Some relief is in store for businesses impacted by last
month’s sudden cold spell
and crop-killing freeze. The
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering
low-interest loans to non-farming businesses, such
as trucking lines, agricultural equipment providers, and packing
houses, which rely on a healthy farm industry for their own
livelihoods. Twenty different loans totaling more than $3 million
were granted last week alone. With satellite offices now open in
Santa Maria and Carpinteria, the SBA will accept loan applications
until October 24.

State-mediated negotiations between Santa Barbara school
teachers and the school district
failed once again last
week. Now it’s up to a three-member fact-finding panel, under the
auspices of the Public Employment Relations Board, to examine the
district’s budget and try to identify an agreeable middle ground
between the district’s offer of a 1.5 percent raise and the
teachers’ union demand of a 6 percent increase. The panel will
include both district- and union-appointed representatives, as well
as a non-affiliated chairperson chosen from a list of
state-approved labor professionals. The panel plans to hold its
private hearing no later than next month.


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