JULY 30 – WEEKLY UPDATE
Today Congressman John Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta, Georgia. In a final essay published today, he urged us all to, “answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” He also reminds us:
Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.
With less than 100 days until the November election, you can take a moment to check your voter registration or register to vote here. Rest in peace, Congressman.
Congress continues to debate a Phase 4 federal COVID-19 relief package. Monday, the Senate released their $1 trillion proposal. Major themes from the Senate’s “Heals Act” are a little over $100 billion for schools, unemployment benefit of $200 per week through October 5, another round of stimulus checks for Americans, liability protection for businesses, state aid, and increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. It seems unlikely that the Senate and House will come to an agreement before the additional $600 of weekly unemployment expires for 20 million jobless Americans tomorrow.
Yesterday, the House passed two childcare bills directed at easing the financial burden families are facing during the pandemic. The Childcare is Essential Act creates a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund to allocate grant funding for child care providers during and after the pandemic to ensure the industry’s recovery. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act allocates additional funding for block and infrastructure grants related to child care and extends and increases certain tax provisions related to child care expenses.
Despite concerns from small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat amidst the pandemic and economic recession, Governor Newsom announced this week that the state will not delay the expected minimum wage increase. On January 1, 2021, the state-wide minimum wage will increase to $14/hour.
After receiving criticism for the speed at which the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) has been able to process unemployment claims, Labor Secretary Julie Su announced a new plan to strengthen the state’s unemployment insurance delivery system. Democratic leaders of both the Assembly and Senate have shown an interest in having the state fund the extended unemployment benefits if the federal government is unable to come to an agreement.
Monday, the county announced an update to the Public Health Order regarding employees returning to work who have tested positive for COVID-19. Following CDC guidance, the county will no longer require employees to receive a COVID-19 test in order to return to work. The new criteria employers must follow can be found here.
Tuesday, the county reported an additional 14 COVID-19 related deaths, making July the deadliest month for the county since the pandemic began.
The county now requires employers to notify employees of a COVID-19 outbreak that occurred at a physical work location when three or more cases occur within a 14 day period. This change is effective as of today and the updated Public Health Order can be viewed here.
The County Board of Supervisors will meet next week on Tuesday, August 4 (agenda here) and Wednesday, August 5 (agenda here). On August 5, the board will consider a proposal from Supervisor Jacob to allow places of worship, gyms, and other fitness-oriented businesses to operate in county parks. Due to the Governor’s Executive Order, in-person attendance is prohibited. Information on how to participate in the teleconference, view online, or submit comments can be found here.
2020 Virtual Live Well Advance is seeking proposals for sessions that will be held on Thursday, December 3. Proposalsare due tomorrow, July 31. Suggested topics range from COVID-19 Sessions, data literacy, equity, and social justice, to workplace wellness etc. More information can be found here.
On Tuesday, San Diego City Council voted 5-4 to extend a previously established moratorium on rent repayments to December 30. The decision will need to be confirmed by a second council vote before it goes into effect and is subject to a mayoral veto.
Council also approved a series of reform regulations regarding the nearly 50 different boards and commissions the city utilizes to oversee and advise the city on a wide range of subjects from golf courses to police misconduct to parking. The 8-1 decision by the council includes new requirements of members to self-report their demographic information for analysis of inclusivity following concerns regarding the equitable representation of the city’s population on its boards and commissions.
Similar concerns were reinforced by the results of a survey of the city’s nearly four dozen Community Planning Groups that advise the City Council on land-use decisions and policies. The survey concluded that current and past members of the groups are unrepresentative of the city’s population.
Related, last month, the Chamber launched All Our Talent, an initiative aimed at addressing the need for more women on corporate, nonprofit, and government-appointed boards and commissions in our region. Click to read the reportand dashboard on the state of women on boards and commissions locally and the disparities and barriers in our region’s leadership.
A pending lawsuit threatens to undo a 3-1 decision made by San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee regarding the awarding of a franchise fee agreement for electric and gas services within the city limits. The lawsuit alleges the committee violated state-mandated open meeting requirements when it adopted a resolution accepting a consultant’s report that offered the city a host of recommendations to negotiate a new franchise deal.
San Diego City Council will meet next week on Tuesday, August 4 (agenda here). Council will consider a proposal from Councilmember Ward that would “apply the same standards of existing federal Emergency Sick Leave Act to employers with more than 500 employees, ensuring that such employees have the same opportunity to care for themselves or family members when impacted by COVID-19 as those individuals currently covered by the federal Emergency Sick Leave Act.”
Capital Opportunities & Resources:
- NEW The City of Escondido has partnered with the San Diego North Economic Development Council to administer the Small Business Grant Program to Escondido small businesses. Learn more 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.
- The City is hosting a webinar on how to apply for a temporary outdoor business operation permit – Monday, August 3 from 11-11:30am – Register here
- City of San Diego’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program is accepting applications through August 7. More information on how to apply can be found here.
- San Diego County Small Business Stimulus Grant – Businesses must have fewer than 100 employees, be headquartered in San Diego County, have 1-year operating history, and have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to be eligible. Apply here.
- Applications are due on the following dates:
- District 1 – August 14
- District 2 – August 15
- District 5 – August 7
- Districts 3 & 4 – October 16
- Supervisor Fletcher (District 3) is working with Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander business organizations to encourage small businesses in those communities to apply.
- Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal – A new state-wide website with resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs, including a digital medial toolkit, quick links to industry guidance, direct access to PPE, and free business consulting through the Small Business Development Center network.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – PPP funds are still available. The deadline to apply for a PPP Loan was extended to August 8. Find a financial lender to apply for funds here.
- The San Diego and Imperial SBDC has developed a webinar on PPP Loan Forgiveness. Watch it on-demand 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Applications are due on the following dates: