Business Updates For February 18, 2021
Downtown Main Street Moves Extended Through January 7, 2022

On February 8, 2021, the Ventura City Council voted unanimously to extend the popular Main Street Moves (MSM) program through January 7, 2022. This program, which allows restaurants and retail establishments within a six block area of historic downtown Ventura to expand onto City streets and sidewalks, is a partnership between the City of Ventura and Downtown Ventura Partners.

Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Program
Businesses located outside the Main Street Moves street closure area that are interested in expanding their business operations onto sidewalks, private parking lots and some sections of the public-right-of-way are encouraged to visit the city's website for more information on the Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Program which includes program requirements and how to apply. There is no cost to participate in this program.
Calling All Ventura Community-Based Organizations, We Need Your Help Sharing This With The Public
An Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been launched by the State of California to aid income-qualified tenants most at-risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Housing is Key program provides resources to help Californians stay in their homes or understand housing options during COVID-19 and beyond.

First round applications must be submitted by 3pm on Friday, February 19, 2021.

Registered nonprofits and qualified entities may apply to provide assistance for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program via one or more of the following three tiers:
  1. Promotion of the program
  2. Targeted outreach to eligible households
  3. Technical assistance as individuals navigate the application process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Learn more and access the Partners Application here:

More information can be found at
Paycheck Protection Program For Sole Proprietors

Self-employed, business owners with no employees, contractors, free lancers, gig economy workers and sole proprietors - Did you know you are eligible for PPP?

Sole proprietors qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program under the concept of “owner compensation replacement.” Even if you do not have employees or do not make a payroll, you may be eligible to apply for this economic relief loan. Common examples of sole proprietors include, but are not limited to, owners or operators of in-home daycare facilities, web designers, consultants and artisan chefs.

Sole proprietors eligible include:
  • Business owners of a single member LLC with no employees
  • Freelancers
  • Independent Contractors
  • Gig Economy Workers
  • Self-Employed Workers
  • Single-person companies with no employees

Get Started Today!

1. Deadline: March 31, 2021
All participating lenders are now accepting first and second draw applications for PPP! Loans are available through March 31, 2021 or until all allocated funds are exhausted.

2. Review our EDC Guide to PPP for Sole Proprietors
This guide breaks down how sole proprietors calculate their PPP loan, how much of the loan can be fully forgiven and how to process forgiveness with the loan lender. CLICK HERE

3. Apply Through a Lender Processing 7(a) Loans
  • Communicate with your current lender to determine if they are offering PPP loans during round 2.
  • If your lender is not accepting applications, Montecito Bank & Trust is currently accepting applications from businesses based in Santa Barbara or Ventura counties for both First and Second Draw loans. As the largest community bank on the Central Coast with assets over $1.9 billion, MB&T is proud to participate and secure as much funding for Central Coast businesses as possible through this most recent stimulus package. Visit MB&T's website for more information CLICK HERE

4. Connect with an EDC SBDC Financial Advisor
EDC SBDC Financial Advisors are available to answer questions and help you navigate today's complex financial questions. The Economic Development Collaborative hosts the Small Business Development Center and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Signing up as a client takes just a few minutes and provides you lifetime access to all of our no-cost services. Get started today with our no-cost consulting by calling 805.409.9159 (ENGLISH) or 805.309.5874 (SPANISH).

Visit our resource page for list of current COVID-19 related assistance available. CLICK HERE
Ventura Water Shares Proposed Rate Adjustments With The Community 

Ventura’s Water Commission unanimously voted to approve the proposed five-year water and wastewater rate increases. The recommended adjustments include a maximum annual rate increase of 7% for water service and 6% for wastewater service for the next five years.
“Ventura must continually invest in our water and wastewater systems to ensure safe and reliable services,” shared Ventura Water General Manager Susan Rungren. “It has been nearly three years since Ventura Water has increased rates. As a result, Ventura’s water and wastewater rates have remained relatively low compared to our neighboring communities.” 

Over the last ten months, the Water Commission, with the support of City staff and financial consultants, has undergone a Water and Wastewater Rate Study to ensure sufficient revenue is available to operate and maintain existing systems and to invest in future projects.

“Responsible investments are needed now to secure future water supply, replace and repair aging infrastructure, improve water quality, and meet legal and environmental regulations,” stated Assistant City Manager Akbar Alikhan. 

The Water Commission’s rate recommendation will go before City Council on March 22, 2021. If approved, new rates will be implemented in July 2021. Ventura Water staff will be sharing anticipated rate impacts at the upcoming community meetings:

  • February 19 at 8:00 am - Chamber of Commerce Breakfast 
  • February 24 at 7:00 p.m. - College Area Community Council 
  • March 3 at 6:30 pm – Westside Community Council 
  • March 9 at 6:30 p.m.- Montalvo Community Council 
  • March 18 at 7:00 pm East Ventura Community Council 

More information on proposed rate changes is available at
February 18, 6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
Financial Detox: Align Your Finances, Vision and Goals
Are you ready to align your finances with your goals? In this webinar you will learn to organize your finances with INTENTION and CLARITY, based on the personal and professional goals you set for the year. You will also be able to identify the expenses and financial habits you must let go of to achieve the financial future you want. (Content and methodology are applicable to both your personal and business finances). Presented by WEV's Financial Education Program Manager, Irene Kelly.

February 19, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Strong Women, Strong Coffee
Connect, Collaborate, Learn with WEV. Strong Women, Strong Coffee is our monthly meet-up/community empowerment group and we invite you to join us online (with your favorite morning brew) one Friday each month from 9:00am to 10:00am. You'll meet a special guest speaker and enjoy the opportunity to share, listen and support one another in reaching your business goals. Join us and meet this month’s special guest Seana-Marie Sesma, Founder of Your PR Girls and Mary Jane Services Network, who will share ways to create connections that lead to successful partnerships.

February 23, 10:30 a.m.
How to Utilize Social Media to Build Your Business Brand and Increase Awareness
Social media is constantly evolving, which can make it difficult for your business to keep up. In this webinar, we will break down social media marketing for businesses with best practices that you can use to improve your digital marketing strategy. Presented by SCORE.

February 23, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Detox Financiera: Como alinear tus finanzas con tu visión y objetivos
¿Estás listo(a) para alinear tus finanzas con tus metas? En este taller en línea aprenderas a organizar tus finanzas con INTENCIÓN y CLARIDAD, en base a los objetivos personales y profesionales que te has marcado para el año. También podras identificar los gastos y hábitos financieros que debes dejar ir para lograr el futuro financiero que deseas. (El contenido y la metodología son aplicables tanto a tus finanzas personales como a las de tu negocio) Este taller sera impartido por Irene Kelly, Administradora de Programas de Educacion Financiera de WEV.

February 26, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Café con Exito
Conecta, Colabora, Aprende con WEV. Únase a nosotros una vez al mes (con su bebida matutina favorita) para conectarse, colaborar y aprender de otras emprendedoras y emprendedores. Al reunirnos una vez al mes de 9:00am a 10:00am acompañados por un invitado especial, tendremos la oportunidad de compartir, escuchar y apoyarnos mutuamente para alcanzar las metas de su negocio.

Click HERE for additional live and recorded SCORE webinars
Mental Health Resources For Business Owners
Our partners at the EDC have assisted thousands of business owners the past few years through multiple disruptions and disasters. They know the pain and frustration that many of you have faced and are in this with you.

If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety, depression or just fear of the unknown, we encourage you to reach out to the following organizations to help assist during this time.

Wellness Everyday provides guidance and mental health resources for individuals and families that are struggling to cope with the ongoing affects of trauma and COVID-19.
Ventura County 211 provides assistance with mental health resources, housing, legal assistance and a range of social services.
Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN) is a grassroots, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting fellow community members’ through traumatic experiences and toward resilient recovery.
COVID-19 Testing Information

For an updated list of countywide COVID-19 testing locations and hours, please visit:

The best way to keep our businesses open continues to be to:
  • Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Self-isolate if you are sick
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household
  • Avoid participating in group/private gatherings with others from outside your household (group gatherings continue to be a high-risk activity)
  • Make a plan to get tested regularly
Ventura County COVID-19 Updates, Business Registration, Testing and Vaccine Info

COVID-19 Hotline
For inquiries regarding state and local orders or COVID-19 business compliance questions or concerns, please call the County of Ventura COVID-19 Hotline at:
  • 1 (844) VC-OPENS or 1 (844) 826-7367

CDC Updates

Download & Print Free COVID-19 Print & Digital Graphics
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