MBEP Members Step Up Amid Crisis + a List of Resources to Navigate These Uncertain Times

During times of crisis, leaders lead.

We set examples and inspire others with our actions. Our MBEP members represent leading organizations from across the region and across all sectors. They are stepping up to help local organizations and employees deal with this rapidly evolving crisis. Many of our members are going above and beyond to provide employee support programs to ensure childcare and financial needs are being met.

Local elected officials are bringing emergency ordinances forward to protect renters and small businesses from eviction. Some are also reporting out on the availability of emergency rental assistance and increased funding available to further assist those at risk of homelessness. Check your city’s website for more information.

For our part, MBEP is:

  • Fully operational — our team is working remotely and ready to serve our communities. If you have any issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your primary contact.
  • Live-streamed our Regional Economic Summit.
  • Partnered with the three Community Foundations in the Monterey Bay region to launch a new campaign called #CommunityCARES. The goal is to encourage residents who may not need all of their federal stimulus checks to donate what they can to one of three local COVID-19 Relief Funds to benefit those who need it most. For more details and to donate click here.
  • Working with our education partners and members to engage with our free, online Monterey Bay Career Coach — this is one way to help graduating seniors explore education and career options, and for employers to hire summer interns for projects that can be completed remotely.
  • Moving forward with finalizing our “Housing 201” curriculum — Our housing team is working to update our Housing 101 curriculum to provide important information for the community about affordable housing. It will be optimized now for online delivery.

MBEP COVID-19 Housing Response Position Paper
MBEP’s Housing Advocacy Initiative aims to preserve and increase the quality of life and economic vibrancy of the Monterey Bay region by increasing housing supply, encouraging homeownership, supporting adequate funding, and fostering political will. 

The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be most severe now, but will last for an indeterminate period of time. Local leaders must work to understand these effects and respond with policy solutions that will safeguard the region’s lowest-income renters, homeowners, undocumented workers, seniors, and homeless populations. Though legislation is being generated on national, state, and local levels, additional action is needed to protect these groups and minimize the delay of policy decisions around housing solutions in our region. 

Click here to read the full paper including the policy initiatives the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership recommends for endorsement.

MBEP COVID-19 Broadband Response Position Paper
Though Monterey Bay Economic Partnership has been working with the Central Coast Broadband Consortium for several years to attain broadband infrastructure, we are focused now on some immediate solutions to get communities fully connected with the level of broadband service they need. MBEP’s COVID-19 Response Broadband Position Paper outlines a clear set of recommendations that can be implemented in the Monterey Bay region to bridge the digital divide as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you shelter at home, please keep abreast of the latest information from reliable sources: Check the CDCCA Dept of Public Health’s COVID-19 Guidance, your county and city websites.

And please remember to support your local business community when you can. Whether it’s your local yoga studio that is now offering online sessions or your local bookstore that offers downloadable versions of books, or a local restaurant that is offering new delivery options, they all need us now. Buy those presents online from a local store (even though the party was canceled), and those entertainment items for all that time at home now (games, crafts, etc.).

Where I live in Santa Cruz, after the 1989 earthquake when the downtown was mostly destroyed, and shops operated out of tents, Santa Cruzans rallied together to help. We are a creative, resilient bunch. If you know of other examples or stories of local organizations going above and beyond, please send them to Melanie McNulty, mmcnulty@mbep.biz. Onward!

Here are just a few representative examples of how our MBEP members and local community members are stepping up to help take care of our region:

MBEP Members Step Up


Our member healthcare companies are closely monitoring all developments with COVID-19 and are in contact with local and state health officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to follow the latest guidance from these public health agencies. For details about what each organization is doing, please visit their dedicated sites:

Financial Institutions
Bay Federal Credit Union and other member financial institutions are offering deferred payment options on loans.

Santa Cruz Community Credit Union is offering emergency loans and financial assistance to support its nearly 14,000 members and the community during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Visit their website for more information.

Santa Cruz County Bank is participating in the  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – SBA 7(a) CARES ACT Loan program. For details about this program and the difference between available loans for businesses click here.
Educational Institutions
Our local education institutions have moved all instruction to remote formats for the rest of the semester. By limiting access to campus and providing support for remote instruction, they are fostering (and enforcing) social distancing and keeping their staff and students safe. For more details about efforts of a specific institution, click on the links below:

  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • UC Santa Cruz From developing diagnostic tests to conducting surveys of infection prevalence, campus researchers are doing what they can in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more details.
  • CSU Monterey Bay CSU Monterey Bay’s Institute for Innovation and Economic Development is moving their Startup Challenge Workshops and Pitches online — more info here
  • Hartnell College is directly contributing to COVID-19 treatment and other patient care through a loan of 13 ventilators from its respiratory care program; the donation of such critical supplies as masks, gowns, and gloves; and the participation of 88 Hartnell registered nursing students at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.Since the week before last, the college has loaned ventilators to SVMH, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Natividad Medical Center, said Debra Kaczmar, dean of academic affairs, nursing and allied health at Hartnell. All the ventilators are in good working order, and one was brand new, still in the box. Click here for more details.
  • Cabrillo College
  • Gavilan College
  • Monterey Peninsula College Monterey Peninsula College is putting its 3D printers to work to create a prototype face mask they hope will be able to help hospitals around the country battling COVID-19. Learn more here.
Community Foundations

Santa Cruz County Community Foundation,Community Foundation of Monterey County, and the Community Foundation for San Benito have set up emergency funds to help the most vulnerable in our region.

Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank is increasing their food distribution and support for those who are food insecure, and partnering with school districts to provide meals for students.
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium is paying staff for up to six weeks during their closure, whether or not they are able to work. And their animals are being well cared for by essential staff. Check out their Live WebCams and social media with live streams of the feedings.

Chamber & Business Council
The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce has created a business resource center and the Santa Cruz County Business Council is actively supporting its members and is involved in the creation of a new program, Cruz One, formed by a group of volunteers to help local K-12 schools transition to remote-based learning and the local community to work remotely.
Cities & Counties
Santa Cruz County is working as quickly as they can to ensure public health and reduce the very real impacts that are being experienced by the most economically and medically vulnerable in our community.  In addition to a variety of actions — ensuring school lunches continue, meals and outreach to isolated seniors, protection for frontline healthcare workers — they are already working on a number of measures to protect individuals and businesses alike:
  • The county has enacted an eviction moratorium for tenants unable to pay rent due to COVID-19. Read more here.
  • They are getting a report on the availability of emergency rental assistance and will be increasing funding to further assist those at risk of homelessness.
  • They are expanding shelter options for homeless individuals.  Encampments are extremely dangerous in terms of disease transmission both for the individuals living there as well as the community.

There will be many more actions to take, but these are a few of their immediate steps.

The City of Seaside has developed a comprehensive list of resources available to businesses impacted by COVID-19 as well as a list of businesses that are still open during the crisis.

The City of Marina also has a list of economic resources available.

San Benito County has created a COVID-19 Impact Dashboard for a quick glance at county stats.

Santa Cruz Works

Santa Cruz Works is always a wealth of information. Check out their news page for many articles and resources related to COVID-19, going virtual, special offers, and much more.

United Way

United Way Monterey County has compiled a guide of local resources available to our community to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and the countywide “Shelter in Place” mandate. They are updating this guide frequently, but know that there may be lapses in the information. Please call ahead to all resources before going anywhere in person. For general updates, text ‘Covid19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ to 211-211 for information in English and Spanish. You can also text ‘MCCOVID19’ to 888-777 to get updates from the Monterey County Health Department.

Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA)

Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) provides remote meeting protocols and best practices. See the list here.

Monterey Bay Community Power
In response to the economic hardships associated with COVID-19, MBCP leadership determined immediate and decisive action benefiting all customers was needed. After careful analysis of the possible actions, MBCP Boards voted unanimously on April 13, 2020, in favor of financial relief for every customer that above all, will be swift and equitable.
50% of May and June MBCP Electric Generation Charges will be deferred for all customers – no action is needed for MBCP customers to benefit from this immediate financial relief. 
Despite these challenging times, MBCP remains committed to energizing economic and environmental progress for the Central Coast.
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Click here for more details. 

Community in Action

CARES Act Provides New Funding for Business

The CARES Act established several new funding opportunities for small businesses through the SBA:

Paycheck Protection Program

  • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advance:

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • The Loan Advance will provide up to $10,000 in economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
  • If you have already applied for a Disaster Loan you can go back into your application to request an Advance Loan as well.

SBA Debt Relief 

  • Under this program the SBA will pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

  • Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan.
Ride out the Wave

A group of local tech volunteers worked together to develop a community website to support our Santa Cruz businesses during this crisis and we are excited to share the launch of this platform: rideoutthewave.org

Santa Cruz Works will be hosting a free Facebook Live concert at 7 pm PT on Friday, April 3 featuring Santa Cruz local musician Taylor Rae. Remember that musicians are out of work during shelter-in-place. Watch it on Santa Cruz Works Facebook Live.

You are invited to go one step further and make it a dinner concert by purchasing in advance food delivery from your favorite local restaurant, or simply buy a gift certificate to use in the near future.
Visit: https://www.rideoutthewave.org/

This event and community platform is brought to you by local tech community volunteers through Santa Cruz Works with promotional support from Event Santa CruzCity of Santa Cruz Economic Development OfficeSanta Cruz County Chamber of CommerceDowntown Santa CruzSCCBC – Santa Cruz County Business CouncilSanta Cruz Tech Beat, and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Project PPE 4 Central Coast

Started by Idea Fab Labs Santa Cruz, and Catherine S. Forest, MD, MPH, FAAFP, with the encouragement of Encompass Community Services, followed by the partnership with the Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Medical Societies, PPE4CC began to address the emerging shortages of PPE. The non-profit working world of organizations like Encompass Community Services workers, followed by the avalanche of requests for help from other front line workers (residential care, janitors, bus drivers, grocery checkers, medical assistants, ambulance services, etc.), and including the news about essential shortages from other states, is what led us to try to get ahead of the curve. Click here to learn more.


Losing your job amidst a pandemic is traumatic. OnwardCA is a resource that has been rapidly deployed by a broad coalition of companies, foundations, and humans who want to help. Help you get money or groceries or child care; help you upskill, reskill, or refresh; and help you land a great new job.

Internet Access Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities across the country, and our Central Coast region is no exception. This Internet Resource Guide is intended to assist our residents who may not have access to the necessary resources during this time of crisis, including broadband and technology tools required for remote learning and working.

Regional News Operations

This is an excellent time to take note of our region’s news operations, recognizing their importance by contributing to their strength and capacity to continue serving. For example, BenitoLink, a nonprofit news website serving San Benito County is sharing stories about their community’s families and what they are doing to keep their kids engaged during the shelter in place order in their article Families Share Experiences During Shelter in Place Order. Other such operations include Voices of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Local

Personal Protective Equipment for Central Coast

Personal Protective Equipment for Central Coast (PPE4CC) is a movement by people in healthcare and in our communities on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Started by Idea Fab Labs Santa Cruz and Catherine S. Forest, MD,MPH, and David Culler, PhD. with the encouragement of Encompass Community Services and Santa Cruz & Monterey County Medical Societies, they began to address the emerging shortage of PPE in the non-profit working world of Encompass Community Services workers when the avalanche of requests for help from other workers (residential care, janitors, bus drivers, grocery checkers, medical assistants) and the news from essential shortages from other states led us to try to get ahead of the curve.



Template for notifying your landlord

FAQ: Eviction – Monterey County Superior Court


Know Your Rights – California Housing

ECHO Fair Housing Legal Support for Tenants:
Call for legal questions: 855-275-3246

California Rural Legal Assistance – Salinas: call (805) 922-4564


Our region has the highest percentage of undocumented essential workers in the state. Please share these resources to help reach workers who may be eligible for assistance. 


PROJECT INFORMATION: English Document, Spanish Document

For additional information, visit the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County.

Additional Resources:

National UndocuFund

Monterey Bay UndocuFund

Fund for Immigrant Families

Small Business FAQs

Federal Disaster Assistance Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing disaster assistance loans to companies affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. The agency’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program will provide low-interest working capital loans of up to $2 million.

California Work Sharing Program

Offered to companies as an alternative to layoffs. They allow employees to receive unemployment benefits while still keeping their current jobs. A number of requirements must be met in order for companies to be eligible for the program, including hours and wages being reduced by between 10 and 60 percent.

FDC Direct Loans

California’s Small Business Finance Center has partnered with local financial development corporations to provide direct loans struggling with cash flow during the pandemic. Businesses and some nonprofits with 750 or fewer employees are eligible for the loans.

Facebook Small Business Grants

The social media giant has launched a $100 million grant program to help small businesses in the form of cash grants or ad credits. Applications for the support are expected to be opened up in the coming weeks.


National UndocuFund

Monterey Bay UndocuFund

Fund for Immigrant Families

Pro Bono Services

San Jose-based regional economic think-tank Joint Venture said that this week that it’s pivoting its mission to help the local community respond to the coronavirus crisis. Among the services its offering is help from Silicon Valley Talent Partnership’s pro bono teams who can provide communications, strategic planning, data analysis, and cybersecurity consulting to organizations forming their COVID-19 response.

State Disability Insurance

Offered to those unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19. The benefit depends on income ranging from $50 to $1,300 a week for up to six weeks.

State Unemployment Insurance

Offered to those who have lost their job or had hours reduced due to coronavirus. The benefit ranges from $40 to $450 a week for up to 26 weeks. The governor has waived the one-week unpaid waiting period, so workers can collect benefits the first week they are out of work.

Paid Family Leave

This is offered to those unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member. The benefit ranges from $50 to $1,300 a week for up to six weeks.


United Way Monterey County COVID19 resources

California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Find tips, latest numbers, and services/information specific to California at the site above.

Tracking the Virus

A teenager’s website tracking coronavirus has become one of the most vital resources for people seeking accurate and updated numbers on the pandemic. Click here or on the images below or to the right to see live, up to the minute stats from around the world. Democracy Now spoke with 17-year-old Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle, who started the site in late December, when coronavirus had not yet been detected outside of China. Now the site has been visited by tens of millions, from every country on Earth. It tracks deaths, numbers of cases locally and globally, and provides an interactive map, information on the disease, and a Twitter feed. The resource updates every minute or so, and pulls information from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and elsewhere. Visit DemocracyNow.org to view the full interview and see the transcripts.