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Recognizing Challenges of COVID-19

Author: Josephine Fleming, Executive Director, California Green Business Network

Dear Green Business Community,

As both the owner of a small business in Santa Cruz, and the Executive Director of the California Green Business Network, I have a deep appreciation for the dilemmas and decisions business owners face today while reeling from the daily news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many businesses in our state are seeing revenues dwindle as they comply with shelter-in-place orders, and many more are experiencing an extreme slowdown as certain sectors are forced to close, community members avoid public spaces, and events across the state are cancelled.This is an incredibly difficult time to be the owner of a small business in any sector.

Businesses across California are innovating to offer services in ways that keep everyone healthy and connected, even in a time of social distancing. This includes everything from dine-in restaurants offering home deliveries to therapists offering virtual counseling to teachers pivoting to provide virtual classrooms for all their students.

I wrote a piece for the broader small business community, which includes resources that may be useful (e.g., SBA loans, EDD support, and unemployment insurance) for your business as well. Read that article here.
We are also working on tools to help you receive the support you need over the phone or internet, so we can keep delivering on our mission to support your triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

We will get through this by working together,
Jo Fleming

Cleaning in the Age of COVID-19

Author: Shawn Orgel-Olson, Director of Marketing and Performance Standards, California Green Business Network

Novel Coronavirus
We are entering a public health crisis and it is time to do our part to minimize the risk to the most vulnerable in society. Cleaning and disinfecting are part of the toolkit that is required to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Clean, THEN Disinfect
First, start by cleaning high touch surfaces with soap and water. See the full guidance from the CDC here. Then, disinfect those same surfaces, make sure to follow the guidelines on the bottle. Many of the products we regularly recommend to businesses are on the “EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus…” list, and want to share those with you as well.

Good surface cleaning and sanitizers won’t be enough to slow the pandemic. 
Make sure to follow the CDC’s full set of recommendations to prevent COVID-19 illness!

Read more about specific healthier, yet effective, sanitizers.

Time for Solar?

Have you thought about getting solar panels for your home or business?

Is going solar really worth it? You may have heard that "times have changed" when it comes to the cost of solar. Well, it's true! We now regularly see businesses achieve a 4-7 year payback on their solar systems. As the solar tax credit continues to ramp down, it may be the best time to request a few updated quotes!

Key points to consider:

  • Factors like electricity rates, solar panel system cost, and financing method all play into how worth it solar will be for you.
  • Most business owners now break even on their investment in 7 to 8 years, some sectors can see payback times of just 4 years.
  • Compare prices. We recommend getting at least three quotes! Shop around and make sure to search for solar installers that are certified Green Businesses by searching the Green Business directory!

As a rule of thumb, efficiency first. 
Efficiency first is an important strategy because upgrading lights and HVAC upfront will reduce your solar system size and cost. A great way to start is to schedule a free energy audit from your utility provider An energy audit is a comprehensive, professional assessment of your energy use that offers a clear roadmap to energy efficiency. We have a few ideas of places to start here.

What are you waiting for? Go get your quotes!

We recommend getting quotes from one of our trusted Green Businesses, check the directory here. If there are no Green Business solar companies in your area, check out Energy Sage to easily get multiple quotes at once, COVID-19 Note: This can be done remotely.

Welcome Innovators!

Zooga Yoga in Culver City

Culver City's Green Business Program
Congratulations to Zooga Yoga, a newly certified Innovator-level business from Culver City's Green Business Program. Zooga Yoga benefits the community by donating to schools and organizing Baby2Baby and school food drives. They also organize free community events at their yoga center. They have adopted a Sustainability Policy including vegetarian offerings at all company events which helps lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

San Francisco Green Business Program
The San Francisco Green Business Program recently certified Cosmo Lab as an Innovator-level Green Businesses! Cosmo Lab donates a portion of its proceeds to local charities and worked hard to achieve 90% waste diversion. They recently rented their space at no cost to the 8th annual Fashion and BeautyTech event that helps build clean beauty brands with an amazing panel discussing the importance of sustainable brands and packaging. This event benefited local sustainable fashion and beauty industries, where investors and small local entrepreneurs can connect. 

The Innovator Tier allows businesses to go beyond certification to gain additional recognition and benefits. Contact your local program director to find out more about this level of certification!
Copyright © 2020 California Green Business Network, All rights reserved.

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