This is undoubtedly a challenging time for us all. Like you, the SLO Chamber team has been following the developing events and impacts of COVID-19 and the series of emergency declarations in our community. Videos posted on this page are mean to inform, educate and inspire.  For a complete and up to date list of resources for your business, please visit our COVID-19 Resources for Businesses page and follow us on social media.


Open SLO Update | July 23, 2020
In May, SLO City Council created brand new opportunities for businesses throughout the city to utilize outdoor space in a way we have never been able to before. We are all looking at indoor space in a new way – and this outdoor flexibility allows businesses to activate their parking lots, public spaces and City streets to adapt to our COVID-19 realities and keep employees and customers safe. SLO City Transportation Manager Luke Schwartz shared more about this program at our July Good Morning SLO program.


Self certification reopening plan and risk assessment specifics | June 18, 2020

During our weekly webinar series on June 18th, we learned how to write an expert reopening plan and risk assessment to self certify your business for reopening. As more industries begin to open, we will continue to look at best practices and hear from different sectors who are planning for — and beginning — the reopening process. We were joined again by Blue Mango Management’s Samantha Welch, to share an update on their restaurants’ reopening processes and lessons learned.



Open SLO | June 19, 2020
In May, the SLO City Council created brand new opportunities for businesses throughout the city to utilize outdoor space in a way we have never been able to before. Like so many others, our community is looking at indoor space in a new way — and this outdoor flexibility will allow businesses to activate their parking lots and City streets to adapt to our COVID-19 realities and keep employees and customers safe. To walk us through the ‘Open SLO’ plan, we asked Councilmember Andy Pease who – in addition to being a SLO City council member – lent her professional talents as an architect to help figure out the nuts and bolts of what’s possible. To learn more about this pilot program, watch this video and make sure to head to openslo.org..

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SBA Loan Forgiveness Guidance and Stage 3 Reopening | June 11, 2020
Our Thursday, June 11 webinar discusses the federal financial assistance programs and digs deeper into the new loan forgiveness guidance issued through the SBA. We were joined by Tim Dossa and Rachel Carscaden from Glenn Burdette – Certified Public Accountants to discuss the new provisions to the Paycheck Protection Program that were designed to help small business borrowers. Additionally, we provide updates on what you need to know as our County moves towards Stage 3 of reopening.


SLO Food Bank’s new CEO on COVID’s impact | May 28, 2020

SLO Food Bank’s new CEO Garret Olson, shares the steps the organization has taken in combating local hunger during COVID-19. From completely reassessing operations to ensure safety, to tripling the amount of supplemental food delivered weekly to local households, the SLO Food Bank has made our community proud through its partnership with the County of San Luis Obispo. If you or someone you know needs assistance from the SLO Food Bank, please visit slofoodbank.org/food-locator to find a site nearest you. Learn how you can support the SLO Food Bank at slofoodbank.org/donate.


Reopening for you, your employees and your customers | Part 2 | May 28, 2020
In this week’s webinar, we continue the discussion about reopening guidance in even greater detail with a focus on retail businesses. We provide you with answers to frequently asked questions, staff/customer training, and dig into the details of how to physically set up your office, store, restaurant, etc. for reopening. View a PDF of the PowerPoint, here. View a copy of the Q&A from the video, here.

Reopening for you, your employees and your customers | May 21, 2020
In this week’s webinar, we discuss what you need to do now so you’ll be prepared to reopen safely. We provide you with answers to frequently asked questions, staff/customer training, and dig into the details of how to physically set up your office, store, restaurant, etc. for reopening. View the Blue Mango Management Group risk assessment file, here.

SLO County’s Reopening | Part 2 | May 14, 2020
On Thursday, May 14th we dug deeper into San Luis Obispo County’s reopening and sat down with some of the key players involved We heard from Board of Supervisors Chair Lynn Compton on why the County moved to align with the State’s Resilience Roadmap, as well as from REACH’s Andrew Hackleman on ways our region can collaborate to assist recovery efforts. We were also joined by Dr. J. Trees Ritter who spoke about the key health measurements SLO County will need to hit in order to reopen. We encourage you to watch this webinar as it helps to shed some light on the weeks and months ahead.

SLO County’s START Guide | May 7, 2020

We sat down with leaders from the County and City to discuss the Steps To Adapt and Reopen Together Guide — the proposed reopening framework for our community. With the Governor’s announcement that the State will move into “early Stage 2” starting on May 8th, 2020, there has been some confusion as to what phase or stage we are in here in SLO County. Guy Savage, Assistant County Administrative Officer and Derek Johnson, SLO City Manager provide some insight on the issue.


Supporting our nonprofits during COVID-19 | May 3, 2020
Heidi McPherson, CEO of the The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County shares an update on the organization’s Disaster Support Fund. The fund was created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the hundreds of nonprofits in our County working with impacted and vulnerable communities, as well as the economic consequences of the outbreak, specifically with at-risk community members. Residents of our community have shown their support to our most vulnerable populations through donations to the Disaster Support Fund. Those contributions, large and small, are having a positive impact for our community members that are facing the biggest challenges during this pandemic.

Webinar series: SBA on Funding Options | April 30, 2020
In this webinar discussion, hear about the extension to the Payroll Protection Program and connect directly with representatives from the Small Business Association. We also hear about assistance application success and struggles from local business owners.

Rents, mortgages and COVID-19 | April 29, 2020
There has been a lot of angst and confusion about what to do if you can’t afford to pay your rent or mortgage because of COVID-19. To get some clarity, we brought together Dallas Mosier, attorney at Carmel & Naccasha LLP, Stephanie Barclay, Legal Director at SLO Legal Assistance Foundation and VP of Mortgage Lending Donna Lewis at Guaranteed Rate to help us paint the picture. Watch this short video to learn more about current rules, which levels of government are empowered to do what, and steps you can take if you are in need of assistance right now.

Misinformation in the time of COVID | Kim Bisheff | April 28, 2020
These days, we are surrounded by new information coming at us through every medium and channel possible, and sometimes it can be hard be difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction. We asked Kim Bisheff, Professor of Journalism at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) to give us a run down on how to navigate through all the noise while making sure to stay informed.

Webinar Series | Finance and Human Resource | April 23, 2020

SBDC Director Judy Mahan shared updates on the additional funding for the federal EIDL and PPP loans, and Morris and Garritano Insurance HR Business Consultant, Louise Matheny and Director of Compliance, Keith Dunlop provided insight on employer’s responsibilities during this time including how to navigate through the FFCRA.


SBDC & SLO Chamber Webinar Series | April 16, 2020

We hosted Small Business Development Center Director Judy Mahan and employment law specialist Kathy Eppright from Andre, Morris and Buttery to share updates on federal funding and employer practices. During the webinar the speakers discussed the EIDL and PPP loan assistance programs and how business should proceed if they do not receive any funding. The $349 billion federal relief fund that those programs came from ran out of money today and they are currently not accepting applications until more funding is available. Watch the webinar to learn more about options and next steps for your business.


UP | 3 Tools to Stay Calm & Balanced During Stressful Times| April 12, 2020

We asked our friends Lynne Biddinger and Jennifer Porcher of Unlock-Potential to share some tools they’ve found helpful for staying centered during these challenging times. As many in our business community are dealing with new stressors due to this pandemic, it is more important now than ever to take care of ourselves so we can show up for our organizations and each other. Watch this video to learn three new tools centered around ESI and mindfulness practices that can help us navigate through this uncertain time.


Webinar | SBA and Banks: Accessing Federal Funds | April 9, 2020

In this webinar, you will hear updates from SBDC Director Judy Mahan as well as local and national banking perspectives from Greg Bland and Lindsay Waylett on how they are managing administration of the SBA loan programs. Areas of focus include the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Payroll Protection Program, Disaster Bridge Loan, 7(a) Forgiveness Program and ways your business can access them.


Webinar | SBDC & SLO City Crisis Resources | April 3, 2020
On Friday, April 3rd, we hosted an important and timely discussion with SLO City Manager Derek Johnson and SBDC Director Judy Mahan. In this webinar, you can expect to learn about the most recent changes and availability of loans and financial support, SLO City’s COVID response, and what your business should be preparing for now to survive this crisis.

SLOPD | An update on public safety | April 2, 2020
San Luis Obispo Police Department Chief Cantrell shares an update on public safety protocols and procedures in SLO. She encourages all residents to continue sheltering at home and practicing physical distancing to help slow the spread of COVID. A huge thank you to the SLOPD and all first responders on the frontline of this crisis for tirelessly serving our community and keeping us safe.

COVID-19 | Tax & Law FAQs answered | March 30, 2020
We sat down with employment law specialist Kathy Eppright and accountant Tim Dossa to talk about what business owners need to know during this ever-changing situation. Learn how you can best take advantage of the CARES Act stimulus package, as well as recommendations for operations, employee care and planning for what’s next. Keep up with the most credible, up-to-date information on how to support your business by visiting our dedicated financial resources page.

Stimulus Package Review pt. 2 | What you need to know about the $2 trillion bill | March 27, 2020
What is in the roughly $2 trillion coronavirus response bill signed this afternoon? President/CEO Jim Dantona highlights some of the elements that are most likely to help our region’s small businesses.
NPR breaks down what the six main groups benefiting from the package can expect in this recent article

Stimulus Package Review pt. 1 | March 26, 2020

The US Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. This is big news and will affect our businesses and residents here in San Luis Obispo. There will be more details on that to come as it’s finalized, but we just wanted to check in and give you an update on what we’re working on.


Judy Mahan | Economic Injury Disaster Loans | March 20, 2020
All small business in San Luis Obispo County are now in a declared disaster area. If your business has suffered substantial economic injury you may be eligible for an EIDL. There are only three forms you need to complete to eligible for up to $2 million. You can start your application here
The Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center is offering free assistance in completing the forms for SBDC members. Register online here: ucmsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/signup

Shelter at Home | Business Clarifications | March 20, 2020

The SLO Chamber, Downtown SLO and the City of San Luis Obispo are working together and are committed to getting you the answers you need. On March 19, the County shared guidelines for businesses, employers and employees to more clearly identify exempt and non-exempt businesses. The City has created a form to help streamline guidance and ensure that you are getting the right information the first time.