Where Businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper
Santa Cruz County’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a premier hub of experts experienced in Mainstreet, Tech street, and Agribusiness. Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs receive in-depth advising and training to obtain capital, launch businesses, grow sales, and create jobs.
First and foremost, it is critical that businesses stay informed and understand the facts. All official public health information can be found below.
Small business employers can access support for their businesses and their employees with these helpful resources.

Maintain your location
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning of frequently touched areas, such as workstations, countertops and doorknobs.
  • Provide disposable wipes to employees so that commonly-used surfaces, such as keyboards, remote controls and desks, can be wiped down before each use.
  • Remind employees to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Employees with a fever or who show symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home.
  • Don't require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness.
  • Encourage employees to protect themselves:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

Ensure your sick leave policies are up to date.
  • Understand California’s Paid sick leave
  • Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for themselves or a sick family member.
  • Review policies to ensure your sick leave policies and practices are consistent with public health guidelines.
  • Explore whether you can establish policies and practices like flexible work sites (telecommuting) and flexible work hours. 
  • Establish a process to communicate information to employees and business partners.

Prepare for increased absences.
  • Monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace.
  • Implement plans to continue essential business functions in the event you experience high levels of absent employees.
  • Consider work from home options. If possible consider giving workers laptops to work from home.
  • Utilize online conference tools like ZoomWebexGoToMeetings to keep continuity with teams and with clients.
  • Santa Cruz Works: A Guide for Virtual Meetings
  • Cross-train staff to perform essential functions so your business can operate even if key staff members are absent.
  • Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
  • Consider canceling non-essential business travel to other countries per CDC's travel guidance.

Notify employees of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, notify employees of their potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Make sure you maintain confidentiality, as required by the Americans with Disability Act.
The latest information on business assistance for resilience.
  • Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) -The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the cornonavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • Santa Cruz County Vitality - The County of Santa Cruz acknowledges that most businesses will be impacted by the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. To help with continued commerce and assist businesses and their employees, the Office for Economic Development has developed the following list of resources for employers & employees
Access to capital programs, including special disaster assistance at the state and federal levels.

Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.

  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)
Santa Cruz SBDC is a Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of California. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the SBDC at (831) 479-6136 or sbdc@cabrillo.edu