Glut of Local Applications for the Federal Payroll Protection Plan

••• As of Sunday afternoon, “there are now 264 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Santa Barbara County,” up four from the day before. “There have also been 2 coronavirus related deaths in the county. 112 of the confirmed cases are recovering at home, 39 people are hospitalized, and 17 of those are in the ICU. 105 of those who have tested positive are considered to be fully recovered and 6 results are pending.” The breakdowns by age and region are here. —KEYT

••• “Seventh Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s employee tests positive for coronavirus.” —KEYT

••• “The federal rollout of the $350 billion federal Payroll Protection Plan has been a rollercoaster ride for bankers and employers alike. In Santa Barbara, demand for PPP loans by local employers trying to make payroll is ‘insane,’ according to one individual who answered the phone at Union Bank’s downtown Santa Barbara offices. At Montecito Bank & Trust, more than a thousand applications popped through the portal in the first four hours.” —Independent

••• An Edhat reader shares her frustration with the PPP situation: “My niece owns a small business in Santa Barbara County. She went to her small, local bank and was turned away because they received ‘too many applications.’ On the same day the application period opened, this bank closed down its application period. It’s unclear when they closed it but my niece tried to apply before noon, so somewhere within 4 hours. This bank, the one that has numerous commercials touting how involved they are in helping small local businesses, is now turning their own customers away without any help. The only offer was to check with other banks. My niece called every bank in town and they are only accepting loans from their own customers that opened business accounts before February 15.”

••• From the Independent: “Joshua Kuntzman, who lives in downtown Santa Barbara and works as an assessment coordinator with UCSB, posted a YouTube video about his infection and recovery from Covid-19. In it, he describes his symptoms and gives advice for others who contract the virus.” Bear in mind that you’d be taking advice from a man who said, “I went on a date on March 10. She told me she was sick, but we decided to kiss anyway.”

••• “The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors plans to hold a budget workshop Monday, even as the financial effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic are still uncertain. […] Before the pandemic, the county’s five-year forecast predicted a slight surplus next year and then a mild recession, but revenues look ‘increasing at risk of declines,’ the County Executive Office said.” —Noozhawk

••• Noozhawk checks in with the Santa Barbara Zoo. “While it is closed to visitors, employees are providing delightful content on social media platforms. Viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo, as well as virtual connections with a variety of animals. […] online videos have captured scenes of animals interacting with other zoo animals. A photograph shows a 16-year-old porcupine named Bam Bam meeting a Western lowland gorilla behind the exhibit glass that separates him from visitors.”