Legislative Update – July 29

It’s like the Convention Center knew we all needed a little extra sunshine this week. The much awaited return to conventions is upon us, and it’s bringing…. DOGS! The American Kennel Club will be bringing its Meet the Breeds event to San Diego where you can, seriously, just meet all kinds of dogs and it’s just the sort of feel good event that makes strapping your mask back on not so bad.

Requirements for vaccines in the public sector made waves this week. Some private businesses are following suit, saying that proof of vaccination is required to enter their establishments… are you implementing vaccine requirements? Tell us how it’s going!

Business News

Congratulations to our 2021 Small Business Awards winners! United Way of San Diego was the winner of the Community-Minded award, New Leaf Biofuel won Best Success Story, Construction Service Workers won Outstanding Minority, Women, Veteran, DBE-Owned Business and AJ Consulting Group won the Customers First award. The 2021 Small Business Hero Award went to Danny Fitgerald with the Center for Business Advancement at Southwestern Community College District.

Deloitte announced that it has acquired Sentek Global, a San Diego systems engineering and cybersecurity company that primarily serves the Navy. This comes as part of a greater expansion of Deloitte into the San Diego region and services for military or federal entities.

Yay, sports! On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved a measure which will allow for football to be played in Petco Park. This means that the Holiday Bowl is coming to downtown this December! Speaking of Petco and our Padres, there’s some rumors afoot about a big name joining our winning ranks….(cough Max Scherzer cough)

Thanks to a $10 million donation from La Jolla philanthropists Daniel and Phyllis Epstein, UC San Diego will be constructing a new 2,850 seat amphitheater scheduled to open in fall 2022.

Coming in at the second hottest real estate market in the United States, San Diego home prices are up 24.7% in the past year as of May, its growth falling just behind the Phoenix metropolitan area. This May marked the highest annual increase in at least thirty years for the nation. Unrelated: the Chamber is supportive of policies that increase housing supply, in case you were wondering.

Chamber member Starbucks is helping to chip away at food insecurity, and announced their FoodShare Food Donation program live at all their stores. By the way, we highly recommend the cheddar sausage breakfast sandwich, if you’re hungry.

$$$ The application for the California Competes Tax Credit is now open until August 16. Any business that wants to locate in California or stay and grow in California are eligible to apply. Go-Biz informational webinars are held on August 5 and 10, more information and registration details are available here.

You ask and we listen! Beginning next week, the Chamber will be joining PPE Unite as an N95 distribution partner. No more emailing masks@sdchamber, you can use this link to schedule your N95 pick up time from our office.

Legislative Updates


Let’s get ready to rumble (andtalkaboutinfrastructure)! A bipartisan infrastructure deal, totaling $1 trillion with $550 billion in new spending, has been reached. It’s made it out of an early vote in the Senate, but heads to the House where the future is uncertain, to put it kindly. More progressive legislators are taking issue with the lack of diversity in the negotiating team, the narrowed nature of the bill, and Senator Sinema’s lack of enthusiasm at the companion bill’s price tag. And, on the other end, Trump has…. Thoughts.

President Biden announced new programs to support homeowners facing foreclosure. In short, anyone with a federally backed mortgage (that’s most of you, FYI) can take advantage of loan modifications and lowered payments by participating.

Some not so great news (it’s okay, remember, the dogs are coming!)…. The GDP missed expectations for the second quarter, reporting 6.5% growth instead of the anticipated 8-ish percent.

On Tuesday, the CDC announced updated mask guidance in light of new data on the delta variant. The CDC has recommended that in areas of substantial and high transmission, fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public indoor spaces. The updated guidance also recommended everyone in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, should wear masks indoors. According to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker, San Diego County falls under the new guidance with a high level of community transmission.

Did you enjoy that child tax credit payment? Heads up, it ain’t just free money (although making it rain has been the theme of the year). The tax credit payments are actually “advanced payment on the tax credit parents were deducting from their taxes at filing time.” So if you prefer a lump sum at tax-time, you’ll want to opt out of the monthly payments.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs will require healthcare workers to get vaccinated, making it the first federal agency to require COVID-19 vaccinations. On Wednesday, the Department of Defense followed suit requiring all individuals to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status in areas of substantial or high transmission.

President Biden will also announce today that vaccine verification is required for all federal workers. Or, if you choose not to (please, please, don’t do that), you can get a super enjoyable nose swab once a week.


Mexican President Lopez Obrador urged the U.S. government to lift the non-essential travel restrictions at our shared ports of entry and stressed the negative economic impact both countries have suffered as a result. This includes the wellbeing of co-producing manufacturing supply chains between both countries which are valued at $2.5 billion in our region alone. Mexico has ramped up a vaccination campaign for individuals over 18 at 35 out of the 45 municipalities in the border region, and plans to cover remaining municipalities this week.

In Baja, Secretary of Health Alfonso Perez Rico confirmed  that kids are finally going back to school (yay!). Schools will gradually resume in-person activities on August 30th under the following guidelines:

  • Classrooms will have a limit of 10 individuals including professors;
  • Students will need to seat 1.5 meters apart;
  • Students with last name initials from “A” to “M” will attend on Mondays and Wednesdays; Tuesdays and Thursdays will then welcome students with last names starting with “N” to “Z”; Fridays will remain virtual.

Ensenada Mayor Armando Ayala traveled to Miami to meet with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and Royal Caribbean Cruises in efforts to bring cruises back to Baja and reactivate tourism.

If you thought Baja couldn’t have any more interesting traits, you were wrong! The third edition of the highly acclaimed Fashion Talks MX is taking place in Tijuana this week to promote Mexican designers. You can also check it out online for that front row view!

Mexican Minister of Economy Tatiana Clouthier was in DC last week meeting with USTR and industry representatives to continue discussions on the implementation of USMCA and emerging opportunities to increase North America’s global competitiveness. However, rules of origin continue to be a controversial challenge: Mexico believes that the agreement includes flexibility around regional content provisions in order to allow auto parts that meet regional content thresholds to be considered originating when accounted for as part of larger components. The US maintains that if a component of an auto part contains ANY foreign content, it should be subtracted from the regional-value content specified in the agreement.


State and health care workers will soon be required to provide proof of vaccination or undergo regular COVID-19 testing, and Governor Newsom encouraged local governments and businesses to follow suit. The CSU system didn’t miss a beat, announcing the following day that it would require vaccine verification for all staff.

On Wednesday, CDPH announced that it will follow updated CDC mask guidance and recommend universal indoor masking.

Cal/OSHA’s working group on COVID-19 standards has met twice, in case you wondered what that fun bunch had been up to lately. Thus far, meetings have covered what other states are doing, and is working to determine what sort of metrics need to be tracked and how they would be used. Future meeting agendas are expected to include vaccine verification requirements, and whether or not they can get- and distribute- site-specific outbreak data.

For the first time, the state signed a collective bargaining agreement with Child Care Providers United. The agreement will allow for increased wages for childcare providers and an additional 200,000 childcare slots across the state.

San Francisco bars are now requiring proof of vaccination for indoor patrons in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases.


Call to Action: The Trails, a Chamber endorsed housing project, is heading to the City of San Diego’s Planning Commission on August 5th at 9am and we need your advocacy! This project will revitalize a fallow golf course by providing 1,200 units of much needed for sale, for rent, and affordable housing, and will preserve over 110 acres of permanent open space. If you are willing to submit a letter of support, please CLICK HERE! If you are also willing to call in during public comment please email Haley@Intesacom.com or simply log in to the zoom meeting the day of.

SANDAG’s Board officially agreed to open negotiations with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council for a community benefits agreement.

Mayor Todd Gloria has launched “OnBoard,” a tool which makes it easier to learn about, apply for, and participate in the CIty’s Boards and Commissions. The new website includes informational profiles on the City’s Boards and Commissions, vacancies and expiration dates, as well as an application system for open positions.

On Tuesday, the County announced that they will follow the CDC recommendation (not mandate) to wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. San Diego is currently an area of “high transmissibility” according to the CDC. (And be nice to staff, everyone’s still just trying their best).

San Diego restaurants may soon be permitted to keep their outdoor dining operations open after COVID-19, provided that they are willing to pay a fee to make the City’s sidewalks and streets better places for recreation. The fee will go toward sidewalk widening, street trees, upgrades to make walking and cycling more accessible, and projects to help boost outdoor dining in low-income areas. The new initiative is called “Spaces as Places” and would allow for the emergency outdoor dining permits issued during the pandemic to be converted into permanent ones.

The City of San Diego’s Planning Department will host a Homes for All of Us Implementation Proposal public workshop on August 4. At this workshop, they’ll be presenting how the initiatives, including Blueprint San Diego,  will be incorporated into the City’s Land Development Code (LDC) update this year. Staff will then be discussing the proposed LDC amendments with the public on August 16. If you have any feedback, please email Angeli Calinog.

Building in the City of San Diego? Adding a home gym? Building an ADU (do it!)? DSD continues to host free Zoom webinars to help customers learn about their new & improved online cloud-based permitting systems. Tune into their next one tomorrow (July 30) at 11am where you can learn about preparing PDF plans and forms before submitting an application for a permit.

The City of Chula Vista will hold a series of redistricting workshops starting this week to allow the public to submit questions, suggestions, and relevant information for consideration. Redistricting occurs every decade following the release of census data to redraw boundaries for the four City Council districts.  Take a look here for info on the upcoming workshops and other opportunities to get involved.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The San Diego City Council will meet on August 2.
  • The City of San Diego Planning Commission will meet on August 5.
  • The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on August 6.
  • SANDAG Board of Directors will meet on August 13.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will meet on August 17.

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • 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.