• Working Hard on Your Behalf

  • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is here for business. We continue to work hard to serve our members, local businesses and the Santa Maria Valley community. Here’s a glimpse at what we’ve been up to lately.
    (Updated 4-14-20) 
     
  • Catalyst for Business Growth


    • Supported local industry by advocating against a proposal to add a "work-related presumption" related to COVID-19 workers' compensation protocols. This new methodology would have significantly increased costs to business. To date, the Governor has resisted issuing an executive order implementing this approach, but we continue to monitor similar proposals being introduced in the state legislature.
    • The Santa Maria Chamber co-hosted 3 webinars with regional Chambers to ensure businesses had access to the most current and accurate information possible related to the CARES Act and other business assistance programs.
    • The EDC created a list of local banks who can provide SBA loan assistance to businesses in need of this financial support.
       
    • The Chamber worked with City to relax enforcement of City's sign ordinance, allowing businesses to use temporary signs to communicate status to the public without requiring a permit.
       
    • The Chamber set up a COVID-19 resource page for local businesses and community members to get timely information on the COVID-19 pandemic from trusted resources. The page is updated daily.
       
    • The Chamber created a number of resources to encourage community members to continue to support local business during COVID-19. These include a page listing takeout and delivery restaurants and a page listing local businesses who have online shopping/purchasing options. The Chamber has also started a #SMVOpenForBuisness social media campaign and continues to highlight local businesses on facebook and Instagram through this campaign.
       
    • The Chamber has started a video series, “COVID-19 & Local Business”, interviewing local industry experts to get insight, business advice and industry updates related to COVID-19.
       
    • The EDC continues to work with Tesla to find locations in Santa Maria for charge stations.

    Read more about how we've been a catalyst for business growth HERE.

  • Convener of Leaders & Influencers

    • The Chamber convened a Key City Leaders weekly check-in, including senior reps from City, County, Hospital, Schools, Non-Profits, and Faith Community. Calls continue on a weekly basis to ensure clear communication and coordination of needs and resources.
       
    • The Chamber helped create a national coalition (Save Small Business Coalition) to advocate for increased federal funding to mitigate business losses incurred due to government-imposed closures. The current proposal is focused on creating a national impact fund, similar to what was done following 9/11.
       
    • The EDC is helping facilitate connections for organizations needing support during COVID-19. This includes connecting Safran Seat Shells with Marian Medical Center as a solution to help repair medical masks. The EDC also connected Comcast with Santa Maria Joint Union High School District to assist with connectivity issues for students now using online learning.
       
    • The Visitors Bureau connected four entities with hotels to meet their housing needs – Santa Barbara County Department of Emergency Management, United Way of Santa Barbara County, Marian Regional Medical Center and the California Strawberry Commission.
       
    • Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals’ steering committee met via zoom to discuss how to continue to engage young professionals while respecting social distancing, and to plan a digital happy hour.
       
    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley is working on reformatting their topic days to comply with social distancing guidelines, and has rescheduled the next class to begin in early 2021.

    Read more about how we've been a convener of leaders and influencers HERE.

  • Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley

    • Worked to encourage Santa Barbara County to launch a "Reopening Plan" task force to prepare for an eventual lifting of stay-at-home orders and a reopening of the local economy. The Chamber was an active participant in a similar effort led by SLO County and worked to get a Santa Barbara County effort started. We also worked to ensure that multiple North County/Santa Maria business leaders were invited to participate on the Task Force
       
    • The Santa Maria Chamber joined with Chambers across state to advocate against opportunistic legislation sought by various interest groups that would have significantly burdened businesses. Examples include proposed new value-added taxes, an employee head-count tax, and a long list of labor proposals which would have dramatically increased costs and compliance requirements on business.
       
    • Santa Maria Chamber CEO Glenn Morris presented an update to the City Council on business support activity.
       
    • Chamber staff continues to make outreach calls to member businesses and organizations to check the status of their business and see what support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
       
    • The Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau shifted messaging to "Stay Connected With SMV" on social medial campaigns and e-newsletters as well as launched the "See a Sip, Take a Sip" campaign. They introduced our snowy plover friend, Pat, on twitter to encourage a fun light hearted way for our followers to stay engaged with us.
       
    • The Chamber and EDC are continuing to facilitate projects in the City, including downtown housing, business construction, and long-term planning.
       
    • The Chamber and Visitors Bureau worked with City to defer TOT payments in support of local hotels.
       
    • The Chamber has begun transitioning its networking events to online formats. This includes the weekly BYB networking event, Ambassador meetings, and events put on by the Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals group.
       
    • Visit CA picked up a story the Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau did on Susie Q Seasoning. The Visitors Bureau is also working with Good Day LA (filming on 4/17) to promote Santa Maria Style Barbecue. The segment, originally a live broadcast, will air at a later date.

    Read more about how we've been a champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley HERE.

  • What Our Members Have Shared

    "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce for all the work they have done to keep the busieness community informed during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. As a sponsor member of the Chamber, we have used the services offered to businesses many times. We find that the SMVCC website has numerous resources available to fit the needs of our business. Being a Chamber member also helps us to make connections and gain exposure in the communities we service. This has enabled us to grow our business through networking with other businesses. We would highly recommend any business to become a member."

    - Omar and Petra Hernanadez,
    Owners, Shred 2 You, Inc.