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Santa Maria gears up to reopen businesses; here’s what you and your business need to know

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Keith Carls/KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce are gearing up to safely reopen businesses.

“We are going to spend the next year helping businesses rethink everything from product mix to customer interface,” said The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce president Glen Morris.

Santa Barbara County has created a guide to help residents, businesses, and organizations reopen in phases.

“How do we help them get on their feet, how do we help them start moving traffic, how do we get customers comfortable moving back in,” said Morris.

The City of Santa Maria and The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce are urging businesses to begin new processes to adapt to the new normal of COVID safety and prevention.

“Social distancing is going to be with us even after we open for a while,” said Morris.

The health department will determine the final guidelines at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. Those rules will go into effect once the Governor lifts his order. An order Santa Maria is desperately in need of.

“The city itself is expecting to have around a $10 million hit,” said the City of Santa Maria Public Information Officer Mark van de Kamp.

That loss is predicted to run through June of 2021.

“That is largely do to the loss of sales tax revenue,” said Van de Kamp

The city relies on around 48% of sales tax for their overall general fund.

“We are proposing to our City Council that we will have to tap into some of our reserves,” noted Van de Kamp.

The guide could change as new updates from the governor and health department come in. The four phases are as follows:

• Stage 1: Safety & Preparedness

• Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces

• Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces

• Stage 4: End of Stay-at-Home Order

The guide is available for public review and feedback at ReadySBC.org under "COVID-19: RecoverySBC." 

If your organization needs additional support, you can contact The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce website, at www.santamaria.com/COVID19-Recovery.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.

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