Estelle Bussa,
City of Ventura Economic Development Manager
Business Updates For October 16, 2020
Commercial Tenant Protection Ordinance

On October 12, 2020, the Ventura City Council unanimously supported the implementation of a Commercial Tenant Protection Ordinance. The ordinance seeks to balance the interests of commercial landlords and tenants who have been impacted by COVID19 by providing protections for each.

Key provisions of the ordinance include, but are not limited to:
  • No evictions for unpaid rent due to COVID-19 until February 2022 if certain requirements are met
  • Payment of partial rent for those tenants still unable to pay full rent
  • Set repayment scheduled for unpaid rent (begins February 1, 2021)
  • Extended repayment schedule (one year with payment deadlines structured to anticipate a gradual return to normal operations)
  • Flexibility for tenants and landlords to agree to longer repayment terms
County of Ventura Transitions To State's Less Restrictive Red Tier

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, the County of Ventura was approved to move to the Red Tier in the State's COVID-19 reopening plan. The Red Tier is less restrictive and allows more businesses to open with modifications. To learn more or view the new Ventura County Health Order, click here.

  • Places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can be operated indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Restaurant hours have been extended to 11 p.m. Customers must be seated with members of the same household.
  • Gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity. Distancing of 12 feet is required in Ventura County.
  • All personal care services such as massage, tattoos and piercing salons can open indoors.
  • Indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%).
  • Food courts can also open following the state's guidelines for restaurants (25%).
  • Indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%)

How to Find Out Your Business Occupant Load
If your business does not have an Occupancy Load sign posted, please contact the COVID Compliance Hotline at: 844-826-7367 and select "Ventura" from the menu options. Your call will be routed to a City of Ventura representative for assistance.
*Please note: you must include staff in the occupancy calculations. For example, for a restaurant with a posted occupancy of 100, you can have 25 people indoors (25% occupancy). If you have 10 staff, then you can have 15 customers indoors.

Moving Through the State's Four-Level COVID-19 Reopening Tiers:
Tier 1 - Purple (widespread), Tier 2- Red (substantial), Tier 3- Orange (moderate), Tier 4- Yellow (minimal)
  • A county will remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before being able to advance to a later tier
  • A county can only move forward one tier at a time, even if metrics qualify for a more advanced tier
  • If a county's case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned to the more restrictive tier
  • A county must meet criteria for the next tier for both measures for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier 
  • A county can move back to a more restrictive tier if they do not meet the States COVID-19 metrics

Blueprint Activity & Business Tier Chart

Don't Forget to Register Your Business Prior to Reopening!

Stay Vigilant Ventura County
Because COVID-19 is still circulating in our County, the community is urged to continue to wear face coverings in public, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and stay home if sick. The goal is to continue to make progress towards the next tier, orange, so additional businesses can reopen.
General Plan Advisory Committee Application Deadline Extended to October 30, 2020

The City of Ventura is seeking to form a General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) of 10-15 community representatives to collaborate and provide guidance throughout the General Plan Update process. Individuals interested in apply should click on the "More Info Here" tab below.

About the General Plan
The General Plan, last updated in 2005, is the embodiment of the community’s vision for the future of Ventura. It is the City’s comprehensive framework of guiding policies on land use, housing, roads, recreation, historical and natural resources, balance of adequate water supply infrastructure, public safety services, and noise, and serves as a basis for decisions that affect all aspects of our everyday lives from where we live and work to how we move about.
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Governor Signs 3 Bills to Support Small Businesses Grappling with Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic




  • AB 1577 allows small businesses to exclude PPP loans from gross income for state taxes
  • AB 1577 conforms state law to federal law by excluding from gross income Paycheck Protection Program loans that were forgiven through the federal CARES Act and subsequent amendments in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020.

  • SB 1447 authorizes $100 million Main Street hiring tax credit program for small businesses
  • SB 1447 authorizes a $100 million hiring tax credit program for qualified small businesses. The hiring credit will be equal to $1,000 for each net increase in qualified employees, up to $100,000 for each qualified small business employer.

  • SB 115 accelerates $230.5 million in state bond funding to help jumpstart construction projects
  • SB 115 appropriates $561 million in fiscal year 2020-21. This includes $411.5 million to advance economic stimulus with $230.5 million to help jumpstart construction projects.
Ventura Water Launches A New Online Engagement Tool

Your input is needed! Help invest in Ventura's Water future today. This week, Ventura Water launched a new website to capture the community's ideas and share updates about the Water and Wastewater Rate Study.

With the new website, www.VenturaWaterRates.net, residents and businesses can:

  • Take a brief survey and submit questions
  • Share input on the digital idea-board
  • Watch an educational video series highlighting investment needs
  • Learn more about future public meetings
  • Follow the project throughout the 18-month long evaluation process.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we connect and engage with the community. Transparency and enhanced communication remain a priority as we establish new water and wastewater rates,” said Ventura Water General Manager, Susan Rungren. “My hope is that this new site will improve customer experience and allow residents to participate in important policy decisions that will serve our community for years to come.”

Get involved in the Water Rate Study using the new engagement site and encourage your friends and family to share their feedback.

For more information on the Water and Wastewater Rate Study, read the City's recent news release here.

Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Program

Businesses interested in expanding their business operations onto sidewalks, private parking spaces/lots and some sections of the public-right-of-way as part of the city's Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Program are asked to visit the city's website for more information on program requirements and how to apply.

There is no cost to apply for the Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Program.
Weekly: Monday & Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
The SBDC is providing Monday and Wednesday webinars for the Small Business Community on information as it relates to funding information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics will include Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Payroll Protection Program, Disaster Bridge Loan, 7a Forgiveness Program, and other funding opportunities for your business.

Tuesday, October 20, 6:00 p.m.
WEV presents in Spanish “Como organizar tus finanzas con QuickBooks Online”

Thursday, October 22, noon
Join WEV free this webinar titled "Simplifying your Finances during COVID19". Facing your numbers and managing your finances during the time of COVID can seem overwhelming, which is why in this webinar we will talk about how to be more proactive and resilient with your finances. We will also talk about the importance of your financial mindset and habits as we learn to establish a financial strategy that better adapts to your changing priorities, goals and needs.

Wednesday, November 4, 10:30 a.m.
Join SCORE for a free webinar titled "Four Digital Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Google Ranking". Learn our top four strategies that impact your Google ranking, including the importance of having your business show up in local search results and how you can leverage online reviews to attract more customers.

EDC Webinar "Creative Solutions for Commercial Landlords and Tenants During COVID-19". If you missed the free webinar, you can view the recorded presentation HERE.

The webinar covered commercial leasing and finding creative solutions to tenant-landlord disputes during COVID-19 with partners and associate attorneys from Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones, & Feingold. Their excellent panel with extensive experience in lease negotiation, civil litigation, and resolving business disputes reviewed:  
  • Lease provisions during COVID-19
  • The September eviction moratorium
  • Effect of bankruptcies on commercial tenancies
  • Strategies to achieving win-win solutions for both tenants and landlords

We've created a central location for you to get print and digital Coronavirus COVID-19 design resources from local, state, and national agencies. This toolkit includes social media graphics and printed materials available for download. Click HERE.
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