A group of Goleta Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are busy in their new role as Goleta Business Ambassadors. Typically, the volunteer organization trains to prepare and respond to emergencies, but due to the on-going pandemic, CERT pivoted to help out in a different way. Since August, the trained team members have been visiting local businesses to provide support, answer questions, and ensure that Goleta businesses understand the laws and guidelines surrounding re-opening and conducting business safely during the COVID-19 crisis. So far, they have visited more than one hundred businesses.
City of Goleta Emergency Services Coordinator Michael Baris said the Goleta Business Ambassadors are pleased to help in this way and support the County’s RISE Ambassador effort. He said, “Recovery from a disaster is difficult and causes so much stress. And then add in the ever-changing laws of how to operate your business – it becomes overwhelming. The City knows these troubles are occurring, which is why we want the CERT Ambassadors out in the community to point you in the right direction.”
CERT Team Member/Goleta Business Ambassador Cecilia Herrera said, “I feel helpful participating as a business ambassador volunteer because these new regulations can be stressful but us going to offer our help to the owners or managers makes it easier to comply and less confusing.”
The group has also been passing out #reCOVERgoleta signage for businesses to post in their front windows indicating the City’s face covering requirement when outside of the home.
Before businesses can reopen in Santa Barbara County, they are required to review state and local guidance, complete a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, and self-certify that they can open safely; all of which can be found at https://recoverysbc.org/reopen-your-business/.
Pictured: Goleta Business Ambassadors (CERT Team Members) Peter Omoregie, Cecilia Herrera and Viridiana Victoria meet in front of the Goleta Valley Community Center before heading out to meet with businesses.