Business Updates For March 4, 2021
County to Launch New $20m Small Business Assistance Grant Program

The County of Ventura is preparing to launch its 2nd Business Assistance Grant program geared towards small businesses and non-profit organizations. Grants will be available in the amount of $5,000. 

To stay up-to-date on this financial relief program, including launch dates and how to apply, please sign up for email updates from the County HERE.

CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program: Round 3, 4, 5, & 6

On February 23rd, Governor Newsom signed into law a comprehensive package providing urgent relief for the small businesses of CA. The package provides an additional $2 billion – a four-fold increase over the $500 million currently being distributed – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and allocates $50 million of this total for non-profit cultural institutions.

Lendistry with the CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be opening additional rounds of applications. Please review the information below about Round 3-6.

  • 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. More information on this application is coming soon.
  • 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 23
  • 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: TBD

  • Visit for more information on this program.
  • Lendistry Customer Care team can be contacted by calling 888.612.4370 or by emailing
  • The EDC SBDC is a formal partner of the CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program and can help address your general questions and walk you through the application. Their experienced team of advisors provide technical business consulting to help you navigate today's complex business environmentThe 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 their no-cost services.
  • The EDC hosted “COVID-19 Business Resources – EIDL, PPP, UI and Grants” Webinar will continue on certain Fridays throughout March and April. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to learn about the currently available COVID-19 resources and ask questions.
  • March 5 & 19 - Register HERE
  • April 9 & 23: Register HERE

Contact the EDC to get started today with their no-cost consulting by calling:
  • 805.409.9159 (ENGLISH) or
  • 805.309.5874 (SPANISH)
  • Access Loan Program by calling 805.409.9497
State Aid for Businesses, Individuals and Families Impacted by COVID-19

On February 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom reached an agreement on a package of immediate actions that will speed needed relief to individuals, families and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship from the COVID-19 Recession.
In brief, here are the items detailed as part of the Immediate Action Agreement:

Immediate Relief for Small Businesses Quadrupled
  • The agreement 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.
  • The agreement provides up to 25K for small businesses (details are still forthcoming).
Direct Relief to Individuals and Families
  • For those earning less than 30K a year a $600 stimulus check will be given after 2020 taxes have been filed. 
  • A $600 one-time payment will be given to taxpayers with Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) who were precluded from receiving the $1,200 per person federal payments issues last spring and the more recent $600 federal payments. The agreement would provide the $600 payments to households with ITINs and income below $75,000.
  • A $600 one-time grant will be given to households enrolled in the CalWORKS program and recipients of SSI/SSP and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
Fee Waivers for Most Impacted Licensees
  • The agreement provides for two years of fee license fee relief for those seeking renewal through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 
  • The agreement also reflects fee relief for individuals and businesses (barbering and cosmetology) licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.
More Resources for Critical Child Care
  • The agreement will provide stipends of $525 per enrolled child for all state-subsidized child care and preschool providers. The new federal resources will extend care for children of essential workers through June of 2022, and funds increased access to subsidized child care-who are not currently served in the system – through June of 2022.

Additional aid for individuals and families can be found HERE.
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 the 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

Visit the EDC resource page for list of current COVID-19 related assistance available. 
Friday, March 5, noon
COVID-19 Business Resources – EIDL, PPP, UI and Grants
The EDC invites you to join our webinar series on alternative Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:00 pm to answer questions about EIDL, PPP, UI, Grants and all currently available COVID-19 related business resources. Please register in advance. Space is limited.

Friday, March 5, noon
Questions about the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program)?
Join WEV online for office hours with Annarose Mitchell, CPA, from Nasif, Hicks, Harris & Co. Log on anytime between 12pm and 1pm to better understand PPP eligibility, loan amount calculations, forgiveness rules, etc.

Monday, March 8, noon
¿Preguntas sobre PPP?
¿Tienes preguntas sobre el Programa de protección de cheques de pago (PPP)? Únete a nosotras/os en línea el 8 de marzo en horas de oficina con Irene Kelly de Women's Economic Ventures y Juliana Ramirez de JR Bookkeeping. Inicia tu sesión en cualquier momento entre las 12:00 y 1:00PM para comprender mejor la elegibilidad de PPP, los cálculos del monto del préstamo, las reglas de condonación, etc.

Tuesday, March 9, noon-1:30 p.m.
Next Steps for Commercial Tenants & Landlords
The Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) is hosting a panel discussion with EDC SBDC Financial and Legal Advisors Gonzalo Fernandez, Anthony Elliott, Bill Bartels and Erica Bristol, to provide understanding and guidance around next steps on commercial eviction moratoriums and business finances. This no-cost webinar will work through real life scenarios and questions many commercial tenants are facing today. Note: This panel discussion will be focused on commercial tenants.

Tuesday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.
QUICKBOOKS® Online and Best Accounting Practices for Small Businesses
Join SCORE for this live, interactive webinar session is designed to help you understand the features, functions and benefits of QuickBooks Online for small business owners as well as assist you in implementing accounting best practices to manage your business finances including COVID-19 Funds and Forgiveness. EDC SBDC Financial Advisor Juliana Ramirez from JR Bookkeeping will live answer your questions related to the subject matter including live demonstrations.

Tuesday, March 16, 10:30 a.m. - noon
How to Influence, Persuade and Sell Anyone
Join SCORE for this free webinar. In less than an hour you will learn how to convince and sell almost anyone. Suddenly, you'll have an incredible power to persuade all the people in your life. From friends and family members to prospects and clients, you will suddenly be able to enjoy more stress-free, predictable and FUN ways to get people on your side and buying from you... whether it be face-to-face, from your website, from your ads and emails and more!

Tuesday, March 23, 10:30 a.m.
Fundamentals of Starting a New Business
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business but don't know where to start? Do you have the passion and work ethic but need education and guidance? Being a small business owner is exciting, but understanding the lifestyle will clarify if it is right for you. Join SCORE in this informative webinar and learn what it takes to be successful.

Monday, March 29, 10:30 a.m.
Pathways to Entrepreneurship
Have you ever wondered if business ownership was right for you but didn't know how to start? Join SCORE for this webinar that will cover the different ways to go into business (i.e. Start up, Consulting, Buy existing business, Franchising). This presentation that will include the pros/cons of each along with what characteristics make a good entrepreneur.

Tuesday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.
Financial Projections Made Easy
Join SCORE for this informative webinar on how to forecast with or without historical data, what you can do inside your company to better manage cash flow and how to operate with suppliers, lenders and customers to improve cash flow. A must for any business plan!

  • Click HERE for additional live and recorded SCORE webinars
  • Click HERE for additional live and recorded EDC webinars
  • Click HERE for additional live and recorded WEV webinars
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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