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Resources for Businesses

Federal, state and local assistance programs are available to small business owners, employers, employees and residents. The County is organizing the information and will continue to provide updates as new programs and policies are announced.

The following agencies provide no cost consulting services for local businesses. If you need assistance completing grant applications or other business mentorship or advice, please see their websites.

May 19, 12 – 1:30 PM, Emergency Business Assistance Program Webinar

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.

Small business relief grant program

On March 3, 2021, the California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate announced that new funding rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be opening soon. The program will continue to be managed by Lendistry and all updated information can be reviewed at the site below.


Website for grant application:

  • Available to small business or small nonprofits operating in California
  • Provides cash payments based on eligible business’s gross revenue

Round 2: Application period closed on February 8, 2021

Round 3: For waitlisted applicants from Round 1 & 2 only. No new applications will be accepted.

  • Selection notifications will be sent out from March 5 to March 11.

Round 4: Only for non-profit cultural institutions with any revenue size that meet eligibility criteria found at 

  • Eligible non-profit cultural institutions must complete a new application even if they already applied in Rounds 1 and 2. This application will be different from Round 1 & 2.
  • Grants will only be available to non-profits cultural institutions that did not receive funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3.
  • Application window: March 16 to March 26, 2021 at 5 P.M.

Round 5: Accepting new applications.

  • Waitlisted applicants from Round 1, 2 and 3 will be automatically moved into Round 5.
  • Please note that not selected applicants from Round 4 will need to reapply to Round 5.
  • Application window: March 25 to March 31

Round 6: Accepting new applications.

  • Waitlisted applicants from Round 1, 2, 3 and 5 will be automatically moved into Round 5.
  • Please note that not selected applicants from Round 4 will need to reapply if they did not apply again during Round 5.
  • Application window: April 28 to May 4

Businesses needing assistance with the application process should contact Economic Development Corporation for free business advisory assistance. Phone. 805-409-9159 (ENGLISH) or 805.309.5874 (SPANISH).

Nonprofit cultural institutions for the Arts & Cultural Program will be required to complete a new application even if they have already applied for the COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. However, applicants will not be awarded a grant if they have already received one. For more information on the Round 4 – Non-profit Arts & Cultural Program, please visit:


State Tax Deductions for PPP and EIDL Loans

The February 17, 2021 agreement partially conforms California tax law to new federal tax treatment for loans provided through the Paycheck Protection Plan, allowing companies to deduct up to $150,000 in expenses covered by the PPP loan. All businesses that took out loans of $150,000 or less would be able to maximize their deduction for state purposes. Larger firms that took out higher loans would still be subject to the same ceiling of $150,000 in deductibility. More than 750,000 PPP loans were taken out by California small businesses. This tax treatment would also extend to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans as well.


State Fee Waivers for Most Impacted Licensees

The February 17 agreement provides for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235. The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.


Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program

  • Available to small businesses with 1-750 employees
  • Provides easier access to funds for small businesses 
  • There is currently no expiration date for this benefit

IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides loans to underserved small businesses. Learn more about this program at the IBank website


California Rebuilding Fund

The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses- especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state.

  • Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply.
  • To fill out a pre-application and match with a participating community lender click here.

Other help for small businesses

California has additional resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19:

Labor and workforce support for businesses

How to manage COVID-19 in the workplace

As California reopens, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment. If you own or manage a business, follow:

As workplaces reopen, employees will need both childcare support and workplace flexibility. It’s also important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies need to support that. See more information on:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans

  • Available to first and second time loan applicants
  • Provides loans to help fund payroll costs
  • Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2021 or until all allocated funds are exhausted.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. PPP may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020. New regulations have created retroactive changes to PPP loans borrowed in 2020 and outlined guidelines for first and second draw loans in 2021. 

Learn more about the PPP at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website.

  • The American Rescue Act added an additional $7.5 billion in PPP loans. The program deadline has been extended to May 31, 2021.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

• Available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters
• There is currently no expiration date for this benefit

The EIDL is available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. For questions, you can contact SBA’s customer service line at 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), or send an email to

Apply for disaster loan assistance

H.R. 1319 American Rescue Act 2021 Summary


Small Business Provisions – American Rescue Act 2021

  • Provides an additional $7.5 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • Expands program eligibility to a number of non-profits and waives affiliation rules for larger non-profits.
  • Businesses that received PPP loans would be able to take tax deductions for the expenses covered by forgiven loans.
  • Expands PPP eligibility for 501 (C)(6) nonprofits, including local newspapers, radio, and television broadcasters, and destination marketing organizations.
  • Provides $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for entities with 50% or more revenue disruption and with 10 employees or less.
  • Establishes a program to assist restaurants and other food and drinking establishments and provides $25 billion for it (Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the SBA)
  • Provides $1.3 billion for the SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program.
  • Provides $175 million for new Community Navigators Program through the SBA for community navigator grants and $75 million for outreach and education and authorizes the pilot program through December 31, 2025

Restaurant Revitalization Fund


Grant Amounts:

  • 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.
  • If the business is not in operation for the entirety of 2019, the total is the difference between 12 times the average monthly gross receipts for 2019 and the average monthly gross receipts in 2020 (or a formula from SBA).
  • If the business is not in operation until 2020, it can receive a grant equal to the amount of “eligible expenses” subtracted by its gross receipts received (or a formula from SBA).
  • If the business is not yet in operation as of the application date, but it has made “eligible expenses,” the grant would be made equal to those expenses (or a formula from SBA).
  • Please note:
  • Pandemic-related revenue losses for business are reduced by any amounts received from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) First Draw and Second Draw loans in 2020 and/or 2021.
  • Grants are not taxed like income and all normal federal tax deductions are protected.

Covered Period & Eligible Expenses:

  • Eligible expenses are those incurred from February 15, 2020 to December 31, 2021, or a date determined by the SBA. If all grant funds are not spent by the business, or the business permanently closes before the end of the covered period, the business must return unused funds to the Treasury.
  • Funds must be spent on payroll; principal or interest on mortgage obligations; rent; utilities; maintenance including construction to accommodate outdoor seating; supplies such as protective equipment and cleaning materials; normal food and beverage inventory; certain covered supplier costs; operational expenses; paid sick leave; and any other expenses that the SBA determines to be essential to maintaining operations.


  • Eligible entities include a restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, or other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.
  • Own or operate 20 or fewer establishments (together with any affiliated business), regardless of ownership type of the locations and whether those locations do business under the same or multiple names, as of March 13, 2020. An affiliated business has an equity or right to profit distribution of 50 percent or more, or has contractual authority to control the direction of the business, provided that such affiliation “shall be determined as of any arrangements or agreements in existence as of March 13, 2020.”
  • Entities must submit a good faith certification that:
  • Uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the grant request to support the ongoing operations.
  • The entity has not applied for nor received a “Shuttered Venue Operators” grant (generally for performing arts, live venues, theaters, etc.).


For an initial 21-day period, the SBA will prioritize awarding grants for small business concerns owned and controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns.


How to Prepare for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is NOT yet accepting applications. Please use the following steps to help you prepare for the application:

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

Use the following steps to get started:

  • Create a account at
  • 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 using 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.
  1. Work with an accountant to prepare relevant paperwork that clearly shows your gross revenue loss in 2020 as compared to 2019.

For more information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund visit and review the Fund Fact Sheet HERE.


Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG)

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The America Rescue Plan Act provides an additional $1.25 billion to fund this grant program.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. SBA has launched the portal to begin accepting applications on April 8, 2021. Those who have suffered the greatest economic loss will be the first applications processed. Please click here for detailed information. To access the SBA portal, click here.

Sign up for email alerts about this program

Supplemental documents:


County of Santa Barbara




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 to apply


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.

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.

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace.

Please click here for the most recent Health Orders.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has made health and safety guidance and signage available for businesses seeking to reopen. These PDFs can be downloaded and printed. Signage can be placed in your place of business to alert customers of your efforts to secure the environment while ensuring the health and safety of your staff.