July 21 – Weekly Update

They’re BAAAAAAaaaaack! Pop culture, costumes, and TOT $$$ is living large in San Diego this weekend with the long awaited return of Comic-Con. We’ve missed you and your grade-A people watching.

Sending well wishes to President Biden, who tested positive for COVID today. Speaking of, maybe work a mask into that Comic-Con outfit you’re planning.

Business Updates

Palomar Health recently announced their new plans to build a 120-bed behavioral health hospital in Escondido. In partnership with Kindred, the facility is estimated to cost $100 million dollars, employ around 200 people, and open in 2024.

The revamped design of the $3.5 billion Seaport San Diego project will be presented to the Port of San Diego today, promising to bring more public spaces like new parks, promenades, and even an aquarium to the City’s iconic waterfront.

Aya Healthcare was named one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Millennials for 2022. Given that they are a healthcare company, during what is clearly a hard time for healthcare workers, we think that’s quite a big deal. Congrats!!

Legislative Updates


Did we manifest this into existence, or…? After a lot of talk of maybe recession, all signs seem to point to a recession by the end of the year.

The CDC has given the greenlight for Novovax for adults who have yet to get a COVID-19 vaccine. No time like the present, people.

Last week: Build Back Manchin (aka “reconciliation” aka “Waiting on Joe Act” – that’s a Rep. Peters’ suggestion- aka “the Joe Manchin Deficit Reduction Act”) was slimmed down to scoop up that slippery Joe Manchin vote, and then paired with semiconductor CHIPS legislation (now known as “Chips plus”). This week: the now slimmed down climate-health-stuff bill is looking more likely to be mostly just health and not so much other stuff. Its fate remains intertwined with CHIPS plus.

So what exactly is in CHIPS plus? (You didn’t click that link earlier, did you?) Sigh, well there’s a lot. And a lot has happened to get us here so you’ll have to do that research yourself. But here’s some of what you can expect: $54b to the domestic production of semiconductor chips and 5G wireless deployment. Tax credits for local semiconductor plants. Oh, and $19M for Supreme Court Justice and clerk protections (We think that’s the whole plus part of this totally related semiconductor legislation).

After serving some time as the nation’s top doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci is expecting to retire by January of 2025. He first started in 1984, focusing on HIV/AIDS before moving onto other respiratory diseases. Can you imagine what his parting words would be if he could say anything?

The national suicide prevention lifeline launched earlier this week, with a new easy to dial number similar to 911. Now those experiencing a mental health emergency can dial 988 and be connected with a mental health professional. Veterans who also call can press 1 to reach the Veteran Crisis Line. Many within the healthcare community applaud this as the first step in getting people the help they need.

Apropos of nothing, nothing at all: A bipartisan group of senators finalized a deal on Wednesday to reform a 135 year old law, 1887 Electoral Count Act, to make the Vice President’s role in counting the votes ceremonial. In addition, this reform also makes the threshold higher for when lawmakers challenge the election results.


Comic Con will not only be home for comics and superheroes this year… Our friends over at the Mexican Consulate will be waiting for you at Casa México. This pop up location will be part of the convention with a Mexican wrestling theme and promote the states of Yucatan and Baja California as tourist destinations. Head over to Seaport Village for exhibitions, live music and a tasting of Mexican cuisine.

Join us on August 16 for a conversation on innovative advancements in clean energy and regional strategies to aid businesses to a low-carbon transition. Speakers from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) will focus on medium and heavy-duty fleet programs that will impact commercial operations and efforts moving forward to promote EV manufacturing and infrastructure.

More on energy this week… The U.S. sent a dispute settlement request to Mexico to set up a consultation on its energy policies in accordance with USMCA provisions. This is the fourth time that this mechanism has been used under the USMCA, including the dairy dispute with Canada and the discrepancy in the interpretation of rules of origin. Both parties have 75 days to resolve the dispute or an external panel will need to be established to reach an agreement.

In partnership with the CalChamber and the L.A. Area Chamber, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO US) will be hosting a virtual event on July 26th at 9am PT highlighting opportunities for Cleantech and Clean Energy companies in Abu Dhabi. It will cover topics including the current Cleantech business environment, upcoming projects and how the Abu Dhabi government supports international investors to successfully build a Cleantech/Green Energy business in the Middle East. Click here to register.

The Conservative Party leadership race in the UK took place this week and narrowed down the final two candidates for Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss. 160,000 rank-and-file members of the party will vote in September to determine Boris Johnson’s successor.

The Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenska, turned to US lawmakers in D.C. urging for more help as the country continues to struggle after a five-month-long Russian invasion. Members of Congress stated they are ready to authorize more advanced weapons and economic assistance in 2023.

For all of those hoping to take advantage of the euro reaching parity with the U.S. dollar, climate change might change your plans: Emergency services battled wildfires across swathes of southern Europe amid mass evacuations this week. London just experienced Britain’s hottest day at 40C (that’s 104F). In Italy, gas tanks exploded in a forest fire. And in Greece, a blaze fuelled by gale-force winds raged in mountains north of Athens. All of this due to a brutal heatwave with spikes well above 100 degrees which settled over southern Europe last week, part of a global pattern of rising temperatures.



A new California state agency seeks to help curtail the rising costs of healthcare within the state. In the recently passed state budget, nearly $30 million dollars will be allocated to creating this office. The main aim of the office will be to set limits on growth for the industry, and look into the rising cost of healthcare within the state

Ouch. Covered California’s premiums will go up six percent in 2023. The good(ish, emphasis on ish) news, it’s less than the national average.

With all its free time, the state is getting into the insulin manufacturing game. As one media outlet said, “Hope it goes better than the bullet train.”



Home prices have dropped in San Diego. Is it the interest rate increase? Is it the humidity we were promised wouldn’t be here? Is it just general pessimism? Who knows! See you on Zillow. (Also, ha. Ha. median home price is $825k down from $850k).

In an effort to address the lack of housing, community colleges in San Diego are working to build more affordable housing within the region. Each district within the county has received some form of funding from SB 169, however this grant money is limited to the planning phase of construction, with more funds needed to actually develop on these plans. Student rent to live in the new proposed units would also be capped at 30% of the median income for the area. Where was this when I needed it?

A little birdie told us that the DSD Charity Golf Tournament is back Friday, Sept 16! Hosted at the Admiral Baker Golf Course (South Course), the Tournament will be followed by a dinner and raffle. All proceeds go to HomeAid San Diego which provides safe and dignified housing and programmatic facilities for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. To RSVP, fill out the Sign Up Form and email it to DSDEAC@gmail.com

In an ongoing standoff between city planners and community residents, multiple plans were unveiled on what the future of the College Area will look like. City planners want to increase density within the area to account for changing demographics, however residents want to maintain the single family nature of the College Area. The population of the College Area is also expected to increase nearly 88% over the next 13 years, from 25,437 to 48,012 by 2035 according to SANDAG estimates, leading to many believing we need to increase the housing supply within the area.

Calling all creative and young San Diegans: The 2022 “Our Health Deserves a Boost(er)!” Youth Challenge encourages San Diegans aged 5-25 to raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines. All video and visual art submissions are due July 23.

Rent ain’t cheap (but tell us something we don’t know). San Diego ranked 2nd in a list of California counties where people spend the highest percent of income on rent. In the top spot? Los Angeles, duh.

The South Bay to Sorrento (SB2S) public comment period was extended to July 29. Led by SANDAG and Caltrans, the 28-mile 2B2S corridor project aims to build an innovative regional transportation network.

Everyone needs a feel good story during these times, check out how a local man beat homelessness and opened his own business in Oceanside.

Hiring Alert! The County of San Diego is recruiting for a Chief Sustainability Officer to help the County achieve its sustainability goals and ensure all communities benefit from measurable climate action.

Lucero Chavez Basilio was named as the first director for the County’s Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs, leading the agency’s efforts to elevate the positive economic & cultural contributions that immigrants and refugees bring to the bi-national region.

San Diego is looking to use city-owned properties to add childcare facilities. As a first step, the City has issued an RFI to gather knowledge of childcare facility requirements. The RFI will close Sept 16. 

Are you involved in housing and community development? If you said yes, the County wants to hear from YOU! Community members are invited to attend public forums between July 20 and 26 to discuss plans for potential projects and available federal grant funding.

MEAT and Greet with MTS at their Summer BBQ! Folks are invited to join MTS at the Balboa Avenue Transit Center from 11am-2pm for free food, giveaways, music, and more. You are encouraged to RSVP here:  MTS Summer Escapes webpage.

Speaking of MTS… The PRONTO Extend pilot program has begun taking applications for people 18 through 24 who have exited the foster care system, or who are in Extended Foster Care.


Upcoming City of San Diego Public Input Opportunities:

  • City Council is holding a special meeting at 12:00pm on Monday (normally beginning at 2:00pm) to review proposed ballot measures, including a measure to repeal the Peoples Ordinance.
  • On Tuesday, the Climate Action Plan – Net Zero by 2035 will go to council alongside the 101 Ash and Civic Center Plaza Settlement proposal.
  • Build Better SD, the citywide fee proposal to provide a more equitable funding approach for public spaces and facilities, is expected to be heard at City Council later this summer. Learn more here. If you have any questions, please contact Chamber staff – Angeli Calinog.
  • The City of San Diego will be kicking off its economic development strategy planning. Contact Lauren Cazares for additional information or to be engaged in the Working Group that will kick-off on August 23rd!


Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities:

  • The County’s revised Transportation Study Guide (TSG) for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will be heard at the Planning Commission on July 22. The Chamber has been involved in business group stakeholder discussions through the VMT implementation process. If you have any questions, please contact Angeli Calinog.
  • The next Regional Decarbonization Framework public meetings will take place on July 26.


Upcoming Hearings

  • The City of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on July 21 at 9:00AM.
  • The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on July 22 at 9:00AM.
  • The Board of Port Commissioners will meet on July 21 at 12:00PM.
  • San Diego City Council will hold a Special Meeting on July 25 and on July 26.


Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Round 2 is open for the County of San Diego’s $2,500 grants for microbusinesses (five employees or less) operating within the County.
  • The city of La Mesa recently announced a small business program aimed at promoting economic development in the city. The La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP) will give recipients up to $20,000 dollars for startups who stay in the city.
  • Applications for micro-enterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOs) in the County of San Diego can be found here.
  • The California Dream Fund has micro grants up to $10k available for entrepreneurs and small business creation.
  • 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.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide. SBDC can help with applying for COVID-19  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.


Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions

Sustainability & Industry Committee

Our next convening will be on August 4, 8:00am via Zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum:

Our next forum will be August 16 from 10-11am via Zoom.

New Working Group Alert! Economic Development Strategy Working Group 

Beginning on August 23 at 9:00am via Zoom.