As the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic develops, we will be collecting all the federal, state, and local health and legal resources for Santa Barbara. Please call or email us if we may be of service during this time.
Our nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
City of Santa Barbara
Rental Housing Information
Mandatory Lease Ordinance Information
On May 7, 2019, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted Ordinance No. 5885 to require landlords to offer residential tenants one-year leases in many circumstances. The Ordinance will become effective on June 7, 2019. The Ordinance requires landlords to make the lease offer for current month-to-month tenants on or before September 5, 2019. This office will not begin enforcement until September 9, 2019.
The Ordinance requires the city attorney to prepare a lease rejection form and post it on the City’s website. You will find the form as a Microsoft Word document HERE or as a Adobe Acrobat pdf HERE. You may lawfully create your own form, or include lease rejection language in another rental document.
Temporary Eviction Moratorium Due to Coronavirus COVID-19
On March 24, 2020, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted Ordinance No. 5941 which allows commercial and residential tenants to defer rent payments when they are unable to pay because of income reductions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Temporary Eviction Moratorium Ordinance (TEMO) became effective immediately. Tenants must provide written notice of their request for rent deferral within 20 days after the rent is due. Details on the form of the notice and what it must contain are in the Ordinance and FAQs available below.
We are not permitted to provide legal advice to the public. City Attorney Ariel Calonne will provide technical assistance to attorneys by telephone at (805) 564-5326.
The adopted text of the TEMO, Ordinance No. 5941, is located HERE.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) in English are located HERE.
Frequently asked questions in Spanish are located HERE.
Tax Deadline Extensions,
Access to Emergency Loan Capital, and Business Webinars
There have been several tax extension deadlines, changes to SBA loan payment expectations and other business resources released in the last few days. The following information provides details on those changes. For more information, visit the Economic Development Collaborative website, which is a frequently updated hub of information for employers and employees.
Tax Extension Guidelines
Personal and Business Income Tax Extension — Federal
Taxpayers can defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. For more information please visit the IRS website.
Personal and Business Income Tax Extension — State
The Franchise Tax Board announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments to June 15, 2020, for all tax filings and payments due between March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020. For more information please visit the Franchise Tax Board website.
Sales Tax Payment Extension Filing
Employers statewide may request a 60-day extension of sales tax payments through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The CDTFA is providing assistance to grant extensions for filing returns and making payments, relief from interest and penalties, and filing a claim for a refund. Requests for relief of interest or penalties or requesting an extension for filing a return may be made through the CDTFA online services. Tax payers may also request assistance in writing via email. The CDTFA staff are also available to answer questions and provide assistance for taxpayers that call (800) 400-7115.
Payroll Tax Extension Filing
Employers statewide directly affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For more information, please visit the EDD website.
City Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Deferral
The City of Santa Barbara will defer Transient Occupancy Tax payments for the months of March and April for 60 days without penalty or interest. Hotels will receive an email or letter from the City with instructions to defer the tax payments. If an email or letter has not been received by April 1, call (805) 564-5469.
City Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA) Assessment Waiver
The City of Santa Barbara will waive the PBIA assessment for the Quarter 1 (January – March) payment due in April. Parking in Downtown lots and structures is currently free of charge. Affected downtown businesses will receive a letter showing a waiver of the scheduled payment. For more information, businesses are encouraged to contact the City Business License Office at (805) 564-5346
Loan Repayment Extensions
SBA Loan Payment Extensions
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has implemented automatic deferment on existing SBA Disaster Loans through the end of 2020. If you have an existing SBA loan, you do not need to request deferment. For more information, call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access to Capital
Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) Disaster Loan Fund
In addition to traditional EDC loan funds, EDC is offering 4.25% interest loans from $5,000-$50,000 through its Disaster Loan Fund to give a cash flow boost to businesses impacted by reduced sales, supply chain disruption or other challenges related to COVID-19.
To connect with someone to discuss the EDC Disaster Loan Fund, please sign up for an appointment by following this link.
Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) Quick Response Loan
WEV’s Quick Response Loan is designed to provide financial support to businesses experiencing economic hardship. Loans of up to $10,000, with a 4.5% fixed interest rate and 36-month repayment term are available to eligible businesses. Visit WEV’s website for more information.
If you would like to speak to a business advisor to discuss how your business has been impacted by COVID-19, please visit this link to sign up to speak to an EDC Small Business Development Center Business Advisor at no cost. Appointments are being scheduled for late April.
STATE & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES:
If you are feeling sick, please follow these instructions from the Public Health Department. If a member of your household is sick, monitor their health and call a healthcare provider if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 such as a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Here are instructions for caregivers.
Importance of Social Distancing
The Governor’s Order to Shelter in Place remains in effect until further notice. Residents are urged to stay home as much as possible, except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, go to an essential job, or exercise alone or with family. It’s important to maintain a six-foot distance at all times with others. Do not crowd together at parks, beaches or trails. Keep distance from others while standing in line. Strict practice of social distancing will lead to less exposure of the virus and infecting fewer people, ultimately helping our community emerge from this public health crisis sooner than later. Individuals at any age are susceptible to the virus and can pass it along to others even without showing symptoms. Please share this advice with your family, friends, and co-workers as it will take a full community effort to limit the spread of the virus.
For information on frequently asked questions about social distancing click here.
For businesses who need guidance on whether their operation is an essential or critical sector in accordance with the Governor’s order, please send an email to LandUse@SantaBarbaraca.gov.
Temporary Moratorium on Evictions
The City Council adopted a Temporary Eviction Moratorium Ordinance which allows commercial and residential tenants to defer rent payments when they are unable to pay because of income reductions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The ordinance became effective immediately and will expire on May 31, unless the City Council takes action to extend the law. Read More.
City Service Updates
Essential City services and programs continue to operate. Instructions are available online to pay a bill, renew library materials, or submit requests, forms, questions, and comments via email, phone or dropbox. For more information, click here.
Santa Barbara County shares local updates at a daily press conference at 4:30 p.m. on Channel 20 or by livestream.
SANTA BARBARA LOCAL RESOURCES
Landlords: Santa Barbara City Council passes temporary moratorium on evictions for next two months due to coronavirus pandemic. The ordinance prevents eviction of commercial and residential tenants through May 31, with the requirement that on or before April 21, any tenant who wishes to take advantage of this ordinance needs to provide a detailed written notice to their property owner demonstrating their inability to make rent payments due to COVID-19. Commercial tenants also have 20 days to send a similar notice to their landlords, but must must describe “Unforeseeable Emergency Commercial Conditions” and include the amount of the rent or lease payment that they believe they can make on a current monthly basis and the amount the tenant seeks to defer during the emergency, with documentation. See Newspress Article
Hannah-Beth Jackson Newsletter update March 26, 2020:
Financial Relief For Those Affected by COVID-19
The State of California is working to soften the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for consumers and homeowners in California.
Under a proposal announced by Governor Newsom this week, Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for the following relief after contacting their financial institution:
90-day grace period for all mortgage payments
If you are impacted by COVID-19, the financial institutions listed above will offer mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which allow you to reduce or delay your monthly mortgage payment.
Relief from fees and charges for 90 days
For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.
No new foreclosures for 60 days
Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
No credit score changes for accessing relief
If you are taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief, late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.
Visit the Governor’s website for more detailed information and be sure to contact your financial institution for specifics.
As of March 26, the following communities in Senate District 19 have enacted temporary moratoriums on evictions for those affected by COVID-19. Check your neighborhood’s website for more information.
Covered California has opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who need health care coverage amid the COVID-19 national emergency. Anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30. Visit coveredca.com for more information.
Governor Newsom recently signed an Executive Order ensuring that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, they can continue to receive state funding, including for free meals for children under the age of 18.
For a list of school districts offering meal service in your county, follow the links below:
There are ways to safely help your community during the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit the California Volunteers website for a list of ways to help.