March 9 – Weekly Update

Oh, California. Where there’s a nostalgia-inducing celebrity perpetually offering their services to run for office. The latest? Corey Matthews. Ben Savage, who is bringing “reasonable, innovative and compassionate solutions” to the race to replace Adam Schiff. While that all sounds perfectly lovely, we’d prefer he bring Topanga and make this a real party.

2023 is gonna be a long year.


Business Updates:

In honor of Women’s History month, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins has recognized 23 women who have and continue to accomplish great things in their communities including Chamber Board Vice-Chair Alessandra Lezama and Chamber member Clarissa Reyes Falcon. Congratulations all!

UC San Diego received a $15 million cryptocurrency donation to launch its new Meta-Institute for Airborne Disease in a Changing Climate. This unique donation will help the institute fulfill its mission to increase the scientific community’s understanding of airborne pathogens and create tools to fight viruses.

General Dynamics NASSCO, in partnership with Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia, will soon begin getting more involved in the offshore wind energy industry. In addition to proposing floating turbines, they will also be capable of building vessels to carry the equipment needed to build them.


Legislative Updates


Traveling with kids? A new DOT dashboard will show you which airlines allow a kid under 13 to be seated next to an accompanying adult for no additional charges. For our fellow parents, we’d like to know what airline will seat my kid next to a different adult for no extra charge, but we see the point here.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to create a new tax credit for developers that renovate crumbling homes. Developers could take advantage of this credit when the cost of renovating a deteriorating home exceeds the home’s potential sale price. Now if only we could get a tax credit for those new granite countertops!

Fed Chair Jerome Powell spent some quality time with Congress this week, with two days of testimony before partisan legislators with some pretty obvious partisan splits. The takeaways: the numbers this week are expected to reflect a still-hot job market, the debt ceiling is a problem, rates are gonna keep going up (until morale improves. Sorry couldn’t help ourselves).

It’s Biden Budget week, Baby! The President announced today what can at best be called an ambitious budget plan ($6.8T) given the very clear political hurdles he has with the make-up of Congress, however let’s talk about what’s in it: shoring up social security by raising taxes to 5% for families making $400k or more/year. Increasing taxes on people worth more than $100M. Quadrupling the stock buyback tax. Increasing marginal income tax rate to 39.6%. Reducing the federal budget deficit by $2T. The Republican version is expected next month.

President Biden will be visiting sunny San Diego on Monday where he will meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to discuss the AUKUS (Australia-United Kingdom-U.S.) partnership. Think he wants to check out our newly renovated space, or nah?



Can’t afford to buy a house? Is rent these days way too expensive? You can now live on a cruise ship for $30k per year. Pack your bags and live that digital nomad dream you see all over TikTok. Life at Sea Cruises will set sail from Istanbul on November 1 and promises to visit 375 ports around the world.

Jerry visited Tijuana this week to meet with the San Diego-Tijuana task force that was created last year to promote the region as the main destination for investment and joining forces to advance policies and initiatives to boost economic development and benefit our community. Our partners include the San Diego Regional EDC, South County EDC, SD Tourism Authority, Tijuana Business Council (CCE), and Tijuana EDC. More to come on a binational policy agenda which we’ll take with us on our upcoming delegation trip to DC next month!

The US and the EU have been working toward a preliminary agreement that would allow European minerals in the construction of electric vehicles to qualify for tax credits. For context, the U.S passed an Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 that requires a certain percentage of battery minerals to originate in the US or another FTA member. This proves an opportunity for the U.S and the EU to strengthen their relationship, while Mexico focuses on developing infrastructure to support electromobility.

Our friends at the Institute of the Americas are hosting a  webinar on March 22 on how corporate climate and sustainability (ESG) commitments are being a factor for investment and project development in North America. Speakers include ​​Chief Sustainability Officer from Honeywell and other experts that you can check out here.

The City of Tijuana announced the reactivation of the SITT Express, a system that offers citizens the possibility of using multiple means of transport that work in coordination through infrastructure. It is expected to be finished by March and includes a plan to incorporate a path to the San Ysidro POE to improve mobility and reduce waiting times.

The Ensenada Beer Fest is back for another year!  This is the perfect event for beer lovers and tasters, who will get to enjoy 85 different beers from Mexico, the U.S., and Latin America. The event will take place on March 17 and 18 in Ensenada, Baja California in the Riviera Social, Civic and Cultural Center. Be ready to enjoy a complete gastronomic experience, since it will also have more than 30 urban and gourmet gastronomy proposals to accompany your beer with exquisite dishes according to the style of your drink. Don’t miss out!



California’s own state agency for hazardous waste management – the Department of Toxic Substances Control – is in a sticky situation after an investigation revealed it has been dumping waste in out-of-state landfills. State lawmakers are planning an oversight hearing to discuss this and other toxic waste dumping.

In yimby news: Earlier today, Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) officially announced that they will be filing a lawsuit and motion for preliminary injunction against Huntington Beach for breaking state housing laws.

The California Department of Public Health released new plans to not require masking in high-risk settings and to end vaccination requirements for healthcare workers in the near future. The new guidance will take effect on April 3, 2023. Related – effective next week (March 13, 2023) CDPH has new guidance for local health jurisdictions on isolation and quarantine of the public.



A celebration of the life of Matt Andersen will be happening next Friday, March 24th at Coronado Golf Course. Matt served as executive secretary and Director of the Dept. of Commerce’s San Diego Export Assistance Center. The tournament starts at 11AM followed by a celebration for life reception at 4:30PM. To RSVP please email

Congratulations to Tiffany Allen, who has been promoted to Assistant City Manager at the City of Chula Vista! Allen has had several roles in Chula Vista, including Assistant Director & Director of Development Services.

SDSU has selected LPC West to develop the Innovation District project on the University’s Mission Valley campus. The project plan includes 315,000 square feet of office, lab and amenity space. Once they receive approval from the CSU Board of Trustees, the developer hopes to break ground in 2024 and complete the project in early 2026.

Good news for our Convention Center! 2023 events are set to rival pre-pandemic levels of business– we love to see it!

Yesterday, the City of San Diego’s Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee received an update on potential proposals to loosen zoning regulations and permitting fees to allow for more cannabis dispensaries for cannabis equity program applicants. The Committee heard from several stakeholders, some who also mentioned the need to still address how illegal delivery services are negatively affecting the legal market.

Onto your weekly outlook on housing in San Diego: Recent data from the Construction Industry Reach Board shows that fewer homes were built in 2022 (9,642) compared to 2021 (10,163) with the majority of homes built being multi-family (6,171). The City of San Diego comprised 46% of total homes built, with the unincorporated County and Chula Vista coming in second and third.


Upcoming Hearings & Public Input Opportunities


Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The next California Competes Tax Credit application period will be from March 6-March 20, with approximately $99.7 million available. GO-Biz will be hosting webinars for  interested businesses to learn more on March 16.
  • 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!

You’re invited! SANDAG hosts quarterly virtual bike education classes that are free and available to everyone. Join us at our next class—Tuesday, March 14 at noon—to learn all about e-bikes from industry experts at the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. E-bikes are growing in popularity, and they are great for completing short trips around the San Diego region.


Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions:

Education & Workforce Committee: 

Our first meeting of 2023 will be on March 15, at 8:00am via zoom. We’ve got a special presentation on AI & ChatGPT’s effects on industry.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next meeting will be on March 16, 9:00am via zoom. This will be our final meeting.

Transportation & Land Development Committee: 

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

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on April 6, 8:00am via zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum: 

Our next forum will be on __

Cannabis Working Group Forum:

Our next meeting will be on May 17 at 9:00am.