September 22 – Weekly Update

You’ve probably been busy watching the Big Things like the market reactions this week to the Fed rate, Russian mobilization, or protests in Iran. Which is why we’re so glad that you took time to read this newsletter to find out about Unexpected Things. Like Matthew McConaughey considering a Presidential run. (Newsom’s not the only contender with good hair!) Or, the latest example of the continued positive impact of TikTok on society: the FDA had to issue a request for humans to not cook chicken in Nyquil. (Which one Twitter user dubbed “robitusserie”, you’re welcome).

 

Business Updates:

MTS is planning to build 100 units of affordable housing at the Rancho Bernardo transit station. These units could open as soon as 2025, with the site being leased to Affirmed Housing. MTS currently has 376 units under construction and an additional 590 in various stages of development.

General Atomics is opening a new secure advanced manufacturing facility in 2023! The facility will be located in Poway, and will construct advanced UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems), and will focus on the end-to-end development.

Illumina will be hosting their first in-person genomics conference next week, where they will spotlight the science and policy around precision health. Among the all-star speaker lineup is former President Barack Obama and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

We’re partnering with Meta for their 10/12-10/13 Small Business event. Join us for roundtables, 1:1 sessions and more to learn how to boost your business presence. Meta is all about that small business support- check out the event below for Small Business Saturday!

 

Legislative Updates

Federal: 

That “soft landing” strategy from the fed has some people worried the pilot is drunk. The Federal Reserve announced yesterday it was raising rates by 75 basis points and announced that it expected rates to be at at least 4.25 by December.  Almost immediately, the Dow slid 200 points. On a related note, we are in the market for a crystal ball… in case you know where to get one.

Oh, and we don’t really have a spending plan for the country. A stopgap spending bill needs to be passed in the next eight days (for veteran DC trip delegates, you may recall the annual worry that there would be a government shutdown during our trip. Fun!), but there’s a bit of a face off between the  House and Senate on who will act first. Also in the mix: Manchin and his legislation to expedite permitting for energy projects… which Republicans have already said is a likely no-go for them. Why is that a problem? Well, Schumer would like to vote on the spending bill and the Manchin permitting bill together. As a duo, it’s unlikely the votes are there.

While you probably weren’t tracking the senate confirmation of Dr. Prabhaker to be the Director of the Office and Science Technology Policy…. We were. Because it marks the first time in history that a President’s cabinet is majority women. Who run the world, indeed.

A criminal investigation has been opened following the movement of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard via chartered plane. (As a border town, we just want to say again that our proximity to the international border is something we celebrate, and embrace.)

 

International: 

As a result of the High-Level Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and Mexico last week, both countries established a Supply Chain Working Group with an initial focus on semiconductor and information and communications technology ecosystems. U.S.-based companies such as Intel and Skyworks are already well established in Mexico and conducting R&D, design, assembly, and test manufacturing. A second working group was created to support the automotive industries’ transition to electric vehicle production on both sides of the border. In addition, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy signed an MOU with tech companies and manufacturers to facilitate emerging technologies and workforce development across the country.

In Mexico City, September brings more than a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. It reminds residents to be prepared for earthquakes that have previously taken down buildings and many lives. What are the odds that three earthquakes hit Mexico City on September 19th over the years? A 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico a few days ago, less than an hour after the national earthquake drills took place. Although Monday’s quake wasn’t nearly as destructive as those in 1985 and 2017, the city was woken up last night with ANOTHER earthquake. Dua Lipa got the full CDMX experience after her concert earlier that night.

Have you registered to join this year’s Binational Delegation to Mexico City yet? Don’t worry, (hopefully) no earthquakes included. 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 international commerce, foreign investment opportunities and cultivate political and business relationships.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s head of state, met with President Lopez Obrador, who offered to help with high fuel demand across Europe. This is a small light at the end of the tunnel for the continent’s increasing  electricity prices and lack of alternative supplies for both heating and industrial uses since Russia cut them off natural gas supply. Putin still pulls all strings possible with no success in gathering support (or at least avoid retaliation) following the invasion in Ukraine.

Before the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Biden criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ongoing efforts to seize Ukrainian territory. He also addressed the global  food insecurity caused by the war and announced that the U.S. will be putting nearly $3 billion toward food security assistance.

The EPA will host a public meeting on October 5th at 10:00am about the two binational agreements that were recently announced and updates on water infrastructure projects to mitigate transboundary polluted flows. An access link will be posted here one week before the meeting, and English-Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Sister Cities International is hosting the 4th US-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit from October 11-14. Join elected officials, corporate leaders, academics, prominent global experts, and citizen diplomats to engage in discussions and conversations to advance global diplomacy and cultural understanding.

 

State:

$$$ Alert: Governor Newsom has announced $1.1 billion dollars in small business support! Funding is coming from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SBCI), with an additional $18 billion coming later. The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) will split the allocation and will be launching a new program which will create a more equitable venture capital ecosystem.

Get your popcorn *almost* ready…Governor Gavin Newsom and State Senator Brian Dahle are set to *likely* debate in late October for the Governor’s race.

Take a breather y’all, we’re getting some fuel relief pretty soon! The state has announced plans to begin fuel relief alongside the Middle Class Tax Refund this October. The state budget that was passed will include a 1 year pause on sales tax for diesel, a move which will directly benefit the business community. Payments will be included in the overall tax refund, with recipients getting between $200 to $1,050 dollars depending on how much they make. While they say that October is the goal for money to be sent out, some may get it as late as January 2023.

80th Assembly District candidate and former San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez has officially suspended her campaign. Over the weekend she announced on Twitter that she would not continue, leaving Assemblymember David Alvarez now running unopposed this November.

Governor Newsom signed a bill banning deep-sea mining of lithium. Why is this of interest? Well, lithium is pretty important for building all those batteries we’re gonna need to electrify everything, and it’s a finite resource.

A petition has begun to challenge the recent passage of AB 257. The Fast Food industry is working to get a referendum on the ballot to have the state decide whether or not the creation of the Fast Food Council is solidified. The petition can be found here.

Workers in California can now consume Marijuana off-the-clock without fear of punishment. Building and construction jobs and jobs requiring federal clearance are not covered.

Governor Newsom has signed an aggressive package of climate bills set to cut pollution and speed up the production of clean energy. This California Climate Commitment, a record $54 billion dollar investment in climate action, includes a wide array of goals and aims to set up California with a Green Economy. The bills that have been signed cover areas such as solar panel permits to battery recycling.

Speaking of climate action, California may be looking to ban the sale of natural gas appliances by 2030. While furnaces and water heaters were named, we know this could expand beyond these.

We’re in a triple-dip, folks. It’s only fall, but California is expected to go into it’s third winter with La Niña weather patterns, for the first time in a century.

 

Local:

GOOOOOALS!  Wave FC broke records for Women’s Soccer League attendance at SnapDragon Stadium! With a sellout game over the weekend Wave FC had an estimated 32,000 fans in attendance, and more importantly won the game. Way to go, San Diego!

For the third month in a row home prices in San Diego County have dropped. While the median price of homes in the County are now $799,000, mortgage rates continue to rise. Avocado toast, anyone?

San Diego has seen an increase in its unemployment rate. The unemployment rate rose to 3.4% this August, which is still better than the 3.8% federal average and the 4.1% state average. The industries affected the most include jobs from the trade, transportation and utilities category, with 600 jobs lost, 200 jobs in that category included warehouse workers. Financial activities such as insurance and credit intermediation saw a decline with 500 jobs lost. Educational and social services lost 400 jobs and information, broadcasting and telecommunications lost 100. Some sectors saw an increase of jobs, with 3,100 coming from government and education, but it is to be seen if this is just a temporary bump or a continuing trend.

Gas prices in San Diego County are on the rise again. The average across the County now stands at $5.415, an increase of 2.2 cents on Tuesday after rising three-tenths of a cent the day before. Gas is still cheaper than the highs we saw in June, but it’s overall 4.6 cents higher than last week and about 11 cents higher than last month. Nationally the gas prices have seen the 98th consecutive day of price drops, with the average being around $3.674.

As part of the newly established Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at the County, a new dashboard was unveiled that allows for the public to search wage claim judgements issued by the Labor Commissioner. The site can be found here.

The County is accepting applications for Federal Grants. If you have an idea to improve or renovate your neighborhood the County is accepting applications to their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and is hosting a series of workshops for you to learn what kind of projects have been funded before and what is needed in an application. For more information click on the link here.

Avengers Assemble! Mayor Gloria announced the creation of the Civic Center Revitalization Committee, which will oversee the redevelopment of City Hall, the Civic Theatre, Golden Hall, the Civic Center Plaza Building and 101 Ash Street. 22 civic leaders were selected to serve on the committee, with our very own Jaymie Bradford serving as Chair.

The cities of Coronado, Solana Beach, Imperial Beach, and Lemon Grove have lost their legal battle to severely limit affordable housing density, per a ruling by the California Supreme Court this week.

Earlier this week, the San Diego City Council passed a water rate increase of 3%, coming after the San Diego County Water Authority recently passed an increased rate of 5% for treated water and 4% for untreated water.  Part of the rate increase is due to inflation and the increased cost of energy.

You’re invited to the SANDAG Community Fair! On October 9th, SANDAG is holding a free, family-friendly community fair at Ruocco Park in Seaport Village. There will be food trucks, giveaways, tech demos and the chance to learn about new upcoming projects! Learn more here.

City of San Diego’s Development Services Department Updates:

  • Reminder: The 2022 California Building Standards Code will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Construction project applications submitted on or after that date must conform to the new regulations.

 

Upcoming Hearings

 

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

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next convening will be on September 27, 9:00am via zoom.

NEW: Small Business Saturday Event

Save the Date: October 4, 9:00-11:00am. Sponsored by Meta, Hosted by Alliant University.
Contact Lauren Cazares at LCazares@sdchamber.org for details.

Defense, Veterans, & Military Committee:
Our next meeting will be on October 5, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on October 6, 8:00-9:00am via zoom.

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.

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.