Legislative Update – July 2



Yesterday, Governor Newsom dialed back reopening in 19 counties across the state. These counties were ordered to immediately suspend indoor operations of restaurants, wineries/tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, and museums as well as all bars both indoor and outdoor. While San Diego is not included on the list of counties of concern, neighboring Imperial, Orange, and Riverside counties were all included. Local county health officials caution that San Diego will likely be forced to dial back our reopening if local behavior does not change.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy Fourth of July! Please remember to follow state and county public health guidance: wear a mask, maintain a physical distance from others, and refrain from gathering with members outside of your household.

Legislative Update:


This week, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to extend the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program to August 8. While the changes must still be signed by the president, this extension would give American businesses access to the more than $130 billion of loan money that was previously allotted to the program.


The State of Baja released its Economic Reactivation and Recovery Plan. The initiative seeks to maintain Baja’s economic competitiveness and serve as a guide for business and industry leaders as the region moves forward. The document also provides updated information on the spread of COVID-19  from Baja’s Secretariat of Health. Businesses are required to submit a form with company information and process a COVID-19-Free Work Space certification that outlines mandated health protocols based on their size, operations, and industry.

In the City of Tijuana, city officials are conducting inspections to ensure establishments comply with health protocols. Businesses including restaurants, hotels, service providers, and distributors may  submit a request to reopen through the City of Tijuana by visiting their website .

Health and safety checkpoints have been set up at the Ensenada and Mexicali city access points to ensure adherence to stay at home orders. These efforts will be reinforced in anticipation of the U.S. holiday weekend. Authorities will verify the use of face masks, confirm that the trip’s purpose is essential, and conduct temperature checks for each passenger. Please note there is also a limit of two passengers per vehicle crossing southbound through Mexicali’s land ports of entry.

Senator Ben Hueso and Senator Lena Gonzalez chaired a joint hearing of the Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation and the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response on “The Impact of COVID-19 in California’s Border Region”. The Chamber provided written and oral testimony highlighting the impact travel restrictions, reduced hours of operations at our land ports of entry, and increased border wait times have on our border communities.


On Monday, Governor Newsom signed the 2020-21 state budget into law. Notably, the budget includes several tax increases totalling nearly $9 billion over the next three years. The majority of these tax changes apply to businesses, including a three year suspension of net operating loss deduction for medium and large sized businesses and a $5 million annual limit on utilization of tax credits. While the 20 budget-related bills signed by the governor implement state-wide spending authority, many decisions relating to the funding of public schools, higher education, and social safety net programs depend on revenues that are still unknown (delayed income tax filing, the pace at which the state’s economy recovers from the pandemic-induced recession, and additional financial aid from the federal government).

In an executive order, Governor Newsom gave local governments the ability to extend moratorium on evictions through September 30.


This week, the County announced major changes to reopening plans. First, all additional sector reopenings (ie. group gatherings, moving into stage 3) were put on hold until at least August 1. Second, all bars, wineries, and breweries that do not serve food (with a few exceptions) have been ordered to close. Finally, all restaurants must close to customers by 10pm and may not reopen until 5am.

This week, San Diego City Council approved a $15.1 million rent relief program and extended the moratorium on evictions through September 30. The rent relief program, administered by the San Diego Housing Commission, will provide a one time grant of up to $4,000 to low-income renters to past-due rent or upcoming rent payments.

The San Diego City Council also officially approved the agreement for SDSU to purchase the Mission Valley stadium site.

On Tuesday, a California appellate court ruled on the side of the City of San Francisco to allow citizen ballot measures to pass with a simple majority (rather than two-thirds). This decision has potential implications on the outcome of the Yes for A Better San Diego (Measure C) initiative to expand the convention center and provide a dedicated stream of homeless funding to San Diego. The ruling is expected to be appealed.

Capital Opportunities & Resources:

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program – The SBA reopened the EIDL program application. Eligible businesses can now apply for the low-interested long-term loan and receive a $10,000 advance/grant even if they later choose to reject the loan. Learn more here.
  • The San Diego Foundation’s County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program’s nonprofit loan pool is now open and accepting applications. Applications are due by Tuesday, July 7
    • Find out if your organization qualifies here.
  • Businesses can also 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.
  • Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce Relief Fund – Black-owned businesses can apply for funding and technical assistance here. Email questions and concerns to

International Business Affairs:

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)  entered into force yesterday. In celebration of this achievement, the Chamber along with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego, U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, and Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles hosted a webinar to discuss the new treaty’s benefits and economic opportunities for our binational region.

The webinar featured Zaib Shaikh, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles; Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego; and Sue Saarnio, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana. Speakers agreed the treaty brings certainty and stability to the business community, and will serve as a model for future free trade agreements. As supply chains with Asia continue to experience challenges, USMCA increases North America’s competitiveness to help attract foreign investment. Another huge win for the region came in form of $300 million appropriated in the USMCA Implementation bill which will address transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley.

In celebration of USMCA, President Lopez Obrador will be traveling to Washington D.C. on July 8th to continue conversations to strengthen trade and investment between both countries.