SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The $1.9 trillion federal relief package signed into law earlier this month promises to supercharge Santa Barbara’s economy.
Not only will it put more cash in people’s pockets, spur renewed tourism and restaurant activity; it’ll also keep the demand for housing high.
“I think the 2021 economic recovery is well on its way,” local financial advisor Joe Weiland said.
The managing partner at Arlington Financial Advisors — an independent financial advisory firm — believes that this could be one of the best tourism seasons in quite some time.
“As a tourist destination, Santa Barbara has always maintained a really high-quality appeal, so I think we’re going to see tourism locally expand dramatically,” he said.
This would be welcome news to those businesses that have suffered most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Santa Barbara, restaurants and tourism services such as hotels, wine tasting locations and tour operators have been hit hard by lockdowns and travel restrictions over the past year.
“As the economy opens up and more money from the relief package begins to circulate, those businesses that survived the worst of the pandemic are likely to come out strong,” Weiland said.
Other businesses and individuals in the area have been less impacted by the pandemic, and some have even seen their wealth increase.
Home prices have remained high, benefitting homeowners and the real estate industry.
Local businesses and workers such as those in the technology and defense realms have successfully pivoted to operating largely online.
Retirees living off of investments have benefited from increases in stock prices.
“However, many people remain on pins and needles about the future of the economy, Weiland said. “While investors are enjoying the current outsized returns from their stock holdings, many are anxious the market could pull back.”
No one can predict when the next crash will happen, but it’s unlikely to be soon given the influx of cash into the national economy.
Still, people shouldn’t get too caught up in the day-to-day news and market swings. Instead, he recommends they focus on improving their own financial stability and investing for the long term.
“Every single day, month and year has its unique situation, but the long-term approach is really what matters,” Weiland concluded.
“That means getting your financial house in order, don’t get in too much debt, make sure you’re saving something on a regular basis, make sure you have an investment strategy and stick with it no matter what the circumstances are because they’re bound to change, and make sure you’re in communication with your advisor about your current status and what your plans are to make sure you’re doing what you need to do to secure a good financial future.”
Arlington Financial Advisors is located at 100 E. De La Guerra St, in Santa Barbara. For information, you can visit their website.