Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Sonoma County Tourism is maintaining this toolkit to ensure we’re providing our partners with useful information and links to resources we hope are helpful.
We know these are uncertain times. Let’s remain confident in our collective optimism, as well as the grit and determination we’ve developed from having gone through other crises. If you have information to share, or would like to receive more details on anything our organization is doing, contact [email protected].
Read our 8/28 Partner Alert to learn about California's new Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
- Supervisors approve fines to encourage public compliance with COVID-19 health orders
- SCT’s All Industry Virtual Town Hall
- Sample letters & talking points
- National travel-related organizations
- Statewide travel-related organizations
- Regional travel-related organizations
- County of Sonoma & Department of Health Services
- SoCo Launch, Sonoma County’s Guide to Re-Opening
- Media outlets
- Health organizations
- General travel industry information
- Government & community assistance programs
- Webinar Watchlist and Recommended Reading
- Shareable Sonoma County videos and images
A recording of our 4/2 All Industry Virtual Town Hall is available to download here. Note: the link will allow you to preview/stream the first 15 minutes, but you'll need to download the video to watch the full 1 hr 22 min meeting.
The PowerPoint deck from the meeting is accessible here.
Our Tourism Partners video is available to view here.
Our “In This Together” video is available to view here.
A list of questions received before and during the meeting, along with our answers, are available to view here.
We encourage you to send any additional questions to [email protected] and we will happily address them.
For those of you who want to reach out to customers, we’ve compiled a few sample letters for your reference. While these letters may not serve your specific audience, they all have several things in common:
1. Acknowledge the situation. Don’t try to gloss over what is a very sensitive and emotionally charged topic.
2. Offer insight into what the company is doing to protect its key audiences (customers and employees).
3. Provide links to organizations managing the situation (WHO, CDC, local health organizations).
4. Provide information about policies that may impact customers (cancellations, interactions with customers, change in operations, etc.).
5. Reconfirm a commitment to the customer.
Visit California has released updated industry talking points. You can view them here.
- U.S. Travel Association is tracking the situation and has a special microsite dedicated to how this impacts the travel industry.
As a general overview, all travelers should consider Healthy Travel Practices provided by the organization.
- Meetings Professionals International (MPI) offers two articles with information about issues as they relate to the meetings industry including cancellation insurance, options, impact on planners and planning, etc.
- Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) offers insights for meeting planners through a Frequently Asked Questions article and upcoming webinars.
- Visit California has issued several updates since this situation began. More information is available via a special web page.
- San Francisco Travel is providing information regarding international travel, primarily from China, on its dedicated Coronavirus web page.
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state, and government resources for businesses and employees affected by the emerging situation. Resources include potential funding for working capital for small business, public health information links, workforce resources, and help for employees affected by Coronavirus.
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has also announced a COVID-19 Business Stabilization Grant Program, approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on September 1, 2020. A total of $2.5 million dollars were allocated from federal CARES Act funding received by the County of Sonoma. In partnership with Bay Area CDFI Working Solutions, small businesses in Sonoma County with between 1 and 30 employees will be able to apply for between $2,500 and $15,000 in COVID-19 relief funding to use towards expenses including payroll, utilities, rent or mortgage expenses. The grant application window opens 9/28 and ends 10/19. Learn more here.
The County of Sonoma has released key messages accessible here.
Sonoma County Department of Health Services offers ongoing updates for COVID-19 and its impact on this region.
You can read their COVID-19 Guidance for Food Facilities here.
The Department of Health Services has also established a phone line for employers to contact the county with questions regarding COVID-19. This line is your point of contact for clinical questions, and staff may share general information like recommended strategies for employers to use now, information on state assistance for employers and workers, and planning for possible escalation of the virus. Call: 707-565-4667
The County of Sonoma has a free COVID-19 Mental Health Warm Line available to any County resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order. Local behavioral health professionals will answer calls seven days a week to talk with callers to provide support, guidance, education, and referrals. Call 707-565-2652 any day of the week from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. to speak to a trained professional.
The Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office (ACTTC) has posted a press release informing operators of the TOT/BIA penalty waiver program in accordance with the resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors. Short-term rental operators can download a penalty waiver form off the County of Sonoma website here.
The County of Sonoma has enacted civil enforcement penalties for those found in violation of the county’s pandemic health orders. The Economic Development Board has released a helpful poster explaining the ordinance here.
The EDB has announced SoCo Launch, an online portal featuring resources necessary to safely and successfully re-open your business, in accordance with the latest Public Health Order. This guide is aimed to help business owners understand at what point they may be able to re-open for consumers amidst the four phases outlined by the State of California. In order to accelerate further into Stage Two of the Resilience Roadmap which allows additional businesses to reopen, a County must meet a set of criteria.
- The Press Democrat has a special section dedicated to the local Coronavirus situation.
- The San Francisco Chronicle also maintains a Coronavirus section.
- CNN has a special section for news regarding the Coronavirus.
- The New York Times offers a daily briefing.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is carefully monitoring the Coronavirus and offers information and FAQs via its COVID-19 microsite.
- World Health Organization’s Coronavirus web page provides a wealth of insights about the disease, ways to protect oneself, travel advisories, etc.
- TravelPulse Daily offers insights especially as they relate to the travel agent community. Sign-up for the daily e-newsletter for more information.
A number of travel suppliers have altered cancellation & change fees to deal with the fallout from COVID-19, find a comprehensive list of the latest airline, cruise, tour operator & hotel policies here.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Economic Development Board (EDB) has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state and government resources and benefits for businesses and employees affected by the emerging situation. The Sonoma County Resilience Fund will go to 35 local nonprofit organizations to help support the resilience of our community. Visit the Creative Sonoma page for a list of relief organizations and funds.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) has an information assistance page relating to COVID-19. The site not only provides information for employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced, but also provides information for employers.
Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County (CAP Sonoma) have financial assistance programs you or your employees may be eligible for.
Catholic Charities offers financial resources to those in economic need.
Redwood Empire Food Bank provides food to residents in need, including those who have recently become unemployed, without proof of income. Visit getfood.refb.org for a list of locations.
Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants to small business owners impacted by the coronavirus. Learn more on their COVID-19 Business Resource webpage here.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, through their Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, is offering grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Learn more here.
Made possible in part by a grant from the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, Corazón Healdsburg is offering aid through their Winery and Restaurant Employee Assistance Program. Employees of Sonoma County wineries and restaurants that have been furloughed can apply for financial assistance here.
The Greg Hill Foundation, through their Restaurant Strong Fund, is accepting applications for grant assistance. Learn more and apply here.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (a non-governmental private sector charity), through their Save Small Business Fund, is offering grants to qualifying applicants. Learn more and apply here.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. Learn more here.
Travel writer Andrew Evans pens a powerful opinion piece for NBC News on how travel can and must change in our post-COVID-19 world. Read here.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has published The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, accessible here.
Fisher & Phillips LLP has an informative PowerPoint deck on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The slides cover an overview of the act, emergency paid sick leave, emergency family and medical leave, and additional California leaves.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has prepared a Coronavirus Emergency Loan Small Business Guide and Checklist viewable here.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has posted a webinar on navigating the CARES Act viewable here.
- Video: "From Our Home in Sonoma County to Yours" on YouTube and file download
- Video: "A Virtual Toast From Sonoma County, Cheers!" on YouTube and Facebook.
- Video: "Sonoma County SAFE Travels Promise" on YouTube and Facebook.
Other Available Information:
Printable Posters and Resources: