February 9 – Weekly Update

The hottest ticket in town (no joke, it’s sold out!) is tonight’s annual celebration for the Chamber. We are so excited to see 800 of our best friends and celebrate the two awardees tonight, Kim Becker and Peter Seidler.

Pro tip: move tomorrow morning’s meeting a little bit later.


Business Updates:

Viasat goes all the way up. They’ve scheduled their first terabit-class Internet satellite launch to orbit for April 8th.

UC San Diego has launched its $3 million grant funded program, to train 200 people from refugee, immigrant, and Native American populations to become community health workers. The initiative will help address the health equity gap in a multitude of ways, such as providing care to individuals in their primary language. To learn more, click here.

Legislative Updates


The State of the Union happened on Tuesday night. You probably read about it/watched it/are up to speed. If not, find a good summary here.

“Mahhhhtyyy!” He’s out! Labor Secretary Marty Walsh takes his boston accent and departs from his role as cabinet secretary, announced this week. And for a pretty sweet gig, too. He’s off to be the ED for the National Hockey League Players’ Association. We’ll miss the accent.

Investing in Chinese tech companies? (TikTok is not worth it, you guys). The federal government wants to know about it. By February, both the Treasury and Commerce Departments have to report back to Congress about a way to track capital moving out of the US.

No good deed goes unpunished. The IRS is asking Californians to hang back on filing taxes because they’re not entirely sure what the California Middle Class Tax Refund means for your taxes. Basically it’s TBD if that refund is pandemic-related (so, not taxable) or inflation/revenue related (taxable). Senators Padilla and Feinstein sent a letter asking that the payments not be taxed, though.

If you’re a veteran-owned small business, the Small Business Administration has a new link for you to certify. We saved you the googling, it’s right here.

The days of free COVID tests, treatments, and vaccines are coming to an end. Just like any other aspect of healthcare, insurance will impact the costs of these treatments.



US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar  visited Mexicali and met with Baja Governor Marina del Pilar Avila to discuss  migration issues, binational water supply, environmental protection, and economic development along the border. He was also spotted kayaking along local officials to get a close look of efforts to restore the Laguna Grande ecosystem.

Congressman Darrell Issa and other members of Congress traveled to Mexico City this week to meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary (and potential presidential candidate) Marcelo Ebrard. The group discussed binational cooperation in areas such as border security, arms and fentanyl trafficking, and migratory flows. Ebrard highlighted the importance of close bilateral cooperation to deal with the flow of synthetic drugs and fentanyl to the north, as well as the reducing the illicit flow of arms and ammunition from the US to Mexico.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was heavily addressed this week for additional funding for the U.S-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP). In addition to Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar’s letter, San Diego’s very own Congressional Delegation urged for an additional $100 million to expand the BWIP budget in Fiscal Year 2024 to finance critical water infrastructure projects in neighborhoods along the southern border.

Following the strong earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Mexico quickly dispatched a military unit coordinated by the Federal government and the Red Cross to support rescue searches and aid. The team included Mexico’s famous rescue dogs, which are especially trained (and adorable) for earthquake recovery searches.

It has been almost a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused serious consequences for the citizens of Ukraine and the global economy. Causing conflict around the world due to the use of force against a member state’s territorial integrity or political independence, our hearts continue to be in solidarity with the brave and resilient people of Ukraine and we’ll be at Balboa Park’s House of Ukraine on February 24 to show our support. Reach out to a Chamber Staff member if you wish to attend or come check out the “Unbreakable Spirit of Ukrainians” concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

USTR announced that the U.S. will submit another USMCA dispute due to Canada’s dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocation measures. The U.S. is once again challenging Canada’s restrictive measures, which are said to sabotage American dairy farmers and producers’ access to the market.

International Business Affairs Forums are back!! Join us on March 9 for a conversation on fostering international ties throughout with the San Diego Sister Cities Association by supporting cultural, educational, and economic relationships. Speakers will share an overview of San Diego’s first Sister City, Yokohama, and other Sister City relationships and how they plan and implement cooperative activities and exchanges. Click here to register.



COVID came in like a wrecking ball, and now the permanent policies governing COVID in the workplace have quietly shown up and been implemented. Here’s a nice breakdown of the two year rule you didn’t know about.

California will expand their mortgage assistance program for middle and low-income homeowners, with the remaining funds available from the federal American Rescue Act. In addition, eligible homeowners who have already used the program can reapply to pay off second home loans.

Assemblymember Matt Haney of San Francisco introduced legislation that could authorize municipalities to legalize ‘cannabis cafes’ that could act as both dispensaries and cafes with food and non-alcoholic beverages. Haney believes this could further combat the illicit market and address other challenges the legal market faces.



The County’s Love Your Heart Week of Action is around the corner! From February 11 through 19, events hosted by the County will work to get people to focus on their heart health. Two community events will bring together Live Well partners to provide a host of resources such as blood pressure screenings. For more  information, click here.

With the lifting of federal policy Title 42 looming in the air, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously called for the development of a comprehensive plan to respond to asylum seekers as to not add to the already overwhelming homelessness crisis. CAO Helen Robbins-Meyer is set to report back in 30 days with short-term solutions.

Healthcare organizations, community-based organizations, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders who serve Medi-Cal members are encouraged to attend upcoming virtual sessions on SDAIM (San Diego Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal). Led by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency,  two community listening sessions will be held to gather input on how new services should be implemented. Registration for the virtual sessions taking place February 15 and February 21 are open.


Upcoming Hearings & Public Input Opportunities

  • The San Diego City Council will meet on February 13 and February 14.
  • On February 14th at 2:00pm, the San Diego City Council will hear the Land Development Code’s 2022 Code Update, a package which includes streamlining/aligning new regulatory requirements and a proposal to increase housing supply by adding more developable acreage in transit-oriented areas in their local housing programs. The Chamber along with a diverse coalition is supportive of this proposal known as Sustainable Development Areas (SDAs – Item #5 in the update). If you have time to submit a pre-drafted email to the San Diego City Council please consider doing so by clicking here, courtesy of Circulate San Diego. 
  • The City of San Diego has released dates for upcoming public workshops for the Housing Action Package 2.0, which includes discontinued harmful uses, implementation of SB 10, and Complete Communities Amendments To get info on the workshop details, sign up to stay informed at the bottom of the webpage. Chamber staff will be closely monitoring this issue, if you have any questions please email Angeli Hoyos.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will not meet until February 28.
  • The County of San Diego’s 2023 Housing Zoning Ordinance Update, which aligns their current regulations with new state housing laws, is out for public review. Public comment is due by February 13.
  • The County of San Diego’s draft Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, Guide, and Economic Analysis is out for public review until March 7. County staff seek industry feedback on a list of options for the Board to consider, ranging from incentives, in-lieu fees, project size thresholds, and more. The Chamber plans on providing feedback by the end of public review. If you have any questions or feedback to share, please email Angeli Hoyos.
  • The County of San Diego will host a public meeting on February 16 to provide an overview and update on the Sustainable Land Use Framework Approach. This meeting will also include an update on Vehicle Miles Traveled and mitigation program options, and the initial set of principles for sustainable development and the proposed approach for a parcel-by-parcel analysis. Learn more here.


Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • 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:

Cannabis Working Group Forum:

Our next meeting will be on February 15, 9:00am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee: 

Our next meeting will be on February 21, at 8:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on March 2, 8:00am via zoom.

Health Committee: 

Our next meeting will be on March 8 at 8:00am via zoom.

Education & Workforce Committee: 

Our first meeting of 2023 will be on March 15, at 8:00am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

UPDATED DATE! Our next meeting will be on March 16, 9:00am via zoom. This is expected to be our final meeting. Adjusted from February 16 due to EDS timeline shift from the City of San Diego.