September 29 – Weekly Update

It’s so hot that it’s hard to imagine that the holidays are close, but they are. And you know what comes with the holiday season? SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, baby! We wanted to make sure your business is prepared (and yes, there’s more than just social media to this), so we put together a gang busters program for you on October 4th. Find out more here.

 

Business Updates:

Congratulations to Hines for breaking ground on their much anticipated Riverwalk San Diego project in Mission Valley. Yes to more homes!

Get it! San Diego Airport’s work on T1 just got a little smoother with $110M in grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Please stop trying to cuddle while on a scooter, people. It’s weird, and also super unsafe. Our friends at Circulate created a guide on safe scooter riding, and a big shout out to our scooter Chamber members!!

 

Legislative Updates

Federal:

The looming Friday deadline for a spending deal/CR was avoided when Manchin dropped his efforts to tie a permitting reform bill to the spending deal, paving the way forward. The Senate voted today 72025 to approve the bill, and now it heads (quickly) to the House where it will then go (quickly) to the President for signature. This will provide stopgap funding through December 16, when (you guessed it) we can do it all over again!

Oh, but Manchin ain’t totally over his permitting reform. Oh no. He plays the long game. He plans to reach out to Sen. Capito (West VA) who also had a permitting effort that didn’t make the cut. If he can fashion some bipartisan effort, it could have legs when they return to DC post election.

The Small Business Innovation and Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs will be renewed via legislation for another three years. (Big for those in the research scary/cool things industry).

Not so fast on that student loan forgiveness. Today, it was clarified that privately held federal student loans are not eligible.

Climate change ain’t cheap y’all. So maybe it’s not surprising that the Federal Reserve will be putting the six biggest banks through climate-change scenarios to test their response. The exercise, which is scheduled for next year, doesn’t seem to come with any capital requirements, but is following suit of countries like England who have done similar things in the past.

Would you like a little interest rate with that mortgage? Mortgage rates hit 6.7% this week, and the cries of would-be buyers was heard round the world….

 

International:

President Biden hosted leaders from the Pacific Islands this week in a first-of-its-kind regional leaders summit in Washington. The two-day summit featured a dinner between Biden and the summit attendees to embark on a new chapter of cooperation with the region, opening new embassies and ramping up funding and development support.

The Chamber participated in a series of meetings along the US-MX border that gathered info and insight about the economic impact of border infrastructure efficiency. A thorough report was launched this week by the Atlantic Council in partnership with DOS and in collaboration with the University of Texas and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. Here are some highlights of what could be accomplished by border wait times just  10 minutes:

  • 532 additional trucks would cross the border each day and result in a $26M monthly economic intake.
  • 60,040 more passenger vehicles would cross,  and contribute an additional $5.4M of economic impact in the tourism, hospitality, and retail sectors.

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.

An effort to reach this goal: Baja state authorities confirmed that an executive study has supported the feasibility of a cross- border ferry connecting the ports of San Diego and Ensenada. A pilot program will begin in the coming months and offer an alternative route for travelers while alleviating congestion at land ports of entry.

The City of Tijuana in coordination with the Medical Health Cluster, inaugurated the “expedited crossing lane” at the Otay Mesa port of entry. Similar to the two existing booths at the San Ysidro port of entry, this lane will facilitate crossings for travelers visiting Tijuana for business or medical purposes.

Sister Cities International is hosting the 4th US-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit from October 11-14. Join elected officials, corporate and community leaders, including our very own Jerry Sanders and Kenia Zamarripa, to engage in discussions and conversations to advance global diplomacy and cultural understanding.

 

State:

What gives on gas prices? We’ve got some hiccups at CA refineries. With only four in the state, since we’re special and require a special blend of gasoline, when one experiences a problem it can be a doozy. Turns out, almost all of them have had delayed maintenance that is rearing its head at a collectively inopportune time, tightening our supply and driving up costs. Cool.

One of the most watched bills this cycle met its fate. A bill to ease farmworker unionization was signed by Gov. Newsom. In a weird turn of events, it was signed with his verbal commitment to make changes to the policy in the next cycle. And no, before you ask, that is not normal.

Another high profile bill to allow home building on former retail and commercial sites was also signed.

Attention HR department: per a bill signed by Gov. Newsom this week, pay ranges will have to accompany job postings.

 

Local:

Bittersweet: Councilmember Cate’s final state of the district address will occur on October 4th at Hangar 58. Register here.

Last week SANDAG removed the road user charge from the Regional Plan, the removal being led by Mayor Todd Gloria and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. The $160 billion dollar plan will now seek new revenue sources to fund some of the more ambitious goals laid out. There were various motions made to nix the RP all together, but those plans failed. The original motion to remove only the Road Usage Charge passed with only three cities, Del Mar, La Mesa, and Carlsbad voting against it.

Chair Nathan Fletcher and the County of San Diego are launching a new initiative to double the amount of veterans in the County workforce! Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Jim Desmond called on the need to increase the amount of job opportunities for veterans in San Diego County, which is home to nearly 250,000 veterans. Additionally, the County also approved the creation of a new veterans resource center in East County. The goal of this center is to increase the amount of comprehensive services afforded to veterans, with telemedicine, behavioral health services, and recreation just some of the features that will be present.

The County of San Diego and the City of San Diego are having a joint meeting for the first time in decades. Due to the severity of the housing crisis within the region both entities are making a joint effort in combating the situation with a new goal: 10,000 subsidized housing units on government owned property by 2030. The meeting will be next Monday.

The short-term residential occupancy (STRO) license application period for all tiers will open on October 3. Applicants interested in learning more about the process can go here.

 

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

  • Declared homelessness a public health crisis, directing staff to work with local governments and organizations to create a regional approach to address the issue.
  • Established a $500 monthly rental subsidy pilot program for seniors at risk of becoming homeless. The application window will open early next year.
  • Approved a plan to direct staff to explore the development of programs and policies to incentivize building more middle-income housing, and ways to assist in rental and home ownership opportunities.

 

City of San Diego’s 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.
  • With the passage of Build Better SD, the citywide plan to provide a more equitable funding approach for public spaces and facilities, development impact fee adjustments will be made to fire-rescue, library, and community-specific mobility fees to make them all citywide fees. Most fees will go into effect starting October 21, 2022. Any citywide fees that are higher than the original community-specific fees will start July 1, 2023. For questions, email here.
  • The Planning Commission met today to vote on the approval of new projects. The two projects brought forward to the Commission, Haines Street and California Terraces, were approved unanimously by the commissioners. The University Plan Update workshop was also brought forward to the commissioners, with all commissioners approving the efforts of City staff increasing density, with commissioner Boomhower in particular calling for increased density in any new plan or update, particularly in South University City. The next meeting will be October 13, 2022 at 9:00 am.

 

Upcoming Hearings

  • The San Diego City Council will meet on October 3 at 2:00pm. (including a joint meeting with the County BOS to talk housing)
  • The Port of San Diego will meet on October 11th.

 

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.
Visit https://sdchamber.org/event/small-business-saturday-forum/ to RSVP!

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.