• Retail Capacity
  • Late Phase 2 Variance
  • Utilizing Outdoor Space
If you are a retail business planning to open your doors again to customers under the new County Health Order issued on May 26th:

We have been communicating with City Economic Development Dept., Fire, and Planning Dept. to provide clarity on how to calculate reduced capacity in your business in line with the  State guidance related to Retail  which says the following:

"Adjust maximum occupancy rules based on the size of the facility to limit the number of people in a store at one time, using no more than 50% maximum occupancy."

In speaking with our Fire Marshall and Building Official, the occupancy number for retail stores is calculated as follows: 60 SF/per person of gross square footage, not including back storage areas.

For example, if you have 1200 sq ft of store space, you would have a maximum occupancy of 20 persons, and then 50% of that would equal 10 people at a time.

It is also recommended that businesses should be primarily focused on maintaining 6 feet of separation between everyone in the store at all times, as well as limiting interaction with customers and employees inside to around 10 minutes, since indoor spaces and face to face interactions with people are the mostly likely way to spread the virus.

The best way forward is to implement the health and safety protocols laid out by State ( https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf ) and County Health ( New Health Order Allows Certain Activities to Resume ), and to set a temporary capacity that you observe to be optimal for public and employee safety based on allowing six foot distance and considering the layout of your space and the set up within it.   

You are also welcome to use the  linked social distancing calculator , acknowledging that this is not an official tool created by the City or County of Santa Cruz, but simply a tool we believe could be helpful in doing your own capacity assessment.  

We know that all of this information can feel daunting, and we are available to support and answer any specific questions you may have.

Supplies and Resources: Pick up a Restart Kit at the City Economic Development Dept.
Click here for more resources and supplies: Phase 2 Reopening Guidance
We may be allowed to move further ahead in Stage 2 of the  California Resilience Roadmap potentially as soon as early June.

There will be a SPECIAL COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS BOARD MEETING  on Friday May 29, 2020 to review and consider an application to seek a Stage 2 variance under the State’s Resilience Roadmap. 

If approved by the State, the application would make Santa Cruz County the first in the Bay Area to receive a variance, and would allow Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel to implement  late Stage 2 operations, including dine-in restaurants and barbershops/hair salons , with health and safety modifications. 

Restaurants and barbershops/hair salons wishing to prepare their establishments should review State sector guidance, available at  https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/
Hello Downtown Businesses,

We wanted to reach out with a reminder that you have until Friday evening, May 29th, to submit responses to the INPUT FORM we sent out earlier in the week regarding the utilization of public space temporarily for commercial activities, such as outdoor dining and retail store expansion.

We also want to remind you that this survey was created for a couple reasons:

1- To allow us to hear from you so we could best advocate with the City Staff and Council for what our Downtown businesses want right now, and what would best ensure your success.

2- Create a forum for you to see how other businesses feel about this kind of utilization of public space and initiate discussion and creative problem solving.

As a caveat, it should be noted that there are currently no concrete plans for large street closures. We understand that our Downtown is very nuanced, and what is good on one block may not apply to the next block. In order to address this challenge we are working on outreach, block by block, and business by business in order to get a better sense of what our businesses need now as we move deeper into phase 2 and eventually Phase 3 of reopening. By working in this way we are given the ability to understand how different areas of our Downtown could be served in the best way possible in the coming months. In other words, it is incredibly important for us to have as many responses to this survey as possible. 

Deadline is tomorrow Friday May 29th, 2020

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly as well.

Thank you!

Abra Allan, Interim Executive Director

Sonja Brunner, Operations Director and Membership Coordinator
Sent to you by your good friends at the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz!