Santa Monica City Manager OpED: Santa Monica Continues Support to Local Businesses

By David White, City Manager

Since moving to Santa Monica last fall, I have enjoyed our community’s vibrant, local businesses. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated small business owners who shape our community’s character, and I am proud of the work that we are doing to support our business community throughout the pandemic. Daily, the City deploys hardworking employees that are focused on City Council’s priority of ensuring a Clean and Safe Santa Monica. Even as COVID-19 cases decline, the City will continue to support Santa Monica businesses as part of our goal of achieving an Equitable and Inclusive Economic Recovery. Here are some ways Santa Monica is actively helping our business community right now:

  1. Celebrating New Santa Monica Businesses: In collaboration with the Business Improvement Districts, Santa Monica is welcoming and highlighting new businesses in Santa Monica through various communication channels. Follow @buylocalsm and @cityofsantamonica. If you know of a new business you want us to help celebrate, please tell us @BuyLocalSM.
  2. More Free PPE for Local Businesses: 120 new appointments have been added to giveaway free masks and hand sanitizer due to high demand. Available while supplies last. Register here: Once Santa Monica appointments are full, visit for more LA area pickup options.
  3. Outdoor dining and retail: City Council approved extending fee waivers for temporary use permits for outdoor dining and retail activations, including sidewalk dining, parklets, and the Promenade satellite dining through June 30, 2022. To apply for a free permit, visit Use of outdoor areas.
  4. Black Owned Businesses: We love supporting entrepreneurs throughout the city. Check out our features of Black Owned Businesses at
  5. Commercial Kitchen at Virginia Avenue Park: We’re also nurturing local entrepreneurship with the funding and construction of a commercial kitchen. $640,000 in funding has been secured from public and private sources, the architect has been onboarded, and pre-work is beginning now.
  6. COVID-19 Business Signage: We have distributed at least 8,000 signs throughout the pandemic to local businesses. We have also newly installed temporary signage to encourage daily beach visitors to enjoy our restaurants and shopping. If you need COVID-19 signage specific to Santa Monica, you can find it here:
  7. Reactivated Business Liaisons and Health Ambassadors: The City of Santa Monica’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has reactivated a business liaison for any businesses that have COVID-19 related questions. In addition, the EOC continues to deploy Health Ambassadors to help businesses and the community follow COVID-19 guidelines. Have a question? Email us at [email protected] or call 3-1-1 within Santa Monica.
  8. 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: Employees who work for employers with 26 or more employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of 2022 COVID-19 related paid sick leave from January 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, immediately upon an oral or written request to their employer, with up to 40 of those hours available only when an employee or family member tests positive for COVID-19. More info:

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