GOLETA, CA, February 19, 2021 – The City of Goleta continues to take steps to help the community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the February 16, 2021, City Council meeting, the Council authorized $166,500 in additional funding towards programs to assist residents and businesses. These relief funds will be distributed by the United Way of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Foundation through ongoing partnerships with the City.
United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Individual/Family Assistance Grant program will receive an additional $100,000 from the City of Goleta. Grants of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families are available for those experiencing a hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. The City previously contributed $102,000 to this program and there was still a large unmet need for additional funds. Funding will be directed to qualified applicants on the existing waitlist unless and until that list is exhausted.
The Santa Barbara Better Together (SBBT) Fund Small Business Grant Program was authorized to receive an additional $66,500 from the City of Goleta. The SBBT Fund helps local businesses survive during these uncertain times and is administered by the Santa Barbara Foundation. The City has previously contributed $150,000 to this program. Learn more at https://www.sbfoundation.org/covid-19-business-community-resources/sbbt-guidelines-goleta-english/.
City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our local residents and businesses. While there are encouraging signs pointing to the beginnings of a recovery, there is still a long road ahead and this funding is intended to continue supporting our community via these proven assistance programs.”
Interim Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Director Jaime Valdez said, “The City continues to engage in funding assistance with responsible partners to deliver much needed financial help to our residents and businesses that have been negatively affected by the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. These targeted approaches are intended to make the most efficient use of limited available funds.”
In addition to authorizing more grant funding for residents and small businesses, the City Council also approved and adopted the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and directed staff to develop and issue a Request for Proposals for an Economic Development Strategic Plan. The Economic Recovery Plan outlines the COVID-19 relief and assistance aimed at individuals, small businesses, and non-profits, and highlights additional efforts proposed by staff and the Economic Development and Revitalization Committee to provide recovery resources to the Goleta community. The Request for Proposals for an Economic Development Strategic Plan has a scope which includes an emphasis on restoring Transient Occupancy Tax and Sales Tax revenues by evaluating the sources of Goleta overnight stays and building strategies that most benefit the businesses impacted by the pandemic.
City Council also adopted an urgency ordinance to update the City’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium, which prohibited landlords from evicting tenants due to lack of payment of rent due to COVID-19 financial distress. The urgency ordinance sets the repayment period of deferred rent to August 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021 as required by Senate Bill 91, recently signed into law by Governor Newsom. The repayment period in the City’s ordinance, March 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022, is no longer compliant with state law and was amended to comply with Senate Bill 91.