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Small Business Resources

Laurel Sykes's picture

While we discussed yesterday the impact of the Shelter in Place order on the community’s workforce, our local small businesses are also struggling.  Businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors or change their business model to comply with the order, and many are faced with tough decisions about how they can continue to operate amidst all this uncertainty.  We know you are probably being inundated with information, and there are several resources out there offering support

In the coming weeks, you can count on American Riviera Bank to continue sharing information we feel is most helpful to our clients through social media, as well as on our COVID-19 resource page.  In addition, the Economic Development Collaborative has compiled a list of resources available for employees and employers who have been impacted by COVID-19. This guide will be updated as new resources are made available, so we highly encourage you to visit their page for the most recent version.

In addition to local resources, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued revised guidelines for issuing Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) directly to businesses (without going through a bank).  According to last week’s press release, the SBA will issue loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and non-profit organizations in an effort to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in affected states, such as California. We’ve provided additional information below on how affected businesses can apply through the SBA for these loans.

Congress is also debating additional loan stimulus beyond the SBA EIDL, or to replace the SBA EIDL with something that could be more favorable.  While the government continues to negotiate individual provisions of the proposed economic stimulus package, options may include loans provided either directly from the government through the SBA or Treasury, or loans delivered through the banking system that are fully guaranteed by the government.  We certainly think that the 5,000 or so banks across the country could do a great job of delivering and administering these government guaranteed loans, if given the opportunity.

It’s important to understand that consensus on the final outcome has not yet been reached.  We will keep you posted on what Congress decides, but, at this moment, the best course of action is to discuss your options with your American Riviera Bank loan officer (if you already have a lending relationship with us) or to apply for an SBA EIDL.

SBA Disaster Assistance

Business owners interested in applying should visit the SBA Disaster Loan website here to register and begin the application process. Business owners should also begin getting their loan package ready so that information will be ready to submit along with their application. The SBA will require the completion of a personal financial statement (listing all personal assets and liabilities), a schedule of business liabilities, three years of monthly sales figures up to the time of application, and an IRS tax release. It is strongly recommended that business owners also get their current business financial statements (P&L and Balance Sheet) up-to-date. The loan application is an online process but you can refer to a PDF version of the application form.

For more information, or to speak to the SBA directly, you may contact SBA Disaster Recovery at 1-800-659-2955, or by email at  A short video about applying for an SBA EIDL, is available here. Specific terms and conditions will vary; however, according to the SBA’s press release:

  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at

Below you’ll also find contact information for some fantastic local organizations that can assist you in applying under the SBA’s programs.  The SBA website also has a locator service to identify partners by zip code if you don’t see one in your area.

Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara SCORE

For businesses that have concerns or experience disruptions, SCORE Advisors can assist providing perspective and guidance. If you are not already a SCORE client, you can REQUEST A MENTOR HERE or call and leave a message to request a meeting at (805) 367-3292.

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) COVID-19 Resources

WEV Response Line 805.456.2342 Spanish 805.908.0096): For Santa Barbara county and Ventura county business owners needing assistance, you may call WEV’s Response Line 805-456-2342 (Spanish 805-908-0096) to leave a message and receive a call-back within one business day.

San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo SCORE
SCORE Business Mentor
4251 S. Higuera Road, Suite 800
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 547-0779

Mentors are available by visiting the SLO SCORE page here. You can also email them for information here:

Small Business Development Center
872 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


You can request assistance and view a listing of upcoming webinars available through the Central CA SBDC Regional Network here.