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Sonoma County Gazette

Economics - Money

Managing money is  part of our lives and if we do it well, we can thrive. From NEWS of economic issues to advice on money, this category keeps you informed.

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2020-05-20May 20, 2020

After the devastating wildfires of 2017 and 2018 some homeowners turned to contractors offering great deals, but they had no experience building homes. Homeowners would come to find out that their contractor didn’t have the experience needed to do the job right, or even finish their work. That’s why Senator McGuire introduced legislation   SB 1189 which addresses this issue by eliminating the one-size-fits-all contracting license. SB 1189 will also allow District Attorneys to prosecute unlicensed contracting companies who take advantage of wildfire survivors.

2020-03-27Mar 27, 2020

At CVNL + Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, our number one priority is the health and safety of all the members of our community. As a leader in disaster preparedness and response we take emergency situations seriously. As such, we have made the difficult yet necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Sonoma County Human Race, which was scheduled for Sunday, May 2, in Santa Rosa. We will, however, keep the Human Race website open through June 2, 2020, as there are still companies, teams, and individuals fundraising. 

2020-03-24Mar 24, 2020

We were slowly moving towards historic low interest rates literally all year. Rates started moving down slowly and methodically as these things usually do and arrived at the low point at the beginning of March. We had these historic low rates for an entire week (3/2 – 3/6).  The following week (3/9 – 3/13), we lost ALL of the gains from the prior two months in dramatic fashion.  I need to tell you a secret, something not a lot of people know. People always talk about investing in Stocks & Bonds like they are the same, but they are not. They operate in much the same way and they are traded in the same places, but they are almost always opposites. Y

2020-03-22Mar 22, 2020

UndocuFund is Re-activated to Help our Undocumented Community Members Through COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis. An estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants live in Sonoma County. Unlike other victims, undocumented immigrants, even though they pay taxes, do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Even when they do qualify for services, many undocumented immigrants are unlikely to pursue those benefits due to fear of immigration enforcement, lack of familiarity with official institutions, and limited English proficiency. At every turn, our undocumented neighbors face barriers and challenges to recovering from disasters.

2020-03-05Mar 5, 2020

The 2020 Census, which kicks off April 1, determines where billions in federal dollars are spent for over 70 federal programs that pay for things like roads and schools. At the same time, the census decides the number of seats states get in the House of Representatives and the allotment of electoral votes toward picking the president.

2020-03-02Mar 2, 2020

I talk to at least one person a week who tells me that they just don’t have the 20% down payment saved to get into a home right now. My answer is always the same…. GREAT! How much do you have? Basically, what I am saying is that you should work with a mortgage advisor to see what you can qualify for and what is available to you. Do not decide that you can’t make this happen before you find out. There is a USDA loan which is designed to help folks in rural areas get into homes in rural America and this program requires NO MONEY DOWN as well. You have to buy in a rural area. Around here, that means anywhere in west county, many parts of east county, Windsor and all parts north. 


2020-02-28Feb 28, 2020

The following Permit Sonoma agenda items are scheduled for discussion at upcoming Board of Supervisors, Board of Zoning Adjustments, Planning Agency, or Planning Commission meetings. These items have been identified as being of significant interest to the public.


2020-02-23Feb 23, 2020

As a freelance worker I decided to do some research on AB 5. Now I really know what it means to have opened pandoras box: doing something that causes a lot of problems to appear that were not known about before. There is a lot of information out there but I found a few straightforward ones without too much legal speak and without an invite to a consultation from a law firm at the end. To get you familiar with the bones of the matter I compiled some excerpts from several sites addressing AB5. As for the adverse effects of AB5; in one statement from @SenatorBorgeas on Twitter: "AB5 will limit an individual’s ability for flexible employment and destroys entire industries across California..."

2020-02-21Feb 21, 2020

The State of California is concerned that the ever-expanding growth of what is now called ‘the gig-economy’ new opportunities for misclassification have emerged. It seems that this is the underlying reason and push for the implementation of AB 5. A person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that ALL of the are satisfied in the ‘ABC Test’ or ‘Three-part test.

2020-02-10Feb 10, 2020

The easiest way to buy a fixer-upper is you have a decent amount of money and you buy a house that needs cosmetic fixing up. That way, you can buy the house with a regular loan and use your own money to remodel. Mortgage lenders will not lend on homes that are not in at least average condition so if the house is in the below-average condition you may need a renovation loan.


2020-02-06Feb 6, 2020

Each Winter, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board partners with Sonoma County Tourism to host Sonoma County Restaurant Week — the Wine Country’s tastiest time of the year featuring a wide variety of restaurants and culinary options at great prices. Dine out at participating restaurants and receive prix-fixe dining options.

2020-05-15May 15, 2020

Sonoma County encourages anyone who suspects exposure to someone with COVID-19 to get a test (in addition to all those with symptoms). If you are working or planning to return to work soon, please come get tested. If you are worried about getting someone in your house sick, come get tested. If you have symptoms that concern you, like cough or fever, come get tested. Even if you don’t have symptoms, it is still possible to spread coronavirus to others. Community-wide testing is a critical step toward re-opening the County and allows us to identify and increase our understanding of COVID-19 community spread. This includes collecting a broad sample of results from people with or without symptoms. We know that upwards of 40% of people who test positive experience no symptoms (asymptomatic), but can still spread the disease.  You do not need health insurance or id. 

2020-01-31Jan 31, 2020

PG&E submitted testimony in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Plan of Reorganization proceeding and filed its updated Plan with the Bankruptcy Court. New Filings Provide Update on Key Elements of Plan to Exit Bankruptcy as a Reimagined Utility Company’s Bankruptcy Plan Is on Track to be Confirmed by June 30 So PG&E Can Pay Victims and Participate in the State’s Go-Forward Wildfire Fund.  

2020-01-24Jan 24, 2020

The Sonoma County Tenants Union was created to directly address the housing disaster in our County. This a response to the “housing crisis.” The Union believes the collective organizing power of a Tenants Union is the best solution towards challenging the power of influence that the real estate industry has on local government. Working to shift housing policy in favor of strong renter protections. The most impacted and vulnerable community members are focussed on and organizing to fight for housing justice in Sonoma County is the goal.  The first Sonoma County Tenants Union’s General Meeting and Renters Assembly is happening tomorrow,January 25th at La Plaza-Lincoln Elementary School: 850 W. 9th St. Santa Rosa, Ca. 95401 from 10am-2pm

2020-01-17Jan 17, 2020

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) is proud to announce its celebration of 70 years of service to members. Originally formed by seven County of Sonoma employees as an affordable means to make bridge loans to fellow employees between paychecks, the credit union has grown to offer full service personal and business banking, as well as financial services beyond banking such as financial planning, insurance, and even an auto sales center.

2020-01-15Jan 15, 2020

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma says when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, California is "moving the financial needle" in the right direction. "As the State’s Banker, I’m happy that we will invest in companies that spur newer, greener tech solutions to combat fires, floods and blackouts in California. The $1 billion low-interest revolving loan fund sends a message to the world that California is stepping up even more to help Mother Nature." Both Ca treasury programs, CAEATFA assists the state in meeting its greenhouse gas goals and works with the private market. CPCFA facilitates low cost financing to qualified waste and recycling projects to control pollution and improve water supply.


2020-01-14Jan 14, 2020

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is alerting customers, especially in the North Bay and North Coast, to be aware of ongoing scam phone calls with criminals threatening to shut off power if a payment is not made. There have been double the number of scam attempts, compared to this time last year. PG&E will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.



2020-01-08Jan 8, 2020

As part of its commitment to helping communities impacted by the 2019 Kincade wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) outlined today a series of billing and service modifications as well as disaster relief available to support recovering customers. The actions PG&E has taken to support customers who lost their home or business because of the 2019 Kincade wildfire include such things asBill Forgiveness, Flexible Payment Plans, No Reconnection Fees, Expediting Service Requests and more.

2020-01-07Jan 7, 2020

The County of Sonoma’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in full swing, and today we had staff liaisons present from the City of Santa Rosa as well. This is enabling us to mobilize the massive effort needed to offer services and solutions to the 200+ camp residents and to move forward with clearing the camp and reopening the Joe Rodota Trail.

2019-12-29Dec 29, 2019

What are your plans for your business for the next decade as well as the next year? Where do you see your business when 2030 hits? Do you have plans to expand the business to reach different areas or you may expand your services to reach different customers. Perhaps you are thinking it is time to sell your business. Whatever you are going to do, you will need a plan for it. 

2019-12-12Dec 12, 2019

On Tuesday December 10th the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce Leadership class had their annual “Nonprofit Day”. David Adams owner of Quality Printing Services and graduate of Leadership class 2019 this year’s nonprofit day chair brought together a wide mix of the nonprofits in Petaluma from a variety of categories to share the rich diversity of services and organizations that Petaluma is blessed with.

2019-12-10Dec 10, 2019

Please look at the MAP to find your way across the county to the small businesses who are on the same mission we are…keeping our local economy strong. They read the Gazette, so they know exactly why we publish this guide to holiday shopping. We don’t just tell you to go buy stuff - we provide inspiration on gifting in ways that support our home and families

2020-05-15May 15, 2020

The County of Sonoma released its 2020-21 recommended budget totaling $1.9 billion, which represents as flat 0.1% change increase from the current FY 2019-20 revised budget.

2020-04-27Apr 27, 2020

News Alert: The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications starting Monday, April 27  from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower.  This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation. The PPP has supported more than 1.66 million small businesses and protected over 30 million jobs for hardworking Americans.  With the additional funds appropriated by Congress, tens of millions of additional workers will benefit from this critical relief. Read more 

2020-04-23Apr 23, 2020

Real Estate is now listed as essential, but it is a little trickier to sell or buy a home right now. There will be no Open Houses, Realtor meetings are virtual, and we are discussing what we can do and how we should be doing things to maintain the safety or our clients and the general public. We continue to help people refinance with historically low rates and my company rolled out Hybrid eClosings in early April. This will streamline the closing process and shorten the face-to-face meeting with a notary from 60 minutes to 15 minutes. Signing documents electronically is easy and we have been doing that for a decade. 

2020-04-19Apr 19, 2020

Corvid 19 era compilation of family supports such as cash assistance, health or dental coverage, nutritional supports, or low-cost internet services, food banks or school meal programs, assistance paying for utilities, temporary shelter or housing supports,  low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and many more.

2020-04-10Apr 10, 2020

While the Human Services Department 's (HSD)doors are temporarily closed and some of our services are reduced,  we are still here to help you and your family. The COVID-19 crisis presents new and unprecedented challenges, and we know a lot of community members have questions about how COVID-19 may impact public benefits such as CalFresh, General Assistance, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Medi-Cal, and SonomaWORKS. 

2020-04-05Apr 5, 2020

SoCo United In Crisis Members: 

North Bay Jobs with Justice , North Bay Organizing Project , North Bay Labor Council,National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW),  Graton Day Labor Center, Alianza Laboral de Mujeres Activas y Solidarias (ALMAS) ,Sonoma County Tenants Union ,Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1021, Comité VIDA and the Sunrise Movement have formed a coalitions and are meeting with elected officials to ask for paid sick leave, job protections for laid off workers, protective gear for essential and healthcare workers, and covered medical costs for farm workers exposed to illness. 

2020-03-27Mar 27, 2020

The federal relief package recently approved to address the pandemic does provide 10 paid sick days. But, the federal legislation includes gigantic loopholes. Companies with more than 500 workers (McDonald’s, Marriott, Exon, Chase Manhattan, and Wal-Mart) are exempted — and firms with less than 50 employees can apply for a hardship exemption. Only 20 percent of the entire workforce is covered by the new federal paid sick leave policy. Governor Newsom and the legislature should now enact legislation comparable to New York, providing emergency 14 paid sick days (for Californians affected by the coronavirus — but our state and local elected officials should go much further and make paid sick leave permanent. 

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