Staff Report

Santa Barbara County, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation, have announced that formation of the Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program that consists of two components: microenterprise business assistance and small business assistance grants. 

The application period opened May 10 and lasts through June 30, or when all funds are granted, whichever comes sooner. Eligible microenterprise businesses may apply for up to $10,000 in funding, while eligible small businesses may apply for up to $25,000.

“This opportunity is made possible through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” said George Chapjian, director of the County Community Services Department. “The goal is to implement Community Development Block Grant programs that reduce the impacts of the pandemic. We are grateful to partners like Santa Barbara Foundation to make this grant program accessible to our countywide community.”

This funding, allocated by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), comes to the County with specific intention for prevention of, preparation for, and response to COVID-19 impacts. In accordance with these and HUD requirements, Emergency Business Assistance Program funding will only be provided in cases that are reasonably determined and documented that the applicant’s business has been adversely impacted by COVID-19. All interested parties are encouraged to review the grant guidelines and eligibility requirements thoroughly at 

“This grant program is an added effort to provide support for our county’s economy through continued uncertain times,” said Jessica Sanchez, director of donor relations at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “This program is another COVID-19 relief partnership like, Santa Barbara Better Together Fund and Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation Restaurant Fund, that are providing extra relief to businesses challenged by the coronavirus pandemic. We are happy to work with the County of Santa Barbara to provide such important support to our local businesses that are at the center of our county’s economy.”

Staff from the county and Santa Barbara Foundation will be hosting two workshops to discuss the Emergency Business Assistance Program with interested businesses. The first is set for 10 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, May 10; and repeated noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 19.  

Applications will not be accepted by email or fax. Applications will be time and date stamped and reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If interest persists and funds are still available, the application period may be extended. 

Applicants may be required to submit additional documentation or detail. Applicants will have two weeks to submit additional materials, as requested by the Santa Barbara Foundation.

For questions or more information, please contact the Santa Barbara Foundation at 805-963-1873. Applications can be submitted electronically via the Santa Barbara Foundation’s grants portal after May 10 or printed and mailed in a sealed envelope to the Santa Barbara Foundation, 1111 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101. To hand deliver, please bring the sealed application to the above address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.