Santa Maria Valley Chamber Supports SB 74

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber is pleased to support SB 74, since it will facilitate and assist with California’s economic recovery.

Businesses of all sizes are reeling from the catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 and California is still experiencing high rates of unemployment. SB 74, in conjunction with the Small Business Grants Program Budget proposal and federal aid programs, would assist with addressing these pervasive issues and provides employers impacted by the pandemic with a financial bridge until they can fully recover.

Specifically, SB 74 would appropriate $2.6 billion dollars to the Office of Small Business Advocate in order to award grants to small businesses and non-profits that have experienced economic hardship resulting from COVID-19. The grant money could then be used by struggling businesses to pay for payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, costs reasonably associated with reopening business operations, costs reasonably associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state, or local guidelines for reopening and required safety protocols, and insurance premiums.

SB 74 would award grants to employers that range from $5,000 to $60,000 depending upon certain defined revenue levels. Priority would be given to certain qualified applicants depending upon geographic impacts of COVID-19, total financial impact caused by COVID-19, in addition to specified workforce and ownership sectors.

The grants outlined in SB 74 are also particularly welcomed by employers since the bill specifically states the grants are excluded from state income tax obligations.

When these grants are paired with the state’s Small Business Relief Grants, as well as federal aid, the money offers struggling entities with a much-needed lifeline to survival. The California Small Business Relief Grant Program was created in November 2020 and over 300,000 applications were submitted – thus demonstrating just how vital these funds are to California’s struggling businesses.

For these reasons, The Santa Maria Valley Chamber supports SB 74.

Read the full letter of support here.