News & Updates

EXIM Bank Reauthorization

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) assists U.S. exporters with financing. In 2018, EXIM supported $6.8 billion worth of exports and 33,000 jobs.

EXIM’s operations are now at risk unless Congress reauthorizes the bank to continue operations. Without an export credit agency such as EXIM, the U.S. stands to lose global competitiveness, and small businesses, as well as local jobs, will be negatively impacted.

The Chamber supports the reauthorization of EXIM, providing much-needed certainty for U.S. exporters and their employees that rely on the bank to compete in a global market.

California Tourism, a Driver of the State Economy, Powers Regional Success

After nine consecutive years of growth, California’s travel and tourism economy continues to surge.    Visitors pumped more than $140 billion in travel spending in the last year, stimulating business development and providing Californians with more than one million jobs.

Tourism powers regional economies. In San Diego County alone, tourism generated $11.5 billion in travel-related spending, resulting in 194,000 jobs in local communities.

Increased travel spending is leading to record-setting hotel construction and more than $4 billion in annual investments in theme park, restaurant, and other tourism-related infrastructure.  These projects are creating secondary employment effects, generating high-quality jobs in building and construction.

Not only does tourism support the state and regional economies, the industry is a boon for city and county budgets. Last year, visitor spending generated $11.8 billion in tax revenue for state and local jurisdictions and was among the top three sources of funding for many counties. This revenue helps fund vital programs and infrastructure projects and saves California households an additional $890 in taxes each year to maintain state and local services. That’s enough money to resurface 17,000 miles of two-lane roads or employ 107,000 police officers.

It takes more than having the perfect destination to attract visitor dollars. For more than 25 years, Visit California’s marketing programs have delivered billions of dollars of new visitor spending and helped establish California as the number one travel destination in the U.S. Over the next five years, Visit California will be building on this success by investing $500 million in global marketing campaigns to ensure that the state remains a top consideration when travelers around the world are planning a trip.

Read more on economic impact and the benefits of travel and tourism to California’s economy.

 Hotel del Coronado — Photo credit courtesy of Visit California in Partnership with AFAR

Naval Base San Diego Named Host Testing & Experimentation Site for 5G Technology

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Naval Base San Diego was selected as a host testing and experimentation site for 5G technology. The DOD is gathering responses and industry feedback to the draft request for proposals. The final RFP is expected in December 2019, however, the final RFP is dependent on the passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

$75 Million Available for Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program

The Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention program (VHHP) administered by The California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Housing Finance Agency, and the California Department of Veterans Affairs, announced beginning November 8, 2019, $75 million in funding will be available for development projects aimed at housing California’s veterans. In particular, the funds are available to projects that seek to house those at risk of homelessness or experiencing temporary or chronic homelessness.

There will be a workshop at Point Loma Library – Marla Hass Community Room on December 9, 2019, for interested applicants, register here. Final applications are due February 13, 2020. More information can be found here.

Deadline Approaching for CalSavers: June 2020

Per state legislation, the state of California launched a retirement savings program in November 2018. The program, known as CalSavers, is designed to provide employees who otherwise are not offered that benefit via their employer access to a retirement savings plan. Businesses who do not proactively offer retirement benefits are required to enroll, and the deadline is based on employer size. The first deadline is approaching in June 2020, for employers with over 100 employees. To learn more or to sign up, please visit the Treasurer’s website.

Chamber Policy Committee Reviews City’s Homeless Action Plan

File:San Diego Reflecting Pond.jpg

At the beginning of 2019, the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee recognized homelessness as one of the top three policy areas of priority. The City, throughout the year, and in coordination with various stakeholder groups including the San Diego Housing Commission, has taken a variety of steps to address the housing and homelessness crisis. Most recently, a report conducted by the Corporation for Supportive Housing presented an action plan to the City Council which was accepted with unanimous support. The plan represents an opportunity to leverage the momentum already built locally to create short-, mid-, and long-term policy and programmatic solutions to make dramatic inroads to finding safe and stable housing for vulnerable populations. The plan, in its entirety, can be viewed here.

Elevate SD 2020

Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is considering putting a measure on the November 2020 ballot that would create a dedicated funding stream for transit projects and MTS wants your feedback on which public transportation projects are your top priority. Take the Elevate SD 2020 Vision Builder Challenge here. Your input will inform which projects and services get funded. The Vision Builder Challenge closes on December 1.

RE: BORDER, “The Water We Share” Binational Conference

RE:Border, Reimagining the California-Baja Transborder Region. Binational Conference Nov.25 - 26

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce invites you to San Diego State University’s first annual collaborative conference exploring key cross-border issues and innovative solutions: RE: BORDER, “The Water We Share” Binational Conference.

This year’s conference will analyze the use of water resources in the trans-border region of California and Baja California. Academic experts, practitioners, students, public policy experts, and community stakeholders will explore how San Diego State University and its regional partners can contribute to innovative solutions for water-related challenges in the binational region through expert presentations, conversations, poster sessions, and artistic experiences.

Join Chamber President and CEO, Jerry Sanders, and participate in the conversations. RE:Border will take place on Monday, November 25 at San Diego State University, and Tuesday, November 26 at Baja California’s State University (UABC). Learn more about the conference from SDSU President de la Torre as she shares the importance of cross-border collaboration on regional issues and what makes this conference unique on SDSU’s latest podcast (click here for a transcript)

Visit the event’s website for a full list of speakers, partners, agenda, and here to register.


Cross-Border Business Forum Recap: Trends and Investment Opportunities for Mixed-Use Developments

The Chamber was proud to partner with the Tijuana Economic Development Council to co-host our final Cross-Border Business Forum of 2019. The event featured a panel of experts who shared current trends and investment opportunities in mixed-use developments in our region:

  • Alex Gutierrez, Architect, Carrier Johnson + CULTURE (moderator)
  • Daniel Cano-Falomir, Managing Partner, Crowe Horwath
  • Cristina Hermosillo, Architect and Partner, Hermosillo y Asociados
  • Saul de los Santos, CEO and Founder, AXIS Intelligent Strategy
  • Michel Goldstein, CEO, Eazy Group and Zibra Realty.

Cities around the world and our binational region are seeing a resurgence of mixed-use developments. With renewed popularity, mixed-use development blend business, retail, and residential spaces allowing residents, tenants, and visitors to coexist in a pedestrian-friendly environment. As mixed-use developments catch the attention of foreign investors, panelists agreed that a recommended first step is reaching out to business organizations such as the Chamber who know the region best and can provide guidance and connections needed to venture into the market. They extended an invitation to investors, developers, and entrepreneurs to take the risk and invest in our region, taking advantage of the thriving ecosystem and policies which have incentivized the growth we continue to see today.

A video recording of the panel and roundtable discussion is available at the Chamber’s Facebook.

Building Bridges: Chamber Team Strengthens International Partnerships

INDEX Zona Costa International Trade Forum
Mexico’s manufacturing business organization (INDEX) held its regional International Trade Forum in Tijuana bringing together industry leaders from Baja’s five municipalities. Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders provided remarks on the region’s cross-border commerce and collaboration which has led to success stories including Cross Border Xpress and an integrated manufacturing supply chain.

Get Global Conference
A trade summit focused exclusively on international business strategy, cross-border expansion, and key foreign markets dynamics that took place in Long Beach this year. The Chamber participated in the ‘Mexico Super-Session’ panel which centered on major trends and the effects of U.S.-Mexico trade policy and politics on business and the consumer market.

Border Mayors Association Summit
Mayors from cities along the U.S.-Mexico border gathered for the Border Mayors Association Binational Summit in San Diego. The coalition signed two resolutions: one in support of international trade and ratification of the new trilateral trade agreement (USMCA), and a second in support of funding for border infrastructure programs which would help address transboundary pollution. Chamber Vice President of International Business Affairs Paola Avila participated as moderator of the “North America: Economic Opportunity Starts Here” panel featuring the Mayors of Tijuana, San Diego, and Laredo.

Baja HAHA 2019
The Chamber was proud to join the Sportfishing Association of California for the annual Baja HAHA kickoff to promote tourism. For 26 years, over 3,300 boats and 11,000 sailors have participated in the event which marks the start of a two-week sailing rally from San Diego to  Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This event attracts a large audience of out of town guests who travel to San Diego to be part of the rally.