News & Updates

Member Spotlight: Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe's Blue LogoIn 1991 the first Joe’s Crab Shack was opened in Houston, TX. Our beach-side shack theme attracted tons of people from the start. People heard that Joe’s was a place that they could kick back, strap on a bib, and enjoy awesome crabs and seafood while sitting at picnic tables with the music playing. Today, Joe’s is known as a place for “cracking crabs” and having fun on any occasion. Currently there are over 130 Joe’s Crab Shacks in over 30 states! We also have franchised international locations in Dubai!]

Our central San Diego location is on the top floor of the Hazard Center shopping plaza in the heart of Mission Valley. Crab is our middle name and that’s what we specialize in, with a varietal of crabs you can spice up to your liking. We specialize in family-friendly dining, with a high energy atmosphere, and phenomenally fast service (sometimes we even dance.) Celebrations and group parties are perfect for our location with two spacious dining areas and a large, dog-friendly patio. Bring your little ones in for ‘Kid’s Eat Free’ on Mondays or come get messy with us for ‘All You Can Eat Crab’ Wednesdays.

IMG_0728 joe crab shackWe also invite your company to inquire about our happy hour parties or host your next function with us. We pride ourselves on being a consistently great seafood restaurant that does it right every time. View our menu online at See you soon.




Natasha Castanon
Brand Ambassador

President’s Update: Policy News from Sacramento

The following content is from the May edition of the Out and About newsletter. To get Jerry’s updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

Jerry Sanders, Chamber President & CEO

Jerry Sanders, Chamber President & CEO

Dear Chamber members,

The Chamber team returned this week from our annual delegation trip to Sacramento. This year, we brought nearly 70 delegates – representing small business owners, policy officials, and regional business executives – which was a substantial increase from last year. As a result of our two-day trip, we:

  • Met with Senator Bob Hertzberg to discuss his proposed comprehensive tax reform to create a substantial and stable revenue source for the State;
  • Received an update from Senator Jim Beall on a proposed bill that will fund transportation infrastructure, including highways and local roads;
  • Met with the Public Policy Institute of California to discuss evidence-based education reform, and strategies for improving access; graduation, and financing for higher education; and
  • Facilitated vital connections between Chamber members and elected officials at the local and state level.


San Diego Chamber Delegation to Sacramento

2016 Delegation to Sacramento

As you may remember from last week’s Business Forecast, state legislation has had a major impact on San Diego’s business community. Harmful policies like the new minimum wage hike, for instance, can take a significant toll on hiring, employee hours, and revenue projections – particularly for the hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.

With this in mind, the Chamber team is extremely grateful to our members for lending their voice to our cause, and ensuring that the unique needs of our business leaders are heard. If you’re interested in joining us for the next policy delegation, please save the date for our upcoming Chamber Mission to Washington, D.C. Applications will open at the end of June.


Members of our Sacramento Delegation with California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon

Members of our Sacramento Delegation with California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon

Also on the policy front, the Chamber team released the 2016 San Diego Voters Guide in May’s issue of the Policy Update. A large part of driving San Diego’s economy forward depends on having the right policy leaders and measures put into place – I invite you to use this guide to educate yourself and others about the business-friendly candidates and propositions that are committed to strengthening our region’s economy. With your help, we can make great strides to ensure San Diego continues to become a place where businesses can succeed and grow while creating jobs, supporting infrastructure, and enriching neighborhoods.

Coming up, we have a Business After Five Mixer on Wednesday, June 8 which will be held at the Center for Creative Leadership’s newest campus. In addition to networking with Chamber Boardmembers and San Diego’s elected officials, guests will also have an opportunity to tour the facility and learn more about CCL’s top-10 ranked executive education programs.

Following that, you are cordially invited to join Congressmembers Susan Davis, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, and Scott Peters for a Congressional Luncheon, moderated by Chamber Executive VP & COO, Aimee Faucett. Last year, we had nearly 600 business executives and policy leaders, and – with election season upon us – we’re expecting a lively discussion.

Before I let you go – if you’re looking for a new podcast or radio show to get in to – I must recommend the new Live Well Radio Hour from the folks at Real Talk San Diego. They’re doing a really great job of educating their audience and keeping them informed about the real topics that matter to San Diego, and I expect nothing less from their newest segment.

This month, I did a feature on their show to talk about the impact of wellness on San Diego businesses. I encourage you to give it a listen here.

Until next time, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.


Jerry Sanders
President & CEO
San Diego Regional
Chamber of Commerce

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of Gelson’s

Gelson’s, the newest San Diego grocer, officially opens on Thursday May 26th, 2016 at 9:00 AM at 730 Turquoise Street, San Diego, CA 92109. Grand opening specials throughout the store.


Minimum Wage Increase Curtails Rebound of County’s Business Outlook

The following content is from the May edition of the Business Forecast newsletter, sponsored by Silvergate Bank. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

Business Forecast Highlights:
  • BOI drops significantly back down to 19.4
  • Business confidence for hiring takes a hit
  • Firms sensitive to minimum wage increases are spooked
  • Minimum wage increase seen as most damaging state regulation
  • Hospitality, retail, manufacturing and healthcare hit hardest by increasing minimum wages

Looming wage hike creates most angst in North Inland region, and in retail and hotel industries

The County’s Business Outlook, which surged last month to the highest point since June 2015, has reversed and is now back down to 19.4 where it was in February. The BOI is nine points lower than a year ago and four points lower than its 50-week average of 23.2. The main factors dragging the Outlook down are a waning confidence in hiring and the imminent increase in the minimum wage.

San Diego's Business Outlook in May

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Business confidence for hiring new employees has dropped with only 28 percent of firms reporting they will be bring on at least one new employee, down from 35 percent last month, while 8 percent anticipate letting employees go. The negative effect of the minimum wage increase is seen across all four of the Index’s metrics: hiring, employee hours, revenue predictions, and business conditions. In addition, the number of companies reporting minimum wage as a new challenge this month has more than doubled from 5 percent to 12 percent.

Businesses citing minimum wage as a new challenge report a poor BOI of -6, while the average for those who do not mention the minimum wage is 23. In fact, 45 percent of firms with minimum wage concerns fall into the “danger zone” where the BOI is less than 12.5. Businesses in the danger zone are candidates for moving out of California.

Effect of State Regulations on San Diego Businesses

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On the bright side, concerns over an increasing minimum wage are not a problem for some local industries. Cyber firms anticipate increasing hiring during the next three months.

By business size, we see that large businesses are feeling the minimum wage strain most. Firms with more than 50 employees went from a BOI of 28 to 15 currently.

Geographically, businesses in the north inland corridor report more negative effects from minimum wage increases. Businesses in these areas, which includes the Vista Chamber of Commerce, Escondido Chamber of Commerce as well as some members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, saw their outlook drop by 15 points in the last month, going from 32 to just 16.

This month’s survey asked what state regulations, if any, have the most negative effect on their business. Not surprisingly, an increasing minimum wage tops the list. Workers’ compensation is the second most burdensome state regulation, regarded as a problem by one-quarter of the business community. Serious complaints about wage and hour laws, paid sick leave, and the California Environmental Quality Act all garner more than 10 percent of the total responses.

Effect of State Regulations: The impact of a minimum wage increase varies by industry. Some, such as hospitality and restaurants that tend to have many hourly workers, are far more sensitive to minimum wage increases than others. Six out of ten hotels and restaurants in San Diego County see a minimum wage increase as seriously harming their business. Paid sick leave is also a top issue for the hospitality and restaurant business with 36 percent saying it’s a regulation that negatively affects them.

However, the impact of minimum wage is worst among those in the retail industry. In that sector, 54 percent say it has the most negative impact of all the state regulations, and 69 percent saying it has an effect. Manufacturing is another sector that suffers under a rising minimum wage. Most surprising is the finding that the healthcare and medical field sees minimum wage increases as a problem. Forty-three percent of those businesses see it as the regulation having the biggest negative effect and two-thirds see it as a problem for them.


The San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by Silvergate Bank, is a scientific look at where our region’s economy is headed. The survey for this month’s installment was fielded April 14-29, 2016 by Competitive Edge Research & Communication using responses from 232 randomly-selected members of the San Diego, East County, Alpine, Escondido, Lakeside, Vista, Santee, and National City Chambers of Commerce. All Chamber members are invited to complete the survey either online or over the phone.

The Business Outlook IndexTM (BOI) is comprised of four self-reported assessments regarding the next three months: Will a respondent’s business increase or decrease its number of employees, experience an increase or a decrease in revenue, increase or decrease the number of hours its employees work, and experience an improvement or a worsening of business conditions. For each assessment, definite and positive responses are scored 100, probable and positive responses are scored 50, neutral responses are scored 0, probable and negative responses are scored -50 and definite and negative responses are scored -100. The scores are summed and divided by 4 to get a range for the BOI of -100 to +100, with zero being a neutral outlook. Visit to see past Business Forecasts.


For over 25 years, as a San Diego based community bank, Silvergate provides a rewarding banking experience where the client’s needs always come first. Our business banking experts listen to needs and work to provide customized solutions to support your company’s growth and profit objectives. Our bankers are committed to superior responsiveness, local decision making, and the agility that allows our clients to choose the way they want to bank with us. To learn more, visit or contact Dino D’Auria at

Company Spotlight: In & Out Smart Repair

In-and-Out-Smart-Logo-FinalIn & Out Smart Repair recently opened its first location in Southern California. Located in Mission Valley, it is a central location for San Diegans to come with their phone repair needs. Focused on being a one-stop solution for customers with mobile device problems, repairs are done quickly and professionally on-site for phones, tablets, and computers. More locations throughout San Diego County are coming later this year.

In & Out Smart Repair was
 founded in 2012 by John Mike Heroman in Lafayette,
 Louisiana. John Mike worked in 
the consumer electronics
 industry and 
realized the
need for a reputable,
 dedicated phone
 repair business as brand recognition for this 
industry had yet to be established. Recognizing this huge opportunity, he founded In & Out Smart Repair. Within two years he and his management team had expanded to five successful stores. With the demand for growth showing no signs of slowing he decided to offer franchise opportunities in late 2014. Over the next few months ten more successful locations were established. Now with over 50 stores throughout the Southeastern U.S. expansion is moving to other regions.

In & Out Smart Repair is thrilled to be in California bringing not only their service but jobs to the economy as well. With plans to open 20 stores in California this year they are focused on their goal of becoming the trusted, household name in phone repair. They are here to help and serve people of San Diego with any technical needs for phones, tablets, or computers. In addition to fixing cracked screens they can help with charging issues, microphones, speakers, data transfer, and the like. They also sell certified pre-owned phones.

By only using OEM quality parts, and offering a limited, lifetime warranty on all of their work their goal is to provide the best overall value in the industry. So next time you or a friend have a repair need for your mobile device, consider In And Out Smart Repair, one of the newest members of the Chamber of Commerce.



Kevin Rogers
Area Development Specialist
In & Out Smart Repair
2020 Camino Del Rio North #105
San Diego CA 92108

Today’s Economy and the Value of Your Business

Business owners continually grapple with two critical issues—current and projected economic conditions, and business value. These issues influence the success or demise of business enterprises. Publishing titan and global economic advisor Steve Forbes, and the nation’s leading business valuation analysts, will tackle these issues at a half-day Business Forum and Networking Luncheon on June 9 at the Hotel del Coronado. The forum and networking luncheon are sponsored by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, the leading authority in matters of value.

steve-forbes_w-nameThroughout his tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, Mr. Forbes continues to provide strategic advice on the big issues of the day to business leaders around the world. Understanding trends in the U.S. and global economy, how they influence capital markets, investment allocation, and returns on those investments can provide keen insight into business growth and success. Mr. Forbes will discuss these issues during his keynote address—Navigating the Economy for Business Growth and Success.

money pieAs a business owner, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my business assets worth?
  • What is the value to an outside party of my ongoing business—revenues, profits, brand?
  • What does the current market look like for businesses similar to mine?
  • How can knowing my business value impact bank financing?
  • In planning for retirement, what is a good strategy for the sale or exit of my business?
  • What metrics would be helpful to motivate my key employees and partners to be more efficient, productive, and profitable?
  • How can I protect my business if I ever get embroiled in litigation?

If you value your business, you would have your business valued. Seasoned business valuation analysts will follow Steve Forbes’ keynote address discussing the financial principles behind a business valuation and field your questions so you can learn something about the process.

NACVA25smJoin the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts on June 9 for this timely exchange of critical business intel. Learn more at

U.S. Embassy Announces PedWest Opening

Beginning July 15, travelers to the United States may cross through to San Diego using the new Pedestrian West (PedWest) Facility El Chaparral-San Ysidro. PedWest will eventually process southbound pedestrians and include a multimodal transit center in Tijuana as well.

View full press release here.

The 2016 San Diego Voters Guide Is Here

San-Diego-Voters-Guide-2016In an effort to educate voters as to the candidates and propositions that are in the best interest of business, the San Diego Regional Chamber has released a 2016 Voters Guide.

From Chamber President & CEO, Jerry Sanders:

“At the Chamber we strive to make San Diego a place where businesses can succeed and grow while creating jobs, supporting infrastructure and enriching neighborhoods. To do that, we need to make sure business-friendly candidates are elected and voters understand which policy measures are good for business growth and the creation of jobs.”

Download the full San Diego Voters Guide here.



The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Turning the American Dream into a Reality for All

Snapshot from the Mexico City Delegation's "Shark Tank"

Snapshot from the Mexico City Delegation’s “Shark Tank”

One fundamental value of the United States is that everyone can achieve the American dream. Regardless of where or how we grew up, what we believe or what we look like, Americans hold fast to the belief that we can all succeed. As our country has grown larger and more diverse, we have come to recognize that success is more accessible for some than others. To combat this, a number of our domestic policies focus on ways to level the playing field in order to maintain and restore equal access to the American dream.

Global enterprise is another area where some can achieve success more rapidly than others due to advantages provided to them. To rectify these inequities, our country enters into trade agreements with other nations to provide American goods and products with access equivalent to domestic providers in foreign markets. One such trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was recently concluded and is awaiting consideration by Congress. The TPP was negotiated with 11 Asian-Pacific nations and would help American businesses better compete in some of the world’s largest markets.

The TPP is set to eliminate more than 18,000 taxes that currently apply to American goods sold in these markets. In 2014, more than 40 percent of all California exports, including 44 percent of San Diego exports, went to TPP countries. Imagine how much more we could sell to these nations with the removal of crippling tariffs and other regulations that make American goods more costly for Asia-based consumers.

San Diego, in particular, is well poised to capitalize on benefits of the TPP. With our location on the Pacific Ocean and our economic focus in telecommunications, San Diego businesses have direct access to Asian markets and provide highly sought after goods and services.

It all comes back to ensuring the rules are fair for all who play. Implementation of this groundbreaking trade agreement would put American businesses in contention like never before. And when America can compete, we know we can win.

ACTION ALERT: The Chamber urges all members to take a moment to learn how the TPP will benefit their business and sign-on to the Chamber’s open letter of support.

Healthcare Meeting With the El Paso Chamber

el paso

(click for larger image)

The San Diego Chamber assisted the El Paso Chamber with their visit to San Diego, which included a meeting with Chamber member, SIMNSA Health Plan, due to their interest in establishing a similar binational healthcare model in their own border region. Their visit concluded with a keynote speech from Chamber President & CEO, Jerry Sanders.

Following the meeting, Chamber VP Paola Avila penned an op-ed in the El Paso Times on Donald Trump and the importance of crossborder collaboration:

Those of us living and working along the border know that the United States is Mexico’s top trade partner. Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trade partner. Between the two countries, more than half a trillion dollars in goods is moving back and forth each year.

We also know that as much as 40 percent of U.S. imports from Mexico are produced by a U.S.-based workforce. We are not only trading with each other; we are producing together.

View the full article here.