Legislative Update – August 5

Lions, tigers, monkeys and 250 other animals are now getting their vaccinations at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Which means that you probably should too.

While you cheer on Team USA at the Olympics, some fun facts about San Diego showin up and showin out in Tokyo: A San Diego company, Behind the Scenes, is catering the Olympics; cycling bronze medalist Jennifer Valente is a San Diegan; sport climbing (it’s new, don’t worry about it) premiered with UCSD grad Brooke Rabotou competing; Keegan Palmer, who won a gold medal for skateboarding, reps Australia but he was born in San Diego; and San Diego’s Xander Schauffele won a gold medal in golf. (Sorry if we missed any- turns out we’ve got a LOT to brag about).

Business News

Walt Disney Co. is now requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all salaried and non-union hourly employees, and has begun talks with unions for remaining employees. Other major employers like Microsoft and Uber have likewise issued vaccine requirements.

The San Diego Business Journal announced their 40 Next Top Business Leaders Under 40, and we are proud to recognize the 16 who are Chamber members!

Spread the word to businesses who still need PPE! We are continuing N95 mask distribution with our partners PPE Unite. Sign up for a PPE pick up time at our office using this link.

Legislative Updates


As expected, the lawsuits have begun. Following the federal requirement for vaccines (or routine testing, ouch), the legal challenges are here. Interestingly, the latest come from public unions, bristling at the idea of getting the jab. Thus far, a series of lawsuits in state courts have already been shut down.

Made in Somewhere Else: American mask makers are feeling the pinch as PPE demands are largely being made to China-based companies. As a result, they’re flagging concerns about being able to stay open.

The Senate has introduced the text of a bipartisan, nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill of over 2,700 pages! They will attempt to pass the measure this week. Measures include $110 billion for roads, an initiative to reform Amtrak, a transportation grant program, and an overhaul of the electrical grid. In an attempt to create a bill also amenable to Republicans, the plan will not require a tax hike and now focuses only on “core” infrastructure.

On the list of the pay-fors for the Infra bill is moving money currently slated for COVID tax credits that incentivized hiring and employee retention.

President Biden’s over $200 billion child care proposal faces the challenge of a lack of facilities and workers to meet the nation’s child care needs, meaning that many American families would not be able to immediately benefit from the plan.

The CDC announced that the federal eviction moratorium will be extended until October 3. The measure will only apply in counties “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels” of COVID-19, but this will cover about 90% of renters in the nation. Meanwhile, the White House has been urging state and local governments to rush and distribute the $46 billion in rental aid set aside by Congress, of which only $3 billion has been fully disbursed.

The Department of Education has released their Return to School Roadmap, a resource to support safe and in-person learning this upcoming school year. It provides support for students, parents, educators, and other parties to create excitement about a return to classrooms and outlines how federal funding will aid this return.

The Small Business Administration has created a “Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal.” If you got a loan and haven’t pursued forgiveness yet, please save yourself the anxious night sweats and apply.

Redistricting update! The next census data release will be on August 16th. The Census Bureau will be holding a news conference ahead of the release on August 12th to discuss the initial analysis of the first local level results.


Making it rain, international style: the IMF voted to inject a whopping $650 billion to create special reserve assets for countries dealing with the economic fall out of COVID. The vote, while significant, isn’t new. The IMF has been debating this for over a year. Under the Trump administration, it had been blocked.

The Biden administration is developing a plan to require nearly all foreign visitors to be fully vaccinated as they look into finally lifting travel restrictions.

All the way from another cross-border region, Rep. Veronica Escobar from El Paso led border state lawmakers in introducing the Border Health Security Act to strengthen international cooperation to screen for infectious diseases and support public health initiatives in border communities.

Baja’s Governor elect Marina del Pilar Ávila and Governor Jaime Bonilla held their first meeting this week to start their transition. Ávila also held a series of meetings with members of the federal government including the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with whom she discussed how to leverage Baja’s geographical location to create a global logistics hub.

The Chamber joined business and industry leaders in Tijuana for a meeting with city’s mayor elect Montserrat Caballero. She reiterated her commitment to strengthening the binational relationship and working closely with the business community toward economic recovery.

Mayor Todd Gloria met with Baja California’s Secretary of Health Dr. Alonso Pérez to discuss COVID19 vaccination efforts, reported cases across the region, and a new program to vaccinate migrants in Baja. Tijuana has reactivated their vaccine distribution  with the first dose of Pfizer for individuals aged 18 and over.

The Chamber’s upcoming  Mexico City Summit will take place August 31 through September 1st. This long-awaited event will hold a series of virtual meetings with high-level elected officials from the Mexican Federal Government to discuss  binational priorities such as transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley in our region, trade and economic development, border infrastructure and the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

The EPA will host a public meeting tomorrow at 11:00a.m. to provide an update on the analysis of infrastructure projects to address transboundary pollution issues in our region. Access to the meeting is available here.


CalOSBA has announced that there will be three additional rounds for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant. Round 7 will be an additional review process for currently waitlisted applicants, Round 8 will be open for submissions between August 27 and September 18 and is only open to nonprofit cultural institutions, and Round 9 will have standard eligibility requirements and will be open for submissions between September 9 and September 30.

The state has also issued new guidance for schools when someone tests positive. Introducing the “modified quarantine” the policy will allow students who have been exposed to stay in in-person learning settings.


New Urban West’s Trails at Carmel Mountain Ranch was approved by the City’s Planning Commission today. The Chamber is proud to support this project which will provide 1,200 homes, preserve 110+ acres of permanent open space, and near jobs & transit.

The San Diego City Council approved the City’s Parks Master Plan centered around making the parks more modern, equitable, and accessible to residents. Among these provisions are a commitment to park investments within park-deficient and historically marginalized communities, as well as the designation of the Chollas Creek Watershed as a regional park. The Plan will also strive to allow local parks to be visited easier via biking, walking, and transit options.

The City of San Diego’s Development Services Center will now require all customers and employees to wear face coverings while indoors at the center. The Center will be closed on Friday, Aug. 13 2021, for an all-staff meeting. All online services will still be available. Regular business hours will resume on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.

The public comment period for the NAVWAR Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization Plan ends in one week on August 12. More information and the form to submit public comment can be found here.

SDMAC will be holding their 14th Annual Achievement Awards on August 12, recognizing local civilian and military individuals, companies and organizations for making extraordinary contributions to San Diego’s military community.

The San Diego Water Authority is the first California public agency to utilize the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, which provides transitioning service members with career training during their last 6 months of active duty. With almost half of skilled water industry workers expected to retire by 2035, the Water Authority joined the DOD program to improve their workforce development strategies.

Did you hear the news? There’s a new way to pay for transit in San Diego: PRONTO. PRONTO will replace the current Compass Card and Compass Cloud systems starting September 1. Get a PRONTO Card or download the mobile app to ride MTS Buses and Trolleys for FREE the whole month of September. Check the schedule and find other ways to get a card here.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on August 6.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will meet on August 17 & August 18.
  • The City of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on August 19.
  • The San Diego City Council will be in summer recess until September 13.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in California. Businesses of any industry, size or location are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted from July 26, 2021 – August 16, 2021 for the first period.
  • The CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund provides assistance for eligible expenses to businesses in the City of San Diego and City of Chula VIsta impacted by the pandemic.
  • 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.
  • The County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant Program is accepting additional applications. Eligible businesses must have fewer than 100 full-time employees and are following sectors (restaurant, gym fitness center, yoga studio, movie theater, museum, zoo, or aquarium) that were impacted by moving from the Red to Purple Tier OR part of the event industry. Learn more and apply here.
  • City of San Diego Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit – Businesses (restaurants, retail stores, gyms, hair salons, nail salons) can now expand into the public right-of-way, parking lots, and public spaces. Information on how to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit can be found here.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide to help business owners navigate through the chaos COVID-19 is having on our communities. SBDC can help with applying for 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.

The State Treasurer’s Office has published this list of Federal, State, Local, Private, and Non-profit resources available to small businesses.