Legislative Updates

The Chamber’s Policy & International Business Affairs teams compile a comprehensive legislative update on the latest regulations and government news each Thursday. Those updates will be posted here each week. This page will also be updated on an as-needed basis with critical information as it becomes available.

Our team creates a recap of San Diego County’s weekly business updates for the latest on local COVID regulations and resources for employers. Access the updates.


Our weekly Legislative Update is sponsored by TOOTRiS. Learn more.


April 8 – Weekly Update

Great news came our way this week: if we can manage to keep our COVID rates low, a full reopening is planned for June 15th. Details are still forthcoming but we’ll make sure to keep you updated.

Also, other news: Caitlyn Jenner has opened an exploratory committee for Governor. There is a live search for monkeys on the loose in Cincinnati. There’s a national ketchup shortage.

Business News

The support keeps on coming! Thank you to all the businesses who have committed to the Time to Vaccinate campaign for their employees. To join the growing list of businesses and organizations who have taken the pledge, click here.

Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana?  San Diego County moved to the orange tier yesterday, April 7. This means a number of capacity increases for many businesses and activities, including the end of the 10 pm curfew for restaurants.

And SeaWorld has announced its thrill-seekers can return to their favorite rides and rollercoasters on April 12th. Reservations required!

Chamber member Clear announced a key partnership with the NBA which will allow all 30 teams to leverage the technology for use at their stadiums and (fingers crossed) return to 100% capacity.

You’re not imagining it: Housing inventory for sale is down 40% from last year. So, yes, that outdated house you looked at on Zillow with no toilets is actually going for $1.5M.

$$$$: The Shuttered Venue Operations Grant application opens TODAY. Learn more about eligibility requirements, application preparation and how to sign up for SBDC assistance here.

$$$$ The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund provides cash grants up to $3,500 and a year of support to small restaurants in 8 counties in California, including San Diego! The application will be open from April 11-18 and priority is given to women and people of color. An additional grant is available for restaurant workers, learn more here.

The San Diego County Vintners Association released their 2021 San Diego County Economic Impact of Wineries report. The report found that gross sales decreased 19.6% from last year, but the total number of wineries in the region increased to 150, and wine industry jobs increased by 2.6%.

Legislative Update


Federal:
 

President Biden announced he’s moving up his deadline for all US adults to be eligible for COVID vaccine to April 19 instead of the original deadline of May 1. He stated that these individuals will also have a vaccination site within five miles of where they live since the number of pharmacies participating in the federal vaccination program was increasing from the current 17,000 locations to 40,000.

Senator Chuck Schumer will be introducing a new marijuana legalization bill in the next couple of weeks with Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Recently, Schumer’s state of New York legalized marijuana use for adults and the Senator noted in his interview with Politico that he’ll be pushing it forward with or without President Biden’s support.

President Biden will outline investment priorities and provide details for his first budget request tomorrow, with a full budget proposal coming later this spring.

Speaking of money, the Biden infrastructure plan has initiated lobbying all over the country (and disagreement over what is actually included in the definition of “infrastructure”) and garnered significant pushback from the private sector who have concerns about the tax hikes included to pay for the plan. However, worth noting that the threshold for the 15% corporate tax rate is for companies earning over $2 billion (a big jump from the companies earning $100 million he campaigned on), and now the plan says that those companies can qualify for tax credits for research, renewable energy, and low-income housing.

President Biden also has the biggest-of-the-big companies (the world’s 100 biggest companies) on the lookout for a new tax proposal. The idea, in its most simple terms, is that companies with $20B or more in revenue would pay taxes in countries wherever they sell their goods or services. The proposal was sent to the heads of 130 other countries, and remains TBD.

On April 1, Governor Newsom wrote a letter to President Biden with six other Governors. Their ask? Roll back the SALT limit instituted by the Trump administration that hit high-earners in California particularly hard.

First Lady Jill Biden rolled out the next phase of her Joining Forces program, aimed at supporting military families. The initiative continues on work started with then First Lady Michelle Obama.

Don’t forget to enjoy some nature every now and then! National Park Week will be from April 17-25, with April 17 being a free-entry day.

International:

Egypt just held a real-life mummy parade through the streets of Cairo to celebrate the opening of its National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Twentytwo royal mummies participated in the Pharaoh’s Golden Parade, which included Ramses II, performers dressed in ancient Egyptian costumes, and specially designed vehicles.

Our partners at the Wilson Center shared an updated infographic outlining the successes and challenges that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada face as COVID-19 vaccination continues. By the way, foreign travelers are now able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in some states including Texas and Arizona.

The Chamber joined the Border Trade Alliance and U.S. business leaders in urging the federal government to lift travel restrictions on non-essential travel at our land port of entry. These restrictions continue to harm our economy and border communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially impacting small businesses and our cross-border workforce across sectors.

As we continue to move toward economic recovery, we ask for your input on the financial implications of streamlined cross-border trade processing at land ports of entry for the business sector. Please take a few minutes to respond to an online survey with The George Washington University here.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai virtually met with Mexican Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier to discuss USMCA and the full implementation of Mexico’s labor reform. A coalition of U.S. trade associations and business groups had recently submitted a letter to the administration bringing attention to Mexico’s labor commitments under the new trilateral agreement. Ambassador Tai also met with Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade Mary Ng, and the three North American officials agreed to pursue a USMCA Free Trade Commission meeting in the near future.

Business leaders from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada urged their governments to fully implement USMCA and focus on enhancing a coordinated North American pandemic response and North American competitiveness.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has introduced Simplified Arrival at all of the pedestrian border crossings in the Rio Grande Valley ports of entry. The enhanced arrival process uses biometric facial comparison technology to automate the manual document checks currently in place. CBP officers will now be able to match the traveler’s passport photo from online government files and help speed up international arrival processing.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public scoping meeting on April 20th at 6:00pm as the agency works on an environmental impact statement for a list of 10 projects that would reduce transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley in our region. Written comments may be submitted to the EPA by May 20th to Tijuana-Transboundary-EIS@epa.gov.

Tijuana Mayor Karla Ruiz announced the Tijuana Interurban Train project which will strengthen and modernize the local transportation infrastructure. The system will cover more than 25 kilometers connecting the cities of Tijuana and Tecate, and benefit over thirty-thousand passengers daily including our cross-border workforce.

Baja’s Manufacturing Association (INDEX) will host a webinar on ally-shoring operations on Thursday, April 15 at 8:00am. The conversation will cover a broad range of topics including ally-sharing and the maquiladora shelter model and supply chain business opportunities for North American companies. The event is free but registration is required.

State:

On Tuesday, Governor Newsom announced that the economy will reopen on June 15, as long as vaccine supply is sufficient for those over 16 years old and hospitalization rates are stable and low. This would mean an end to the color coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with a mask mandate still in place. Newsom has said that the state could bring back restrictions depending on hospitalizations and vaccine rates.

The state has reached its 4 million vaccination target for individuals living in the Vaccine Equity Quartile, and has administered over 20 million vaccines overall. California currently has the lowest positivity rate in the country.

The state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office is reporting good news: a higher number than expected new businesses were created in the first quarter, particularly in March.

Go-Biz has announced its Source Diverse Source Local pledge campaign, with the office of the Small Business Advocate. The goal is to develop “strategic programming and partnerships to strengthen a network of corporate and government supply chain opportunities.”

Deadline approaching: per state law, employers who do NOT offer retirement benefits for their workforce are required to provide access to CalSavers (a state sponsored retirement account) for their employees. The deadline for businesses with 50 or more employees is June 30, 2021.

La Mesa City Councilmember Dr. Akilah Weber is currently surpassing the majority needed to fill the 79th Assembly District seat. If Dr. Weber remains over 50%, she will win the special election and no run-off will be needed. Voting results must be certified on April 15.

And while we are on the topic of elections: there’s a minor (okay probably not minor) crisis ahead: the timing for the state to receive census data, which is necessary for the redistricting process, is painfully behind schedule. Worst case scenario would be the June 7 (2022) primary must be postponed, which would require an act of the legislature.

Local:

Convention Center modernization is a GO. Following a vote of 6-3, the San Diego City Council voted to declare Measure C successful as it garnered over 50% of the vote, and has asked the City Attorney to file a validation suit.

Business is Brewing. The City of San Diego has launched a website to provide breweries in San Diego with market information and resources to support and grow their businesses.

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council voted to pass an emergency ordinance that will provide relief for police-regulated operations and businesses by deferring fees and renewing permits. Thank you, Councilmember Whitburn!

Don’t throw away your shot! Reminder that vaccine eligibility will be open to ages 16+ beginning April 15. As of April 7, over 39% of eligible San Diegans have received the first dose and over 23% are fully vaccinated.

How will Biden’s infrastructure plan affect San Diego? Listen to SANDAG director Hasan Ikhrata discuss how the plan aligns with San Diego’s transportation goals in this week’s KPBS Midday Edition.

The Board of Supervisors had a busy week this week and took action on the following items:

  • Eviction Protections & Rent Protections: The majority of the Supervisors (3-2 vote) supported eviction protections that go further to protect tenants than state law and limits rent increases until July 1. The ordinance requires a second vote on May 4th to take effect.
  • Department of Homeless Solution and Equitable Communities: Supervisors unanimously voted for a policy to create a department that will streamline and increase services, and adopted guiding principles.
  • Housing Element’s RHNA Site Inventory: Supervisors directed staff to pursue option #1 (sites without rezone) with the modification to exclude 11 sites outside of VMT (vehicle miles travelled) efficient areas.
  • Fees: Supervisors unanimously voted to support an average 5% increase across the board in land development cost recovery fees. They also voted not to increase DEHQ fees, which have a significant impact on restaurants, and to waive event industry fees this year.

On April 27, we are joining Biocom California and Downtown San Diego Partnership to bring together life science companies, developers, and academics to talk about why now is the right time for life science to locate downtown. Register here for this free event.

Congressman Levin is holding another virtual town hall tonight at 7 pm to discuss the American Rescue Plan, his work in Congress, and COVID-19. UCSD Epidemiologist Dr. Andrea LaCroix will join to answer questions about COVID-19 and vaccines. RSVP here.

SDMAC will be holding their next virtual town hall meeting with Mayor Todd Gloria on April 21. He’ll be answering questions about his “Back to Work San Diego” plan, priorities to address homelessness and housing, and the redevelopment of NAVWAR in the Midway District. Register here.

Speaking of the Midway District, the redevelopment of the Sports Arena is being held up by new state regulations relating to the priority development of affordable housing.

UC San Diego and SDSU have announced plans to return to in-person classes for the fall. San Diego Unified is already moving to in person learning, with half of their students expected to return to the classroom next week, and the hope of parents throughout San Diego dangling by a thread.

Upcoming Hearings

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Round SIX of GO-Biz grants opens April 28th. Details here… AND webinars explaining how to apply and how it works here. Round FIVE notifications began April 5th.
  • The CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund provides assistance for eligible expenses to businesses in the City of San Diego and City of Chula VIsta impacted by the pandemic.
  • The San Diego Housing Commission, along with the assistance of many Community Based Organizations, is administering the City of San Diego’s 2021 COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program is open as of March 15, 2021.
  • Apply for your first or second PPP Loan now! Learn more here.
  • City of Oceanside COVID-19 small business grant program: Small businesses able to demonstrate a loss in profit caused by the COVID crisis can qualify for a grant of $1,000 to $7,5000. Learn more and apply here.
  • The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is accepting applications for a small business hiring credit against California state income taxes or sales and use taxes. The credit (authorized by SB 1447) is available to certain California qualified small business employers that receive a tentative credit reservation. Learn more here.
  • The California Rebuilding Fund is offering small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees loans up to $100,000. Learn more and apply here.
  • The County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant Program is accepting additional applications. Eligible businesses must have fewer than 100 full-time employees and are following sectors (restaurant, gym fitness center, yoga studio, movie theater, museum, zoo, or aquarium) that were impacted by moving from the Red to Purple Tier OR part of the event industry. Learn more and apply here.
  • City of San Diego Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit – Businesses (restaurants, retail stores, gyms, hair salons, nail salons) can now expand into the public right-of-way, parking lots, and public spaces. Information on how to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit can be found here.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide to help business owners navigate through the chaos COVID-19 is having on our communities. SBDC can help with applying for relief, guiding you through available resources, and assisting with cash flow concerns, supply-chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage, and more–all at no cost.
  • The State Treasurer’s Office has published this list of Federal, State, Local, Private, and Non-profit resources available to small businesses.

April 1 – Weekly Update

Back in 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which started the new year on January 1 instead of April 1. People who mixed up the dates were called “April fools”, and now we have a day in honor of pranking each other. The more you know.

Today is the day! Petco Park reopens, welcoming fans in person for the first game of the 2021 season as the Padres host the Arizona Diamondbacks. Feel free to insert your favorite snide remark about how we don’t like the visitors and wish them nothing but doom, gloom and despair. Go Pads!

As we gear up to return to in person learning in San Diego, some teachers in Oakland have used the “zombie walk” to help students social distance.

Click here for the full update.


March 25 – Weekly Update

Thanks for hanging out with us for the virtual Sacramento Summit. This was definitely the first delegation trip where the majority of delegates were (probably) in pajamas during meetings… but special shout out to those of you who put on “fancy” shirts for the occasion, you looked great.

Our Time to Vaccinate campaign is well under way! Sign up to show support for the health and wellness of San Diego’s workforce by supporting employees getting vaccinated. When you sign up, your company’s logo will be added to the campaign and you will receive a vaccination handbook with helpful information and best practices for you and your employees. Need some musical encouragement? Check out the remix of Hamilton-famed tune “My Shot”, done by medical professionals in honor of the vaccine.

It’s go time: earlier today Governor Newsom announced that California is expanding vaccine eligibility for individuals 50+ beginning April 1, and those 16 and up beginning April 15.

Click here for the full update.


March 18  – Weekly Update

It’s not just St Patrick’s Day that has you seeing green. The possibility of a new, shiny, green tier was floated by Governor Newsom’s office that has us thinking 1) probably need to figure out if our clothes still fit, but 2) the end of this craziness might really be coming!

And to help speed us along to Green-Land, check out the Chamber’s Time to Vaccinate campaign and pledge your company to join the effort. Employers have a part to play in our recovery and vaccine roll out, join us!

We are only a few days away from our virtual Sacramento Summit! It’s not too late to register and hear from our state leadership on business issues, workforce needs, and housing and infrastructure. We also included a free bonus session on effective advocacy in today’s landscape with USC UC Berkeley and Pepperdine professor Dan Schnur.

Click here for the full update.


March 11 – Weekly Update

California may be loosening the requirements to go to less restrictive tiers as of Friday. Knock on wood and cross those fingers, but the efforts to vaccinate 2 million people from specific zip codes (a requirement covered in last week’s newsletter) is at 1.9 million people now.

President Biden has just signed the American Rescue Plan. Totaling $1.9 trillion, the plan has a little something for everyone- which was one of the main complaints against it from Republican lawmakers as the package passed on party line votes (one House Democrat did vote with Republicans). If you’re one of the eligible people for the stimulus checks of $1400, you can expect those to be deposited as early as this weekend. (Don’t forget to #ShopLocal!)

Click here for the full update.


March 4 – Weekly Update

It was just a year ago when toilet paper became the symbol of the pandemic (the question remains: wtf?) Everyone was making sourdough, then everyone had a Peloton, and 14 million puzzles/failed home improvement projects/streamed shows/mumblemumble pounds later…. Here we are. Facing down what might be the final few months of this experience.

Click here for the full update.


February 25 – Weekly Update

Pop the champagne, spread the news, the kids are going back to school! San Diego Unified announced on Tuesday that they’ve set a return to the classroom for April 12. And moments ago, the state announced it’s decided to follow San Diego’s lead. Newsom announced they’ll have specific access to vaccines for teachers to get expedited appointments (so long as they are already working in person or scheduled to return to work within 21 days). There’s also rumors that big changes might be coming to the state’s tier system next week… Of course, if anything is announced you’ll be able to find it here, in your favorite email of the week.

Nasa’s rover touched down on Mars last week. Check out the first images from Perseverance, a welcome distraction from pandemic life here on earth.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


February 18 – Weekly Update

The little-machine-that-could touched down on Mars moments ago. Perseverance, NASA’s rover, will cruise around the planet and send back information about the possibility of life existing in a tiny crater billions of years ago, aided by the Qualcomm-powered Ingenuity helicopter carried in its underbelly to the surface of the Red Planet. Meanwhile, we remain in our sweatpants pondering this, the 500th day of March 2020.

2.5 million women have left the workforce during the pandemic. After business closures, pandemic-related unemployment and lack of widespread affordable childcare (see our sponsor Tootris above ^^), addressing women’s workforce participation is finally an issue of national priority. Vice President Kamala Harris wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post declaring the exodus of women from the workforce a national emergency.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


February 11 – Weekly Update

It could be worse: you could get stuck as a cat while trying to be the most professional lawyer. Thank you, cat attorney man, you are what we all needed. (See also: teacher stuck as a potato)

In what could be very optimistic news, Dr. Fauci lifted a lot of spirits by saying that he expects April to be “open season” for vaccines. Get your arms ready, people!

Click here to read this week’s full update.


February 4 – Weekly Update

We look good for being 150, don’t you think? Today is the Chamber’s 150th celebration, which means we have seen more than one pandemic, more than one recession, and quite a few twists and turns, but we’re still here thanks to our incredible members. We’re proud of the role we’ve played in San Diego’s growth, and we know there are much, much better days ahead for our friends and families. Thanks for celebrating with us today, San Diego!

February is Black History Month. The County Health and Human Services have launched an outreach campaign, Black Legacy Now, to reduce racial bias in the medical field and improve infant and maternal health outcomes for Black families. The maternal mortality rate for Black mothers is 3 times higher than white mothers, regardless of other factors. The campaign supports the Countywide Perinatal Equity Initiative, designed to address causes of persistent inequality and identify best practices.

It’s also American Heart Health Month. This week’s Get Fit challenge is to “Get Heart Healthy”, and we’ve partnered with Dr. Jennifer Tuteur, Deputy Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego, to learn some heart health tips. Listen in as Dr. Tuteur shares five key steps to improving the health of our most vital organ!

Click here to read this week’s full update.


January 28 – Weekly Update

The Regional Stay at Home Order has been lifted, surprising those of us who never thought we’d be excited to return to the dreaded purple tier. Businesses can start safe reopening with restrictions, most of which are related to operating outdoors only. Read the full list from the county here.

The good news keeps coming: the gorillas in the San Diego Zoo that tested positive for COVID-19 are well on their way to a full recovery. And even better- you can go celebrate that recovery since the zoo and Safari Park are opening back up!

Dog lovers, rejoice! Our four-legged friends Champ and Major made headlines this week because dogs are back in the White House.

Yesterday, the California State Assembly unanimously approved Dr. Shirley Weber’s nomination for California Secretary of State.

“I tell people how ironic it is, that a girl whose father could not vote, whose grandparents never had a chance to vote, is now responsible for 40 million Californians and their right to vote.”

Click here to read this week’s full update.


January 21 – Weekly Update

Our newsletter is brought to you by our sponsor, TOOTRiS, but it’s written by a bunch of millennials and as such, we’d like to discuss the MVP of the inauguration: fellow young-person, inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. Aside from Lady Gaga’s gold-taxidermied bird-broach (brooch?), Ms. Gorman was the brightest part of yesterday’s ceremony and couldn’t you just feel this closing line?

“The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it– if only we are brave enough to be it.”

Did you get a chance to catch CNBC’s Streets of Dreams this week? Focused on North Harbor Dr. and the blue economy (ocean-based business, not sad money), the episode features Chamber members Workshop for Warriors and NASSCO’s Dennis Dubard!

And if you’re looking for some inspiration for your 2021- join us for a webinar hosted by Union Bank highlighting business success amidst COVID. We’ll explore how entrepreneurial thinking is one of the best tools businesses can use, what’s worked for local employers to keep people motivated, and how you find “wins” amidst a pandemic and constant change. Register here.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


January 14 – Weekly Update

Two gorillas tested positive for COVID. The big question on everyone’s mind is, will they get the vaccine before the rest of us?

We are almost done with week 1 of #GetFitSD. Haven’t signed up yet? It’s not too late. Register and we can work on our new year’s resolutions together (but separate…with a mask).

Click here to read this week’s full update.


January 7 – Weekly Update

It’s safe to say that we all hoped 2021 would find itself less newsworthy than its disastrous sibling, 2020. But yesterday we know many of you spent the day watching an immensely unsettling scene unfold at the Capitol. We’re not going to rehash those events, but we do want to express our relief that the San Diego Congressional delegation remains safe, and their staff all out of harm’s way. Ultimately, the work was resumed, as Congress did complete the counting of the Electoral College vote, and President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election.

Ready to get caught up on what you missed? Buckle up!

Click here to read this week’s full update.


December 17 – Weekly Update

Happy second-to-last day of Hanukkah to all celebrating. Hopefully, you got your loved ones a puppy for Hanukkah.

Santa may need to plan ahead this year. Online shopping has surged during the pandemic, and private carriers like UPS and FedEx have cut off some retailers to manage their services. USPS has had to take over huge volumes of mail and packages, in addition to employee shortages, causing extreme delays.

Like many of you, the Chamber staff is taking some well-deserved time off. Happy holidays to you and your families. Thank you for scrolling with us, for your kind words of support and all you do to support our region’s businesses. Remember to shop local and wear your mask.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


December 10 – Weekly Update

Ninety-year-old Margaret Keenan is the honorary “Chamber Grandma of the Year”. Which is a thing we invented this week because all of our collective hopes of getting out of our houses one day and never using the word “pivot” again rest almost entirely on her well-being. Grannie Marge, as she will now lovingly be referred to, was the first person to get the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. And because she’s the loveliest lady, the t-shirt she chose for her big jab-day raises money for holiday presents for hospital patients and has now gone viral. It’s so great that we don’t care if this paragraph is uncharacteristically long. Go Grannie Marge! We love you! Come visit San Diego post-COVID! (Related note: we obviously have no idea how to get in touch with her, but if you do please shoot her this email).

In other happy news, which is much more fun than what we’ve been sending generally, San Diego officially welcomed Todd Gloria and his Council colleagues during a swearing-in ceremony earlier today. To the new elected officials, the returning, and their staff, we send our warmest and sincerest wishes for a productive, healthy, and generally enjoyable time in office. Their work is critical to our shared success and we applaud them.

Anyway, between color-coded tiers, a new regional stay at home order, and that very loud cell phone alert, there’s a lot going on. Check out the Union-Tribune’s user’s guide to the regional stay at home order.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


December 3 – Weekly Update

We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! Did you miss us? Well, buckle up because this is a long one.

BREAKING: Governor Newsom announced this afternoon a Regional Stay at Home Order when a region falls below 15% remaining ICU bed capacity. The state is divided into 5 regions (see the map below), with San Diego unfortunately grouped with Los Angeles and their stubbornly high case rates. Currently, there are no regions that have fallen below the 15% threshold, but Governor Newsom cautions that it could happen for much of the state within a few days. If and when a Stay at Home Order goes into effect in our region, all bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons, and other non-essential services will be required to temporarily close. Restaurants will be allowed to serve take-out and delivery only and retail stores can remain open at a 20% capacity.

On Tuesday, San Diego marked the 1,000th death from the pandemic, a brutal reminder that even with the familiar cheer of the holiday season and the uplifting announcements of a coming vaccine, we are still very much in the woods.

However, as we learned from Mr. Rogers, it’s in crisis we should “look for the helpers.” And if you or someone you know has recovered from COVID, those suffering now urgently need your help in the form of plasma donations. This plasma is a critical treatment component, so we hope you’ll consider donating and make Mr. Rogers proud.

Get ready to make a team or compete as an individual in our annual Get Fit San Diego event! Get Fit SD is the Chamber’s annual 30-day health and fitness challenge sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. We’ll be kicking off this year’s program on January 11 and ending on February 9, all are welcome to join!

Finally, the state and county announced new grant and capital opportunities! Scroll down to the “Capital Opportunities & Resources” section of this email to read more.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


November 19 – Weekly Update

We’re catching you late this week on purpose. In just about an hour and a half, our Legislative Lounge will begin virtually, so you should be pondering which beverage you’ll be enjoying, which “lounge wear” (get it?!) you’ll be wearing and maybe making a quick snack trip. And because we miss you, very, very much, we want you to join us in the photo booth so we can see your face.

And since you’ll be at home drinking anyway, probably an OK time for us to let you know that the Governor has just announced a statewide curfew from 10p-5am beginning Saturday and lasting one month. Essential workers are exempted. We’ll continue to monitor as this develops.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Be safe and enjoy an extra helping of that green-beans-with-the-crunchy-onions thing because you deserve it. You also deserve a week without being beat over the head with the 2020 news nightmare, so we’ll catch you on December 3rd.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


November 12 – Weekly Update

San Diegans cried purple tears when it was announced we will be moved into the purple tier, effective Saturday. This county-wide equivalent of pulling cards based on your COVID behavior is reflective of the County’s poor numbers with regard to COVID positivity rates and will require businesses to scale back operations and in some cases, temporarily close. Additionally, local enforcement efforts will be stepped up to increase citations for violations and provide masks to those not wearing them in public.

Do you love this newsletter? Are you thinking about the best way to make sure your business logo shows up in front of major decision makers and businesses every week? Click the link to share your interest and we’ll follow up with you. (We appreciate you!)

If you’re interested in being a Senator, your window of opportunity is open (and crowded)! The race to replace Senator Kamala Harris is on, with all eyes on Newsom as it’s his, probably unlucky at the moment, job to appoint the replacement. California’s long list of political leaders are making their cases, and their different stakeholder groups are actively engaged too. Major advocacy groups, including large influential PACs all have their preferred candidate, and there’s even a push for a special election (please don’t make us do this again). The appointee would fill the remaining two years of the seat and then be up for re-election, albeit with the very strong competitive edge of being an incumbent.

If you’re missing interacting with legislators and legislative staff, don’t miss our Legislative Lounge on Thursday, November 19. Jerry will tell jokes, people will get awards, and we’ll all drink to a year that is thankfully almost over.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


November 5 – Weekly Update

It wasn’t just you. In an interesting article, the LA Times reports that delivery services and search engines were all about stress-eating and drinking on Tuesday. And although Trump claimed an early victory, and the numbers look to provide a clear path for Biden, the general anxiousness of the country is enough to tell you that we still don’t have 100% clarity.  But we do have a 100% chance of lawsuits, so stay tuned.

In terrifying news, a mutated version of COVID-19 was found to exist, and be transmitted to humans via mink living on mink-farms in Denmark.  Twelve people so far have been infected.

Like we keep saying: This year has been hard. Please take care of yourself. If nobody else has told you today, you deserve a nap.

Finally, wishing a very Happy Veterans Day to all who have served in the Armed Services! Thank you and your family for your service to our nation.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


October 29 – Weekly Update

The final presidential debate was surprisingly civil, thanks to the moderator’s mute button (where has that been all of 2020?). This election is on track to have the highest voter turnout rate in a century.

Despite being knocked out of the World Series, three Padres were selected for All-MLB teams. And congratulations to the Dodgers for winning their first title since 1998. We’re not bitter or anything.

Have a safe and happy Halloween! 🎃 (And keep wearing your masks!)

Click here to read this week’s full update.


October 22 – Weekly Update

Feeling lucky? Help shape the future of San Diego transit. MTS wants your feedback on how to improve the transit experience during and after the pandemic. Fill out this survey specifically for Chamber members by the end of October. Three lucky participants will win a $50 gift card!

Californians are breaking voting records this year! Over 4.5 million votes have already been processed, about three times the number of votes cast this time during the 2016 elections. Only 12 more days to go.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


October 15 – Weekly Update

Congratulations to our Small Business Awards winners! Computers 2 Kids, FASTSIGNS, and GoBeRewarded demonstrated resilience, innovation, and compassionate leadership during this year’s pandemic response and recovery.

And congratulations to you! You’ve made it seven months into some variation of quarantine, sweat through heatwaves, virtual learning, and have sent in your ballot early OR made a plan to vote! (This is a not so subtle hint you should have received your ballot and we are encouraging you to vote). It’s been a wildly challenging year, but we’re surviving, together, and we’re sending you a virtual high five, a fist bump, a hug, and a cheers.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


October 8 – Weekly Update

Today is San Diego County’s annual “Check Your Mood Day”, a reminder to check your emotional well-being and screen for depression. Check out Live Well San Diego’s free mental health resources and online self-assessment here.  The way this year has been, we could all use a reminder to prioritize our mental health and reach out to support our friends and family.

Got an old computer gathering dust? Donate it to the “Meet the Need Computer Drive” and help local students access their virtual school. The Meet the Need Computer Drive is a month-long computer donation effort by the Chamber, Cox California, and the San Diego County Office of Education to benefit Computers 2 Kids, a non-profit that refurbishes unwanted technology and gives it to local families in need. This is a great way to do some 2020-cleaning AND help set up local students for success.. (Fun fact- if you’re doing an office-wide computer upgrade, you can donate all your old gear).

Mail-in ballots are arriving this week. This year, there are about 1.9 million registered voters in San Diego county (are you one of them? Check here.) If you’re not voting by mail, options for voting in person have changed. Instead of the usual 1,600 polling stations spread throughout the county, there will be 235 “superpoll locations” open for four days. For mail-in ballots, there are 126 drop-off locations. For more information, read here. Don’t forget to check out our voter guide, where we endorsed the best candidates and policies for the business community.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


October 1 – Weekly Update

Fires, and Purple Tiers, and debates. Oh my. In what promises to be an added cyclical stressor on San Diegans is the Tuesday “will-they-won’t-they” game of our tier designation by the state. We remain, yet again in the red tier, however, there was a considerable question about how likely that would be. San Diego must meet specific metrics to remain red and must improve our outbreak numbers to be considered for the Orange, more permissive, tier.

There was a debate. There are still fires. It’s October and honestly, how did that even happen?

We hope you’re well. Next week we’ll bring some snazzy good news for you… like the names of our small business award winners. (psst: register here for the 10/8 Small Business Awards virtual event)

Click here to read this week’s full update.


September 24 – Weekly Update

2020 is sparing nothing. Friday, the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was announced. She was 87, an icon, and deeply respected. Undoubtedly, she is also the only Justice to have a cool nickname (“Notorious RBG” in case you lived under a rock), become a meme, and inspire women everywhere to rock a killer accessory while being a total bada** in her field. Needless to say, she will be missed.

WE’RE RED! Our region collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Governor’s data showed that businesses would not be moved into a more restrictive tier on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the county announced the region’s conducted over 1,000,000 COVID-19 tests. (P.S. Wear a mask!)

We’re also … winning? The Padres gave San Diegans another huge boost making it to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. A little bit of hope and some happy experiences mean even more these days. Go Padres!

Click here to read this week’s full update.


September 17 – Weekly Update

Happy Constitution Day! This week also marks six months since the Chamber’s policy team began sending our weekly Legislative Update. Like Venus, one of the brightest objects in the night sky, we hope it’s one of the brightest emails in your inbox. (And hey, if things on Earth keep getting you down, there’s always life on Venus).

Next Wednesday at 10:30am, the Chamber Foundation, in partnership with SDG&E, will host the All Our Talent Legislative Summit, highlighting women in policy-making roles who have been working on issues related to women’s advancement in the workplace. Sign up by clicking the link above.

The Chamber’s 2020 [Virtual] Small Business Awards are right around the corner, on October 8! This year, through a new Small Business Scholarship program, the Chamber will be awarding four Bronze-level Chamber membership renewals to current Chamber members who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance. In addition, three members will be recognized for outstanding achievements in the following categories: Community Minded, Creative Pivot, and 2020 Success Story. Nominations and applications are open until September 30.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


September 10 – Weekly Update

In San Diego, we tout our region’s unique ability to collaborate. That has held especially true this week as the Valley Fire continues to impact our county. The Navy and Marines from NAS North Island, Camp Pendleton, and MCAS Miramar have joined CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire in the fight and while it’s far from over, we received some positive news this morning that the fire is now 32% contained.

Thank you to the first responders and public health responders who are working to keep our community safe.

We’d also like to give a shout to SDG&E for their efforts during the heatwave to keep the power on for San Diegans and their work to mitigate additional fire risk.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


September 3 – Weekly Update

Campaign ads have begun! T-61 days until election day everyone. Mail ballots go out on October 1, and the Chamber voter guide, which you are all excited to get your hands on, will be available soon. Speaking of… you may have heard some things lately about voting. Here’s some quick reminders:

  • You can check your registration status here.
  • Questions about the voting process in a pandemic? Here’s a nice guide.
  • Only vote once. Seriously.

Additionally, we would like to draw your attention to a special city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 8. The council will hear two new ordinances proposed by Councilmember Chris Ward: temporary supplemental sick leave, and emergency recall and retention. Both proposals are remarkably similar to bills passed by the state on Monday, AB 1867 (supplemental sick leave) and AB 3216 (emergency recall and retention). If these bills are signed by the governor in the coming week (which is likely), the local conversation could be moot. However, it is still important that businesses provide feedback as these ordinances would be effective immediately, and with little education, if any, prior to enforcement.  If you or your business has concerns about these policy proposals, please reach out to Rebecca at RLieberman@sdchamber.org

Click here to read this week’s full update.


August 27 – Weekly Update

California’s fire season went full-2020 and not only started early but is ravaging record amounts of land and structures throughout the state. Please, remember that fire season preparedness is absolutely necessary and we cannot be too careful.

We start the final months of 2020 with uplifting local news however, as the county’s positive COVID-19 case rates are at a 3.6% average and remain below the county’s 8% average over a 14-day rolling period. Reopening guidance from the state is expected tomorrow.

More exciting news, tomorrow, SeaWorld San Diego will reopen for the first time since the start of the pandemic with the launch of a new outdoor experience, Zoo Days: Bayside BBQ & Brews! Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the park’s animal exhibits and a limited-time food and drink menu, featuring San Diego’s best craft beers. Details here.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


August 20 – Weekly Update

Some good news: the county is off the state monitoring list. Some bad news: you’ve probably noticed the scorching heat wave that has California in its grip, causing wildfires throughout the state. We want to send our thoughts to the families impacted by the especially brutal fires in this unprecedented time.

In the broader energy debate, the rolling blackouts brought up big policy questions about how to bolster the grid to ensure better reliability as the state has been working toward ambitious goals to increase its use of renewable energy (wind/solar) and decrease its use of natural gas. And while the necessity of doing so is generally agreed upon to be necessary as we address climate change, here’s the current challenge: energy produced by wind and solar often isn’t enough to meet high demands for energy when it’s 100+ degrees and everyone is working from home. So, as we’re finding with most everything during this pandemic, it’s smart- necessary, even- to have a backup plan.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


August 13 – Weekly Update

Even during a pandemic, veepstakes and election enthusiasm have brought back some feeling of election season normalcy. This week, Joe Biden announced California’s own Kamala Harris as his running mate. This is historic–making Harris the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party ticket. The pick is particularly interesting for Californians, as her highly coveted Senate seat now draws plenty of interest from possible successors. For those wondering, here’s how that would work: first, Biden/Harris would have to win in November, then Governor Newsom has to appoint her successor to fill her seat until this term ends in 2022. Not only is the appointment notable as it leaves out election drama, but it would allow that appointee to run as an incumbent in 2022, a significant advantage. Needless to say, the next few months will be eventful.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


August 6 – Weekly Update

Happy August! It’s the official ‘back to school’ season. Though this year, it’s quite different. This week, the State published new guidance for reopening of elementary schools. Despite the fact that San Diego and many of other counties across the state remain on the COVID-19 watch list, elementary schools within counties with fewer than 200 cases per 100,000 people can now apply for a waiver to reopen for in-person learning. San Diego Unified, which announced last month that schools in the district will begin the school year with online-only learning, has not announced whether or not they will apply for waiver. Yesterday, Poway Unified School District announced the major decision to remain fully virtual through December. The county is currently working on a template for the waiver process and expects to release it by the end of the week. The waiver will first have to be submitted to our local public health officer for approval before going to the state Department of Public Health.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


July 30 – Weekly Update

Today Congressman John Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta, Georgia. In a final essay published today, he urged us all to, “answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” He also reminds us:

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

With less than 100 days until the November election, you can take a moment to check your voter registration or register to vote here. Rest in peace, Congressman.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


July 23 – Weekly Update

As you may well know, masks have been a ‘thing’ here in San Diego long before the COVID-19 pandemic. While large in-person events are still off the table for now, the innovative spirit of the organizers of Comic-Con is undefeated. As with all good superhero stories, the good guys win in the end and loyal convention-goers have had their tradition rescued. All scheduled panels for this year’s event are available to be streamed online, on-demand. Here’s a list of the top 5 most anticipated panels attendees can tune into today.

Click here to read this week’s full update.


July 16 – Weekly Update

Click here to read this week’s full update.


July 9 – Weekly Update

Thank you to all who were able to join us for our 2020 Congressional Conversation this afternoon! Our San Diego delegation spoke candidly on a wide array of topics facing our nation, including police reform, the COVID-19 pandemic, health care, and immigration.

It was a great event to break up a tough week for San Diego, as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to grow throughout the region. Restaurants and other establishments were ordered to close indoor operations (more information below) and any additional reopening is delayed until August 1. Hospitalizations as a result of the coronavirus are at a record high and we encourage all businesses and individuals to comply with state and county guidance and wear a mask when outside of your home.

Recovered COVID-19 patients are needed to meet the demand of local hospital requests for convalescent plasma. While COVID-19 has no proven treatment, plasma taken from those who have recovered may help patients currently fighting the virus because the plasma has developed antibodies against the virus. The San Diego Blood Bank created a form where people can submit their contact information to qualify for convalescent plasma donation.

Click here to read the week’s full update.


July 2 – Weekly Update

Yesterday, Governor Newsom dialed back reopening in 19 counties across the state. These counties were ordered to immediately suspend indoor operations of restaurants, wineries/tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, and museums as well as all bars both indoor and outdoor. While San Diego is not included on the list of counties of concern, neighboring Imperial, Orange, and Riverside counties were all included. Local county health officials caution that San Diego will likely be forced to dial back our reopening if local behavior does not change.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy Fourth of July! Please remember to follow state and county public health guidance: wear a mask, maintain a physical distance from others, and refrain from gathering with members outside of your household.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


June 25 – Weekly Update

This week the Chamber celebrated the launch of the All Our Talent: Women on Boards and Commissions Initiative with special guests and featured speakers First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. The initiative is an effort of the San Diego Regional Chamber Foundation with support from Mine The Gap focused on addressing the need for more women on corporate, nonprofit, and government-appointed boards and commissions in our region.

As part of the All Our Talent initiative, the Chamber released a report and dashboard on the state of women on boards and commissions locally and the disparities and barriers in our region’s leadership. This information and how to get involved are available online here.

Earlier this week it was also announced that Caroline Winn, the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and the thought leader behind the initiative, was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


June 18 – Weekly Update

This week, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court decided that the Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964, also protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, just this morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot continue with its plan to terminate the DACA program, which the Chamber has strongly supported for several years. Read more about this decision and the vital role Dreamers play in the U.S. economy in the International Business Affairs section of this email below.

This afternoon, Governor Newsom announced Californians are now required to wear facial coverings in indoor or outdoor public spaces. Guidance from the Department of Public Health can be found here. Also this afternoon, the County announced there have been eight COVID-19 community outbreaks within seven days. Businesses approved to reopen tomorrow can proceed with reopening. Businesses in line to reopen after tomorrow are on hold. The County continues to caution following the facial covering and social distancing guidelines. The County will update its facial covering guidance to match the state’s.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


June 11 – Weekly Update

This week marks another milestone as our community continues to reopen. San Diego County announced exciting news Monday after receiving guidance from the state. A number of businesses can begin reopening tomorrow, June 12, including hotels, museums, gyms, pools, and bars. The full list of businesses and guidance for reopening can be found here. The county also announced that campgrounds and sportfishing businesses could reopen immediately.

On Tuesday, the county expanded the list of reopened businesses to include movie theaters (at limited capacity). As we all start to enjoy the reopened businesses, a friendly reminder that the guidance for facial coverings, social distancing, and prohibition of group gatherings still remain in effect.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


June 4 – Weekly Update

The events of this past week, across the nation, and here in San Diego, are a painful reminder of just how much work remains to be done when it comes to racial equality and justice in America. We hear the voices calling for overdue change and action. The Chamber is committed to doing our part to see that positive change is made and will continue to focus our efforts on creating economic opportunity for all, as we are guided by our mission to make the San Diego region the best place to live and work.

On Monday, Jerry joined Mayor Faulconer, City Council President Gomez, Councilmember Montgomery, Police Chief Nisleit, and community leaders to announce the San Diego Police Department will stop using a carotid restraint as a use-of-force procedure effective immediately. During the press conference, Jerry noted that this is the beginning of “the road to discussing meaningful change in police and community relations.” Since Monday’s announcement, 15 other policing agencies throughout the county, including the Sheriff’s Department, have agreed to ban the restraint.

LEAD San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional Chamber, hosted a discussion with Dr. Steven Jones, CEO of JONES, and Starla Lewis, Professor Emeritus at San Diego Mesa College, on the long-overdue reckoning on policing practices and systematic racism and how we as leaders of teams, organizations, and families can step up and be part of the change our country needs. You can watch a recording of the powerful webinar here.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


May 28 – Weekly Update

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. While domestic and international tourism to the region remains down, many San Diegans celebrated the warm weather and enjoyed new liberties granted by the County Health Department. While San Diego has developed a good reputation from the State authorities in Sacramento on its handling of the virus, some local businesses have failed to comply with standards set by the County. If you or your business have any questions regarding reopening guidance from the County, please reach out to a member of the policy team or your membership relations manager.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


May 21 – Weekly Update

On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to move into an accelerated Stage 2 of California’s Resilience Roadmap. Late last night, the County received approval from the State’s Department of Public Health to move further into Stage 2, allowing dine-in options in restaurants and in-store retail. Businesses must follow social distancing protocols and complete the County’s Safe Reopening Plan. Safe Reopening Plan guidance can be found on the County’s website here for restaurants and here for retail stores.

The County is transitioning its daily COVID-19 briefings to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. However, this afternoon there is a press briefing at 2:30 p.m. in light of the Stage 2 reopening news.

Memorial Day Weekend looks a lot different than years past. Ceremonies honoring our nation’s service men and women who lost their lives during military service will be held virtually. We wish you a safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


May 14 – Weekly Update

This week Speaker Pelosi unveiled the HEROES Act, which includes beefed-up stimulus payments of up to $6,000 per family, $1 trillion to local governments to pay for essential front-line workers, $75 billion for increased testing and tracing, and $10 billion for economic injury disaster loans dedicated to businesses, among other things. The Mexican federal government announced a phased reopening plan. And, locally, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Greg Cox joined together to urge Governor Newsom to allow more flexibility for localities trying to open.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

 


May 7 – Weekly Update 

If the global health pandemic, economic crisis, and soaring local unemployment weren’t giving you night sweats yet, the heatwave and red tide stench might have done the trick. However, there may be some light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. Governmental leaders are all looking at a phased reopening, creating an important window for businesses to provide feedback for suggested ways to make that reopening stable, safe, and successful.

UCSD made a major announcement regarding testing as part of its plan to bring students back for the Fall, demonstrating capacity and ability to test which will be critical to larger strategies of reopening.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


April 30 – Weekly Update 

This week felt like a rollercoaster ride. Beaches across the county were reopened on Monday, just in time for surfers to view the bioluminescent “red tide”.  Last night it was reported that Governor Newson would order all beaches and state parks throughout California close by Friday. Then this afternoon, during his daily press conference, the Governor applauded the great work of our local San Diego leaders and announced that only beaches in Orange County would close. Additionally, SANDAG published a startling report that, as of April 23, one in four San Diegans are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At 24.7%, the county’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average due to the region’s vast tourism industry, now at a standstill.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


April 23 – Weekly Update 

As you’ve likely heard, the Chamber is pleased to represent you in a working group convened by Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Cox to address immediate needs in the business community. Additionally, we are working on a parallel effort with our partners at EDC and the Tourism Authority to think about a long-term framework for economic success, which we’ve titled “Back in Business.” To make sure our work is reflective of the needs of your business and your industry, please fill out this survey and let us know how best to guide these policy discussions.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


April 16 – Weekly Update 

This week marks California’s sixth week in a State of Emergency and our fourth week sheltering in place. While we all are starting to adjust to this new normal, the Chamber continues to recognize the unprecedented nature of these times. We are beginning to look forward and understand how we can best ensure the San Diego region’s resiliency and recovery over the coming weeks, months, and years. That understanding is being driven by discussions in our committees that revolve around how best to safely, swiftly and sustainably move forward.

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


April 9 – Weekly Update 

Click here to read this week’s complete update including CARES Act package info as well as local, state, and international updates.


April 3 

Update from the County of San Diego Public Health Officer regarding the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the San Diego region. Attached is Addendum 1 to the Order of the Health Officer, effective April 3, 2020 as of 12:00 a.m. Addendum 1 adds the following requirements to the existing Order of the Health Officer:

Click here to read the complete Health Order.


April 2 – Weekly Update

Click here to read the complete update, including available capital resources for small businesses.


March 26 – Weekly Update

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


March 25

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


March 20

Click here to read this week’s complete update.


March 19 – Weekly Update

Click here to read this week’s complete update.

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