Grants are available for Goleta’s small businesses, but only for a short time.
The grants are being provided by the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund Small Business Grant Program, which was launched in partnership with the city of Goleta, the Santa Barbara Foundation and Deckers Brands.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be available for businesses that apply before 5 p.m. on Aug. 7. The Santa Barbara Foundation is working with the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce to reach minority-owned businesses, and priority will be given to companies working with childcare, to-go food service, the larger service industry and outdoor dining establishments.
The Santa Barbara Better Together Fund was set up with an initial $500,000 donation from Deckers, with the goal of providing financial assistance to small local businesses that need help. The city of Goleta and the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund each contributed $50,000 to create the Goleta-specific small business program.
To qualify for the grant, businesses must have been operational in Santa Barbara County before Jan. 1, 2019. Gross total sales must have declined by at least 25 percent as a result of COVID-19, which will be determined by comparing the sales from the same periods in 2020 and 2019. The business can’t have had more than 25 employees on March 1, 2020, or more than $3 million in gross total sales in 2019.
If a business gets the grant, the money can be used on items necessary to operate safely under current guidelines, including signage, personal protective equipment and outdoor seating. Rent and utilities may be considered if the need is related to lost income from the pandemic.
Award dates for the Goleta grant program have not yet been announced.
Goleta’s program is similar to one Ventura County introduced for its residents from June 24 to July 8. The Business Assistance Grant Program, which stopped accepting applications after July 8, gave businesses grants of $5,000 each to cover COVID-19 expenses and other costs, like payroll, rent and purchases required for the continued operation of their businesses.