News & Updates

Blue Shield of California Announces NextGen Sustainability Goals

Climate change is an urgent public health issue. According to a recent survey from Blue Shield of California, a CarbonNeutral® certified company, more than eight out of 10 (83%) of Gen Z youth are concerned about the health of the planet. A majority of respondents also say their environment affects both their physical health (69%) and mental health (75%).

In this video, Blue Shield’s leaders and grantees share the company’s ambitious set of sustainability goals to adopt and promote climate smart healthcare, which address the impact of climate change on human health, especially for the most vulnerable communities.

Member Spotlight: Jackie’s Jams

One Year Later – Stronger and Sweeter than Ever!

Jackie’s Jams is dedicated to bringing all natural, locally sourced, handcrafted jam and jellies to your home, kitchen and bar. The team takes great pride in blending small-batch jam from natural ingredients you can pronounce – mostly fruit, a little cane sugar, a bit of pectin – and sourcing as much of our produce as possible from farmers who live in Southern California.

Their jam line includes a wide range of flavors, from classic, kid-friendly favorites like Strawberry and Tripleberry, to savory Fig, keto-friendly Strawberry Pineapple, and seasonal specialties like Pumpkin Butter. Best of all, it’s made right here in San Diego County.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down San Diego County in March of 2020, the team had just moved to a new kitchen and warehouse and didn’t know what to do – or if they would even be able to keep the doors open. As a business that was built on in-person sales at farmers markets, partnerships with local eateries, and placement in grocery stores like Specialty Produce, Whole Foods and Sprouts, they knew they had to pivot, and pivot fast.

Fortunately, Jackie’s Jams already had a website for online sales and relationships with a variety of San Diego business to partner with. And well, that was just the first of many challenges faced in 2020!

From closing their longstanding farmer’s market booths and shifting those person-to-person sales online, to overcoming the challenges of safely reopening their kitchen, to a glass jar shortage throughout the United States that brought uncertainty, the team found that no matter what the challenge, they were able to face it.

Though, Jackie’s Jams grew their online business over 400% in 2020 thanks to businesses, partners, and loyal customers. And they are looking forward to building on the hard work, resilience, and relationships that helped them make it through 2020 as they grow Jackie’s Jams in 2021 and into the future. The team is committed to continuing to honor their commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly business practices, forming long-term partnerships with top retailers, restaurants and destinations in the San Diego area, and celebrating the community that has supported us for more than a decade.

To learn more about Jackie’s Jams – or to buy our locally produced jam online! – visit

Member Spotlight: The Fish Market Restaurants

It is Alaskan Halibut Season!

The Fish Market defines the start of spring as the day the first wild Alaskan Halibut catch of the year arrives. Halibut is always a fan favorite: its firm texture is great for grilling, while it’s mild and sweet flavor profile make it easy for even the most novice seafood diner to love. Check out the fish shop and place your order! They are open and ready to share a great plate of fresh halibut with you soon!


To visit their Downtown San Diego location, call (619) 232-3474, or email

To visit their Del Mar Location, call (858) 755-2277.

Community Partner: The Kim Center for Social Balance

The Kim Center for Social Balance is dedicated to accelerating the achievement of equal status for all genders, races, and ethnicities in the workplace. Their LEAPS initiative is one of the most aggressive efforts to create rapid and demonstrable change throughout the country. LEAPS tools include an academically researched Assessment, data-driven Playbook, and a nationally standardized Accreditation.

Employers use LEAP to become industry leaders by creating and maintaining thriving ecosystems that include improved employee retention, productivity, and innovative mindset, all of which also benefit the bottom line. Visit for more information.

The team at Kim Center is working with local leaders to scale LEAPS to the regional level to transform San Diego into the nation’s first community model of measurable progress. Their achievements have been recognized at the California State, San Diego County, and city levels. Key partners include County and City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, foundations, unions, employers, and more.

The Kim Center is currently inviting new collaborators for a project to maximize the economic recovery of vulnerable business owners from the pandemic by: 1) assessing the financial impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, 2) modeling the short and long-term consequences of their losses to San Diego’s entire regional economic recovery, and 3) developing key recommendations for a united community response. If you would like to participate, please contact Dr. Hei-ock Kim, Executive Director, at

Ribbon Cutting – Planet Fitness Opens New Escondido Location

Congratulations to Chamber member Planet Fitness on opening their newest location in Escondido!

Member Spotlight: Cymbiotika

Cymbiotika is an innovative wellness brand based in San Diego. With the motto, “Your mind and body deserve the best”, Cymbiotika is driven by the higher purpose of inspiring everyday people to achieve their optimal health. Founded in 2017, Cymbiotika uses the most advanced bioavailable absorption technology and sources only the highest quality plant-based nutrients to resolve specific nutritional deficiencies and support healthy aging, detoxification and longevity. Cymbiotika never uses synthetics, GMOs, fillers, chemicals, preservatives, additives or sugars in its products.

With the belief that there is nothing more important than health, Cymbiotika has made it their mission to help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives. That starts with the very best quality ingredients – and for them, that’s non-negotiable.

This also manifests itself through their company culture that prioritizes giving back and improving the health and wellness within the local community. Working to combat poor nutrition as a result of food insecurity is one of the ways they live their values in our region.

The company loves finding ways to help and most recently was asked to participate in a local school’s food drive. Their entire team took part in the effort — from collecting nutritious, non-perishable goods to delivering them to the school, donating nearly 2,000 items. A recap video of the food drive can be found here.

As the new quarter kicks off, keep your eyes peeled for the Cymbiotika van and their tremendous team members donating their time and energy to share the gift of good nutrition and health throughout our communities.

Learn more at

For more information, contact:

Kaylene Karim, Director of Social Media & Marketing

Phone: (855) 983-8888


President Biden Calls On Employers to Give Paid Time Off For Vaccinations

During an announcement by President Biden on Wednesday that he had met his goal of 200 million coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, the President also called on all employers to provide paid time off for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. To help offset the cost, the President announced a new paid leave tax credit that will offset the cost for employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide full pay for any time employees need to get a COVID-19 vaccination or recover from that vaccination. Watch the President’s announcement here. A fact sheet with details is available here.

Understanding the important role that businesses play in the vaccination effort and our recovery and reopening efforts, the Chamber launched the Time To Vaccinate program last month. Time To Vaccinate is an education and awareness program offering resources and information employers can use to encourage their workforce to get vaccinated when they are able. All businesses are encouraged to join and pledge to do their part in supporting our region’s workers getting vaccinated. Learn more and join at

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Update Vaccine Guidance

Following calls for more clear guidance from employers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said it will be providing an update in the near future. Currently, most employers trying to navigate the employee vaccine situation and how it impacts return to work have done so with frustratingly little details. As a result, they’re asking the EEOC to step in to ensure that employers aren’t left with increased liability, and customers and workers can return feeling as safe and secure as possible. Specifically, the EEOC was asked to work on what incentives for vaccines would be allowable, with employers hoping for a broad definition to allow them to utilize what works best for their employees and their resources. The second request was to help employers identify what differentiates a vaccine incentive from the more commonly used wellness programs.

Baja’s Candidates for 2021 Elections

Elections for governor, as well as for local offices across Baja, will take place in June. MORENA (President Lopez Obrador’s political party) announced its candidates for municipal elections in Baja: Montserrat Caballero for the City of Tijuana; Norma Bustamante for the City of Mexicali; Dario Benitez for the City of Tecate; and Armando Ayala and Araceli Brown, who will seek reelection for Ensenada and Rosarito, respectively. For the governor’s race, Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar will represent MORENA.

Meanwhile, the opposition’s new coalition composed of the PRI, PAN, and PRD political parties announced former Miss Universe Lupita Jones will represent the party for the governor’s race and former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos will run for the opportunity to serve a second term. Other candidates running for governor include former Tijuana Mayor and businessman Jorge Hank Rhon with PES; Tijuana real estate businessman Jorge Ojeda with Fuerza Mexico; attorney and activist Carlos Atilano with PBC; and former Baja state representative Victoria Bentley with PRSP. All gubernatorial candidates participated in the first debate that took place this past weekend, and our partners at UCSD’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and Tijuana Innovadora also held a public forum on April 15 that includes most of the candidates.

Don’t Celebrate the Unemployment Numbers Yet


A troubling trend is emerging with regard to unemployment numbers in California. While employment rates numbers over the past few months appear to be improving, it is only partially due to more Californians returning to work. In actuality, it has to do with a concerning portion of the workforce simply leaving entirely, meaning that they are no longer seeking work at all. As we’ve continued to advocate to the state, we believe that the increasing demands on working parents due to unstable childcare landscapes have required that many parents simply opt out from work. The state has pegged the number of people who have stopped looking for work at almost 40,000. This issue will remain front of mind as we near the June 15 reopening.