”

Business tax provisions are included, related to refunds to part of the employer’s share of payroll taxes on wages and other modifications.

The CARES Act grants eligible employers a credit against employment taxes equal to 50 percent of qualified wages paid to employees who are not working due to the employer’s full or partial cessation of business or a significant decline in gross receipts. There are limits to consider as well.  The Act also provides refunds through carrying back Net Operating Losses, loosened limitations on business interest deductions and the depreciation Qualified Improvement Property and accelerated businesses ability to seek refunds from any Alternative Minimum Tax credits they may have.

“We have assisted several clients with the application process,” said Tony Vallejo, Partner at Nicholson & Schwartz. “It can be challenging especially considering the huge number of applications that are being submitted, but we are encouraging our clients to apply as soon as possible since we are expecting delays in the process.”

Connectivity is key for the Goleta Chamber and the business community.  Our high-tech community of business and industry was already focused on cutting edge technology that brings people and businesses closer together.  The pandemic and economic crises amplifies our local reliance on digital communication.

“During these unprecedented times, Cox is committed to keeping our customers’ and our communities’ connected. Our network is fully operational. We are completely staffed around the clock and our all-hands-on-deck team of network professionals can holistically monitor and manage our network, both physically from our network operations center and 100 percent virtually, if needed.”  Kirsten McLaughlin, Cox Communications.

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce is partnering with all other Chambers in the County to put on a webinar this Wednesday, April 1st with our regional representative from the US Chamber of Commerce to further discuss what the CARES Act means for our local businesses and how small business owners can get access to these resources. For more information or to register for the webinar, visit www.GoletaChamber.com.

“Our firm has been working with businesses of all sizes to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 and implement legal strategies to support continued operations in a safe manner. Across all practice areas, our attorneys have created resources allowing businesses to survive, and potentially thrive. One partner that we have found invaluable is Goleta Chamber of Commerce, due to its ability to disseminate accurate information from reliable sources in a timely manner.” says Trevor Large, Managing Partner, Buynak, Fauver, Archbald, & Spray.

The Goleta Chamber’s COVID-19 Emergency Resources page on the Chamber website is updated daily.

Supporting our Community During COVID-19

There is no doubt that our community is beginning to experience the negative impacts of COVID-19. Schools are closed, companies are shifting to work-from-home practices, events are being cancelled and social distancing is becoming a necessity. As our community faces this unprecedented situation it is important to realize that we are not powerless. There are many ways we can make a positive impact in our community and help support others in this time of need. Below are some ways you can help.
Support your local businesses
  • Order take-out or delivery – call your favorite restaurant to order take-out, or try a delivery service such as DeliverySB, SBbites, GrubHub, Restaurant Connection or DoorDash.
  • Buy a gift card from your favorite restaurants or shops – this stimulates the economy now and you can return to use at a later date.
Volunteer
If you feel well and want to volunteer, there are local groups who need great people.
Donate blood
Urgent shortage: donors needed. If you are healthy and able please consider donating blood now. As this disease continues to spread there will be significantly less people ableto donate.
Help your neighbors
  • Run errands. Senior citizens are being asked to stay home. They will need help with grocery shopping, picking up medication, and other similar tasks. Reach out to your neighbors. Remember that many seniors do not participate in social media. Online groups may not reach someone. You can knock on doors, or leave a note at the door.
  • Provide child care. Schools are daycares are closed until at least April, but many parents need to physically attend work in order to pay their bills. Consider offering to watch a child, even if just for the day. Online groups and word-of-mouth with neighbors and friends is a great way to offer this service.
  • Neighbors are communicating through a variety of online platforms.
Donate Money
If you don’t have time or are unable to volunteer, you can still make an impact. Consider donating money to local non-profits that are helping to support our community’s hungry and sick populations.
The Goleta Chamber of Commerce would like to shine a light on the amazing kindness and compassion that our community continues to exhibit. We encourage you to get involved. If you have questions or need additional resources, please contact: April Lee via email at April@GoletaChamber.com.