The City of Santa Barbara has developed online instructional guides and videos to help business owners start and grow their businesses in Santa Barbara.

A quarterly newsletter also has been launched to help inform businesses about new regulations, programs and events. The new information aims to help business owners find the resources they need and answer frequently asked questions so they can make informed decisions and spend wisely for their business.

The online instructional guides and videos cover common questions such as understanding when city approvals are needed, how to plan tenant improvements and navigate the planning and permitting process, how to get a business license, best practices to conserve water, and permits for events and special needs. Since leasing or purchasing a new space is a critical decision for entrepreneurs, tips are provided for business owners to review before signing a lease and committing to unanticipated costs.

The city is working with business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Small Business Development Center to share the new city resources with entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses.

The project was suggested by entrepreneurs at one of the mayor’s quarterly outreach meetings to help the city improve its service to local businesses.

For more information, visit the city’s website at

— Nina Johnson is an assistant to the administrator for the City of Santa Barbara.