News & Updates

Chamber’s Binational Delegation Advocates for Border Priorities in CDMX

Nearly 100 business, community, and government leaders from San Diego and Baja California met in Mexico City this week to champion U.S.-Mexico relations and advance issues critical to the success of the binational business community.

After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Binational Delegation to Mexico City is back with a list of priorities to advance the border region. The group started their meetings on Monday, October 24 with a discussion on the economy, USMCA, and the U.S.-Mexico relationship with Roberto Velasco, Chief Officer for North America from the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE).

Delegates received a thorough briefing from a team of water-related agencies, including the Gen. Director of the National Water Commission, that shared the detail of the plans for the combined nearly $500,000,000 USD investment to address the Tijuana water discharge issue.

A strong focus was given to the Otay East POE progress, including the signing of the toll revenue sharing agreement between SANDAG and the Mexican federal government — a landmark milestone achievement in this key priority for the region.

Delegates also participated in meetings with the Foreign Affairs Secretary’s office, where the officials expressed their focus on the development in the south of Mexico.

Delegates visited the Mexico Senate for a breakfast discussion with 6 federal senators, including the President of the Senate, and the heads of the energy commission, among others. Immigration, border wait times, and especially infrastructure needs of the region centered around energy.

The final session included a very interesting discussion with two key leaders of the federal tourism Secretariat, who shared aspects of their marketing and product development plans for Mexico, as well as investment opportunities.

The participation from leaders from local, state, and federal levels of government spoke to the importance of the relationship and the connections that can be made at this trip, which is one-third of our important delegation trips, with the others being Sacramento and D.C.

Read more here. Photos: Sunday Reception | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3









California & Mexico Sign Historic Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement

During the Chamber’s 2022 Binational Delegation to Mexico City, SANDAG, along with the state of California, signed a binational Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement with Mexico. This agreement is a legally binding document that serves to outline how revenue for the toll affiliated with the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will be split between the U.S. and Mexico. This signing strengthens the San Diego region’s binational relationship with Mexico, and brings the San Diego-Baja California region one step closer to a new, state-of-the-art border crossing.

The signing of this Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement follows the disbursement of a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry receiving, which will go towards financing the construction of the new border crossing facility and related transportation infrastructure. The completion of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will result in increased cross-border mobility, reduced border wait times, the creation jobs for both sides of the border, and a stronger supply chain.

Click here for more.

Download Our 2022 San Diego Voter Guide

As the leading voice for business in the San Diego region, the Chamber is dedicated to supporting and advocating for business-friendly lawmakers and initiatives. With the election approaching quickly, now is the time to learn about the candidates who are most committed to making the San Diego region the best place to live and work. Click here to download our voter guide.

Have you cast your ballot yet? Select voting centers are open NOW for early voting! You can find a list of voter centers here. Vote on or before November 8 to make sure your vote counts.

Board of Supervisors Votes to Develop Child Care Plan

At a conference on October 12, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to develop a child care plan and asked staff to return with said plan in 8 months. Since 2019, the region has lost nearly 2,000 licensed child care slots, causing costs to skyrocket – with the average annual child care cost climbing to $19,000.

Stefanie Benvenuto, Vice President of Public Affairs at the Chamber, addressed the Board alongside other community leaders and shared the important role child care businesses play in our economy. “Our employers are routinely trying to outrun the high cost of living in San Diego, and usually they’re losing that battle,” Benvenuto said.

Click here for more.

End of CA COVID-19 State of Emergency In Sight

With pandemic-related hospitalizations and deaths declining in California, Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that the COVID-19 State of Emergency would end on February 28. Throughout the pandemic, the Newsom administration made concerted efforts to ensure that Californians remained safe, including distributing PPE and securing and administering over 81 million vaccines.

“The State of Emergency was an effective and necessary tool that we utilized to protect our state, and we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without it,” said Governor Newsom. “With the operational preparedness that we’ve built up and the measures that we’ll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool.”

Click here for more.

IRS Announces Increase to Standard Deductions for 2023

The IRS announced that all seven federal income tax bracket levels will be revised upward, increasing the standard deduction amount for taxpayers. This announcement comes as inflation continues to rise, with an 8.2% increase over the last 12 months.

The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly will rise to $27,700 – up $1,800 from 2022. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023, up $900; for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $20,800, up $1,400.

Click here for more.

October 13 – Weekly Update

San Diegans have lots to celebrate today: The San Diego Padres beat rival team Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 last night and today is the US Navy’s 247th birthday!


Business Updates:

The San Diego Business Journal in association with the San Diego County Imperial Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has released their 2022 Top 50 Latino Leaders of Influence list. You’ll see a lot of familiar Chamber member faces (and a special shout out to our own Kenia who was an honoree) – Congratulations everyone!

If you haven’t heard of Girlie Garage yet (a 2022 SBA Award Winner!), check out this great piece on how they’ve grown into a business that empowers and educates women on all things car-related.


Legislative Updates


Inflation numbers came out today, and matched the weather: gloomy.  Inflation numbers for September came in at 8.2 percent, making people more and more certain that the Fed will continue to raise and hold interest rates high. Cool.

The other side of inflation: Social Security recipients will get an 8.7% COLA increase, which is the largest in 40 years.

A preview of the federal student loan debt relief application was released earlier this week. Good news: it’s short and sweet and you won’t even have to log-in or upload documents to apply. The application is expected to launch by the end of this month and will be open through December 31, 2023.

Children as young as 5 are now eligible to receive the updated COVID -19 boosters. Just in time for the holidays!

Remember the railroad worker deal that was struck a few weeks ago? It’s back off, and puts a rail strike back in the realm of possibility, at a key time for holiday shopping and goods movement. Ho ho ho, and all that jazz.



The Chamber was proud to participate in the third U.S.-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit put on by Sister Cities International to celebrate cross-border culture and collaboration. Our very own Mr. San Diego, Jerry Sanders, shared insight on USMCA opportunities for our binational region, while Chamber Executive Director of International Business Affairs Kenia Zamarripa joined binational leaders across the U.S.-Mexico border to discuss how we can leverage bilateral collaboration and design to boost and strengthen global resiliency.

Can’t make this stuff up. New Zealand is pushing an initiative for farmers to pay taxes for their cows’ farts and burps. The goal is to help cut carbon emissions. Believe it or not, farming accounts for nearly half of the country’s total emissions, including cow belching.

Secretary Blinken co-led the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue in D.C. along with other senior U.S. government officials to welcome their Mexican counterparts to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health, and Safe Communities. Through this dialogue, both governments discuss cooperation to improve public health and safety, and prevent organized crime.

Following the resignation of Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, President Obrador announced the appointment of Raquel Buenrostro, former head of the Tax Administration Service. In her resignation, Clouthier stated that her ability to contribute to the Administration “was exhausted”.

UCSD is contributing to build what will become the largest migrant shelter ever constructed in Northern Baja California. This will be possible through collaboration with the Embajadores de Jesús shelter where they’ll offer housing and programs to address this urgent need and promote climate justice by including green areas and initiatives to mitigate pollution.

T-10 days for our annual delegation to Mexico City! We’re excited to go back and meet with key federal officials to advance policies and projects that will help our region and businesses thrive. Our agenda includes meetings with water officials to discuss efforts to mitigate transboundary pollution, as well as transportation agencies to advance the Otay Mesa East land port of entry that will help alleviate congestion at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa.




California is investing $1.2 billion in a one-time funding effort for ports and freight infrastructure. Final guidelines and a call for projects here.

Something in the water… $1.2 billion (a different pile of money) was awarded to the IBank to help small business access financing via the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program and the Expanding Capital Access program. If you’re a lender who wants to participate in the loan guarantee program, IBank is looking!

This is wild: drivers in California will now be able to legally display digital license plates. Governor Newsom signed AB 984 into law on October 5th.

Gas prices are high, which you know, because you have eyeballs. In response, the state is kicking off a special session to consider a “windfall profits tax” which is sure to bring plenty of heat from industry who point out the regulatory burden in the state.

Earlier today, Infrastructure Advisor Antonio Villaraigosa, Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin, and regional leaders broke ground in San Diego for the state’s $3.8 billion, 10,000 mile middle-mile fiber optic network. With this vision, the state promises to deliver affordable, high-speed internet for all.



Very cool, and very true! Barrio Logan was featured in a CNN article as one of the top ten coolest neighborhoods in the WORLD for 2022. Heyo! Selected by Time Out, the number one getter was Colonia Americana in Guadalajara.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness has released a new homelessness plan for San Diego County. 9,000 housing units along with at least 850 new shelter beds are part of the five-year strategy.

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council adopted the grant-funded Cannabis Equity Assessment; the Cannabis Business Division (CBD) analyzed arrest records and accessibility to permitting. This is a first step in creating a Cannabis Equity Program in San Diego and will be used to apply for further grant funding.

Hey, we know him! Chamber-spouse (and member) gets major UT coverage for his leadership of AfghanEvac.

The seasonal flu is back and spreading rapidly among high-school students. The first respiratory illness outbreak occurred at Patrick Henry High School this week. Flu shots are available at no-cost at CVS Health, Sharp, and Kaiser Permanente (all of which are Chamber members)!

Recent U.S. Census data has shown that the annual household median income grew in San Diego from 2019 to 2021, making it at $91,003. While this gain makes San Diego one of the highest in the most-populated metros, San Diego cost-of-living and home prices significantly outpaced income growth.

Here’s what happened at the County Board of Supervisors this week:

  • The County Board of Supervisors approved the Behavioral Health Impact Fund, a new iteration of a fund created in 2019 for mental health and drug treatment providers.
  • Yesterday, the County Board of Supervisors held a special conference surrounding childcare issues and the challenges and opportunities that San Diego faces. We were glad to have Chamber staff present for the first panel to speak to the employer dynamic.  At the City level, Measure H, which would allow child-care facilities at city recreation centers, is another potential solution that is officially on the ballot. The Chamber is proud to support Measure H.
  • Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer announced her retirement, having served in the top County executive position since 2012. The process to search for a new CAO will likely go into 2023.

The City of Chula Vista is hiring for a number of positions, including Assistant Director for Development Services. Laura Black, previously Interim Director, is now officially the head of Chula Vista’s Development Services Department. Congratulations!

City of San Diego Development Services Update:

  • Earlier this week, DSD launched four new types of permits online: zone history letter, street tree, individual historical resource nomination, and transportation permit. Learn more about the upgrades and how they can benefit you here.
  • Interested in the Individual Historic Resource Nomination and Zone history letter permitting? Check out DSD’s recorded informational webinars here.

The grand opening of the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center took place on October 7th where you can now enjoy art exhibits and community archives, participate in workshops, and watch cultural performances to witness the storytelling of this community’s vibrant roots.


Upcoming Hearings

  • The SANDAG Board of Directors will hold a special joint meeting with their Policy Advisory Committees and Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee on October 14.
  • The San Diego City Council will meet on October 17 and October 18.
  • The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on October 21.


Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • 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. The Small Business Majority will be hosting a webinar October 25 for interested applicants. Applications close on November 7.
  • 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.
  • 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

Transportation & Land Development Committee:

Our next meeting will be on October 18, 8:00am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next working group meeting will be on October 25, 9:00-10:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on November 3, 8:00am via zoom.

Public Policy Committee:

Our next meeting will be on Election Day, November 8, 8:00am via zoom.

Health Committee:

Our next meeting will be on November 9, 8:00am via zoom.

Cannabis Forum:

Our next forum will be on November 16, 8:00am via zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum:

Our next forum will be on November 17, 10:00am via zoom.

October 6 – Weekly Update

Not to alarm you or anything but… Your ballot will be in your mailbox next week! Get informed with the Chamber Voter Guide!

CLINCHED! Our San Diego Padres clinched the National League Wild Card Berth, the seventh in franchise history. Thanks for losing, Milwaukee.


Business Updates:

Congratulations to NAVWAR for celebrating 25 years in San Diego!

For 76 years, Tupperware has only been sold at home parties, now – Chamber Member Target will exclusively sell the brand.

Chamber member San Diego County Water Authority has announced their new Chair taking the helm on October 1st, Mel Katz. Mayor Gloria’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Nick Serrano, has become Vice Chair.

Chamber member Maravai Life Sciences has appointed a new CEO! Please give a warm welcome to William “Trey” Martin, III, who has been appointed to succeed Carl Hull.

Palomar Health has launched a 24/7 nurses advice line. Registered nurses will offer care assessment, advice and recommended next steps to all San Diego residents.


Legislative Updates


Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson officially took her place at the Supreme Court. In a ceremony that has been a tradition for all appointed Justices, Justice Jackson gave her remarks at the Library of Congress before officially being sat as the first black woman on the Court.

Hurricane Ian tore through Southwest Florida, leaving over 100 people dead. Firefighters from throughout California, including the San Diego and Chula Vista Fire Departments, deployed to Florida as on-the-ground rescue specialists. Thank you to all of our first responders helping Florida recover.

Dank News! President Biden has pardoned thousands of Americans with federal marijuana possession convictions and is urging governors across the U.S. to do the same. Additionally, US Attorney General Garland will work with HHS Secretary Becerra to review cannabis scheduling under federal law.

Biden also unveiled new measures to expand abortion access on Monday; 100 days after the Supreme Court overruled the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Department of Health and Human Services has also announced $6 million in grant funding to expand access to family planning clinics



Last call to register for this year’s Binational Delegation to Mexico City to avoid that late fee! We’re excited to go back to CDMX after three years to continue to raise our voice as one region and advocate for policies and projects that allow our businesses and community to thrive. Delegates will meet with key federal officials to discuss bilateral trade, border infrastructure, efforts to mitigate pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley, and cultivate political and business relationships.

Baja Governor Marina del Pilar announced a $50M investment from Safran Electronics & Defense, with up to 470 new jobs in Mexicali at an expanded plant in 2023. The announcement followed a delegation to France and Germany led by state authorities and in partnership with industry leaders including the Tijuana EDC. Delegates visited 40 companies in the automotive, semiconductor, aerospace and electronics sectors.

Join Mayor Todd Gloria and Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero, among other elected officials and regional leaders, at next week’s US-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit.  The welcoming ceremony (free and open to the public) will take place on Tuesday, October 11 at 5:00pm and highlight the importance of our binational partnership in building economic, educational, and community ties. Chamber staff and members will participate in panel discussions focused on USMCA, trade, and cross-border collaboration on global resiliency during the conference.

The Presidential race in Brazil continues (grabs popcorn). Failing to achieve the 50% of votes to win, candidates Luis Lula da Silva and Jaír Bolsonaro are desperately hunting for endorsements in the most polarized election since the 80s. Among their differences is the future of the Amazon, with Bolsonaro’s administration reversing the most environmental protections in Brazil’s history. A second election is scheduled for October 30th.

Protests in Iran continue across several cities following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody after violating the hijab mandate. Iranian authorities deployed security forces at universities in an attempt to quell protests, however, thousands more have gathered around the world in solidarity with women in Iran.

Join the next California Delegation to the Centro Fox Presidential Library in Guanajuato, Mexico, sponsored by UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies!  The trip will take place October 26-29 and includes meeting with former President of Mexico Vicente Fox and First Lady Marta Sahagún, staying at President Fox’s Family Hacienda, visiting the stunning city of Guanajuato during the 50th anniversary of the Festival Internacional Cervantino, and bringing back unforgettable lifelong memories.  Proceeds support scholarships for students participating in the world’s first foreign exchange program at a presidential library.  Discover more info and register at!



Californians, we have a debate. Governor Newsom and State Senator Brian Dahle are set to face off on October 23rd, live at 1:00 pm.

Tax refunds are coming starting today. Want to see if you’re eligible?

California is facing another increase in gas prices due to unplanned refinery maintenance issues. Gas is now $6.42 in San Diego County, setting a new record high (previous record was $6.37 in June 2022). Governor Newsom is planning to add a shortfall tax to combat the increase in gas prices by oil companies, though it is to be seen when this is introduced. Gas prices may decrease when oil companies switch to the winter blend fuel, which is cheaper to produce.

Speaking of the Gavinor, he signed a swath of new CA employment laws into effect over the last week. These include establishing the “Fast Food Sector Council,” Card Check for Agricultural Employees, extending COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and establishing a new Grant Program for Small Businesses, Bereavement Leave requirement, establishing Employment Discrimination Protections for lawful adult-use of cannabis, and more.

State officials have declared a state of emergency to work on stabilizing cliffs above southern California’s railroad tracks. Due to the work potentially taking months, Amtrak and Metrolink services between Orange and San Diego Counties will be unavailable until further notice.

California regulators posted proposed new cannabis tax rules, based on the amendment to Cannabis Tax Law by Assembly Bill 195. The Business Taxes Committee will meet to discuss them today, October 6th. On a similar note, the City of San Diego’s First Cannabis Equity Assessment is scheduled to be heard by the City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, starting at 2 p.m.



At a historic joint meeting between the San Diego City Council and County Board of Supervisors, leaders announced their commitment to create 10,000 new affordable homes on government owned property. Nearly 2400 acres of land could be used for this development.

The City of San Diego has raised its minimum wage to $16.50 starting January 1, 2023. This pay raise will be for workers of the City of San Diego, and is in accordance with the City’s earned sick leave and minimum wage increase. Tips will not be counted as part of workers wage.

Cool person alert! A local scientist at Scripps Research was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Dr. K. Barry Sharpless has been recognized (for the second time!) for advancing the fields of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.

It’s Kids FREE October throughout San Diego! Children 12 and under can receive free admission during the entire month of October at the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, museums and more thanks to the San Diego Museum Council and Mission Federal Credit Union.

City of San Diego Planning Department Updates:

  • The 2022 Land Development Code Update is now out for review. This yearly effort contains updates to the code that aim to simplify and streamline the development process, and ensure compliance with new state and federal regulations. There will be two workshops for the public to provide feedback on October 6 and October 11. Take a look and email Angeli Calinog if you have any questions, comments, or concerns with the draft.
  • Did you know that the Planning Department sends out bi-monthly newsletters? Sign up today to keep up with initiatives, community plan updates, and more.


Upcoming Hearings


Capital Opportunities & Resources


Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions

Public Policy Committee:

Our next meeting will be on October 11, 8:00- 9:00am via zoom.

Health Committee:

Our next meeting will be on October 12, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee:

Our next meeting will be on October 18, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next working group meeting will be on October 25, 9:00-10:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on November 3, 8:00am via zoom.

Cannabis Forum:

Our next meeting will be on November 16, 8:00am via zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum:

Our next forum will be on November 17, 10:00am via zoom.

Member Spotlight: Neurogan

Neurogan is a family-owned company that is passionate about cultivating the best quality CBD on the market. Enjoy their outdoor grown, high potency CBD goods, each one artisan batched by their team for your mind, body, and spirit.

Neurogan’s Danish-Born co-founder, Jan Brandrup, grew up watching his grandmother drink hemp tea each morning. In these hygge moments, he felt inspired to provide the magic of hemp to many. Today, Jan, Nicklas, and Alexander Brandrup cultivate nutrient rich hemp, a Scandinavian tradition first beginning in the Viking era over 1,000 years ago.

Now they have partnered with a local organic farm that provides premium grade hemp to be artisan extracted in their cGMP facility and cultivated into plant-based apothecary products. Neurogan’s wellness line specializes in the cannabinoid entourage and includes Full Spectrum CBD and THC Free Broad Spectrum CBD up to 12000mg, CBG Oil, CBN Gummies, and a new release of Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 products. Neurogan delivers the seed-to-shelf experience with their priorities aligned to the principle of simple, safe, and efficacious goods made from environmentally sustainable production.

It’s a clean process. Neurogan never overheats or over-processes their raw crops in an effort to make products that are as close to the hemp plant’s diverse array of cannabinoids as possible. Afterward, every single product goes through 3rd party laboratory testing to ensure its potency and purity meets the standard. All certificates of analyses, or COAs, are readily available for free download prior to purchase.

Neurogan’s headquarters are in San Diego, CA, but their team is located across the world; from the USA to Denmark, Macedonia, Mexico, and Sweden too. To connect with Neurogan, visit their website:

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:

Richard Kelly (11) now serves as a board member for Make-A-Wish San Diego.

Brittany Haile (22) is now the Strategic Development Manager of the Public Sector at Qualcomm.

Andrew Picard (17) now serves as a board member for San Diego Pride.