September 9, 2022
Just what we all needed in this triple-digit heatwave: hot, pumpkin-flavored stuff! While we joke (we swear, we love our Starbucks members and PSL season!) we are very serious about our absolute shock that we are now entering September.
Yes. It is too early for Halloween directions, put that pumpkin down.
Baby you’re a firework. And we want everyone to know about you. Check out the SD Metro Rock Stars opportunity, where you can highlight all your business expertise, success and fabulousness as a featured podcast visitor.
You better werk! Lucas, a four year old Penguin at the San Diego Zoo just got himself some new footwear. Fitted with fabulous new orthopedics, Lucas can overcome issues from his condition known as bumblefoot. (Everything about this is endearing). Go, Lucas!
Chamber member Townspeople is in the news for their innovative approach to partnership both in practice and program. They’re teaming up with Adjoin to explore shared housing models in San Diego.
Congratulations to the MANY Chamber members for making Forbes’ best employers by state list!
There’s a new coffee king in town. Starbucks has named their new CEO, Laxman Narasimhan.
Sound the alarm on small biz, y’all! A new poll from Alignable shows an increase in small businesses unable to pay rent in August. In California, that number is up 16 percentage points, to a 44% marker.
In today’s Nobody Knows What’s Happening file: job numbers went up, even amidst a fire speech from Powell last week that basically said “ain’t nobody backing off.” Job openings for July (these reports come out a month later) were 11.2 million, up some 200k and much to the surprise of many people who are supposed to know things for a living. More jobs per workforce is indicative of the direction the Fed has said it hopes to see. August numbers are out tomorrow.
The Omicron specific boosters from Pfizer/BioNTech & Moderna will be available soon. They are expected just after Labor Day. As we all watch what COVID will do as kids return to school and the holidays approach, let’s all cross our fingers and toes.
….And good thing because the feds will not be giving you any more free at-home testing kits. Due to lack of funding being appropriated, there isn’t enough cash to cover the program. That may change, but as of September 2nd, the program is kaput.
Flight canceled, now what? DoT Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the department would create a dashboard for travelers to determine what they were owed due to delayed or canceled flights in a letter that he sent to airline CEOs.
Mary Peltola wins the only House of Representatives seat in Alaska in the special election, making history as the first Alaska Native elected to Congress and also flipping the seat Democrat for the first time in 49 years. Peltola beat former Governor Sarah Palin, as the votes for third place GOP candidate Nick Begich III were redistributed to his supporters’ second choice under rank choice voting. Yes complicated and confusing… but Alaska will now be sending a Democrat to finish the remainder of late Congressman Young’s term.
Wah, wahhhh… NASA’s highly anticipated, unmanned, Artemis Moon Launch was scrubbed on Monday morning due to an engine issue and has been rescheduled to Saturday afternoon. You can watch live. (We have decided that space news is international. There isn’t a “space” section in this newsletter. Yet.)
Following the MOU we signed with binational stakeholders to promote the San Diego and Tijuana region as the main destination for foreign direct investment, the Chamber met with business leaders from both sides of the border to identify common challenges and key opportunities to strengthen our global competitiveness. This included concerns on the medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission fleet regulation proposed by CARB and launching a Binational Communications Protocol in advance of any emergency or crisis that may arise in the future.
Chamber staff participated in a focus group with business organizations and industry leaders across Baja California to develop a policy strategic plan to boost and strengthen economic development in the region. The discussion covered economic promotion, border affairs, tourism, and entrepreneurship, among other topics.
Last month’s IBA Forum featured a conversation with the NADBank and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on the Low-Carbon Transition Opportunities in our Cali-Baja region. There is growing concern amongst the private sector and industry on the challenges businesses will face to meet requirements proposed by CARB to transition over to electric vehicles with a strict timeline. This includes the lack of charging stations and supporting infrastructure, cross-border waits, pricing, the impact to electricity grids, and increased costs for consumers and small businesses. The Chamber and other business organizations have submitted letters to convey these points and we strongly encourage you to submit comments and testimony to CARB to ensure that these concerns are addressed.
We’re starting to experience additional consequences to this heat wave besides our bad mood: A brush fire that sparked in East San Diego County exploded to more than 4,000 acres and forced evacuations and the closure of the SR94 and the Tecate Port of Entry. This morning, all northbound traffic was redirected to the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry as a result of the blaze. The County’s Air Pollution Control District (APCD) issued a smoke advisory stating air quality could reach unhealthy levels.
Mikhail Gorbachev–former President of the Soviet Union–passed on Tuesday at 91. Putin called Gorbachev a “politician and statesman who had a huge impact on the course of world history”, though Putin’s own policies have sought to undo much of his predecessor’s legacy of personal and political freedoms.
Do you have a note on your calendar reminding you that the early bird pricing for this year’s Delegation to Mexico City ends next week? Save $500 by turning in your application before next Friday, and join this year’s binational delegation to meet with key federal officials and organizations to discuss trade and investment opportunities, attend a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar, and many other unique opportunities.
It’s official! The Supreme Court of California has a new Chief Justice: Patricia Guerrero, the first Latina to hold this role. While she was sworn in to fulfill retiring Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s remaining term, she will also be on the ballot this November.
California’s Senate has just passed AB 257, known as the Fast Food Recovery Act. This bill will establish the Fast Food Council, which will have the authority to create standards for wages, working hours, and conditions within the industry. One major component of the law that has been removed was the Joint Liability Clause, which would have held corporate franchisers responsible for labor law violations of its franchisees. The new council when created will have a total of ten representatives: four representing franchises or franchisees, four representing fast food workers, and two that will be gubernatorial appointees of the Department of Industrial Relations and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. It heads to Governor Newsom’s desk for signing.
Other things that are happening: supplemental paid sick leave, currently set to expire at the end of the month will be extended to the end of December (however it just extends it- it doesn’t add additional hours to the pot that employees can access). You might need to revisit how you drug test your employees. A housing deal was reached, which actually just meant passing both sides’ priority legislation, and may very well work out for all of us housing-squeezed folks. CARE Court got some funding too, which is sort of necessary to the program’s implementation and success. Local jurisdictions will also get money for FIFA World Cup prep in 2026. Same same, but different, no?
California just passed a massive climate and clean energy package, which includes keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant up and running. $54 billion dollars will be spent on clean energy and drought resilience measures, and codifies benchmarks for when California needs to get to 100% clean energy. Some of the earmarked spending includes $8 billion to decarbonize our electrical grid, $15 billion to improve public transit, and over $5 billion for climate and drought resilience programs.
In some interesting developments, California is making equity a goal, not a mandate in the new electric car rule. The state won’t be forcing automakers to participate in any equity programs which would have required them to ensure that people of all economic backgrounds are able to afford electric cars. Car companies will instead receive extra credit towards any sales quota if they make cars available to car sharing programs or any other program designed to help low income and disadvantaged folks. Governor Newsom has pledged to spend $10 billion dollars over the next six years in incentives to get electric cars to low-income drivers.
Better update your Linkedin job posting. The state legislature just passed a law requiring companies to post salary ranges on their job listings. The law also requires California-based companies with more than 100 employees to show their gender and racial wage gaps, a first in the nation policy. It heads to the governor’s desk for signing.
Diablo Canyon gets an angel… the state’s last nuclear plant (throws reverent peace sign at San Onofre) got a life extension, sparing it from its scheduled end of 2025. (Fun note: 58% of Californians in a recent poll also approved of keeping it open).
Our future is looking bright! California is going to combat drought using solar canopies over our water canals. Dubbed “Project Nexus”, an estimated 8,500 feet of solar panels will be installed over three sections of the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) in Central California. This pilot site will cost $20 million dollars and is funded by the state, ground will break this fall and be completed by 2023.
HCD cannot give you a house, but they can give you a boat load of data, which no, you can’t live in. Their new dashboard covers everything from excess state properties, to local progress on housing goals (ha. ha.), to eviction risk modeling.
Get in loser, we’re going to space. The Governor’s new Space Industry Task Force will be led by GO-Biz Director and Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom, Dee Dee Myers. California hosts nearly one-third of American space-tech companies, and the aerospace industry generates $66 billion dollars in economic activity across the state. Myers will be working with key stakeholders to see how the industry can be supported and expanded.
CARB announced the Innovative Small E-Fleet (ISEF): $25 million to encourage small fleets to transition to zero-emissions trucks (ZETs). Privately owned and nonprofit trucking fleets of 20 or fewer vehicles and with an annual revenue of less than $15 million are eligible for funding to cover costs related to the purchase and operation of ZETs. Learn more here.
It’s official. San Diego and the Coastal Commission have reached an agreement on enforcement of sidewalk vending rules in coastal zones. This comes after negotiations between the City and the Coastal Commission, and will be brought to the City Council for discussion and a vote soon. Enforcement of the ordinance will be done by park rangers near the coastal areas and not by SDPD.
Last Friday happened to be Women’s Equality Day and Mayor Gloria announced appointments to the City’s Commission on the Status of Women. Former Congresswoman Susan Davis will lead the Commission which includes our very own Communications Director, Marlyn Carrillo!
Like, bummer dude. The City of San Diego is proposing a ban on fire pits outside of city designated rings. The proposed ban would rewrite a section of City code that was vague on wood fire pits outside of City fire rings, and would enforce a strict no-exceptions interpretation. City officials are saying that it is necessary to update the city code to allow wood burning bonfires outside of designated city rings since it has been the de facto status quo for so long. Proponents say that the fires are dangerous, leave embers in the sand and blow smoke to the residential neighborhoods near them. City councilmember Joe LaCava is hoping to send this proposal to City Council by October for approval.
Better late than never? The City of San Diego is targeting a January 2023 roll-out of its food waste recycling services, a full year after the state’s 2022 deadline. If the People’s Ordinance remains in effect, the city will have to absorb the costs of the new food waste recycling requirements under SB 1383. Even if the People’s Ordinance is repealed, the city must also ensure that all residents have an organics waste bin and expand yard waste/organics collection services. Oh, and build a $50 million organics recycling facility at the Miramar landfill.
The City of San Diego’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, invites y’all to join them on their first community event to decorate a welcome note for newly arrived refugees and immigrants that will be delivered to organizations such as International Rescue Committee, Jewish Family Services, Alliance for African Assistance, and others. The event will take place at the City Heights/Weingart Branch Library on September 10th at 10:30am. RSVP here.
Housing news just keeps getting…worse. San Diego is the 5th most expensive city for one-bedroom renters at $25,580 for the median one-bedroom price. And, while for-sale home prices are still up, the pace of home price appreciation has slowed down.
San Diego’s biotech industry is booming! San Diego ranks third in the nation as a biotech cluster, and has seen a surge of real estate sales throughout the County, around $3.4 billion in the last 12 months.
Chula Vista‘s Third Avenue Village is doing a massive rebranding campaign. Led by the The Downtown Chula Vista Association (formerly known as the Third Avenue Village Association), the strip of businesses will soon be rebranded to “Downtown Chula Vista: “Where Culture and Community Meet” are all part of this effort to revitalize the community. The iconic Third Avenue sign will remain intact, but new amenities will soon be implemented later on this year.
In more Chula-centric news, Chula Vista and the San Diego Foundation are offering Covid-19 relief money to small businesses and nonprofits. The city has $3.6 million dollars in its fund to spend. Organizations that operate in Chula Vista are eligible to apply until October 27. Applications won’t be reviewed until the deadline closes. For more information click here.
This week, the County of San Diego started updating their cumulative vaccine summary and allocations for MPX every Tuesday. County-sponsored MPX vaccine events are expected to happen next week in North County.
- The San Diego City Council will be in legislative recess until September 6.
- The City of San Diego’s Land Use & Housing Committee will hold a special meeting to hear Midway Rising’s Sports Arena redevelopment presentation on September 8 at 10:00am.
- The SANDAG Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities will meet on September 6 at 3:00pm; the Board of Directors will meet on September 9 at 9:00am.
- The City of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on September 8 at 9:00am.
- The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will receive an informational presentation on Community Benefits Agreements on September 9 at 9:00am.
- The MTS Board of Directors will meet September 15 at 9:00am.
Capital Opportunities & Resources
- Chula Vista and the San Diego Foundation are offering Covid-19 relief money to small businesses and nonprofits. The city has $3.6 million dollars in its fund to spend. Organizations that operate in Chula Vista are eligible to apply until October 27. Applications won’t be reviewed until the deadline closes. For more information click here.
- San Diego County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant funds are still available for local small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. County Districts 1, 2, and 3 are still accepting applications. Learn more here.
- GO-Biz, along with the office of the Small Business Advocate, have created resources to help businesses seeking to grow, and those interested in the trucking industry. Check out the California Truck Guide and the Business Quick Start Guide for more information.
- Applications for micro-enterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOs) in the County of San Diego can be found 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.
- Small business owners may currently receive $2,000 per employee that participates in the paid family leave program. Small business owners can apply here.
- Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide. SBDC can help with applying for COVID-19 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!
Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions
Defense, Veterans, & Military Committee:
Our next meeting will be on September 7, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.
Public Policy Committee:
Our next meeting will be on September 13, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.
Our next meeting will be on September 14, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.
Transportation & Land Development Committee:
Our next meeting will be on September 20, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.
Our next forum will be on September 21, 8:00-9:30am via zoom.
Economic Development Strategy Working Group:
Our next convening will be on September 27 at 9:00am via zoom.
Sustainability & Industry Committee:
Our next committee meeting will be on October 6, 8:00-9:00am via zoom.
International Business Affairs Forum:
Our next forum will be on November 17 at 10:00am via zoom.