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Assistance for Start-Up Businesses

Window Signage Template

A window signage template is approved for use for new businesses getting started with a short-term arrangement. Businesses have the option of using a contour cut vinyl window sign, saving time and money to open their doors. Contour cut vinyl window sign examples provided here. The sign template adheres to the City’s current sign ordinance. The sign template was approved by the Sign Committee for upcoming new pop-up businesses downtown to use for a short-term period, allowing individual businesses to get started without Sign Committee review and official Sign Permit. This is considered a temporary sign up to a year.

Businesses still have the option to create a different design for window or hanging signage, but still need the Sign Committee review and approval, if the approved template is not used.

For more information, contact Nina Johnson at (805) 564-5307 or

Pop-Up Guidelines

The City of Santa Barbara is encouraging business owners to open pop-up retail premises in the downtown area. A pop-up is a short-term, temporary retail experience, which enables business owners to present their brand, products, and ideas to consumers through an accessible, visible, and less expensive medium than a permanent space. Pop-ups allow for a more experience-driven retail opportunity, which is increasingly popular with consumers. As a seller you can be more nimble, more creative, and more responsive to your customer base.

Click for a printable document of Pop-Up Guidelines and Information.

What Is Allowable in the Space?

  • Use must be consistent with the previous permitted type of business use (retail, food service, office, etc.)
  • Interior paint, free-standing shelving units, clothing racks, readily movable furniture, plug and cord lighting and equipment, pre-manufactured office partitions no higher than 5’ 9”, typical office/retain wall decorations
  • No plumbing, mechanical, electrical, or structural additions or alterations to the building’s plumbing, mechanical, electrical, or structural systems
  • No permanent improvements or modifications (i.e. permanent lighting, restroom upgrades, ADA upgrades, fire sprinklers, etc.)

Leasing Options

Information Sheet

Downtown Partners

The City has partnered with
Women's Economic
Ventures and
Downtown Santa Barbara
to host the Match events.

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2018
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