Remember a few years ago when the news would just be like “Cute Dog Finds Other Dog in Car and Shows Off Stuffed Animal”? And today, the headlines are: “Rockslide Nearly Kills People Barely Surviving Heatwave” or “Democracy Hanging by Thin Thread”.
With that in mind, we’d like to humbly submit to you some good (or at least a little funny) news:
-Beyonce Announces New Album
-Cute Dogs Sniff for COVID in Schools, Students Love It
-Another Ship Got Stuck
Congratulations! Rebecca Louie has been named President and CEO of Wakeland Housing and Development. Rebecca previously served as Wakeland’s Vice President and COO and is currently Board Chair of the San Diego Housing Federation.
It took two years and change, but parents-of-kids-under-five, the vaccines are coming!!! (Insert that Oprah meme here). Wednesday an FDA panel recommended approval.
We promise we are not trying to alarm you… but, um, the Abbott plant (remember the formula crisis because it closed?) flooded. And closed, again.
Again, do not be alarmed. But. Mortgage rates hit 5.78% this week. Last year at this time, they were at the oh-so-attractive 2.93%.
For context, these are the highest mortgage rates since 2008 (gulp). But increasingly, we’re hearing the dreaded word that rhymes with schmecession. The Fed raised its rate by a .75 percentage point this week and the stock market has had a volatile go of late… As far as what to expect, you can read this long article, or we can sum it up in one quote, “Nobody knows. Anyone that pretends to know is just telling you a story.”
Retail sales fell 0.3% last month. (We promise next week to include a cat meme or something if there’s this much not-good news).
The Chamber was proud to lead efforts that led to a collaboration agreement with partner business organizations from San Diego and Tijuana to promote and advance economic development in our binational region. Industry leaders agreed to promote our binational region as the main destination of foreign investment and position the region as a hub for innovation, as well as strengthen communication across the border and advance public policies that boost our global competitiveness.
Here’s what you missed from last week’s 9th Summit of the Americas:
- Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard (potential Presidential candidate) met with President Biden and other international leaders to discuss efforts to address poverty, corruption, organized crime, and climate change. President Lopez Obrador declined the invite following confirmation that Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela leaders were excluded.
- Governor Newsom and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new partnership and signed a collaboration agreement to fight climate change, reduce pollution, cut back on plastic waste, advance zero-emission vehicles, protect the environment and build climate resilience. Canada and California also agreed to convene other nations at the UN Climate Week in September to drive shared work on wildfire and forest resilience.
- President Biden presented the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection aiming to improve our approach to managing migration in the Americas by focusing on stability and assistance for communities, expansion of legal pathways, humane migration management, and coordinated emergency response.
- Chamber staff was proud to join the California Leaders Luncheon hosted by Mayor Gloria in collaboration with the Asian Business Association Foundation. Guest speakers included Lieutenant Governor Eleni Koulinakis and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
In other news, the EPA will be hosting a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, June 28. Tune in for an update on the agency’s collaboration with Mexico and further discuss alternatives within the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement( PEIS).
Last Thursday, Southwestern College signed a historic MOU with Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) to increase joint efforts between them and strengthen our binational workforce. This partnership will create academic opportunities for our region’s students such as study abroad programs, and support diversity and equity efforts at both institutions.
Save the Date! 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, transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River, and trade & economic opportunities.
Budget szn is nearing the finish line as the legislature reached an agreement on the 2022-23 state budget. The budget totals to $300 billion and prioritizes education and housing. However, the Governor’s office issued a statement that there is still more work to be done on the key details of the proposal so stay tuned for changes. And as discussions move forward with the Governor, the legislature will now work on passing budget trailer bills over the coming days.
The Supreme Court issued a win for employers fighting against PAGA. In a decisive 8-1 vote, it ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (the other FAA) preempts PAGA. And while the business community generally sees this as positive, be warned that legislation is expected literally any moment at the state level to adjust that.
Budget szn has also (almost) concluded in the City of San Diego. Earlier this week, the City Council approved Mayor Todd Gloria’s Ready to Rebuild FY 2023 budget. The $5 billion budget now includes $3.6 million towards a housing stability fund, and additional funding for homeless outreach in the Downtown & urban core, a small business enhancement program, the SD Access 4 All Digital Equity Program, and more. Mayor Gloria plans on signing the budget later on this week.
UC San Diego plans on increasing their housing capacity for students to 40,000 to accommodate an expected 44,000 new students this fall. The University hopes to expand housing opportunities near the blue trolley line and possibly further south of the County.
The City of San Diego has launched a new youth workforce training program, with the help of state funding. “Employ + Empower” will provide opportunities for young San Diegans to apply for paid work in public service, and convert citywide unpaid internships to paid internship opportunities.
More homes please…Earlier this week the Southern California Rental Housing Association reported that the apartment vacancy rate in the County is currently at 1.25%, and that rents have increased by a weighted average of 15% across units of all sizes.
The City of San Diego’s Land Use & Housing Committee voted to support Councilmember LaCava’s Community planning group reform proposal. The Chamber is proud to be a part of a broad coalition, including Circulate San Diego, NAIO, BOMA, and the BIA, in support of the item. Onward!
Here’s just a few things that happened at the County Board of Supervisors’ hearings this week:
- Approved a proposal to recruit and provide better training for neurodivergent residents to join the County workforce.
- Approved a resolution to place a tax proposal on cannabis business activities in the County on the November 2022 ballot. It will need formal board approval on June 28. The Board will also consider additional program options on June 28.
- Voted to establish a program to encourage homeowners to create or update their homes to be fire-resistant.
The County has reported that there are two probable cases of monkeypox. Officials also reported that the risk of being exposed to this in the County still remains low.
Upcoming City of San Diego Public Input Opportunities:
- The Cannabis Business Division and Office of Race and Equity is requesting public input on the formation of an equity program. The public may participate in an equity assessment survey until June 24. Learn more here.
- Build Better SD, the citywide fee proposal to provide a more equitable funding approach for public spaces and facilities, will be considered at the Active Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in late June and City Council in July. Learn more here.
- The CAP (Climate Action Plan) Update and the CAP Consistency Regulations will be presented to the Environment Committee on June 30.
- 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 Planning Department will host another plan update subcommittee meeting on June 21 for the University Community Plan Update.
Upcoming County Public Input Opportunities:
- Budget szn continues: The County of San Diego will hold public hearings on their proposed budget from June 13-June 22.
- 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.
- The San Diego City Council will meet on June 20 and June 21.
- The City of San Diego’s Planning Commission will meet on June 23.
- The California Air Resources Group Meeting on Clean Cars4All on June 28.
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.