• Santa Maria Valley is Open for Business: Supporting the Business Community during COVID-19

    With the COVID-19 Pandemic continuing to evolve rapidly, we are continuing to follow the guidelines put out by our county, state and federal officials. From mandates restricting social gatherings to the closure of bars and wineries – we know there will be a significant economic strain on our business community in the coming weeks and months.

    As a Champion for our local businesses, we want to assure our community that Santa Maria Valley is still open for business. We always want to put the health and safety of our community members first, and advise everyone to follow guidelines of public health officials. While visiting local businesses in person may not be an option, there are still ways you can continue to #ShopLocal and support the Santa Maria Valley business community during this challenging time.

    Shop local first
    Our local businesses often do not have the same resources that larger chains do when it comes to financial assistance and recovering from uncertain times like these. Whether you’re getting your morning coffee fix or stocking up on food and necessities, we encourage you to look to our local businesses first. Not sure where to start? Our business directory provides searchable list of local businesses.

    Shop local, online
    Many retailers have websites where you can buy their products, goods and services online. While bars and wineries are closed for the time being, their online stores are still very much open for business. If your favorite local retailer doesn’t have an online store, many may be willing to take an order over the phone and have it delivered – it never hurts to ask!

    Order takeout or delivery
    Prefer to dine at home? A large number of our local restaurants offer takeout and delivery options. Many businesses are even offering to bring take out orders directly to your car for you. Check out our list of local take out and delivery options and help support our local restaurants!

    Stay Subscribed
    If you have an ongoing subscription at a gym, or with a stylist, or similar business, consider keeping it active – even if you’re not going to show up right now. If you are a business owner and rely on B2B Contracts like with your local cleaning company of coffee vendor, consider keeping those contracts running as well, regardless of whether you business is operating (and assuming you are financially able to do so). Many of these small businesses rely on that regular cash flow to keep things open.

    B2B Collaboration
    If you are a local business owner, take this opportunity to collaborate with your business community to see how you can help one another overcome challenges. A local grocery store may have a need for the staff you had to reduce hours for. Collaborating and understanding the unique challenges of different businesses will lead to solutions that benefit everyone.

    Tip a little extra
    If you are financially able to do so, tip a little extra to the restaurants, salons and other service industries you may visit. These service workers may not have the privilege of income security, and a little extra can go a long way.

    Buy a gift card
    Unable to shop or dine-in right now? Buy a gift card from a local business to use later on. For those not wanting to visit in person, many businesses will offer to mail or email you the gift card upon request.

    The COVID-19 outbreak will undoubtedly present new community challenges for our local non-profits to address. Now is a great time to donate to the causes and organizations you care most about.

    Utilize social media/chamber marketing platforms
    Social media can play a huge role in supporting the local community. Share specials or snap a photo of your favorite dish from local restaurants. Leave a review and share it after receiving great service from your local landscaper. Lead by example in encouraging your online following to support local businesses.

    If you are a Chamber member business, we are happy to help promote you on our website and social media platforms. Learn more about how we can help get the word out.

    We’re encouraging all local businesses and community members to share with us how they are supporting our local community with the hashtag #SMVOpenforBusiness. Tag your posts and we’ll do our best to share on our channels, too!

    Practice compassion
    In these times of uncertainty, it is important to remember that many will be stressed and anxious. Be patient with one another, practice compassion, collaborate, and remember that by coming together as a community, we will get through this.

    If the COVID-19 crisis has caused challenges for your business that you feel the Chamber can assist with, we’d love to hear from you. Please give us a call at (805) 925-2403 or email Chamber President/CEO Glenn Morris at glenn@santamaria.com. You can also visit our COVID-19 Resource Page, which provides valuable resources and updates.

    CLICK HERE to download our Supporting Local Business Infographic.