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.
October 20, 2020
Great thanks to all our partners who participated in the business survey referenced below. The results are a stunning report on the impact COVID-19 has had on our Sonoma County businesses. We know how important it is for us to get out of the Purple Tier especially as winter rains and shorter days lessen the interest in outdoor experiences. We are working with others to identify ways we can best mobilize our partners and other critical groups in putting a plan in place that will aggressively move us along toward reopening. We will keep you informed of any progress. In the meantime, our Fall marketing campaign is underway. Look for a special communications tomorrow that provides an overview of the campaign and initial results.

Take good care. 
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
Raising the Alarm to County Leadership 
Sonoma County Tourism asked our partners last week this question:

If Sonoma County does not see reduced COVID transmission rates and a loosening of restrictions, or additional economic stimulus aid, my business cannot survive beyond _____.

These are the responses we've received (as of 10/19) from 160 of our partners:
0-1 month = 9% (15)
2-3 months = 23% (37)
3-6 months = 22% (35)
6-12 months = 18% (28)
My business is economically stable for the foreseeable future = 28% (45)
These numbers are sobering and highlight just how much is on the line if Sonoma County cannot finally join every other county in the Bay Area in leaving the most restrictive tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  

In a collective effort to help move Sonoma County toward reopening, Sonoma County Tourism drafted a letter, written with the support of nearly every chamber in our county, to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Dr. Mase imploring them to work with us to come up with a concrete plan towards reopening, and present our community with clear answers as to why we are lagging behind and what is being done to move us forward.

We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts and progress.
2020 Sonoma County Harvest Update
Join Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma County Winegrowers on Zoom TODAY at 2 p.m. for a live update on the 2020 wine grape harvest.

Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director, Michael Haney and Sonoma County Winegrowers President, Karissa Kruse will be joined by Corey Beck of The Family Coppola, Glenn Proctor of Puccioni Ranch and The Ciatti Company, Mari Jones of Emeritus Vineyards, and Steve Sangiacomo of Sangiacomo Farming and Sangiacomo Family Wines to provide their perspective on the 2020 vintage.

Registration is free and open to the public. You can learn more about the panelists here and register here
Push for Hospitality Relief Bill

Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Cramer introduced the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2020 late last week, a bipartisan bill that would provide targeted economic relief for struggling travel-related businesses. In addition to making improvements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit, the bill would provide targeted tax credits and deductions for hard-hit travel businesses and workers.

The U.S. Travel Association is supportive of this effort, and requests stakeholders visit the COVID RELIEF NOW Coalition to learn how they can help support this bill.
Sonoma County Winners at the California Preservation Awards
Sonoma County Tourism extends a hearty congratulations to The Historic Bank of Guerneville building, now known as the Guerneville Bank Club, for its 2020 Preservation Design Award win from the California Preservation Foundation.

The bank received its award in the Rehabilitation Category for its exquisite restoration after sitting abandoned for nearly 30 years. A restricted budget due to flood plain constraints focused the work on essential elements to help return the building to service including ADA accessibility upgrades.

Cheers to owner Bob Pullum, project lead Crista Luedtke, and everyone else involved in this venture, for saving a piece of Sonoma County history and transforming it into a stunning community gathering place for residents and visitors. 

Additional kudos goes out to The Hacienda at Scribe Winery for its 2020 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation.
Photography 101 Partner Education Session
Sonoma County Tourism is pleased to offer a free partner education session on photography, via Zoom, on Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This hands-on session (led by Sonoma County Tourism’s director of brand development, Spencer Spellman) will share tips and tricks, how-tos, and information for partners looking to upgrade their photography.

This session is for anyone who needs to freshen up their website photos, wants to take better pictures for social media, or simply wants to know how to edit their existing photos.

Register here.
North Bay Business Journal Impact Sonoma Webinar
The North Bay Business Journal is hosting an Impact Sonoma webinar on Oct. 29 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The webinar, covering the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and the recent fires, will feature speakers including Dr. Robert Eyler from Sonoma State University; Brian Keegan from Keegan & Coppin Co., Inc.; Todd O'Leary from Sonoma County Tourism; and Peter Rumble from the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber.

The webinar is free to attend and is sponsored by Exchange Bank and Ghilotti Construction. 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.