News & Updates


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The Ahlers Center for International Business at the University of San Diego (USD) released a report that provides an in-depth analysis of the characteristics, dynamics, and impacts of the CaliBaja regional economy. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce partnered with USD for this research to help inform policy and influence economic growth within the CaliBaja region.  

“This report is important for the Chamber and regional stakeholders, as it helps us address challenges and opportunities for the binational region with a collective voice.  It also serves as an essential tool for promoting the development of policies that drive our economy through efficient cross-border trade, along with strong international business, political, and cultural relationships,” said Jerry Sanders, San Diego Regional Chamber President, and CEO.  “We are very grateful to USD for this in-depth analysis focused on growing our cross-border workforce and regional economy.”

Combining the border economies of the U.S. state of California and the Mexican state of Baja California, the CaliBaja regional economy is the largest integrated economic zone along the U.S.-Mexico border. With a regional GDP of nearly $250 billion, “CaliBaja” is home to diverse industries, including some with powerful manufacturing capabilities that drive cross-border economic activity and create jobs in both the United States and Mexico. 

This report was made possible by The Ahlers Center for International Business’ Move Forward program – which connects professors with local businesses to solve a current organizational challenge. 


Key Takeaways from the Report:


CaliBaja’s educational institutions are preparing the region’s STEM workforce. A total of 30,932 higher education degrees were conferred in San Diego County and 18,800 were conferred in Baja California in 2018, with 32% and 38% awarded in the STEM fields, respectively. 


The region’s manufacturing strengths helped CaliBaja weather the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 struck certain industries hard —with severe job losses in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreations (-51.7%) and Accommodation and Food Services (-51.4)— job losses were much lower in Manufacturing (-7%), Information (-8.4%), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (-5.9%).


Much of the region’s high manufacturing capability comes from the Mexican side. The region has a strong manufacturing base compared to other parts of the United States and Mexico, particularly in areas like audio-visual manufacturing and medical devices. In 2018, Tijuana had 41 industries (including 27 in manufacturing) that were well above average in the number of workers, while Mexicali had 49 such industries (including 17 in manufacturing). By comparison, San Diego had high concentrations in 35 industries (10 in manufacturing). Imperial had high concentrations in 27 industries (one in manufacturing). 


The strength of the CaliBaja economy has made it attractive to outside investors. Baja California attracts over a billion dollars a year in foreign direct investment (FDI), with the majority of that investment in manufacturing. Venture capital flowing into San Diego has increased sharply in recent years and topped $2 billion in each quarter from 2020Q4 to 2021Q2, mainly in the life sciences (biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and genomics). 


Improved infrastructure is needed to create jobs and promote investment for both countries. Continued infrastructure investments—including the construction of the Otay Mesa East port of entry for trucks and commercial vehicles—are urgently needed to enable the CaliBaja region to contribute to the growth of U.S.-Mexico production and trade in the coming decades. 


This report was prepared through binational collaboration with the University of San Diego, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and Colegio de la Frontera Norte.


Predictive Scheduling Ordinance

Last year, during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, there was an interest in pursuing a predictive scheduling ordinance in the City of San Diego. This would have required employers to provide employee schedules up to 14 days in advance, penalize employers for adjusting employee schedules, and prohibit the use of “on call” lists–among other requirements.

The Chamber, along with the California Restaurant Association, the California Retailers Association, BOMA, NAIOP, San Diego AGC, and the San Diego Lodging Association, formed a coalition to oppose the ordinance.

A number of our members had specific feedback, particularly during their experience recovering from the pandemic, about negative impacts. 

Chamber staff prepared research citing impact studies of cities that had implemented a predictive scheduling ordinance, finding that “one size fits all” scheduling policies often have unintended consequences that can be negative for both businesses and staff. 

Councilmember Campillo has determined he will not be pursuing the predictive scheduling ordinance in 2022, and that he appreciated the Chamber’s research and contribution as he considered next steps.

We’re really appreciative of the opportunity to work with the Councilmember and his team to think through potential policies and look forward to continuing that collaboration.

Ambassador Salazar Visits Cali-Baja Region

More than 50 local, state, and federal representatives from the U.S. and Mexico joined private sector leaders from both countries for a binational summit to reiterate their commitment to working together to advance the construction of the Otay Mesa East Land Port of Entry.  The summit, led by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and moderated by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, was held at the site where the new port is being built.


The Ambassador also met with the city of Tijuana and the State government to discuss joint efforts to address transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana river valley in our region. He was joined by the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan.


This was Ambassador Salazar’s first visit to San Diego since was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Mexico on September 2, 2021.

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San Diego City Council Hearings Recap

Homes For All of Us Package

On Tuesday, February 8, City Council voted 8-1 to support Mayor Gloria’s Homes for All of Us package. This initiative aims to help more San Diegans afford housing. We were pleased to voice our support–something must be done to increase housing production, or young people won’t be able to raise families in the city and our businesses will struggle to attract and retain the talent they need to grow.

The items in the first Housing Action Package, approved by the City Council, include the following reforms:

Senate Bill 9 implementation: Implements the state law allowing the split of a single-family lot into two lots, and permitting up to two new homes on each lot. The City’s implementation is aimed at preserving neighborhood quality while providing more opportunities for affordable housing in all communities.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance amendments: Amends the City’s existing ADU ordinance to make it consistent with SB 9 on privacy, landscaping, and development impact fees. 

Housing at City facilities: Streamlines the process for building affordable and middle-income homes on City-owned sites.

Affordable Housing in All Communities: Encourages affordable housing construction in communities with little to no affordable housing. To meet the City’s climate and equity goals, the homes must be built near transit and in “high resource” areas — areas close to good-paying jobs that have low levels of air and water pollution and a high educational achievement.

Employee Housing Incentive Program: Provides incentives for non-residential developments to pay into a San Diego Housing Commission fund that will be used to develop affordable homes.

Live/work flexibility: Currently, the City allows for the development of live/work units that function as both a home and place of business. This proposal would further facilitate the production of live/work units to allow for more work-from-home and telework opportunities.

Housing Accessibility Program: Provides incentives to include more accessible housing for people with disabilities, with adequate space in kitchens and bathrooms and accessible routes throughout the building. As San Diego’s population ages, creating accessible homes is an important way to ensure more residents can remain and live independently in San Diego.

Housing for Families: Provides incentives for multifamily housing developments to build homes with three or more bedrooms to ensure that families of all sizes have opportunities for housing.

Learn more here

Street Vending Ordinance 

Councilmember Campbell’s Street Vending Ordinance passed the EDIR committee unanimously


This ordinance presents a comprehensive framework for the regulation of sidewalk vendors within the City of San Diego, which includes the issuing permits. The ordinance sets parameters relating to distance requirements from various public assets and facilities, prohibits vending in various high-traffic pedestrian areas, and regulates parkland, including beaches and plazas, which are under the management of the Parks & Recreation Department. The ordinance also differentiates between stationary sidewalk vendors, who vend from fixed locations, and roaming sidewalk vendors who move from place to place and stop to complete a transaction


Learn more here

Newsom Extends COVID-19 Paid Family Sick Leave

Governor Newsom signed legislation extending COVID-19 paid family sick leave and additional small business relief. SB 114 requires covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of paid family sick leave (reinstating the supplemental paid sick leave a la 2020). Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are exempt, however the bill is retroactive to January 1, 2022 and extends through September 30, 2022. SB 113 provides $6.1 billion in tax relief and grants for small businesses, including $150 million to fund waitlisted applicants for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.


You can read this helpful summary on what employers need to know about supplemental sick leave here.

Member Spotlight: Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP.

For a 16th consecutive year, Brian Chase has been named a 2022 SuperLawyer. Brian has a prestigious career and is the former President of the OCTLA, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association. But those statistic just scratch the surface!

In their 40+ years, the team at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have built a strong reputation by serving more than 12,000 clients with a 99% success rate, winning in excess of $700 million in verdicts and settlements. They take on cases including car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, slip and fall injuries, dog bite claims, product liability accidents, employment law cases, and many more.

Want to learn more about Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP? Visit their website.

Contact Brian D. Chase

Managing Partner, Trial Lawyer

9920 Pacific Heights Blvd., Suite 150
San Diego, California, 92121

LEADers On The Move

We enjoy seeing what our graduates are doing and how they are making an impact on the world. Share your good news with us via email:

Impact & SDYL Board member, Lauren Rowley now serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Stella Angels.

Influence program graduate and Executive Vice President of San Diego County Credit Union, Nathan Schmidt was named among SD Metro’s Top Marketing Executives 2022. Learn more.

Impact program participant and Media & Public Relations Manager for Cox California, Ceanne Guerra was named among SD Metro’s Top Marketing Executives 2022. Learn more.

Influence program graduate and President & CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Kim Becker was named Public Official of the Year by BOMA San Diego.

Impact program graduate and Chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Gil Cabrera was named Public Official of the Year by BOMA San Diego.

Impact & Advance program graduate, Alison Philips now serves as Vice President, Engagement for San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Impact program graduate, Christine Antoine now serves as Senior Policy Administrator for Port of San Diego.

Impact program graduate, James Sly now serves as Board Member for San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

Impact program graduate, Andrew Picard now serves as COO for Mama’s Kitchen. Learn more.

Impact program graduate, Supervisor Nora Vargas now serves as a Board Member for California Air Resources Board.

Impact program graduate, Amy Dawson now serves as Marketing & Communications Manager for Hughes Marino.

Impact program graduate, Ben Garcia now serves as Executive Director for American LGBTQ+ Museum. Learn more.

Member Spotlight: Little Angels Service Dogs

Little Angels Service Dogs (Little Angels) is a 501 C (3) non-profit, Assistance Dog International accredited organization. Little Angels was started in 2006 and received nonprofit status in 2011 in the State of California. In 2019, Little Angels expanded to New Hampshire, opening a second ranch on 35 acres in Bartlett, NH.

Meet Skelly, Murphy, Toby, and Titus at the San Diego Ranch. What a crew! They’re all working hard out in Jamul to train and become awesome service dogs for persons with disabilities.

Staff in California and NH continue to work to prepare and place fully trained service dogs with children and adults with disabilities in homes across the country and beyond. As an ADI accredited organization, training practices are held to the highest standards in the industry. It is with this dedication that they are “Changing Lives, One Dog at a Time.”

They specialize in training service dogs for mobility assistance, seizure alert, autism assistance, hearing alert, diabetic alert and psychiatric assistance for children and adults of all ages.

One program you may have heard of is P.U.P.S. (Puppies Uplifting Prisoners’ Spirits) Program where Little Angels puppies awaiting advanced training are taught basic commands and some advanced tasks while changing the lives of their inmate trainers. This California program and its positive impact on residents and dog recipients was recently featured on ABC News’ Nightline.

For more information on Little Angels Service Dogs, visit or find them on Facebook.