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COVID-19 Business/Employee Guidance and Resources

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 Businesses and their employees are important parts of the fabric of our Santa Barbara community and we need your cooperation and partnership to get through this public health emergency. 

COVID-19 Business Advisory Task Force

Mayor Murillo formed this ad hoc Task Force to collaborate on input and recommendations for restarting the economy and local business sector. For more information click here: Business Advisory Task Force

Guidance for Businesses, Employees and the Public

Immediate Steps and Resources

Tips for Businesses/Employees

  1. Check your Business Insurance: Do you have business interruption coverage? If so, you may have coverage that supplements any income or sales loss during this time.
  2. Apply For Unemployment: If you have lost hours or wages due to the impact of COVID-19, we encourage you to file for unemployment benefits. The CARES Act increases the premium over the usual rates of unemployment insurance and extends the length of unemployment benefit terms. The Act provides an additional $600 increase over an applicant’s approved weekly benefit through July 31, 2020. Additionally, unemployment benefits have been extended for a period of 39 weeks. Apply here.
  3. Track LossesDuring moments of disruption it is important to track any loss your business may have incurred as programs designed to assist cash flow needs and access to capital depend on accurate counts of economic injury or production loss.
  4. No-Cost Business Consulting Is Available: For businesses that have experienced economic disruption and impacts Economic Development Collaborative Small Business Development Center (EDC SBDC) Advisors can assist during this time. Please call ourBusiness Resource Hotline at 805.409.9159 to connect with an advisor.

The Economic Development Collaborative has produced a comprehensive business resource guide which can be accessed on their website here.

Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program

The Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program provides microenterprise business assistance and small business assistance for the County of Santa Barbara. 

Now Accepting Applications! CLICK HERE 
Award Date: Rolling Basis 
Application Deadline: June 30, 2021

Program Funding  

  • Eligible costs include commercial rent, utilities (excluding water and sewage), payroll, personal protective equipment (PPE) required for business operation, business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. point of sale system, website development, outdoor business activities, etc.), or other costs determined to be eligible and necessary to resume or alter business operations. 
  • All grant payments will be made on a reimbursable basis for actual costs incurred by grant recipients under this program. The business will be required to submit appropriate documentation to confirm eligibility for the relevant program and receive grant payments accordingly.

Program Components 

The Emergency Business Assistance program will consist of two different components: Microenterprise business Assistance and Small Business Assistance. 

1. Microenterprise Business Assistance: The Emergency Business Assistance program will provide grants up to $10,000 to Microenterprises that were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Small Business Assistance: The Emergency Business Assistance program will provide grants up to $25,000 to small businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full eligibility, funding allowances, documentation and reporting requirements for each component can be reviewed online CLICK HERE.

Program Application 

  • Applications can be submitted via the Santa Barbara Foundation’s grants online portal, printing and mailing or hand-delivering applications in a sealed envelope to the Santa Barbara Foundation at 1111 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, Ca, 93101 during regular hours of operation of Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. 
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee a grant award. Applications will be reviewed for completeness before accepted, and compliance with program requirements.

How to Prepare

1. Review the website for program Information: Please review the website for further program information and grant guidelines to determine eligibility. CLICK HERE 

2. Attend a Free Workshop (optional): Join the County of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Foundation in a grant program workshop for the Emergency Business Assistance Program on Wednesday, May 19 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

3. Apply for the Appropriate Grant Component: Follow the instructions on the website to determine the best way to apply for funding. CLICK HERE 

State of California Employee/Business Support and Resources

On February 23, 2021 the Governor signed a legislative package that included fee waivers.

ABC License Fee Waivers provide two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can range annually from $455 to $1,235. 

  • Restaurants, bars, and other specified on-sale licensees will be eligible for fee waivers of licenses with expiration dates between March 1, 2021, and February 28, 2023.
  • This renewal fee waiver program does not apply to licensees with expiration dates prior to March 31, 2021.
  • Eligible licensees whose licenses expire in January or February 2021 may request a waiver of their future applicable renewal fees due in January 2022 or February 2022 when they receive the renewal notices for that year.
  • The annual license renewal process will continue as normal and licensees will need to request a waiver for each of the two years authorized. A second waiver request must be completed when the licensee receives the renewal notice for 2022.
  • If a licensee pays their renewal fee, and later find that they were eligible for a waiver, unfortunately, they will not receive a refund. ABC is not authorized under this law to provide any refunds. A fee waiver request can be submitted for the 2022 renewal at the appropriate time next year.

For more information on ABC Fee Waivers click Here.

Barbering and Cosmetology Fee Relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs 

  • Board of Barbering and Cosmetology license renewal fees will be waived for all licenses that expire in calendar years 2021 and 2022.
  • Every establishment/salon owner pays a renewal fee of $40 every 2 years, and individuals performing services at each establishment pay a license renewal fee of $50 every 2 years.
  • The fee waivers will be automatic for all license renewals. There is no application. The Board will issue new licenses prior to the license expiration date.
  • During the first week of March 2021, the Board will begin sending out renewed licenses for licensees that had license expiration dates in January 2021, February 2021, March 2021 and April 2021, and have not paid the fees. For licenses expiring from May 2021 through December 2022, the renewed licenses will be mailed out approximately 83 days prior to the expiration date. Licensees are encouraged to update their address but do not need to do anything in order to receive the renewed license.
  • For individuals who already paid their fee for a license that expired in 2021, the renewal date will be extended until January 1, 2025 so they will not have to pay for your next renewal period.

For more information on Barbering and Cosmetology license renewal fee relief, click Here.



The Governor directed the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to provide sales tax relief to businesses. The tax deferment up to $1 million is automatic; no need to apply. Businesses can use the money they would normally pay in sales tax to float other expenses, interest free for three-months. This is how the sales tax relief would apply:

  • Automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1M in sales tax
  • Extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales
  • Provides expanded interest free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions Click HERE to learn more… 

Federal Business Support and Resources

Provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)  


The Paycheck Protection Program re-opened. Businesses that did not previously receive a PPP loan can apply. Contact your current bank to see if the bank is accepting applications. Any business that qualified and received a PPP loan in 2020 will now have the chance to apply for a second PPP loan. Contact your current lender to re-apply.

The ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATIVE created a GUIDE for PPP Click Here. EDC is also offering webinars to help businesses apply for funding. Interested in no-cost financial consulting? Call the EDC to set up your no-cost appointment to review your PPP questions and discuss financial opportunities available. (805) 409-9159 (ENGLISH) or (805) 309-5874 (SPANISH) For updates on all other currently available COVID-19 resources visit our COVID-19 Business Resources Website CLICK HERE

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

UPDATE: PPP was recently extended to May 31, 2021. Montecito Bank & Trust is currently accepting applications for first and second draw PPP loans from businesses in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties through April 23, 2021. Visit their website to learn more CLICK HERE.  

DEADLINE: May 31, 2021
Learn more CLICK HERE

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

UPDATE: COVID-19 EIDL Loans approved prior to April 7, 2021 for less than$500,000 are likely eligible for an increase based on new loan maximum amounts announced March 24, 2021. Businesses that received a loan subject to the previous loan limit can submit a request for an increase at this time.

Interested in increasing your COVID-19 EIDL amount?

  • Review email communications from the SBA. The SBA is now reaching out directly to loan borrowers via email to provide more details on how businesses can request an increase. Borrowers should expect to receive emails from or addresses.
  • Email using the subject line “EIDLIncrease Request for [insert your 10-digit application number]”
  • Be sure to include in the body of your email identifying information for your current loan including application number, loan number, business name, business address, business owner name(s) and phone number.
  • Important: Do NOT include any financial documents or tax records with your initial request. You will receive a follow up email notification if the SBA needs additional documents.

DEADLINE: December 31, 2021
Learn more CLICK HERE.


 Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program 

 UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, SBA has temporarily suspended the SVOG application portal. The SBA will share advance notice of the time and date before the reopening so all applicants can be prepared and to ensure equitable access. For now, applicants may continue to register for a new account. To access the application portal CLICK HERE. Learn more the program and eligibility requirements CLICK HERE.   

 To receive a SVOG or access any federal government grants, your business will need to register for a free System for Award Management (SAM) number.


  • Sign up for a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number if you do not already have one at This typically takes 1-2 days to process.
  • Register with SAM at your information, DUNS number and standard business information (such as your Tax ID Number). It can take up to 2 weeks to receive your SAM number.
  • Do not register for a SAM number on any other website or pay for a SAM number.
  • For more information on this process view the Registration Training video CLICK HERE.  

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

NEW: The new American Rescue Plan Act established a $28.6 billion “Restaurant Revitalization Fund” (RRF) within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). An eligible business may receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by subtracting its 2020 gross receipts from its 2019 gross receipts. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is NOT yet accepting applications. More information coming soon.

Learn more CLICK HERE.  

UPDATE: RRF does NOT require a SAM number, DUNS number or CAGE code.

COVID-19 Joint Response Effort for Santa Barbara County

Grants to individuals for those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the pandemic and organizations actively engaging COVID-19 assistance efforts, providing essential services, reduced services due to COVID-19 and need operating support.

Learn more CLICK HERE.  

Last Updated: May 13, 2021
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