Staff Report

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce recognize the importance that Hispanic- and minority-owned businesses have in the community. In sharing COVID-19 information and resources with community business owners, they have identified a gap.

A number of Hispanic-owned businesses have taken steps to apply for financial assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but several smaller, local businesses have not yet done so.

While there is still time to apply, funding is quickly being distributed and may run out before the May 21 deadline.  

In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed Santa Barbara County business owners and self-employed people, and determined that 10,340 were considered minority-owned, accounting for 26% of all those surveyed.

The PPP loan can help small businesses that have struggled in the pandemic by keeping their workers on payroll. Additionally, businesses that borrow may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. The funding is only available until May 21, so it is essential for business owners to apply quickly.

The chambers advocate for the entire business community and have made resources available in English and Spanish to ensure access to financial security amid COVID-19. Visit or for specific resources that support the Hispanic business community.

For more information, visit