A Message to Our Downtown Stakeholders During The Covid-19 Pandemic


Dear Property Owners, Businesses, and Non-Profit Organizations in Downtown Salinas:

We’re all worried about the future of Downtown Salinas right now. Instead of advancing the Downtown Vibrancy Plan, many of us are concerned about the threat of economic stagnation, blight, and even possible bankruptcy. We also recognize that desperate homeless people have migrated into Downtown as commercial and government activity has waned. We share this difficult time together.

What leadership role is the Salinas City Center Improvement Association (SCCIA) taking during this crisis? Obviously our power is limited against a pandemic, but we have taken steps available to us.

1. Conditions in the Downtown While Many Businesses Are Closed

SCCIA’s Sidewalk Operation, Beautification and Order (SOBO) Committee, charged with managing security, is revising patrol hours to better monitor activities in the District. With many businesses shuttered or with limited operations, our patrol focus has shifted to continue to provide an increased sense of security during the early morning and afternoon daylight hours.

2. Short-Term Business Support & Long-Term Economic Recovery

Our Government Affairs Director Kevin Dayton has been collaborating with members of the Salinas City Council (especially our Downtown city councilmember Steve McShane), City of Salinas economic development staff, and the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce. He seeks to implement these four strategies to help small businesses (and their employees) survive the crisis and recover quickly after it is over:

1. Work with our local governments and business groups to develop coronavirus resource websites for businesses and their employees.

2. Help our local governments enact a comprehensive legislative package to help businesses and their employees

3. Track, compile, and promote widespread adoption of the best responses of more than 100 major California local governments so our local governments can help businesses now and encourage rapid economic recovery later.

4. Promote and encourage our local governments and business groups to adopt the highly-effective model of the City of Monterey “COVID-19 Business Action & Economic Recovery Team,” which activated two weeks ago.

The City of Salinas has developed and activated a new website: “COVID-19 Resources for Business.” The Salinas City Council last met on March 17 and will meet again on April 14.

3. Financial Assistance

If you need short-term loans to avoid permanent closure, you should consider applying for low-interest loans through these two government agencies:

U.S. Small Business Administration Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). This agency oversees the IBank Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program, which is administered locally through the California Coastal Rural Development Corporation (Cal Coastal), located on Main Street in Downtown Salinas.

4. Upcoming Main Street Streetscape Project

Representatives of SCCIA participated in a virtual “community meeting” for City of Salinas Public Works Department staff to explain the timeline and logistics for the Main Street Streetscape Project and answer questions about it. Nothing new was presented related to SCCIA concerns about parking availability. View the slideshow and Q & A from the March 19th Virtual Community Meeting HERE.


Questions or comments about SCCIA’s response to coronavirus COVID-19? Contact President Frank Saunders at (831) 595-1640 or franksaunders8@gmail.com.