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.
September 23, 2020
Thank you to all who participated in and listened to our virtual annual meeting. We continue to grapple with a challenging year, but we hope the meeting gave you confidence that we’re taking an evidence-based and nimble approach to our recovery strategies. 

Please do let us know if we can do anything else to help boost your business. 
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
707-522-5804
SCT’s Annual Meeting recap
Sonoma County Tourism’s 2020 Annual Meeting was held virtually over Zoom earlier this morning. The theme for the meeting was “We’re All In This Together.” SCT was joined by Amir Eylon, president of Longwoods International, who provided details on U.S. and regional consumer sentiment and shared the 2019 Sonoma County visitor profile.

The meeting also included a presentation from Dr. Robert Eyler, Dean of the School of Extended and International Education at Sonoma State University (and Professor of Economics) who provided a “State of the State” overview and a Sonoma County-specific 18-month forecast.

Additionally, the Sonoma County Tourism staff provided a review of the FY19-20 organizational activities and achievements and offered a look ahead at the organization’s plans to accomplish its goals with a greatly reduced budget.

Below are links to a recording of the meeting, presentations, and additional content presented at the meeting.


We extend our appreciation to Amir Eylon, Dr. Robert Eyler, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, and Senator Mike McGuire for their participation in this meeting.
COVID-19 Business Stabilization Grants
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board recently announced details of a COVID-19 Business Stabilization Grant Program, approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. A total of $2.5 million dollars were allocated from federal CARES Act funding received by the County of Sonoma. 

In partnership with Bay Area CDFI Working Solutions, small businesses in Sonoma County with between 1 and 30 employees will be able to apply for between $2,500 and $15,000 in COVID-19 relief funding to use towards expenses including payroll, utilities, rent or mortgage expenses.
  
The grant application window opens Monday, September 28 and small business owners should be prepared to apply with the following necessary documents:

Required Documents:
  • Copy of Business License OR Copy of Utility Bill in Business' Name
  • Total pre-Covid-19 Employment Figures
  • Annual Business Income

Application Assistance Centers have been confirmed at the following locations:
  • Guerneville – Russian River Chamber of Commerce, 16200 First Street
  • Santa Rosa – Latinx The Hub, 2455 Bennett Valley Road, Suite B314
  • Sonoma – La Luz Center, 17560 Greger Street

The application window closes Monday October 19 and recipients will be notified by the end of October.

Grant Application links will be available on www.sonomaedb.org. For more information, contact edbgrants@sonoma-county.org
USA Today 10best nominations

Sonoma County has been recognized yet again by USA Today’s 10best Readers’ Choice awards, with nominations for The Astro Motel and The Sandman for Best Roadside Motel.

Help bring home another Sonoma County win by voting for your favorite roadside motel once per day until voting ends on Monday, October 12 at 9 a.m. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 23. You can read the official Readers' Choice rules here and vote for your favorite roadside motel here
#SipSoCo2020 campaign enters final stretch 
The #SipSoCo2020 social media giveaway campaign, organized by Sonoma County Vintners, is concluding in October, but there’s still time to help to encourage visitors to share their experiences on social media.

Tasting room visitors can enter to win a Sonoma County swag bag simply by sharing a photo from their visit on their social media channels. Using #SipSoCo2020 customers can tag @SonomaCountyVintners to be entered to win. The prize includes a Sonoma County branded canvas tote filled with items like a leather notebook, water bottle, t-shirt and more. In addition to the monthly drawing, all entries from this campaign will be entered into a grand prize that will be sent in October for Sonoma County Wine Month.

Digital assets in support of this campaign can be accessed here.
New website for the Petaluma Gap
The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance took advantage of the downtime imposed by the shelter-in-place order to work with eStreet to overhaul its website. The redesigned petalumagap.com is now live and we encourage everyone to check it out.

On the new site you'll find information on the unique climate that defines the Petaluma Gap AVA, a guide for where to taste Petaluma Gap wines, links to reviews of its award-winning wines, inside stories on the winemakers and growers, and information about the Alliance and its team.

You can explore the new website 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.