December 22 – Weekly Update

We have SIGNIFICANT doubts that this last of the year newsletter will be read. But alas, like the Elves on the Internet Shelf, the Snoops on the Website Stoop, holiday cheermongers that we are…. We couldn’t help but gift you with one last love letter to the news.

…What would the Chamber version of that rhyme be? Jerry on a cranberry? Commerce on a converse? We tried.

 

Business Updates:

Stockdale is beginning to ink leases in the Horton Plaza re-do expected to open within the next year. Here’s what to expect within the new Horton Plaza

San Diego-based real estate firm SENTRE has sold the Warwick Luxury Apartment building in Hillcrest for a whopping $37.4 million.

The San Diego Blood Bank is urgently seeking donors as blood supply in the region is very low due to the holiday season and supply chain issues. Donate if you can!

 

Legislative Updates

Federal: 

Santa decided to heck with the naughty and nice list this year. It was getting complicated, anyway. So instead, he gave us all the gift of a 2023 spending bill with bipartisan support! What it means: no shutdown (yay!) New fights about the cute little add-ons that show up in big bills like this (sad trombone). What’s in it: $1.7 trillion in spending total. $858B for the military (10% increase). $45B for Ukraine. $8B for childcare via the Child Care and Development Block Grant. $6.3B in homeless assistance grants (13% increase). And more! Areas of contention: the future location of the FBI headquarters (seriously). Additional funds for the National Labor Relations Board, per the Congressional Labor Caucus.

This morning, the Senate passed the bill, 68-29, to avoid a government shutdown. The SAFE Cannabis Banking was noteably cut from the final omnibus. $1.2 million was designated for, “centers to support LGBT students,” in the San Diego Community College District.

A bipartisan group in Congress is circulating a sign-on letter calling on President Biden to endorse federally descheduling cannabis as his administration’s position. We’ll be blunt- we don’t expect this to happen any time soon. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Schumer is making a “last ditch effort” to include cannabis banking in the omnibus appropriations bill.

 

International:

Congratulations Argentina! Over 4 billion people tuned in to watch Lionel Messi finally win a World Cup, 34 years after Argentina took the cup home for the first (and only) time. We’re now 4 years away from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico hosting the World Cup in 2026 #USMCA. The closest stadium will only be a few hours away in Los Angeles.

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the administration from ending Title 42 following an emergency appeal from 19 states. This measure authorizes border officers to “prohibit the entrance of individuals to mitigate the spread of a contagious disease” and deport migrants. It was initially enacted for 30 days back in March 2020 but extended later on. Migrants arrested at the border were previously processed under immigration law, and thousands have been waiting in shelters south of the border for over two years. President Biden has previously advanced efforts to suspend Title 42 amid declining COVID-19 cases, and while litigation proceeds, DHS has stated to continue preparations to manage the border in a safe and humane way. The Chamber continues to closely monitor the evolving situation working closely with our partners on both sides of the border, prioritizing uninterrupted border operations.

The EPA will host the California-Baja California Regional Coordinator meeting covering ongoing projects and upcoming milestones of the Border 2025: US-MX Environmental Program. This will include updates on air and water goals, and emergency response and preparedness. The hybrid meeting will take place on January 24th and you can register and review additional information here.

 

State:

Acronyms, incoming: CARB has announced that in partnership with the CPCFA, small businesses have been supported in buying 40,000 trucks via the CalCAP Truck Loan Assistance Program. Translation: state agency has provided money to businesses who need to buy trucks for their work that are more green, helping the state to ease its GHG emissions. Yes, the program will continue into 2023 in case you did not know how to navigate alphabet soup.

The California CRD has issued new guidance on language in employment agreements, severance agreements, and settlement agreements. While the law became effective in January 2022, this new guidance specifies what can and cannot be included in confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses.  New state guidance on confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses – The San Diego Union-Tribune (sandiegouniontribune.com)

Sen. Scott Weiner has reintroduced his failed psychedelics decriminalization bill (SB58), but this time he has left out synthetic psychedelics (such as LSD and MDMA).

California got itself a shiny new state auditor. Grant Parks was announced this week. May the odds be ever in your favor, Mr. Parks. (Unrelated: if you click that link you’ll note that the Governor is really lacking on the San Diego appointments. If you’re interested in a state appointment, let a Chamber staff member know!)

Cal/OSHA’s Board recently approved a number of COVID-19 non-emergency regulations and procedures. The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has 30 days to review the procedures and if approved, the new regulations will be in place through 2024. Included are removing exclusion pay requirements (there are still workers compensation protections in place at the state level), changes to outbreak protocols, and close contact definitions.

 

Local:

The City of San Diego is considering paid beach parking and additional rental car taxes for visitors as a potential revenue stream to combat the looming structural deficit in the City’s budget. The independent budget analyst (IBA) has suggested that boosting parking revenue in tourist destinations (such as beaches and parks) is one of the most feasible options for additional revenue.

City of San Diego’s Development Services Department Alert: Beginning January 1, 2023, certain projects deemed complete after December 31, 2022 will now require contractors and subcontractors verification to comply with the Transparency Ordinance that was passed by City Council earlier this year. Webinars on December 20 and January 6 will be held for customers. Learn more about whether your project requires contractor and subcontractor verification here.

Congratulations to the City of San Diego for earning “Prohousing Designation” from the state. This designation is given to cities who demonstrate a commitment to housing action and will give those an advantage when competing for state funding for housing. Earlier this week, Mayor Todd Gloria, State HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez, Assemblymember Chris Ward, Councilmember Raul Campillo, and department leaders held a press conference at a Community HousingWorks project in Linda Vista to acknowledge the City’s recognition. Build, baby, build!

While Mission Beach received a large amount of short term vacation rental licenses, all other areas of the City have leftover licenses. The City is providing a second chance for interested parties beginning next week.

101 Ash… TL;DR The City needs to refile complaints against ex-real estate broker Jason Hughes, because he was not explicitly excluded from the settlement terms from this summer.

The La Mesa LEAP Program is funding 14 new storefronts in La Mesa with American Rescue Plan Act relief funds – this is the first program of its kind using ARPA funds. The City hopes to consider more applications in the future.

SANDAG’s Board leadership may soon change with Mayor Todd Gloria nominating Supervisor Nora Vargas as 2023 Chair and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera for Vice Chair. The SANDAG Board’s next meeting will be on January 13, 2023.

 

Upcoming Hearings & Public Input Opportunities

  • The San Diego City Council will not meet until January 9, 2023.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will not meet until the Swearing-In Ceremony on January 9, 2023.
  • The SANDAG Board will not meet until January 13, 2023.
  • The County of San Diego will be holding public outreach events in each supervisorial district in January on the progress of their proposed local climate solutions, which includes projects like the regional decarbonization framework. Event details can be found here.

 

 

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:

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.

Health Committee: 

Our next meeting will be January 11, 8:00am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee: 

Our next meeting will be January 17, 8:00am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next meeting will be on January 19, 9:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

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