Chambers Thanks Teachers and The Community

On March 1, our community experienced a significant milestone that deserves to be celebrated against the long, dark legacy of COVID-19. The Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery called for all schools to be able to reopen in some capacity by March 1, and they did.

We want to extend a huge thank you and congratulations to the schools’ leadership, teachers, staff, businesses and the entire community for pulling together, taking proper precautions, and helping advance our recovery. We especially want to recognize the families who made incredible sacrifices on behalf of their children to help keep them moving forward with their education over the last 12 chaotic months.

While Carpinteria Unified, and most of the smaller elementary districts and private schools on the South Coast, reopened in October, our largest district, Santa Barbara Unified, was working toward a Jan. 19 return. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s early December Stay at Home Order thwarted those plans, and set off several more months of uncertainty.

Both the Santa Barbara Unified and Goleta Union school districts — led by Superintendents Hilda Maldonado and Donna Lewis, respectively — crafted plans to keep our students and professional teachers and staff safe, while reopening schools to in-person instruction to advance student success and our community’s recovery and economic health.

The Chamber thanks the education community for their hard work, dedication and leadership to get to this point and we are committed to building on this progress and working with our schools to get all of our grades fully open safely.  We also are grateful for the teachers and staff who have worked diligently over the last year to present a positive front and support our students.

Congratulations are due our community for its resilience, energy and solidarity during this difficult public health and economic crisis. We applaud you for taking necessary precautions, supporting local business nonprofit organizations, and our schools.

Thank you again for helping us achieve a critical milestone in our Roadmap to Recovery.

Meet the Chamber’s Board of Directors New Chair

Kirsten McLaughlin has served as Market Vice President for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara since 2016 where she oversees local operations and is the “face of the company” in the community. Additionally, McLaughlin is a member of Cox’s CA Senior Leadership team and leads a variety of cross-functional programs and projects for Cox in California.

McLaughlin currently serves as Chair of the newly merged SB South Coast Chamber of Commerce, sits on Executive Committee and co-chairs the Governance Committee for Partners in Education, serves on the Board of Directors for MOXI, and Co-Chairs the South Coast Business and Technology Awards Steering Committee.  She has previously held board positions with the Santa Barbara Family YMCA, the California Cable, and Telecommunications Association, and the Business Giving Roundtable.  She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara, and a longtime volunteer for the California YMCA Youth and Government Program. McLaughlin was honored with the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 award in 2018 and Top 50 Women in Business in 2017 and 2020 and was awarded the Goleta Chairman’s award in 2020.

Prior to joining the Cox team in 2014 as Public Affairs Manager, McLaughlin held several policy, legislative, and public affairs positions with regional water agencies in Orange and Santa Barbara Counties, and served as a Field Representative for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

“The vision for the Chamber in any year is to advocate for responsible public policy, offer networking and community-building opportunities, provide access to business development resources, and support visitor services across the region. 2021 is no different.  As we tackle the challenges our business community is facing head-on. Our top priority Is the pandemic response and our Roadmap to Recovery. We’re also focused on economic development including filling empty storefronts on State Street and addressing the on-going homelessness crisis in our community.”

McLaughlin is a Santa Barbara native and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communications from UC Berkeley and a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.  These days she is busy with her ten-month-old adorable puppy, Finley. Kirsten is an avid sports fan, enjoys outdoor adventures, and traveling with her husband.  In 2019 they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (elev. 19,340 ft). Kirsten and her husband will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary in April.

Virtual Round Table Discussion on the City of Santa Barbara’s Proposed Natural Gas Ban

Matt Klink
(310) 283-6267


February 23, 2021 


WHO: United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 114

Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce
Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions
Santa Barbara Business Owners
Santa Barbara Residents

WHAT: Santa Barbara business owners, employees, union members, and residents will participate in a virtual round table discussion about the real world impacts and long-term implications of the Santa Barbara City Council’s consideration of a ban on new natural gas hook-ups. The moderated, round table discussion is co-hosted by the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 114.

WHEN: Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

HOW: Email or call Matt Klink at or (310) 283-6267 for virtual round table log-in information.

Meet Our New Board Member Brett Tande

Brett D. Tande
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Cottage Health
Santa Barbara, CA

Brett Tande is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cottage Health. With hospitals in Santa Barbara, Goleta and a critical access hospital in the Santa Ynez Valley, Cottage Health offers a broad scope of clinical services, including those provided by Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories, and Cottage Urgent Care.

Brett and his wife, Alexis, both attended Washington University in St. Louis, and they lived in New York and in Chicago prior to relocating to Santa Barbara in 2016. Brett and Alexis have three children, aged 12, 10, and 6.

Brett also serves on the Board of the University of California Santa Barbara’s Economic Forecast Project, is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Brett earned his Masters in Business Administration at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber Presents the Carpinteria State of the City


February 18, 2021



Kristen Miller, President/CEO

Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce

Phone: 805.967.2500  Ext. 108



The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber Presents the Carpinteria State of the City

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, from Goleta to Carpinteria will host a virtual State of the City-Carpinteria for release on Friday, March 19th at 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM. The State of the City will be filmed live from LinkedIn in Carpinteria.

Guest speakers include the City Mayor Wade Nomura and City Manager Dave Durflinger, Superintendent, Carpinteria Unified School District, Diana Rigby, and Peter Rupert, Professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara and the Director of the Economic Forecast Project.

The new Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber is proud to be the leading business-support organization providing timely, relevant, and trustworthy information from our elected officials and City leadership teams.

Carpinteria will be the first of the 4-part State of the City series. We intend to feature Santa Barbara in April, Goleta in May, and the State of the County in June.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the information to be presented is more crucial than ever to inform our business and community members on critical information about their community and government, and to provide a comprehensive update on the ever-changing business landscape.

Register in advance for the FREE webinar at (insert link) After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent.

Many thanks to our Sponsors: Title Sponsor – COX Communications.

President’s Circle Sponsors include: Agilent Technologies, Atlantic Aviation, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Chevron, Community West Bank, Deckers Brands, LinkedIn, Marriott, Montecito Bank & Trust, Noozhawk, Pacific Premier Bank, Santa Barbara Airport, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Signature Flight Support, Santa Barbara Independent, The Towbes Group, UCLA Health, and Village Properties.

Meet Congressman Salud Carbajal

Congressman Salud Carbajal has proudly represented California’s 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House since he took office in 2017. His district encompasses San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and a portion of Ventura County.

A Marine Corps veteran and graduate of UCSB, Carbajal worked as Santa Barbara County’s First District Supervisor for 12 years prior to serving in Congress. He worked to protect and expand health and social service safety net programs for the most vulnerable Santa Barbarans, co-sponsoring an initiative to provide health insurance for all the county’s children, and spearheading the creation of a mentorship program for at-risk youth.

In Congress, Carbajal brings his experience as a veteran, immigrant, local official, father of two and a grandfather to the work that he does in our nation’s capital. He is an advocate for bold environmental protections, strong services for our nation’s veterans, robust infrastructure and education policies that help uplift all students.

Carbajal also strives to support and grow our local economy. He recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing nearly half of America’s workforce and accounting for 44% of our country’s economic activity in 2019, which is why he has stepped up to support small businesses facing the economic downfall associated with COVID-19. He has repeatedly advocated for federal relief to small businesses, so they can keep their doors open and their employees on payroll, and has cosponsored legislation that provides targeted support some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy, like restaurants and music venues.

Carbajal serves on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees and is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Meet Assemblymember Steve Bennett

I am honored to have been elected to represent the people of the 37th Assembly District, which includes the Southern half of Santa Barbara County, as well as the western third of Ventura County.

I look forward to bringing my experience serving on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. For two decades, I led the efforts that ended the county’s structural budget deficit and grew reserves from 0% of the budget to 13% of the budget, and improved our bond rating to the highest possible. Prior to this, I was an Economics and American History high school teacher and administrator for over twenty years. It is through this experience and my educational background, a graduate from Brown University with an Honors Degree in Economics, that I hope to draw from as I work with our local partners to create or support meaningful policy for our small business community.

Some of my committee assignments include Budget, Education, Elections, Privacy, and Consumer Protections, and Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation.

Addressing climate change and the negative effects of growing income inequality are among my top legislative priorities. It is a critical time to tackle these issues as they are at the root of the challenges the central coast region faces, including those of our local businesses and economy. In the last couple of years, our small businesses have greatly suffered from wildfires, the devastating debris flow and now the pandemic. Strengthening emergency preparedness policies, which stem from the issue of climate change, will be one of my focuses as it is good for our environment and will sustain our economy. It is important that we ensure our businesses have a strong foundation as they encounter natural disasters and know how to identify the support they will need as they seek economic recovery. Additionally, confronting the gaps in our communities by improving access to affordable housing and educational opportunities, especially in the midst of the pandemic, is essential as we tackle the growing trend of income inequality.

We have seen the devastating effects the pandemic has had on our small businesses this past year. My office continues to assist constituents in connecting them with resources or provide the latest updates for businesses struggling due to COVID-19. We can also provide casework assistance in assisting constituents with issues they may encounter with a state agency, the Employment Development Department included. Please feel free to reach out at (805) 564-1649 or write to me at

The Chamber invites you to join the discussion of the homeless crisis in our community

The Chamber has made an effort to stay engaged in the conversations around the homelessness crisis that our communities are facing. At this time, SB Act, who is contracted with the City of Santa Barbara, is hosting a variety of RAP (Regional Action Plan) groups specific to the following neighborhoods: Waterfront, State Street and Eastside. These RAP groups are hosted weekly and open for business community members to attend and share specific incidents taking place around homelessness. By sharing experiences in these meetings, it assists in addressing specific individuals in the community with the hopes to get them off the street. At these meetings, community members have the opportunity to share their experiences and stories in an open format with a variety of industry representatives who are working to tackle the homelessness crisis in our community.

The Chamber plans to be consistently present for all meetings moving forward and continues to remain engaged in the conversation around homelessness, with the hopes of finding some resolution for our community. We would really like to encourage you, as representatives of the business community, to attend these meetings if you are able to. It is important that our local business community show up and share their stories, old or new. We want to find a resolution to the ongoing crisis of homelessness in our community, and it’s going to take a regional effort to do so. The RAP meetings take place weekly. Please reach out to me if you have any interest in attending one of these meetings. If you are unable to attend the weekly meeting but have information to contribute, please feel free to contact Cheyanne Brooks at

Chamber encouraging businesses to sign up for second round of COVID-19 relief grants

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California is allowing small businesses to signup for a second round of small business grant relief. The grants are to help businesses with losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second round of California Small Businesses COVID-19 Relief Grants opened Tuesday, February 2. The application window closes at 6 p.m. PST Monday, February 8. Businesses will be notified if they are approved or denied between February 11 and 18.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit California’s Central and South Coasts hard.

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Chamber Launches Roadmap to Recovery Plan

Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce Launches Roadmap to Recovery Plan
that Supports Safe and Continuous Business Operations
Actionable Plan Includes Industry Recommendation, Timelines, and Metrics

Amid the biggest public health crisis and resulting economic devastation to our local economy the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce (SBSCC) has worked closely with government leaders, public health officials, residents, parents, and the business community to respond to, and understand, COVID-19 guidelines. In the course of almost a year, the request from the business community has been to have a clear and actionable plan that supports continuous and safe business operations. The Roadmap to Recovery is the culmination of months of industry specific focus groups and results in a plan of action for our members and the business community that allows businesses to operate with the utmost safety.

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