Legislative Update – May 13


Governor Newsom said that masks may be “optional” in almost every setting after June 15th. So for those of you making a list of your “back to normal to do’s”, here’s where we’re at: do our pants still fit? How do I get rid of mascne?  What are we doing with all our old masks? Is someone making a trendy quilt out of them or something? Let us know if you have the answers.

Record scratch: the CDC beat the Governor to that punch and announced today that mask guidance indoors has been relaxed. Pass the lipstick.

Mark your calendars! Our Congressional Conversation will be held June 2 from 1 – 2:30 pm, where our San Diego delegation will discuss the issues that impact us on the local, state and national levels.

Today is Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of a month of fasting for Muslims around the world. Tell your Muslim friends Eid Mubarak (blessed celebration) today!

Business News

The Chamber’s Small Business Awards applications are open until June 18.

Interested in hosting a vaccination event? The County will partner with you

Legislative Update


All the cool kids are doing it: officially, the Pfizer vaccine is available for kids 12-15 years old.

The Colonial Pipeline cyber attack has people putting gasoline in tupperware. Californians: you do not need to stock up on gas. And if you do, definitely don’t put it in tupperware.

What’s the latest with that infrastructure plan? The President signaled he was open to compromise and met with a handful of Republicans this week. Nothing official yet.

Making moves! On Tuesday, SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten was confirmed as the US deputy education secretary by a 55-44 vote.


After over a year of travel restrictions impacting land ports of entry, Texas Congressmembers Henry Cuellar and Michael McCaul introduced the United States-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act to increase governmental cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to reactivate and strengthen tourism in both countries. Specifically, the bill looks to improve third-party tourism to the U.S. and México through joint international promotional efforts, and prioritize and expand the tourism industry by emphasizing exchanges in international economic sectors such as hospitality, retail, and cultural education.

Cuellar has also shared he is working on legislation to set up a trust fund for land ports of entry, which would channel resources for their construction, expansion, and procurement of technology and supporting infrastructure.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Mexican President Lopez Obrador met virtually on Friday to discuss the important partnership between our two countries and recognized the urgency to work together toward economic recovery, build climate resilience, and expand economic opportunities and security cooperation. Both leaders agreed to join forces to establish a strategic partnership to address the root causes of migration from countries in the Northern Triangle region and noted their commitment to spur its economic development.

Last month, economic development corporations across the state of Baja signed a collaboration agreement to form the “Baja Team” in order to promote Baja California as a global destination for business. The Chamber met with the Baja Team this week to discuss cross-border collaboration to promote economic reactivation and increase our binational region’s global competitiveness. We look forward to advancing efforts that strengthen the economic ties that have allowed our CaliBaja region to thrive.

The Chamber’s upcoming International Business Affairs Forum will take place virtually on Thursday, June 17 at 10:00am. Register here to hear from experts and industry leaders who will share an overview of efforts to improve air quality in our region, cross-border collaboration, and the role the business sector plays in achieving this goal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public meeting on May 24 at 1:00p.m. to provide an update on the evaluation of infrastructure projects to support a comprehensive solution to transboundary pollution issues in our region, in accordance with the new trilateral agreement (USMCA). This follows a public scoping meeting held recently as part of the agency’s work on an environmental impact statement for the 10 projects being considered for implementation in order to reduce transboundary pollution.


CalOSHA has some proposed new regs which have most businesses feeling all the emotions. We’re happy because maybe by August no masking requirement indoors for employees when everyone in the room is vaccinated. We’re confused because the employer has to provide masks for unvaccinated- but what if you’re not tracking who is vaccinated? We’re frustrated because employers have to provide free testing for unvaccinated employees after July 31st… again, what if I’m not tracking that information because it’s unclear how/where/when I’m supposed to do that? (The Chamber team has submitted a letter with concerns about the lack of clarity to CalOSHA).

The good news keeps coming from the state budget: California has a two year $75 BILLION surplus. Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his $100 billion economic recovery plan which expands the Golden State Stimulus program, rental relief and utility payment assistance. ⅔ of Californians are expected to benefit from $600 stimulus payments.

There’s a recall afoot, you may have heard. Dr. Drew Pinsky announced yesterday that after considering, he will not be running for Governor…. At least not this time. `


Chamber President & CEO Jerry Sanders joined Chair of the Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher on Friday to announce that employers can partner with the County to host a vaccination event at their sites.

The Chamber, San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego EDC wrote an op-ed on how the tourism industry can recover from the pandemic.

In San Diego County, adolescent COVID-19 vaccinations could start as soon as today. San Diego Health started booking appointments for those between 12-15 on Tuesday, expecting FDA emergency use authorization.

On Wednesday, May 19th, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will receive an update on how the County has been implementing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and will consider directing staff to review options that could change the way the region evaluates traffic impacts on new development. The Chamber is part of a coalition that has expressed concerns that any change would significantly restrain new housing and employment opportunities in the unincorporated area. If you are interested in emailing your supervisor, providing public comment, or have any questions or concerns regarding VMT, please contact Chamber staff

In addition, Board of Supervisor hearings will now be open to limited in-person participation, beginning next week. The County will be following all safety measure guidelines and will limit to 22 people in the Board Chamber for the time being. Opportunities to provide comments virtually will still be made available.

Upcoming Hearings

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Round SIX of GO-Biz grant  closed on May 4 – Notifications began on May 7. Details here… AND webinars explaining how to apply for future rounds and how it works here.
  • 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 San Diego Housing Commission, along with the assistance of many Community Based Organizations, is administering the City of San Diego’s 2021 COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program and applications are still open. Learn more and help spread the word here.  
  • Apply for your first or second PPP Loan now! Learn more here.
  • City of Oceanside COVID-19 small business grant program: Small businesses able to demonstrate a loss in profit caused by the COVID crisis can qualify for a grant of $1,000 to $7,5000. Learn more and apply here.
  • The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is accepting applications for a small business hiring credit against California state income taxes or sales and use taxes. The credit (authorized by SB 1447) is available to certain California qualified small business employers that receive a tentative credit reservation. Learn more here.
  • 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.