August 4 – Weekly Update - SD Regional Chamber

August 4 – Weekly Update

#LFGSD.

That’s it. That’s the tweet.

Business Updates

Congratulations to all of our Chamber Members nominated for San Diego Reader’s 2022 “Best Of” Awards. Voting begins on August 8th!

Chamber member & biotech leader  Illumina has donated equipment and funds to Scripps Institute of Oceanography to build new labs. Thanks for your generosity and help moving innovation forward here in San Diego!

The Apple of San Diego’s Eye…  Apple Inc. acquired the Rancho Vista Corporate Center, where, “it expects to employ 5,000 workers by 2026.”

Legislative Updates

Federal: 

A little bit of jokes, a little bit of barbs. We had it all at the Congressional Lunch on Monday. Missed it? Check out coverage from our friends (and event sponsor!) at the UT. Oh, and according to our in-event poll, most everyone thinks a recession is pretty likely. Cynical San Diego.

The Manchin Movie has now turned to the Sinema Saga (not sorry about that at all). Following the deal Manchin and Schumer cut (complete with Manchin complaining that he took too much heat for being the hold out for so long), all eyes look to where his moderate pal, Senator Sinema, will land on the big reconciliation/climate/whatever you want to call it deal. Early guesses hint that she may want some of the tax pieces out (i.e. the carried interest tax loophole closure, and the 15% min corporate book tax), while also increasing some of the drought funding and other pieces (heyo, Arizona desert!) But, who knows because nobody in DC cares that we have to make sense of this every week.

Call me, maybe. Medicare telehealth access may be enshrined through the end of 2024 via a bill from Republican Liz Cheney (416-12, thank you very much). And they say bipartisanship is dead. But the bill is off to the Senate now, so, you know…

And now for your weekly COVID-19 update…the Biden Administration announced that they anticipate a second booster campaign in September with the hope that Moderna and Pfizer can deliver new versions of the  doses by then. In the meantime, don’t forget that covid at-home rapid antigen tests can expire, but not as quickly as you think.

Indiana Congresswomen, Jackie Walorski, dies in a tragic car accident on Wednesday along with two members of her staff. The Republican Congresswoman was traveling in the vehicle when the other car veered into their lane and hit the car head on.

The Senate passed The PACT Act on Tuesday with a vote of 86-11. The bill will extend health benefits for about 3.5 million veterans, many of which have come down with cancers, respiratory diseases, and other illnesses due to exposure to toxins and substances such as Agent Orange. On a lighter note- this was a good lesson on not messing with Jon Stewart.

International:

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan despite warnings from China. This was the first time a high level official visited Taiwan in over 25 years, and Pelosi stated that the U.S. was determined to preserve democracy in Taiwan. This visit has heightened the U.S.-China tensions, and soon after Pelosi landed, China began military drills only miles away from the coast of Taiwan.

Channeling his inner Pelosi, a brave man calmly coaxed a bengal tiger that had charged into his taqueria in Mexico. If they don’t change their name to “Taqueria El Tigre”, they’re missing out on a great branding opportunity.

After weeks of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine led by Turkey and the UN, the first ship of grain was let out of the Port of Odessa in Ukraine. The blockade has caused a world shortage and worsened famine mainly in the Middle East and Africa. Luckily, the blockade has been lifted and the first ship has left on route to Lebanon.

So far, that trial-run in London of a four-day work week, with no change in pay, is garnering overwhelmingly positive feedback. Of course, we didn’t expect anything less. And we are definitely not jealous.

San Diego’s Congressional Delegation sent a joint letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. section of the International Boundary & Water Commission to address transboundary pollution impacting our region. Requests include urging the federal government to advance projects that would help mitigate harmful pollutants & ensure the health & safety of communities on both sides of the border. This continues to be a Chamber priority and will be a focus on our upcoming trip to Mexico City. Register here before the early bird deadline on September 9!

Our partners at the North American Development Bank will be hosting the 26th U.S.-Mexico Border Environmental Forum on August 24-25. This event brings experts, policy makers, business leaders and innovators together to discuss a broad range of environmental topics to improve the environment and boost the economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner for all border region residents.

Want to hear more from NADBank? Lucky for you, NADBank’s Chief Environmental Officer Salvador Aguilar will join our upcoming International Business Affairs Forum on August 16 for a conversation on innovative advancements in clean energy and regional strategies to aid businesses to a low-carbon transition. We will also be joined by Bill Robertson, Vehicle Program Specialist at the California Air Resources Board, who will share a brief overview of the agency’s scoping plan to shift away from fossil fuels and rely more on renewable energy sources and focus on medium and heavy-duty fleet programs that will impact commercial operations.

State:

The California Public Utilities Commission has created an email subscription service to receive updates on Statewide broadband implementation and Middle Mile & Last Mile Federal Funding.

Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency over the increasing cases of monkeypox. Cases for monkeypox continue to rise, but it should be noted that this is at a much lower rate than the Coronavirus outbreak years ago. Both New York and Illinois have also declared states of emergency in the wake of increasing case numbers. What does this mean for employers? Nothing so far. The state of emergency allows for increased deployment of vaccines, and vaccine supply remains limited.

Local:

It’s electric, boogie oogie oogie! The City of San Diego released a new detailed plan to reach net zero carbon emissions, banning natural gas in new construction projects and electrifying existing housing over the next 12 years. Want to engage in implementation on behalf of the business community? Contact Lauren Cazares.

Yesterday, Mayor Todd Gloria released details of the second Housing Action Package from his Homes for All of Us initiative. Proposals within the package include implementing SB 10, Complete communities housing solutions updates, SRO home incentives, and more.

Several hospitals in the region have been awarded funding from the California Bridge Behavioral Health Navigator Program to support efforts to enhance behavioral health treatment and services and address the opioid crisis. Each hospital was granted $120,000. Late last week, the County announced that they will begin installing vending machines throughout the region to distribute naloxone, which can prevent overdose deaths.

South County Mayors want to replace the new coastal water quality test that has been adopted by the county.     The new measures are showing that Coronado and Imperial Beach waters fail to meet safety standards more often than the old system. The Mayors worry about the impact more frequent closures would have to their economy and the untested nature of the new system itself.

San Diego has secured $68.5 million dollars in state funding! This money is expected to go towards 19 different projects and each of the city council districts which have projects will receive state funding. Millions will go to parks and recreation as well as renovations for historic buildings.

Mayors from 12 San Diego cities gathered to discuss a regional approach to the county’s homelessness crisis. SD Mayor Todd Gloria expressed hope that regional efforts could be more successful in securing state and federal funding.

SANDAG is moving forward with three finalists for its innovative projects RFP. Take a look at the dream-big scenarios here. Spoiler alert: no Gondolas still, sigh.

As of Tuesday, Major League Baseball’s megastar Juan Soto is officially a San Diego Padre. Let’s hope we can use his starpower to get the Padres their first-ever World Series title.

Instead of pursuing a ballot measure proposal, the City of San Diego’s Personnel Department will pursue certain operational changes to expedite the process of filling vacant city jobs. It currently takes an average of 302 days to hire someone and there are currently 1,700 jobs open at this time.

Here’s what happened during this week’s San Diego City Council Hearings:

  • Build Better SD, the citywide fee proposal to provide a more equitable funding approach for public spaces and facilities, passed its first reading.
  • The San Diego City Council also approved its first reading of the Contractor Subcontractor Transparency regulations, to require more accountability and to create a culture of safety and legal compliance on a jobsite. The new regulations will require permit applicants to provide information about their contractors and subcontractors when applying for permits. The rules would go into effect on January 1, 2023.
  • Tenaska & Arevon’s  Peregrine Energy Storage Project in Barrio Logan was unanimously approved (go, Chamber member!)
  • CAP 2.0 was unanimously approved (8-0, 1 absent), setting ambitious sustainability goals

Upcoming City of San Diego Public Input Opportunities

  • The City of San Diego will be kicking off its economic development strategy planning. Contact Lauren Cazares for additional information or to be engaged in the Working Group that will kick-off on August 23rd!
  • The City’s Cannabis Business Division of the Development Services Department will be holding public meetings to discuss potential municipal code changes related to cannabis. Check out the proposed changes and meeting information here.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The San Diego City Council will be in legislative recess from August 3 to September 6. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council will be on September 12th.
  • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will resume public hearings during the week of August 15.
  • SANDAG and MTS meetings will resume in September.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Caltrans is hosting its 18th annual Procurement and Resource Fair on Wednesday, August 31! Caltrans purchasers and partners will have a list of goods and contracts they’re looking to procure, upcoming opportunities for small businesses, and more. To learn more and register click here.
  • Applications are open again for the California Competes Tax Credit Program. If you are a company hoping to expand or add jobs in California take a look at this program. Any business can apply and in the past many life science companies and quite a few from San Diego have successfully applied. There’s $85 million in tax credits & $120 million in grants available and  the deadline to submit applications is Monday, 8/15, at 11:59 p.m. PST. Apply now.
  • The City of La Mesa recently announced a small business program aimed at promoting economic development in the city. The La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP) will give recipients up to $20,000 dollars for startups who stay in the city.
  • Applications for micro-enterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOs) in the County of San Diego can be found here.
  • The California Dream Fund has micro grants up to $10k available for entrepreneurs and small business creation.
  • 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.
  • 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

Health Committee:

Our next meeting will be on August 10, 8:00am-9:10am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee:

Our next meeting will be on August 16, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum:

Our next forum will be August 16 from 10-11am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Beginning on August 23 at 9:00am via Zoom.

Defense, Veterans, & Military Committee:
Our next meeting will be on September 7, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next meeting will be on September 1, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Public Policy Committee:

We will be DARK in August. See you in September!

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