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 30, 2020
We continue to watch the Glass Incident fire burn in Sonoma County (and Napa Valley), and we continue to be fortified by the strength of our beloved tourism industry – in both regions. As this fire is commonly referred to in the media as Wine Country fires, we are reminded how linked we are with our neighbors in Napa Valley. (Apologies for the philosophical bent here), but while competitors on a business level, when it comes to being part of California’s famed wine country, we share a love of the land, a passion for wine and food, a commitment to preserving the natural resources and a multi-generational connectiveness that allows us to grieve with and support each other collectively. With all that’s going on in a most divisive world, finding common ground, especially during a crisis, makes us better. 

Sonoma County Tourism, still in phase one of our three-phase crisis response, continues to pause all promotional activities. We encourage lodging properties to provide availability (see below) so we can best support our evacuees and first responders. Thank you! 
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
707-522-5804
Reporting Lodging Availability

Sonoma County lodging properties are encouraged to report their room availability each morning as a resource during this crisis. While we will be sharing some of this information on our website, please know that we will not include estimated number of rooms. That information will only be shared with our municipalities so they can better direct first responders.  

The online reporting form can be accessed here
COVID-19 Business Stabilization Grants Now Accepting Applications
The grant application window is now open for the Sonoma County Small Business Stabilization Grant Program. Approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on September 1, a total of $2.5 million dollars has been allocated from federal CARES Act funding received by the County of Sonoma for this initiative.

Small businesses in Sonoma County with between 1 and 30 employees can now 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 will remain open through October 18, with grant recipients being notified by the end of October.

To learn more about the application process and the information required, visit the Sonoma County Economic Development Board website here. The grant application is accessible here
Room Pricing in Emergency Situations 
Under California Penal Code Section 396, for 30 days after a disaster emergency is declared, it is unlawful for a property to sell or offer a hotel room for a price more than 10 percent above the price charged immediately prior to the declaration.

Violators of Section 396 are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, injunctive relief and mandatory restitution.

You can learn more about room pricing in emergency situations from the California Hotel and Lodging Association here
Alternative Worksites

In addition to the handful of lodging properties offering the rental of rooms for remote working, Santa Rosa coworking space coLAB is introducing special discounts for individuals in need of a safe space to perform their remote work.

coLAB is allowing free use of its space on people's first day and then discounted day passes at $20/day. A day pass at coLAB offers access to the workspace from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., high speed Wi-Fi, and coffee/tea. Throughout COVID, coLAB is sanitizing common areas every couple of hours to ensure cleanliness of the space.

To learn more, call coLAB at 707-791-3433 or email work@colabconnect.com
Coronavirus Relief Bill Advocacy
The U.S. Travel Association continues to advocate for an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program to include 501(c)(6) nonprofits and destination marketing organizations, along with a second round of loans to keep local businesses afloat and workers on the payroll.

U.S. Travel has released a suite of new materials to help get this message to Congress, including a social guide with graphics, a fact sheet, messaging points for media and a new action alert.

With more than half (55%) of all small travel businesses in the U.S. at risk of either taking longer than six months to recover or never recovering at all, we request your help in keeping travel and tourism top of mind across Capitol Hill.

Visit ustravel.org/SaveTravel for more ways to get involved.
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.