Preparing to Reopen | Updates | Fed. Aid | Other Loans | Resources | Reaching Customers 

Please contact us with any questions. We’re here to help! Check back regularly for new information.

Shoppers: Support these shops and businesses online.

Preparing to Reopen

As you prepare for the day you can reopen, we know a lot is on your mind. We are here to help you with ideas to provide a safe environment.

Please know that many new protocols will likely be required when you reopen. As soon as the County releases guidelines, we will share them.

What we know today

Newsom has said he hopes to have more information about restaurants in the coming days.

The Governor’s Office has developed a Resilience Roadmap that lays out the four stages of a roadmap to reopening the state. It’s quite detailed with policy and guidelines, and contains specifics for the toy store, flower shops, and others that can now have limited, curbside reopening.  — There are no details regarding restaurants, but you can glean a lot from reading about the requirements for the businesses able to reopen May 8. 

This article is helpful These are the California businesses that can reopen, and these are the rules from the LA Times, May 8.

Purchase supplies now

We all have witnessed the short supply of cleaning supplies. It is to your benefit to start ordering supplies now.

If you have a relationship with a vendor, you may be all set. If you need ideas, please ask us. Our product search online has demonstrated to us significant supply limitations. When supplies are available, some are very expensive.

We can confidently refer you to one regionally local supplier, so far. Sinclair Sanitary Supply out of Oxnard can provide quick turn-around for hand sanitizer dispensers, counter sprays and wipes, and other products. You can set up an appointment at your shop and they will help you purchase the right products and best amount for your situation, so you don’t under- or over-purchase. Here is a one-page handout with prices for their hand sanitizer cartridges and floor stand dispensers.

If you have a vendor you like and want to offer their info to us to distribute to merchants, please contact us. We will point merchants to any reputable vendor who has access to the supplies merchants need. We of course prefer local companies when possible. We can assemble product and pricing information and create additional handouts.

Below is a sample of the type of hand sanitizer products we feel will be most needed among Downtown merchants and restaurant owners.

Prepare your shop/eatery to reduce the risk of contagion

We offer the following tips as you consider how to reopen safely.

  • Limit the number of customers or tables in your space.
  • Limit the need to pass credit cards back and forth.
  • Remove merchandise displays that encourage high touch.
  • Control directional movement with ropes and floor arrows.
  • Reorganize your break room to accommodate social distancing.
  • Look to your industry association for adaptive strategies.
  • Consider apppropriate use of masks and gloves for your space.
  • Find suppliers for sanitation items.

Call us at (805) 620-7023 and leave a message. We will get back to you shortly.

Other Immediate Actions to Stay on Your Feet

Advice for Lease Payments

We hope you have had a chance to talk to your landlord. In some cases, lenders are providing mortgage deferrals to landlords.  If they don’t have to make a payment to the bank, they might be in a position to defer your lease payments. They may also be willing to renegotiate the lease because if you move out, there will be few other potential tenants who could take your place.

If You Had Purchased Business Interruption Insurance

Check whether you have business interruption insurance. If so, you may have coverage that supplements any income or sales loss during this time.

Come to us with your questions

We provide the following support.

  • Assistance in applying for the PPP forgivable loan or other loans
  • Assistance with preparations to reopen
  • Assistance with any unique circumstance you are facing

Phone: Call us at (805) 620-7023 and leave a message. We will get back to you shortly. 

Email: Kevin Clerici, Executive Director, Julie Henszey, Activation Manager

Updates from DVP to Biz Owners

For earlier updates, see below.

May 1 To Date

May 7

This article is worth a read Is It Safer to Visit a Coffee Shop or a Gym? New York Times, May 6, 2020. 

May 5

On Friday, California will move into the early portion of Stage 2 of a 4-stage reopening process. Progression into Stage 2 is based on the data that tells health officials new COVID cases have been occurring at a stable rate for two weeks. Progression is also based on evidence that mechanisms are in place to meet potential healthcare surges.

According to Newsom, speaking at his press conference (watch) on Monday, bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods retailers, clothing stores and others can reopen for pickup as early as Friday. Additional businesses could be named later this week, also with curbside pickup.

Movement through Stage 2 will continue or retract based on data that can provide evidence of any fluctuations in new COVID cases. So if a community is progressing through Stage 2 and suddenly experiences a surge in COVID illness, it can retract, asking those that have reopened to close again. 

This article in the LA Times explains Stage 2 and provides an overview of the other stages. There is no timetable for when more businesses can open under Stage 2 or when Stages 3 and 4 would occur.

May 1

It’s been a slow week. We hope you get to enjoy a sunset, talk to a close friend, conquer a 2000-piece puzzle, read a book you can’t put down this weekend. 

Federal Aid

The following three programs have been rolled out as part of the CARES Act, passed by Congress to assist during the COVID-19 crisis. They are all administered by the Small Business Administration.



The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan for payroll and certain other expenses.

If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest payments, utilities, and health-care benefits for employees, including paid sick leave. In some cases they also can cover interest on other debts. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable. This guide (guide in Spanish) from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is helpful to learn details.

The program is designed to get cash in the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs.

The new loans apply to costs incurred retroactive to Feb. 15 through June 30. 

If you are forced to lay off employees because of economic conditions, you may be able to preserve some of your loan guarantee by hiring them back.

Two sites offer information directly: the Treasury Department and the SBA site. You can download the PPP Interim Final Rule if you want to view all the details in a legal format. 

Businesses – including eligible non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply.

Where do you go to participate in this program?

You will apply through a bank, preferably your current bank because they know you.

You can apply for the program at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury.

This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank.  You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. Check your bank’s website to see if they participate.

The SBA offers a Find Eligible Lenders function on their website. 

Find Eligible Lenders on the SBA site
Who are some participating lenders?

This section was last updated April 27.

Smart Asset maintains a list of dozens of banks and lenders participating in the PPP. 

Below is a small group of banks we are monitoring here at Downtown Ventura Partners.

Bank of America: PPP page. Their website states, “Clients must have a Business Online Banking account. If you do not currently have an online account, you must enroll in Business Online Banking as soon as possible.

Bank of the Sierra: PPP page. Their website states, “The PPP loan applicant must be a current Bank of the Sierra customer with a business banking relationship that started on or before March 31, 2020.”

Chase: PPP page. Their website states, ” While we cannot guarantee how many new loans will be funded [with replenished funds], we will work diligently … to serve as many small businesses as possible … Funds could run out again quickly and we have preexisting applications in our queue … At this time, we are not taking new applications.”

Citi: PPP page. Their website states, “Although we are still accepting PPP loan applications from … clients at this time, given the volume of applications expected to be presented to the SBA beginning today, the additional funding is likely to be allocated very quickly. There is no guarantee that your application will be approved by the SBA prior to the funds being fully allocated or that your application will qualify for a PPP loan.”

Citizens Business Bank: PPP page. Their website states, “Contact your business financial center.” The site used to say, “If you are a Citizens Bank business customer … you can apply … right from your desktop or mobile device.” 

They are located at 3260 Telegraph Rd. Phone: 805.477.7600

Mechanics Bank: PPP page. Their website states, “Fill out your contact information on the secure Interest Form on this page. Upon receipt, we will send you a confirmation email message with a link to our secure PPP Loan Portal where you can upload your application.”

The bank is currently solely processing applications for current customers.

Montecito Bank & Trust: PPP Page. Their website states: “Beginning Monday April 27th, Montecito Bank & Trust will be submitting our queue of applications. We will not be accepting new applications Monday morning … Should funds still be available once our queue is submitted and processed by the SBA, we hope to be able to begin accepting new applications over the phone, until the funding is exhausted.”

Pacific Western: PPP page. Their website states, “We are no longer accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program.”

USBank: PPP page. Their website states, “At this time, we are working through applications of those who expressed interest or applied during the first phase. Please continue to visit this site for the most up-to-date information.”

Wells Fargo: PPP page. Their website states, ” … we are continuing to accept applications … We cannot confirm that all applications will be submitted and processed by the SBA before the funds are depleted, and we anticipate that demand will exceed available funding.”



This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. It does not have to be repaid.



3.75% interest rate | Up to $2 million | individualized repayment

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Low Interest Loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

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 for non-profits is 2.75%.

Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Learn more: 1) Go directly to the loan application. 2) Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email 3) Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Other Loans

These loans are designed to help through crises such as this one. We realize in talking to many of you that repayable loans are not high on your list of recovery options. However, in the long run, they may be a good choice for some of you. 

EDC’s DISASTER LOAN FUND – from Economic Development Collaborative

4.25% interest rate | $5,000- $50,000

Purpose: To give a cash flow boost to businesses impacted by reduced sales and other challenges related to COVID-19. This is a 48- month loan, with interest-only payments for the first three months.

Learn more: Call 805.409.9159. You cannot receive information any other way.


4.5% interest rate | Up to $10,000 | 36 month repayment

Purpose: To provide financial support to businesses experiencing economic hardship. 

Learn more: Go directly to the loan application.

Details: No fees and no payments for the first three payment cycles. Your residence and business must both be located in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties.

WEV stands for Women’s Economic Ventures, but gender is not a criteria for approval.


The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering no interest quick response loans to those who have been impacted by COVID-19. Loans can be applied for business economic injury, childcare costs and much more.

Learn more: Visit their website for more information.

Applicants must be a resident of Ventura or Los Angeles County


Employment Development Department

Site – Information for employees and employers, including an FAQ.

File for unemployment insurance now. Start here.

California Labor Secretary Julie Su sent out a two-page letter on April 14 worth reading. It discusses unemployment insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, provides insight into how the process is working, and describes the steps they are taking to ramp up and serve everyone more quickly. 

Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County

Site – Includes a guide that will be updated as appropriate.  Also includes an “Immediate Steps to Take” section.

Free counseling from the Economic Development Collaborative

For businesses that have experienced disruptions, Small Business advisors can provide free guidance and discuss small business loans and other financing options during this time. Contact the EDC office at 805-409-9159 to request an appointment.

Reaching Your Customers

Current Initiative

Let’s keep your business front and center for your customers.

Tell us how customers can connect with you for transactions and purchases, such as online shopping, curbside pick-ups, and deliveries.

We will promote customer options for your business in two ways.

  1. Web site featuring a list of businesses for each transaction method.*
  2. Weekly newsletter reaching 3000 subscribers.*

Please fill out this form to be included in this initiative. 

* DVP’s strategies to market to your customers will evolve as conditions evolve. 

Updates, cont’d.

April 1-30

April 27, 2020

The second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding is available starting today. 

April 24, 2020

Congress has passed a bill that allocates another $321 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, supplementing the first round of $349 billion to support employees of small businesses. This time, $60 billion has been carved out for smaller banks to assist businesses, many minority-owned, that have struggled to borrow from bigger lenders.

If you have not applied, please consider taking action ASAP.

If you have already submitted a PPP application to your participating lender, you have hopefully received an update about where you are in the queue. We encourage you to keep close tabs on your lender’s website for updates.

Here’s a good article from the Wall Street Journal with details on the new round of funding.

April 17, 2020

Yesterday was a tough day. The announcement that the SBA had run out of money to fund the Paycheck Protection Program was a punch in the gut. Congress wants to fund another $250B, on top of the $349B already used, and is negotiating other elements of the bill. 

Call your legislators. That is the best method to ensure they understand the need. The website of Montecito Bank & Trust includes the following statement. 

“This morning, our Executive Team and a host of Bank associates made calls to lobby for the expedited approval of additional SBA funding. Many banks are doing this very same thing. We encourage you and your fellow small business community to make the same calls. Bankers across the country at institutions large and small have one focus right now: making sure Congress hears our loud, clear, unified message and takes immediate and declaratory action to save small businesses coast to coast, now.”

On a more encouraging note, the SBA processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in 14 days. Not bad.

April 16, 2020

The SBA has reached its $350 billion cap for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs. It is unclear whether more money will be approved by Congress in the future.

April 15, 2020

The federal government has begun sending direct payments of $1,200 to Americans earning up to $75,000 — gradually phasing out for higher earners and end for those with incomes more than $99,000 — and an additional $500 per child. No one needs to apply for these payments. They are sent automatically, as long as you filed a tax return. When possible, the money is direct deposited into an account you identified in a prior tax return. If it is not direct deposited, a check is issued and mailed to you.

April 13, 2020

The City of Ventura has issued a temporary residential and commercial eviction moratorium, allowing rent payment deferral within specific parameters. It includes the following text. Please see the entire emergency ordinance on the city website for full details. You can also view the document on our website with highlighted portions on page 4 and 5. 

During the period of the Local Emergency, no Landlord shall endeavor to evict a Tenant from any Rental Unit in … the following situations: (1) for nonpayment of Rent during the Local Emergency if the Tenant demonstrates that the Tenant is unable to payRent due to  Financial Impacts Related to COVID-19… and further on states, Nothing in this Chapter shall relieve the Tenant of liability for the unpaid Rent, which the Landlord may seek after expiration of the Local Emergency, and the Tenant must pay within six months of the expiration of the Local Emergency.

April 6, 2020

Exclusively following PPP

We are currently exclusively focused on the PPP program and are providing updates at the top of this page. Please check back here in a few days for potential non-PPP updates.

April 3, 2020

Rocky start to PPP roll out

We are following the roll out of PPP closely today. It’s off to a rocky start. We are talking to as many bankers as we can and often they are still not able to answer questions for us. We are sharing what we know.

Here’s a good update from The Washington Post.

April 2, 2020

Every SBA preferred lender is in a holding pattern regarding the Paycheck Protection Program details

We’ve spoken with a few local SBA preferred banks and business support organizations and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to learn further details about the Paycheck Protection Program.

It provides you with a forgivable loan in an amount equivalent to two and half months worth of payroll expenses at your business. If you’re a sole proprietor or one-person business, you can also receive money.  See full details above in the Federal Aid section. 

Yesterday the Treasury Department made the application form available. However, banks have not yet been given the green light to receive and process applications. The Treasury and Small Business Association are still working out some of the processing kinks before it goes live. 

In the meantime, sign up for a phone call or Zoom session to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program. You can do that above in the Our Help to Get You Moving section.

March 15 - 31 Updates

March 31, 2020

DVP will offer one-to-one and group guidance for applying for free money

The Paycheck Protection Program is about to “go live” in a few days and you can participate to receive the closest thing to free money around. We’re offering support to help you move smoothly through the process. Look above to sign up for an appointment.

March 27, 2020

Survey to help us best meet your needs – Fill out ASAP

On March 27, Downtown Ventura business owners received a survey. If you did not receive one, please email Julie Henszey and she will get one out to you. 

March 26, 2020

Legislative Action  

The Senate passed their bill today promising federal assistance for individuals and businesses. It will be enacted into law within the next few days. Please see the section Federal Aid Coming above.

March 25, 2020

Our crews keeping the area clean and safe

Members of both of our Clean & Safe Ambassador and Park Safety Ambassador teams are working. Our efforts have been deemed an essential service.

To help our dedicated team during this time, work shifts are not mandatory. Anyone not feeling well, concerned about exposure or responsible for a family member is encouraged and allowed to stay home, under the shelter-at-home order, receiving normal pay. Everyone who is working is choosing to be at work. We are grateful for their commitment and work ethic. 

Kevin, the Executive Director, and Steve, our operations manager, have  been at the office every day overseeing things while Julie works from home. We have ample cleaning supplies, gloves and lots of precautions in place. We’ve received many compliments and happy waves from owners and stakeholders who are pleased to see us continue to safeguard closed storefronts and keep things tidy and clean. Thank you! We will continue to operate 7 days a week.

We also are working closely with City staff and Police Department staff to ensure we keep our community safe and secure.

March 24, 2020

Are you allowed to be open? 

Ventura County has posted a helpful list of “essential activities that will remain open.” See Section Who Must Close? above.

March 20, 2020

IRS filing deadline extended to July 15

You have three extra months to file your tax return.

March 19, 2020

All Californians ordered to stay at home by Governor Newsom

“Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all Californians to stay at home, marking the first mandatory restrictions placed on the lives of all 40 million residents in the state’s fight against the novel coronavirus,” according to the New York Times. See “Gov. Gavin Newsom orders all Californians to stay at home,” LA Times, March 19, 2020, by Taryn Luna.

In a briefing yesterday, Newsom said “a Navy hospital ship and two mobile hospitals would help the state care for an anticipated surge in patients.” The state would need “roughly 20,000 more beds” if more than half of Californians come down with the coronavirus. 

March 17, 2020

Restaurants must stop all dine-in services, VC Health Officer says

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, all restaurants, along with drinking establishments that have remained open for in-house dining,  must halt dine-in services. They may provide food for drive through service, take-out, and delivery.

Restaurants that do provide take-out must require patrons to remain 6 feet apart while inside the facility. The order, the latest step to help prevent a local outbreak, remains in effect until midnight on April 1.

Further, restaurants can offer curbside alcohol sales with take-out and delivery orders. This is helpful for restaurants with pre-packaged containers.

File your taxes by April 15 but you may have extra time for “money owed” 

The IRS won’t need to see any federal income tax payments from individuals and many businesses until July 15. You still need to file your tax return by April 15. See “U.S. delays April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days for millions,” LA Times, March 17, 2020.

How isolation and “staying put” prevents overrunning our medical system and saves lives

While it may seem okay to maintain a routine that involves a portion of time spent among strangers and in small gatherings, it does more damage than we can see at the time. This piece describes the life-saving benefits of distancing and isolation measures increasingly encouraged in many communities by medical experts. See “Why Outbreaks like Coronavirus Spread Exponentially and How to Flatten the Curve,” The Washington Post, March 14, 2020, by Harry Stevens.

March 16, 2020

Shelter at Home in 6 California Counties, via the New York Times

Six counties around Silicon Valley, one of the hardest-hit areas in the nation, announced a shelter-at-home order that begins Tuesday, which Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose said was the strongest directive yet in the United States. Residents were told not go out for three weeks except to meet “essential needs.”

Guidelines from President Trump, via the New York Times

The Trump administration on Monday released new guidelines for the public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He asked people to avoid groups of more than 10 people and discouraging people from going to bars, restaurants and food courts for two weeks. He also discouraged discretionary travel.

Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed that some of the White House guidelines were inconvenient, but they would stop the spread of the virus. He conceded that some would say the government was overreacting, but he was emphatic: this was not an overreaction.

“I say it over and over again: When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are,” he said at a noontime press conference.

March 15, 2020

Restaurant and Bar Directives from Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday directed all neighborhood bars, wineries, brewpubs and nightclubs to close their doors as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state continued to rise.

He directed:

  • All bars, nightclubs, breweries, brewpubs and wineries to close.
  • All restaurants to reduce occupancy by half and follow “social distancing” guidelines for spacing out tables. Newsom said restaurants could add or continue curbside food service and home food delivery.
  • Seniors (65 years old and older) self-isolate at home.

View Governor Newsom’s press conference HERE. (Restaurant section begins at around the 10:55 min mark.)