In January 2020, the San Benito County Green Business Program committee and newly certified businesses met for the first time to award green business certificates. At the time, it was understood they would meet again in just a few months. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t until Sept. 21, 2021, that they met again to present 13 newly certified green businesses their certificates.
The pandemic had stopped the group from gathering in person but it did not stop their efforts. In addition to the 13 certified businesses, another 40 are expecting to receive certification in early 2022.
The businesses recognized at the event:
- St. Francis Retreat
- Karminder Brown Consulting
- San Benito County Chamber of Commerce (recertification)
- Emergency Vehicle Specialists, Inc.
- Pinnacles Recreation Company
- NKB Cleaning Services
- Mrs. B’s Z Place
- Thankful Co.
- Notably Notable
- Timeless Treasures
- Fool’s Gold
This brings the total to 31 San Benito businesses certified since the program began in 2018. The event was hosted by certified green business Bene Gifts (formerly San Benito Bene). Owner Kathina Szeto said she was happy to host because she believes in the effort and hosting on San Benito Street was “a wonderful opportunity to showcase our lovely downtown.”
She said a lot of work had been put into the parklets and making downtown open for business. Robin Lucas of the certified business Off the Chain Bikes said she was there to support everyone involved.
The star of the show was Heliena Walton who certified three of her San Juan Bautista businesses: Timeless Treasures (an event center), Thankful Co. and Notably Notable.
Walton told BenitoLink it was not difficult to certify all three as it was the same process for each. She said she did it to do her part to “make our environment safe.”
Speaking to those gathered following the ceremony, Walton said that they should not stop with their own business, that there is a need to reach out to ensure all vendors are environmentally aware and making the effort to be eco-friendly.
Celina Stotler, manager at Integrated Waste Management and chair of the Green Business Program told BenitoLink, “We’ve seen our program grow from zero certified green businesses in 2018 to now 31 certified green businesses in San Benito County. Not to mention, we have over 40 enrolled businesses working towards their certification. The outpouring of support and interest in green business efforts in San Benito is clear and it just makes sense to go green. Not only is it good for our environment but for our businesses’ bottom line.”
The county’s Green Business Program is managed by Integrated Waste Management and calls on businesses to address energy and water issues. Lighting, cleaning products and methods are all factors considered when applying for the certification.
In March the Green Business Program received an award for being one of five top performing green business programs in California. Jo Fleming, executive director of the state program, said the San Benito program has “cracked the code of advancing this program in rural California.”
To learn more about San Benito County’s Green Business Program visit here.
To learn more about the CA Green Business Program visit here.
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