GBA Letter to County Supervisor Joan Hartmann Regarding Health Inspections Deterring a New Restaurant in Guadalupe

The Guadalupe Business Association is the community’s voice for small businesses.

(December 23, 2020) Our recent letter and e-mail exchange with Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann regarding our concerns about Environmental Health inspections for a local restaurant is just one example of how a strong, unified voice from our small businesses can bring attention to the real concerns of our entrepreneurs. Read the full text of our letter here and our e-mail exchange here.

When a GBA member brought his concerns to the GBA, we listened and acted. An experienced Central Coast restaurant owner wanted to start a new business in Guadalupe. The building required some updates, and he thought he knew exactly what was required. He invested the money, and scheduled the inspection. The building didn’t pass. Discouraged by the lack of a single document that would have described exactly what he needed to change to meet building code, he pulled out of the location. Guadalupe lost a new business, the building lost a paying tenant, and the city lost a new tax source.

We know Guadalupe is a great place to live and start a business because we are the Guadalupe Business Association. We want businesses everywhere in Santa Barbara County to have an equal opportunity to succeed — and that starts with clear and accessible rules, helpful guides, and an attitude among our government employees that starts with “let me help you get to YES”. Starting a new business is already a risk. Our local governments shouldn’t add risk by hiding regulations under layers of bureaucracy and depending on your ability to use Google to find the right document. “How to Start a Business in Santa Barbara County” should be the first thing you see on the county’s website.

We aren’t just complaining. We want to build relationships with our local governments and provide solutions. We did the hard work of finding where plumbing requirements for restaurants were hidden in the Santa Barbara County website and searched the web for other governments that had better examples to follow. We are encouraged by the response from Supervisor Hartmann, and we look forward to working with Environmental Health Services and the rest of the Santa Barbara County team to build a guide that can assist all businesses get started right.

If you are a Guadalupe business owner, a friend of the Guadalupe business community, or a fellow business owner anywhere in our area that cares about improving the environment for small business, please consider joining us by contacting any of our Board of Directors:


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