The Santa Barbara Foundation has extended to Friday, Sept. 18 the application deadline for the Santa Barbara Better Together (SBBT) Fund Small Business Grant Program. In partnership with the city of Santa Maria, the grant program is designed to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Santa Maria and the Santa Barbara Foundation partnership will support grants from the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund of up to $7,500 per grant to qualifying small businesses located within the city of Santa Maria as they reopen and adapt to operating under proper public health guidelines due to COVID-19. Grant awards are available to eligible businesses until funds have been depleted.

Please review the SBBT Small Business Grant Program guidelines for further details.

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“These efforts to support local businesses today will help many to survive these tough times, and help ensure a strong community in the future,” said Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino. “We need to help our neighbors when times are tough, and we all look forward to returning to normal.”

The city is committing $125,000 to the effort.

SBBT Fund was set up at the Santa Barbara Foundation as a committee-advised fund in March with an initial $500,000 donation from Deckers Brands. The fund will help local businesses survive uncertain times, which in turn will help sustain the community.

SBBT Fund is made up of representatives from Deckers and Santa Barbara Foundation, and local experts. Distribution of the funds are voted on by the committee members.

The SBBT Fund provided its first grant in the amount of $125,000 to Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) for financial support to the small business community in Santa Barbara County through WEV’s ReStart Loan Program.

In August, the fund provided grant programs for small businesses in Goleta, Carpinteria, unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. SBBT now wishes to do the same for Santa Maria.

“The long-term effects of COVID-19 pandemic are yet to be known,” said Jessica Sanchez, director of donor services at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “We are collaborating with SBBT and Santa Barbara County cities to ensure small businesses thrive for the long term, so that they in turn, can help sustain the vitality of our community.”

The Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation in the region, strives to mobilize and elevate all residents to thrive. Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the foundation during its 92-year history.

The foundation is working to improve areas that affect quality of life in Santa Barbara County including childcare, workforce development, and workforce housing. To learn more, visit