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The Official CPA of the
Ceres Chamber of Commerce.




California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Extended to January 13, 2021

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced that the deadline for the first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be extended until January 13, 2021.

The program, which officially opened December 30, experienced high traffic – receiving thousands of completed applications. However, due to the high traffic, some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application. Adjustments to the program’s website have been made and the application period has been extended to ensure that all interested applicants have the opportunity to apply. The Round 1 application deadline has been extended from January 8 to January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.


COVID-19 Pandemic continues to alter the landscape of the Ceres business community
Penny Style, a woman's clothing boutique, was one of several downtown Ceres businesses that could not survive the effects of COVID-19. The Ceres community saw neighboring downtown businesses like Pastas Pronto Italian Restaurant also close its doors while Embroidery Plus, relocated just outside the city limits.

A Message from Our Chamber President --

We have all been impacted by COVID in one way or another. We've seen several businesses suffer by closing their doors. Many individuals have lost their jobs. Sadly, others have suffered the incredible loss of family or friends. If we are united for any reason, it has to be that we are all happy to see the end of 2020 and are hopeful for a brighter, healthier and happier 2021.

As we positively await the news of eliminating the stay-at-home orders for Stanislaus County, some new businesses await to open their doors. Tap In, Wine Down, a taproom and wine bar located at the corner of Lawrence and 4th Streets opened temporarily when California relaxed its pandemic guidelines. However rising COVID case numbers have caused state officials to impose the tighter guidelines, impacting taprooms, indoor dining at our local restaurants, hair & nail salons, gyms and other businesses.

Owners of The Doghouse, a taproom opening at the corner of Central and El Camino, have been hard at work transforming a former professional office space into a taproom with indoor and outdoor seating. It will be just blocks from the ACE Train Platform coming to Ceres by 2023. They are hoping to open soon as they have spent a great amount of time and money into their new business.

It's been amazing to see how some businesses adapted to the pandemic. La Cascada, located at 2704 Mitchell Road, installed a drive-thru window and almost immediately began accommodating outdoor dining. Classic Wine Vinegar found a way to help out during the pandemic when they re-tooled their equipment and began bottling hand sanitizers at a time when hand sanitizers were impossible to find.

Many businesses realized without technology or an online presence they would not stay in business. Shopping online, ordering take-out and meeting remotely have become the new norm. 

We at the Ceres Chamber are relying more on social media platforms and email systems like Constant Contact to communicate with our membership faster and more efficiently, and using tools like Zoom to carry on with business. It's a learning curve for us all.

As we celebrate the dawn of a new season, we at the Chamber want to wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. We remain committed to our business community and our citizens.

Best Wishes for a Bright 2021!

Herman Bhatti, President
Ceres Chamber of Commerce

Ceres Chamber Accepting Nominations for Community Service & Business Awards; Annual Event Canceled

  Since 1969, the Ceres Chamber of Commerce has recognized outstanding members of our community who have
  made extraordinary contributions to Ceres, during it's annual Community Awards & Installation Dinner. This year
  marks 52 years that the Chamber will celebrate individuals, businesses and/or groups who volunteer their time or
  contribute to the Ceres community in other ways. It will however, be the first time the annual event will not be held live.
  The event is usually held each year on the last Friday of January at the Ceres Community Center.

  "We've waited as long as we could to see if the state would revoke the stay-at-home orders, but that just hasn't
  happened and we can't foresee how long the orders will remain in effect," according to Renee Ledbetter, Executive
  Director for the Ceres Chamber. "As a result the Chamber's Board of Directors voted to accept public nominations until
  January 31, 2021. Once nominations close, the nominees will be voted on by Chamber members. The winners will be
  announced February 24, 2021.


  The categories for nominations include Distinguished Service, Volunteer of the Year, Large Business of the Year
  (<35 employees), Small Business of the Year (>35 employees), Legacy (active for 40 years or more), the
  Young Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year Lifetime Achievement. Past award recipients for the Citizen of the
  Year Lifetime Achievement Award will select the winner for that category, while the Chamber membership will vote on
  the remaining categories.

  "We know that 2020 was a difficult year with many challenges, but there are members of this community that continue
  day-in and day-out to give to this community, to work and volunteer for the good of Ceres and its citizens. Those people
  deserve to be recognized and honored even if we can't do a live event," said Ledbetter. "But we need the public's help
  in finding out who those people are and what they've accomplished during this difficult year. If you or someone you
  know is deserving of one of these awards, we want to know."

  Chamber officials are hopeful that COVID restrictions soon relax so that everyone can resume somewhat of normality.
  We want to recognize new businesses with ribbon cuttings, we want to have morning coffees, and gather in our
  restaurants to share meals with family and friends. We will soon, because Together We Achieve.

  Although the Chamber office has been closed to the public, staff and directors are still available by phone at
  (209) 537-2601 or by email at CeresChamberBoard@gmail.com.


If your business has been impacted by COVID, your membership may be discounted by 50%.



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