In a recent joint press release, the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce expressed recognition of the importance that Hispanic and minority-owned businesses have in the community. As they have shared Covid-19 information and resources with community business owners, they have identified a gap. While many Hispanic-owned businesses have already taken steps to apply for financial assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), there are still a number of smaller, local businesses that have not yet done so. While there is still time to apply, funding is quickly being distributed and may run out prior to the May 21 deadline.  

In 2012, the US Census Bureau surveyed Santa Barbara County business owners and self-employed persons and determined that 10,340 were considered minority owned, accounting for 26% of all those surveyed. 

The PPP loan can help small businesses who have struggled in the pandemic by keeping their workers on payroll. Additionally, businesses that borrow may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. This funding is only available until May 21. “With the deadline approaching quickly, it is absolutely essential for business owners to apply so that they may benefit from this opportunity,” stated the joint chambers’ statement. “The chambers advocate for the entire business community and have made resources available, in both English and Spanish, to ensure access to financial security amid Covid-19.” Visit or for resources that support the Hispanic business community. 

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