June 23 – Weekly Update

Are you awesome? Do you also run/work for/voluteer with a small business? If you do, you should nominate yourself (or a friend!) for our upcoming Small Business Awards.

Everyone likes awards… in fact, we’ve verbally abused entire younger generations for their embrace of awards. Not that we’re upset about that or anything.


An entirely Gen-Z, Gen-Y, and Millennial Policy Team

Business Updates

Congrats to Chamber Members NuVasive Inc. and Hunter Industries for receiving funding from the Cal Competes Tax Credit Program. The CCTC program is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate or stay and grow in California.

(In DJ Khaled voice) And another one! Congrats to Chamber member Viasat who will lead the way testing 5G technologies for the Marine Corps.

$$$ The County of San Diego’s Microbusiness COVID-19 grant relief program has been extended from June 24 to July 15.

Legislative Updates


That ol’ phrase “as California goes, so goes the country” remains true! The gas-tax holiday fight has traveled from Sacramento to DC (although not by car, because that would be pricey… get it?). Democrats are already panning Biden for his call to suspend the federal gas tax until September, and he’ll ask states to follow suit. You may recall that a very similar fight is happening in Sacramento between, well, everyone.

Cool, cool. Deutsche Bank and Citi Bank leadership say there’s a 50% chance of a coming recession. Even Fed Chair Powell said to a Congressional panel that “It’s certainly a possibility.” Uh, we don’t like these odds guys.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a law banning certain products that can be linked to Xinjiang, went into effect this week. Drafted to address the human-rights violations as China has cracked down on ethnic minorities including Uyghur Muslims, all eyes now look to how the supply chain will stabilize itself. Some researchers have estimated that worldwide 10 million businesses purchase products that are now going to be prohibited, and could upend existing economic stressors. While it’s too early to say the impacts as the law tries to balance confronting behavior agreed to be nothing short of monstrous, and the economic realities, some business leaders have already moved production sourcing, or are looking at other regions.

Guess what?! The House Appropriations Committee released the draft fiscal year 2023 Homeland Security funding bill which recommends $15.74 billion, an increase of $893.8 million above the FY 2022. This will include $120.2 million for an additional 250 Customs Officers, 500 technicians, and 500 mission support staff additional to $100 million for border technology. The Chamber continues to support and inquire on regional initiatives for continued investment in border infrastructure and technology to ensure an efficient border that facilitates trade and tourism while also prioritizing national security.


Got a few secs? As you all know, the Chamber hosts International Business Affairs Forums to provide business leaders with the essential knowledge and resources needed to thrive within the binational marketplace. We want to hear from you on what topics, issues, and initiatives you would like us to focus on for upcoming forums. Click here to take the survey.

At last week’s Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate,  President Lopez Obrador announced the evaluation of  a project to export energy to California and other U.S. states following the installation of solar parks across  the U.S.-Mexico border. He also commented on potential transmission networks during a meeting with 17 U.S. companies that have investments in Mexico.

In addition, Foreign Affairs  Secretary Marcelo Ebrard hosted a forum to support startup economic growth in Mexico. Over 50 CEOs from representing a variety of industries including logistics, insurtech and e-commerce, met with government officials to discuss Mexico’s global competitiveness.

The Chamber’s very own International Business Affairs’ Executive Director, Kenia Zamarripa, is in D.C. this week and  participated in the Eighth Annual Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border Conference. Kenia shared insight on the Chamber’s work and our  San Diego/Baja binational region  with U.S. and Mexican lawmakers, diplomats, and private sector representatives to spark a vibrant and productive dialogue on improving border management to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border region’s global competitiveness.

IBA Chair and Board Member, Ernesto Bravo from TECMA will join elected officials and leaders from both sides of the border for a conversation on border wait times impacting everything from the shipping routes of multinational manufacturing industries to the daily commutes of workers who cross the border each day. The event will take place in Southwestern College’s Performing Arts Center at 7 pm with a catered reception following the event. Click here to register or check out the live-stream at KPBS’ YouTube page.

Registration is now live for this year’s Binational Delegation to Mexico City will take place October 23-26th. Delegates will meet with key federal officials and diverse business industry leaders to discuss the major areas of focus: border infrastructure efficiency, transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River, and trade & economic opportunities.

The EPA and International Boundary and Water Commission released a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed USMCA Mitigation of Contaminated Transboundary Flows Project. The project involves the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure to reduce transboundary flows from Tijuana that routinely convey pollutants, sewage, and/or trash into the U.S. Click here for further details on how to participate in the  45-day public comment period and virtual public comment meetings.


Earlier this week, Assembly leadership announced the creation of the Select Committee on Gasoline and Supply Pricing. The Committee hopes to investigate gas price gouging and explore solutions on how best to provide relief for Californians – likely “before October.”

The EDD’s May jobs report shows that the state’s unemployment rate decreased from 4.6% to 4.3% in May, adding 42,900 new jobs. We’ve now regained 93% of jobs lost during the height of the pandemic, and are still recouping some of that EDD money that went to… not who it was supposed to go to.

One step closer! The CDC advisory panel approved the Moderna vaccine for kids 6-17.

Also moving along is Governor Gavin Newsom’s CARE Court proposal, which made its way out of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and is also supported by the Chamber. Next stop is the Assembly Health Committee on June 28.


“Buses on Shoulders” sounds like a good way to have back pain, but actually it’s the newest MTS pilot program. On specified routes, MTS will be able to use technology to allow buses to pass slow vehicles on shoulders, making sure riders aren’t bogged down by someone looking at their phone (ahem!).

San Diego County’s unemployment rate is now at 2.7% in the region, with the leisure and hospital sectors leading the way with most jobs added.

Say it ain’t so – the average home mortgage rate is now at a whopping $5,000 a month in the San Diego region, more than double the average U.S. home rate.

Now onto some good housing news for a change! Plans to bust the 30-foot height limit to build more affordable housing in Pacific Beach received the OK to move forward from the state, determining that a local voter initiative cannot supersede state density bonus law.

Gimme that money. The City of San Diego’s 2023 fee schedule for development impact fee (DIF) and facilities benefit assessment fee (FBA), and regional transportation congestion improvement program (RTCIP)  for communities will be published online on July 1st. The Planning department anticipates increases for each category.

SANDAG and Caltrans District 11 have released the draft South Bay to Sorrento (SB2S) Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP) and they want to hear from you! The plan aims to better understand and find solutions to people and goods movement in this specific corridor. Public comment is open through July 15th. Learn more here.

This week, the City of San Diego launched enforcement of long-awaited street vendor law, but coastal areas are still awaiting CA Coastal Commission approval.

Got any July 4th weekend plans yet? The Big Bay Boom is just around the corner! Learn more about the event here.

Upcoming City of San Diego Public Input Opportunities:

  • Build Better SD, the citywide fee proposal to provide a more equitable funding approach for public spaces and facilities passed the Active Transportation & Infrastructure Committee yesterday and is expected to make it to City Council later this summer. Learn more here. If you have any questions, please contact Chamber staff – Angeli Calinog.
  • The Planning Department will host an in-person community open house on June 29 to share the project status of the College Area Community Plan Update, which was last updated in 1989.
  • The CAP (Climate Action Plan) Update and the CAP Consistency Regulations will be presented to the Environment Committee on Thursday, June 30, at 4:00PM.

Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities:

  • Planning & Development Services (PDS) will hold a public meeting to hear feedback and explore options for an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance that would apply in the unincorporated County  on June 29, 2022, at 6 PM. The concept of inclusionary housing is to help increase the production of affordable housing by requiring a certain amount of affordable housing in a project in exchange for certain incentives.
  • The County is hosting a series of workshops on the proposed strategies and measures of their Climate Action Plan update. The energy workshop will be held on June 28. To learn more and to find the dates of future meetings, click here.
  • The next Regional Decarbonization Framework public meetings will take place on June 28 and July 26.

Upcoming Hearings

  • The SANDAG Board of directors will meet on June 24.
  • The San Diego City Council will meet on June 27 and June 28.
  • The California Air Resources Group Meeting on Clean Cars4All on June 28.
  • The City of San Diego’s Select Committee on San Diego Housing Commission Oversight and Reform will meet on June 27.

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.
  • 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 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.

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.