Santa Barbara Better Together Fund Contributes $25,000 Towards Chamber Economic Development Initiatives

This year the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund, through the Santa Barbara Foundation, has offered an invaluable partnership with the cities across Santa Barbara County to provide necessary financial relief through their grant programs to help small businesses. In addition, the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund recently contributed $25,000 to the Chamber’s new Economic Development initiative to assist with recruitment and retention efforts in Downtown Santa Barbara. The initiative is being implemented by the Economic Development Committee of the Chamber representing Santa Barbara small businesses, property owners, bankers, non-profits, and the hospitality sector. The committee identified three key pillars to improve the downtown corridor including business recruitment, business retention, and advocacy for pro-business policy. The Chamber is grateful for the support of the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund for assisting the Chamber in launching this extremely critical initiative during this time.

Chamber Public Policy Committee Engages with Local Elections and Statewide Ballot Measures

Advocacy and leadership on public policy is one of the top three things our members expect from the Chamber of Commerce. The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce has a Public Policy Committee dedicated to addressing local, statewide, and national initiatives that may impact local business. Our Public Policy Committee has roughly forty Chamber members, five of whom also serve on our Board of Directors. The committee reviews issues on a monthly basis and makes recommendations to the full board. During an election season it is important for the Chamber to be engaged on ballot measures as well as candidate endorsements, where we issue our support on pro-business policies. Look for our Voter’s Guide, publishing soon, featuring the positions we have chosen to take a stance on this year. For more information on the committee or regarding our Public Policy efforts please contact Stephanie@sbscchamber.com.

After 25 Years, Annmarie Rogers, Visitor Center Director, Announces Retirement

Annmarie Rogers has served as the Director for both the State Street and Garden Street Visitor Centers for the past twenty-five years. This year she has announced her retirement which will be celebrating at the end of this month. If you have had the honor of working with Annmarie you will know she is not only one of the kindest people you will have the privilege to meet, but she treats everyone as if they are family. Her kind spirit, warm-heartedness and commitment to the community has been exemplified by the way in which each visitor has been welcomed to Santa Barbara through her doors.

During her tenure, Annmarie has managed over one hundred volunteers along with a professional staff of ten who have welcomed visitors from all over the world, countless cruise ships, and a visitor kiosk at the Santa Barbara Airport, all while keeping the doors open to our lovely visitor centers 362 days out of the year. Her last day will be September 30th and we plan on announcing some fun ways our community can help to send her off on this next chapter. Thank you Annmarie for your tireless service and dedication! You are a special and rare Santa Barbara treasure.

State of the City Carpinteria Scheduled for September 25th

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, from Goleta to Carpinteria will host a virtual State of the City-Carpinteria for release on Friday, September 25th at 9AM. The State of the City will be filmed live from Bega North America in Carpinteria.

Carpinteria will be the first of the 4-part State of the City series. We intend to feature Goleta in October, Santa Barbara in November, and a State of the County in December.

Guest speakers include: City Mayor Wade Nomura, City Manager Dave Durflinger, and Peter Rupert, Professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara and the Director of the Economic Forecast Project.

This year, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the information presented is more crucial than ever to inform our business and community members on critical information about their community, government, and provide a comprehensive update on the ever-changing business landscape.

The new Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber is proud to be the leading business-support organization providing timely, relevant, and trustworthy information from our elected officials and City Leadership Teams.

Many thanks to our Sponsors: Title Sponsor – COX Communications.
Gold Sponsors include: Agilent Technologies, Chevron, Latitude 34 Technologies, LinkedIn, Meister & Nunes, PC, Montecito Bank & Trust, Procore, Southern California Edison and UCLA Health.
Silver Sponsors include E.J. Harrison & Sons, Grant Cox Enterprises Inc. dba Greenleaf Landscapes and Tarpitz Gardening & Landscapes, and SoCal Gas Co.

City of Goleta Considers Visitor Services Program

The City of Goleta is considering a visitor services program provided by the Chamber next week. The City of Goleta’s Economic Development Committee will discuss a staff report that includes several items related to economic recovery for businesses in Goleta. A cornerstone of the staff proposal is to fund a hybrid program with the Chamber that may provide visitor services, supportive resources for tourism-related businesses, assistance with securing PPE, a business survey and a digital marketing campaign.

The Chamber of Commerce has always played an active role in supporting the hotel and lodging industry. We do this to support our members, but also to increase the local economic impact of visitors to our area. Ensuring that visitors get to enjoy a wide variety of activities and businesses on the south coast increases the sales tax and transient occupancy tax (TOT) that is collected by our cities and county. The City of Santa Barbara and County of Santa Barbara have already committed to funding programs with the Chamber this year, during, or perhaps because of, the severe economic crisis.

A majority of businesses have told us that the lack of visitors in town is hurting their bottom line – even business not specifically related to tourism, such as restaurants and coffee shops.

We are pushing the City to move quickly in renewing our public-private partnership to help businesses who are most in need, right now. If you would like to support this effort, we encourage you to send an email to the Goleta City Council. A simple email stating your support for the City and Chamber to work together on a Visitor Services Program that helps small business economic recovery would be very effective.
You can contact your Goleta Councilmembers here:

Goleta City Council
Mayor Paula Perotte – pperotte@cityofgoleta.org
Mayor Pro Tem Kyle Richards – krichards@cityofgoleta.org
Councilmember James Kyriaco – jkyriaco@cityofgoleta.org
Councilmember Roger S. Aceves – raceves@cityofgoleta.org
Councilmember Stuart Kasdin – skasdin@cityofgoleta.org

Updated State COVID Guidelines – Salons & Barbershops able to open indoor operations

Today the State issued a new tiered structure for counties on the monitoring list. The following information has been issued this week:
State
  • 8/17/20 – California Department of Public Health updated the County Monitoring List (CML) now that the recent backlog of data has been cleared. As a result, CDPH retroactively updated the list for each day over the entire period impacted (July 25 – August 16). For Santa Barbara County, this lowered the positivity rate per 100k to within the threshold for schools to request waivers. The Public Health Department has posted information related to waivers on their website Here
  • 8/25/20 – The State added new guidance for Cohorts for Children and Youth in Supervised Settings and updated guidance for Schools, Daycares, Day Camps, Youth Sports and Higher Education related to Cohorts. This information has been added to the RISE website.
  • 8/28/20 – The State deployed new tiered structure for counties on monitoring list. https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
Rules of the framework:
  1. CDPH will assess indicators weekly. The first weekly assessment will be released on September 8, 2020.
  2. A county will remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before being able to advance to a later tier.
  3. A county can only move forward one tier at a time, even if metrics qualify for a more advanced tier.
  4. If a county’s case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned to the more restrictive tier.
  5. City local health jurisdiction (LHJ) data will be included in overall metrics, and city LHJs will be assigned the same tier as the surrounding county.
Initial step applied on August 28, 2020:
  1. Each county is assigned to a tier based on an adjusted case rate and test positivity from the prior two reporting periods. If a county’s case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned the more restrictive tier.
  2. This tier status will be effective on Monday, August 31, 2020.
  3. If a county is initially assigned to Purple Tier 1 and has met the criteria for a less restrictive tier the prior week, the county only needs to meet the criteria for a less restrictive tier for one more week to move to the Red Tier 2. (For the September 8, 2020 assignment, a county does not need to remain in the Purple Tier 1 for three weeks. For all subsequent assessments, a county must remain in a tier for three weeks and meet the criteria to advance as described below.)
To advance:
  1. A county must have been in the current tier for a minimum of three weeks, except as described in the “Initial step applied on August 28, 2020” section above.
  2. A county must meet criteria for the next tier for both measures for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier.
  3. In addition, the state will establish health equity measures on activities such as data collection, testing access, contact tracing, supportive isolation, and outreach that demonstrate a county’s ability to address the most impacted communities within a county. Additional measures addressing health outcomes such as case rates, hospitalizations and deaths, will also be developed and tracked for improvement.
To move back:
  1. During the weekly assessment, if a county’s adjusted case rate and/or test positivity has been within a more restrictive tier for two consecutive weekly periods, the county must revert to the more restrictive tier.
  2. At any time, state and county public health officials may work together to determine targeted interventions or county wide modifications necessary to address impacted hospital capacity and drivers of disease transmission, as needed.
  3. Counties will have three days to implement any sector changes or closures unless extreme circumstances merit immediate action.
Santa Barbara County currently falls under the Purple Category- Widespread.
Under this category, there are only a few sector changes from the current status that are effective 8/31/2020:
  • Hair Salons & Barbershops are allowed to open indoors with modifications
  • All Retail – Open Indoors with modifications – Max 25% capacity
  • Shopping Centers (Malls, Destination Centers, Swap Meets) – Open indoors with modifications – Max 25% capacity; Closed common areas; Closed food courts
County
  • New HOO issued 2020-13.1 for Beaches Temporarily Restricted in Santa Barbara during Labor Day Weekend See Health Order Here
  • A new HOO is in progress to be effective 8/31/20

 

Santa Barbara County Beaches are Closed for Labor Day Weekend

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced plans for beach restrictions to occur over the Labor Day holiday weekend throughout Santa Barbara County beaches. All beaches will be temporarily closed for stationary activities. Only immediate access to and from the ocean for water sports or beach access for active physical activity will be permitted. Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg, has issued a Health officer Order to outline the specific parameters of the restrictions. This Order is effective beginning on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing until Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Disease transmission rates has been consistently improving in the last few weeks yet this metric still remains above the threshold outlined by the California Department of Public Health for being removed from the County Monitoring List.

The following restrictions apply for the duration of the Health Officer Order:

  • Sitting, lying, standing, sunbathing, sight-seeing, picnicking, and all other non-exercise, passive, or sedentary activities on beach parkways are prohibited.
  • Items for sitting or lying on the beach are prohibited for use of possession on beaches, such as umbrellas, shade structures, tents, barbeque grills, sand or beach toys, coolers and beach chairs.

 

Full details regarding these restrictions can be found in the Health Officer Order.

“Reduced disease transmission is critical in the fight against COVID-19. We anticipate a high volume of visitors at our beaches during the Labor Day weekend, which will impede the practice of safe and necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg. “Our community has remained diligent in their efforts and now is the time to protect all the positive outcomes we have accomplished.”

For more information about the COVID-19 response locally, visit www.publichealthsbc.org.

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.”