This partner communication exists to provide timely information on Sonoma County’s tourism and hospitality industry, along with resources to help partners navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
December 2, 2020
As we continue to grapple with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 environment, we are working with our local, statewide and national industry partners to encourage financial support for our local businesses as well as the 501c6 organizations working to sustain our businesses. We are heading into an incredibly difficult time and the potential of a more restrictive environment is putting additional pressure on our industry. To help both our residents and those looking to shop and dine in Sonoma County, we have started providing opening hours and other necessary information on the Coronavirus page of We hope this will be a ready resource for those wanting to buy local products and services. Please let us know if you have programs or offers that can be integrated into our holiday promotion. Thank you for all you’re doing to navigate through this ongoing, incredibly challenging time.
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
Changes to State Guidance for Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries
On Nov. 24, the State updated its COVID-19 industry guidance for restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Here is a summary of the main changes in these guidance documents:

1. Divided the Restaurants, Wineries, and Bars guidance into three separate documents.

2. Updated language for the purple tier, about performances/performers in these settings:

Outdoor operations are permitted and must continue to follow the modifications in this guidance. Performers must maintain physical distancing from spectators and other performers. Performers who are singing, shouting, playing a wind instrument, or engaging in similar activities without a face covering must maintain at least twelve feet of distance from spectators. Additional modifications for performances may be required by the forthcoming Live Performances guidance.

3. Added language about ventilation.

4. Revised Face Coverings section to reference CDPH guidance.

5. Includes consideration for employers to provide a second barrier (e.g., face shield or safety goggles) to workers who consistently come within 6 feet of customers and co-workers.

6. Includes physical distancing between tables measuring from the backs of the chairs.
Newsom Announces Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
As the federal government fails to provide additional financial stimulus support to businesses, Governor Newsom announced Monday that California will provide temporary tax relief for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The temporary tax relief:

  • Entails an automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax.

  • Extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales.

  • Provides expanded interest free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.

The total tax relief, if fully utilized, is estimated to have billions in impact. These efforts are informed by recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.

Additionally, applications for the Main Street Hiring Tax Credit opened yesterday. The tax credit, which authorizes $100 million in hiring tax credit for qualified small businesses, is equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer.

You can learn more about the new state support for businesses on the State of California website here.
#SaveTravel Activation Blitz
With Congress back in session, U.S. Travel has launched an activation blitz to urge Congress to pass immediate relief measures to support travel industry businesses. For every day of this week, U.S. Travel is launching a different action to make sure our industry’s voice is heard as loud as possible.

Monday marked day 1 of this initiative, which encouraged supporters to send an action alert to congressional leaders. Day 2 utilized Twitter to spread the call for action. Today's focus is "Media Spotlight," which asks everyone to share articles on social media platforms to communicate the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry in your community.

To learn more about this weeklong activation blitz, including how you can help, visit the Power of Travel Coalition Advocacy toolkit here
Sonoma County Tourism Cares Update 
Last month, we asked our tourism and hospitality partners to give thanks to our local firefighters for once again protecting our beautiful destination during this year’s wildfire season. Our partners came through in a major way, writing a total of 567 thank you cards to local firefighters!

The outpouring of support for this effort was incredibly heartening, and we are grateful to every volunteer who took time to put pen to paper to thank our local heroes.

If you were unable to participate in our card writing campaign, but would like to send your thanks to local firefighters, you can find a list of Sonoma County fire stations here.    
Tripadvisor Partner Education Session
Join us on Wed, December 9 at 9:30 a.m. for an hourlong conversation with Tripadvisor representative Todd Skelton, who will be presenting valuable information on how to best utilize your listing on the world’s largest travel platform. Skelton will discuss recent travel trends and provide an overview of the Travel Safe Initiative for businesses to promote safety measures to create stronger consumer confidence with travelers.

Admission to this virtual session is free, but registration is required. Register here
Sonoma County Tourism has a Coronavirus Partner Toolkit regularly updated here.

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state, and government resources (including financing options) for businesses at their SoCo Launch website here.
Get tested and help Sonoma County eliminate the coronavirus. Broad COVID-19 viral testing is now available. Learn more here.

The County of Sonoma’s SoCo Emergency webpage offers COVID-19 resources, support, and information.