Customers peeking in a business window, while waiting in line outside of busy restaurant.

COVID-19 Impact and Relief Efforts for Local Small Businesses in San Luis Obispo County

Author: Workforce Development Board
Date: 7/21/2021 3:31 PM

As businesses continue to face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County of San Luis Obispo offered Small Business Grant opportunities to provide relief for local small businesses.

To support small business employers facing financial impacts and potential layoffs as a result of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), the Workforce Development Board has administered two rounds of COVID-19 Small Business Grants, one of which was approved by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and funded with local county dollars.  These funds were used to provide small employers with some relief and help mitigate costs associated with COVID-19.

In the article “Grant program awards $82,000 to more than 50 small businesses" by News Staff of Paso Robles Daily News dated June 24, 2021, Supervisor Dawn Ortiz- Legg said, “The County Board of Supervisors could not have executed this effort without the tremendous help from the Workforce Development staff. They provided the needed resources to create, review and authenticate all the applications”.

Now that the state is reopening and tourism resumes, local businesses, especially restaurants face employee shortages causing reduced hours of operation during their busiest season of the year. According to an article by Kaytlyn Leslie and Kathe Tanner from The Tribune dated June 30, 2021 “SLO County restaurants are closing, cutting hours due to lack of staff. What’s happening?” Workforce Development Board of San Luis Obispo County Director Dawn Boulanger said, “local businesses, especially restaurants, have been feeling the heat of the worker shortage.” Boulanger additionally states, "some workers may have also had difficulty finding childcare while schools switched to virtual-only learning, then hybrid models, and then decided to leave the workforce all together." Many workers that were laid off during the pandemic took that opportunity to move to different careers. 

If you are a business that needs assistance finding qualified employees, the America’s Job Center of California is your easy one-stop access to employment-related services in San Luis Obispo County. They can assist businesses with posting job openings, recruiting, and screening qualified candidates as well as additional workforce support. The America’s Job Center of California can also assist job seekers with skills assessment and training, finding job opportunities, and pre-interview preparation. All of this is made possible through partnerships with local organizations to create a stronger workforce for our community. You can reach the America's Job Center of California at (805) 286-8530 for Job Seeker Services, (805) 249-9644 for Business Services or visit the center at 3450 Broad Suite 103, San Luis Obispo in the Acacia Creek Business Park.

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