Resources and Information for Business Owners and Workers

Expanded Sidewalk and Parklet Seating Programs for Santa Rosa Restaurants

The City of Santa Rosa has launched the Open & Out business program to activate additional outdoor seating in the public right-of-way. The Open & Out program allows for additional outdoor space and the creation of parklets for dining and seating following safe social distancing guidelines. Local restaurateurs may expand their outdoor seating by applying online for a permit. The new parklet program is modeled after similar programs in cities such as San Francisco and San Jose and allows businesses to expand their service area into the parking area of the street following the guidelines in the City’s Parklet policy.  Read More & Apply

Social Distancing Protocol Signage for Posting in Business Facilities (for downloading)

The Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s amended Heath Order, which went into effect on June 19, now requires businesses to limit the number of people in the facility at any one time, require distancing in lines and face coverings inside, and provide multiple sanitizing measures. Additionally, businesses that are allowed to operate are required to prepare and post “Social Distancing Protocol” signage at or near their entrances. The City of Santa Rosa has prepared the following sign to help essential businesses meet this new signage requirement.

Business Prevent the Spread Poster thumbnail Opens in new window

Reuseable Bags Allowed Again in Grocer And Retail Stores

Under the June 18, 2020, Order of the Sonoma County Health Officer, establishments may once again allow reusable bags in alignment with the the countywide Zero Waste Sonoma County Carryout Bags Ordinance 2014-12.

Customers are required to bag their own purchases and under certain conditions to limit unnecessary exposure to employees. It is recommended that customers leave their bags inside a cart or basket, and refrain from placing personal bags onto high-touch surfaces such as checkout counters and conveyor belts. If possible, it is also recommended to wash bags in between uses. Grocers can download the COVID-19 Bag Use Poster now to display in stores. 

Go to the Zero Waste Sonoma site for more information on reuseable bag use.

Business Prevent the Spread Poster thumbnail Opens in new window

Parking and Curbside Pickup

To promote fast and easy curbside pickup for customers, short term parking spaces may be designated. If your business is offering retail or restaurant pickup in Downtown Santa Rosa or Railroad Square, you may request a parking space be designated as a 15-minute curbside pickup parking space by going here:

Request a Designated 15-Minute Curbside Pickup Parking Space

Government and Industry Resources

This list contains federal, state, local, and industry-specific resources for Santa Rosa business owners and their employees. These suggested resources may offer assistance to local businesses and employees during the current public health emergency.


For Small Businesses

For Employees


California Best Management Practices by Sector

Since every industry presents different challenges and circumstances for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health has created a series of guidance documents for select industry sectors to support a safe, clean environment for their workers. Click on a link below for more information about an industry sector. Refer to California’s Resilience Roadmap for more information.

Auto DealershipsGuidanceChecklist
Delivery ServicesGuidance
Food PackingGuidanceChecklist
Hotels and LodgingGuidanceChecklist
Life SciencesGuidanceChecklist
Logistics and WarehousingGuidanceChecklist
Office WorkspaceGuidanceChecklist
Real Estate InteractionsGuidance


  • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber Small Business Emergency Grants
  • Northern California Small Business Development Center
    • The local SBDC launched new phone and email services for businesses to get quick answers to financial questions, such as business loan options, filling out forms, and more:
    • Napa-Sonoma SBDC is now offering a weekly live stream on the topic of Overcoming the Economic Shock due to COVID-19. These are LIVE Episodes for Small Businesses and provide Questions and Answers. Join the Live Stream on Facebook every Tuesday at 10 a.m. PST episodes in English and at 11 a.m. for episodes in Spanish.
    • Napa-Sonoma SBDC is offering a series of FREE webinars during the months of July and August. Webinars in Spanish are also listed. Please check its calendar for current webinars.
  • Sonoma County Economic Development Board Business Recovery Tools and Resources
    • The EDB has recently contracted Dr. Robert Eyler, principal of Economic Forensics and Analytics, to conduct a thorough analysis of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sonoma County. The weekly survey is to hear from local business owners, executives and nonprofit organizations. Each of these surveys will be open for seven days. The data collected will be crucial in determining impacts, assessing resources needed, and creating policy for future events. The survey has 11 questions and takes about 5 minutes to complete. Survey for week June 30 – July 6.
    • SoCo Launch: An online portal featuring all of the resources business owners need to safely and successfully reopen their businesses in accordance with the latest Public Health Order. It is aimed to help business owners understand at what point they may be able to reopen for consumers amidst the four phases outlined by the State of California.
  • Sonama County Department of Health Services
  • Sonoma County Job Link Resources
    • For Businesses: For assistance with layoffs and layoff mitigation, the Sonoma County Job Link Business Services hotline number is (707) 565-8079. The Job Link Business Services email is This hotline and e-mail are staffed during the Shelter in Place. Be aware that due to call volume, you may need to leave a message. All calls Monday-Friday will be returned within 24 hours. 
    • For Employees: Sonoma County Job Link offers job seekers 18 years of age and up access to job search tools, career development services, labor market information and job referrals. Inquire about FREE, PAID job training and individualized job search assistance. During the Shelter in Place, Job Link staff can answer questions by phone about how to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits. The phone number is (707) 565-5550.
  • Creative Sonoma


The Northern California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) has implemented a new initiative as part of a continued effort to provide support to small businesses during these challenging times. provides the most up-to-date, accurate information concerning COVID-19 and Cares Act resources for small businesses. Call the 833-ASK-SBDC (833-275-7232) toll-free hotline to speak with a dedicated call center staff ready to help your business get answers to questions and connected to the right resources.

  • EIDL and PPP Updates
    • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 AM, join Scott Rogalski and Sunita Maharaj with the NorCal SBDC Finance Center Team as they discuss EIDL and PPP updates and information specific to reopening businesses in Northern California. Register at:
  • Ask an Attorney
    • Bring your questions and learn key updates from experienced professionals and attorneys covering topics including PPP and unemployment, practical advice on borrowing, payroll issues and more. Thursdays at 4 PM via Zoom. Visit Ask an Attorney for more information.


  • Hello Alice
    • Awarding $10,000 emergency grants to small businesses. Deadline is July 16.
  • Small Business Relief Initiative
    • Intuit Quickbooks teamed up with GoFundMe and Yelp to launch the Small Business Relief Initiative to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis. Each company has donated $500,000 to start the fund, which will provide grants to small businesses across the United States, starting with the hardest hit areas. The fund will also issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. 
    • To be eligible, businesses cannot be national in scope or part of a chain or franchise, must be independently owned, and must meet GoFundMe’s terms of service.
  • Yelp
    • Yelp created a $25 million fund to provide relief to independently owned restaurant and nightlife businesses and franchisees with fewer than five locations in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period.