September 22, 2023
You are here:  Home  >  Columns  >  Current Article

Street Smarts: State rolls out grant program for smallest businesses affected by pandemic


Microbusiness grants are becoming available for companies with less than $50,000 in revenue that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Under a program set to launch March 7, Santa Barbara County is partnering with the Santa Barbara Foundation to launch its program for north and south county businesses. The grants do not have to be repaid. Ventura County has a similar program.

Grants of up to $2,500 are available and are funded through the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, created in 2021 to assist qualified microbusinesses.

We will keep you posted about microbusiness grants in San Luis Obispo counties.


The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a California business aviation provider to pay $958,000 in back wages and associated costs in the case of an employee who filed a retaliation claim after reporting safety issues. Investigators with the department found that — after a former employee of Pegasus Elite Aviation in Calabasas reported safety issues that led to an onsite inspection — the company sent a falsified and negative Pilot Records Improvement Act report to the worker’s new employer, violating the whistleblower provision.


Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, a must-go destination in Los Alamos and Ballard, is taking pre-orders for featured items including Bob’s artisan rye bread; roasted potato bread with caramelized onions and mustard seed; Irish soda bread; pistachio croissants and chocolate pistachio croissants. Pre-orders are available through March 14.


• Community Memorial Health System has hired Jamie Maites as its new vice president for marketing and development. Maites brings nearly 20 years of healthcare marketing experience, most recently with MarinHealth in Marin County.

• People’s Self-Help Housing has received $15,000 from the Cottage Health Foundation’s 2022 Network of Care Grant Program. The funds will be used to enhance onsite behavioral health programming and increase access to community resources at People’s Self-Help sites in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

• The Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization is unveiling a reinvigorated website designed to better highlight the nonprofit’s work. The new website is at, and the redesign was made possible via $5,000 in funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation’s small capacity building grant. The amount was matched by internal LVCHO funding.


The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation is accepting applications for its CalMoneySmart Grant Program, which will award a total of $2 million this year to nonprofits providing free financial empowerment programs for unbanked and underbanked consumers in California. Last year the program awarded nearly $2 million to 22 nonprofits.


The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is reopening March 12 with infrastructure upgrades and a refreshed upstairs exhibit. The reinterpreted upstairs space, titled “Dive In: Our Changing Channel,” will guide visitors through the underwater world of the Santa Barbara Channel while highlighting diverse habitats.


To help customers communicate with friends and family impacted by the conflict in Ukraine, Charter Communications, which serves San Luis Obispo County and most of Ventura County, is waiving charges for all calls to Ukraine for Spectrum Voice and Spectrum Mobile customers through the end of March. Customers don’t need to do anything; the fees will be automatically waived from their monthly bills.


• HAPPY FIRST: The Thomas Reynolds Gallery, which relocated to 1331 State Street in Santa Barbara last year after 25 years in San Francisco, is celebrating its first anniversary. UC Santa Barbara alum Sandy Ostrau presents her work from April 2-May 28.

• PRIDE IS BACK: The Pacific Pride Festival is back after a two-year COVID hiatus. The festival is set for Aug. 27 at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara.