December 8 – Weekly Update

Are you limping or skipping to the finish line of 2022? Are you the company grinch or are you Buddy the Elf-ing it at holiday gatherings? Snazzy holiday coffee drink or hardcore coffee black in a paper cup (cough, Jerry, cough)?

We got you a gift: another ship got stuck (!) but in Chesapeake Bay. Why, you ask? The guy was distracted and on his phone!

Ships getting stuck not your favorite? Okay, here’s a different gift: the 2022 words of the year!
See: “gaslighting”


Business Updates:

Congratulations to Seaport San Diego for winning the Gold Award for Design at the ICSC Global Design & Development Awards! ICSC highlighted Seaport San Diego’s design for increasing coastal access, recreational space, activities and water views of San Diego Bay while providing improved commercial fishing facilities and creating unique features including an iconic observation Tower, Aquarium, Learning Center and Blue Tech Innovation Center.

Chamber member Aya Healthcare has been ranked the top large workplace to work in San Diego in 2022.

Good news! The Nonprofit Institute at USD’s Annual report finds that San Diegans have the highest confidence in nonprofits across the San Diego region. The Chamber is glad to be represented and to have several members acknowledged in the report.

PepsiCo (member!) has had a big week. The company announced a new commitment to sustainable packaging through their pep+ sustainability initiative and they debuted a new oat testing lab in the UK.


Legislative Updates


Procrastinators, rejoice! The REAL ID deadline has been extended another two years and your new due date is May 7, 2025. But you should probably get on it.

An attempt to add a cannabis banking component to the NDAA failed, following negative remarks from Senator McConnell.

U.S. stocks bounced back this morning after a 5 day losing streak for the S&P 500.

President Biden has moved aggressively on policies that will boost domestic production of semiconductors and electric vehicles. The latter policy has created some tension as allied countries view this as a “protectionist” move that could challenge the economic stability of the EU (yeah, we had a hard time deciding where this blurb went, but roll with it). One specific criticism is that these policies treat friends in the same vein as China which reminds us of that old question “with friends like these…” Stay tuned.

Unemployment claims hit 230,000– a sign that maybe the ruckus the fed is causing might be making an impact.

Zillow’s (Chamber member!) out with 2023 housing predictions: mid-west will continue to draw people since their prices haven’t gone fully insane. Growth in the trend of buying with friends and families (shakes millennial fist at sky).

No credit score? No problem, kind of. Fannie Mae is making changes to their underwriting process to better accommodate “invisible” borrowers, meaning those who may not have a credit score or credit history. Instead, they will take a broader look at a potential borrowers fiscal health and background.

This morning, the House passed historic legislation protecting same-sex and interracial marriages, the Senate passed the bill in November and it’s now headed to President Biden’s desk.

Congressional Republicans are looking at how ESG related policies are promoted within industry, appearing to take aim at whether ESG positions are in line with fiduciary responsibilities and the impact on shareholders. Obviously, this will create direct conflict with the direction the administration is going. We’ll keep ya posted.



Political drama is taking over Peru as the country welcomes its SIXTH president in six years. Ousted president Pedro Castillo is facing conspiracy charges as his successor, Dina Boluarte -first female leader in Peru’s history, btw-, pledged to set the country on a new course. Castillo’s failed attempt to close congress and rule by decree until new elections take place marked his fall from power, all of which is just the latest episode in the Peruvian political crisis. Two former presidents have been kicked out by Congress since 2018, with Castillo becoming the latest casualty.

It’s almost been one year since Russia first invaded Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky has been named Person of the Year by Time Magazine. The award goes to either an event or individual who has had the most influence on global events over the past 12 months. The article also includes mention of the “spirit of Ukraine” for Ukrainians around the world and those who “fought behind the scenes” providing aid in numerous ways.

The World Cup keeps surprising us. The U.S. is out. So are Spain, Japan, and South Korea. Congrats to Morocco! This is the first time the country, or any Arab nation, has advanced so far (with extra points for beating Spain). Not so surprising: Brazil continues on its way to probably win their 6th cup. With the U.S. and Mexico out, are you still watching?

President Lopez Obrador’s plan to overhaul Mexico’s electoral institute (INE) was opposed by a two-thirds majority in the Chamber of Deputies. However, “plan B” (or C, really..) was unveiled shortly after, consisting of legislation that passed rather quickly with support of a simple majority. If approved by the Senate, the proposed legislation would adjust INE’s structure and soften the sanctions against political parties and public servants. These changes have raised concerns by business and civic organizations as well as industry and community leaders based on centralization of power and losing autonomy on elections across the country.

Following the MOU signed with binational stakeholders earlier this year 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 for 2023 to strengthen our global competitiveness. This included concerns on the medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission fleet regulation proposed by CARB and other policies that may change Investment trends in our region.



Governor Newsom throws down on oil companies with a clever “penalty” and definitely not a tax. He has unveiled his general idea of creating a penalty fee when companies exceed a certain level of profit. Details are TBD, but he wants you to know he is big mad.

Bills, bills, bills. Not the $ kind though (sadly). Legislative session has begun, which means it’s go-time for ideas that manifest as potential laws and show us what some of this leg cycle might look like. Of note (so far- and it’s real early): Prop 47 reform (which even if passed would need a vote of the peeps); military retirement pay tax relief; capping security deposits; prohibiting homeless encampment in sensitive areas; a statewide expansion of “Yes in God’s Backyard” AKA multi-family homes on church property; and a healthy number of “spot bills” meaning bills that are placeholders until language is determined and placed within the legislative vehicle. Spot bills are looking like they’ll be favoring environmental justice, infrastructure, and health care reforms at this early stage.

Wasting absolutely no time, Assembly budget leadership, Phil Ting, unveiled his budget framework. (Hand dandy slide deck here).

California’s Labor Secretary, Natalie Palugyai, has abruptly resigned. Not much more public information available on that, but watch this seat and the appointment as Governor Newsom continues to prioritize workforce and corresponding reforms.

A new report by Chamber member Biocom California found that the life science industry generates a whopping $376 Billion in economic output annually!

San Diego’s leadership doin’ big things! Congratulations to Assemblymember Chris Ward for being appointed as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly and Senator Brian Jones for being appointed the Senate Minority Leader.

Here’s a peek at next year in CA: 14 new laws taking effect in 2023.

… oh, and, Kanye “Ye” West’s brand Yeezy owes $600k in taxes to California. We aren’t surprised.



Don’t miss out on this year’s San Diego Bay Parade of Lights on December 11 and December 18! 80 vessels decked out with lights and festive decorations will take part in this year’s “FantaSEA.” Kudos – we love a good pun.

The 101 Ash saga continues… Yesterday, a judge tentatively granted the City’s motion to dismiss the claims from 2020.

We’re fully in December/holiday season mode and COVID-related hospitalizations have increased in the region. Paxlovid and COVID home tests are more widely available this year and San Diegans are still encouraged to consider getting a flu and/or COVID vaccine. You can learn more about how to get them here.

The San Diego Police Department has begun stepping up enforcement of illegal vending activities, focusing in the Gaslamp Quarter and other areas. With the passage of the sidewalk vending ordinance in May, sidewalk vending is prohibited in these areas.

The San Diego City Council unanimously approved the Mira Mesa Community Plan Update, which was last updated back in 1992. The update adds the capacity for 24,000 homes and 5,000 jobs in areas with opportunities for high-frequency transit. The Chamber was proud to speak in support of the item.

Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera have proposed a tenant protections framework that will aim to prevent homelessness and displacement. The proposal includes input from tenant advocates, rental housing providers, and residents following a City Council workshop held in October. A few highlights of the framework include consistency with the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482), exploring how to provide expansion of resources and support for renters and providers, and additional protections noted here. The Council will likely hear this item in early 2023.

San Diego has its first ever three Michelin Star restaurant – Addison was awarded its first star in 2019 and second in 2021.

Gas prices across San Diego County have dropped to the lowest amount since February, falling 5.1 cents on Tuesday. This is following US oil prices plunging below $75 for the first time in 2022.


City of San Diego Development Services Department Updates:

  • DSD will be hosting an online webinar tomorrow (December 9, 12-1pm) on how to apply for online permits and recent enhancements to the portal.
  • The Cannabis Business Division (CBD) is in the process of forming a 15-member ad hoc task force to implement recommendations on cannabis social equity and economic development. More details on the task force will come later this month.


City of San Diego Planning Department Updates:

  • The City of San Diego’s Planning Commission voted to approve staff’s recommendations on the following items to the 2022 Land Development Code update: creating sustainable development areas, clarifying uses in EMX zones, clarifying uses in prime industrial lands, battery energy storage requirements, and clarifying on-site affordable units language in their Complete Communities – Housing Solutions program. The Code Update will next be presented to the City’s Land Use & Housing Committee for approval in January 2023. If you have any questions regarding the LDC update, please contact Angeli Calinog.
  • Blueprint SD, the effort to update the Citywide General Plan land use strategy, and their Housing Action Package 2.0, continues to develop policy recommendations. Public engagement opportunities for these efforts will begin in early 2023.
  • Also in early 2023, the Planning Department will provide resources for existing and interested new Community Planning Groups to learn more on the application process for City Council recognition.


Upcoming Hearings & Public Input Opportunities


Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The CPUC launched the Digital Divide Grant Program! Applications will be accepted until January 13, 2023 and must be submitted via Email.  Four grants of up to $250,000 each are available!
  • 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:

Public Policy Committee:

We will be holding our annual in-person book exchange with special guest Councilmember-elect Kent Lee on December 13, 8:00am-9:00am.

Chamber Summit 

We will be welcoming business groups, chambers, and business improvement districts from across the region to share best practices and learn about pressing policy priorities in our region on January 16 from 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be February 2, 8:00am via zoom. We’re dark in January!

Health Committee:

Our next meeting will be December 14, 8:00am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next meeting will be on December 15, 9:00am via zoom. You are encouraged to attend the City’s Community Workshops on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Transportation & Land Development Committee:

We are dark in December! Our next meeting will be January 17, 8:00am via zoom.