We were going to write about election day results (there are still 250,000 projected votes that have to be counted), but THEN, we saw the news that two people are stuck in a tank of chocolate, and we can’t just let that one go without spreading the word. The two people are not hurt (that’s good), and are hanging out in “waist-high” chocolate.
Congratulations to Chamber members Lennar & Shea Homes on their official opening of 3Roots, a new housing development in Mira Mesa.
Bring on the sunshine! President Biden kicked off the week announcing that he’d be using the Defense Production Act to create solar panels domestically and waived tariffs on solar panels from Southeast Asia for two years.
Remember reconciliation? It’s groundhog day, and we’re back to things like “reconciliation,” and “Manchin says…” But in this week’s version, Manchin and Schumer are hard at work on a deal. Climate policy looms large, per wooing Manchin’s elusive vote, and oh yeah, healthcare premiums for those enrolled in ACA-coverage might spike 50%.
Buckle up. The SEC is getting ready to propose some changes to how the stock market operates. Which, in this economy, and this twitter-fueled newscape, seems like a real bold choice.
Okay, this is getting out of hand. Monkeypox is in no way connected to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine…. Contrary to what may have been circulating on Twitter.
Moderna’s Omicron-specific booster is reported to have better results than the general booster. They’re submitting to FDA for review and if successful it may be available in late summer.
The 9th Summit of the Americas took place this week in Los Angeles and covered a diverse agenda to drive innovative solutions for a brighter future across the continent. At the Summit, President Biden announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, a historic new agreement to drive our hemisphere’s economy recovery and growth. The Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity’s purpose seeks to rebuild our economies from the bottom up and middle out, deepen our economic cooperation, and shape new tools for the challenges facing us today and in the future. Chamber staff was proud to join the California Leaders Luncheon hosted by Mayor Gloria in collaboration with the Asian Business Association Foundation.
Vice President Kamala Harris announced that private sector corporations are participating in a $2 billion investment into Central America under an initiative seeking to improve economic conditions in the region. These significant commitments seek to sustainably address the root cause of migration by promoting economic opportunity. Officials state these projects will create permanent living-wage jobs over the next five years.
President Biden declared a two-year tariff exemption on solar panels with attempts to jump start progress toward climate change goals. This has an aim to increase domestic production of solar panel parts, building installation materials, high-efficiency heat pumps and other components including cells used for clean-energy generated fuels.
Craft beer aficionados… The Chamber partnered with the Tijuana International Beer Festival where the best craft beers from Baja and San Diego will come together in a two-day event filled with cool music, yummy food and the classiest beers from the region. This event will take place this weekend – click here for tix and details!
The University of San Diego’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice is receiving applications for their Kroc Border Fellows Program. Applicants from academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors are encouraged to apply to this 10-month program where Fellows receive an $850/month fellowship and a grant of up to $5,000 to further their work. Register here for an info session on May 27 at 5:30 PM and submit a letter of interest by June 13.
Ambassador Katherine Tai traveled to Paris for the 2022 Meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Council at the Ministerial Level (MCM) . This year’s meeting brings leaders and ministers from around the world together under the theme “The future we want: better policies for the next generation and a sustainable transition.” This high level forum will serve as a platform for minister to discuss pressing challenges including the implication of the war in Ukraine, strengthening pandemic prevention and preparedness and environmental sustainability.
While there’s still a lot of ballots left to be counted, the estimated percentage of voter turnout will likely be around 27% – according to Political Data Inc.’s Vice President & recent Chamber Sacramento Trip speaker, Paul Mitchell.
Former City Councilmember David Alvarez has won the special election to represent Assembly District 80 for the remainder of the year, which was previously held by Lorena Gonzalez. The Assembly District 80 race will still be one to watch as Alvarez and another former City Councilmember & President, Georgette Gomez head to the November runoff.
The California Privacy Rights Act is moving into rule-making phase…. And it’s making some people pretty cranky. This big-deal bill is now basically getting implemented, and it’s where we take big ideas and turn them into the who, the what, and the already outdated looking website build out. So what’s the issue? Transparency: even the first draft of the rules had people saying, huh? And started everyone off with an uneasy feeling like maybe the full picture wasn’t being explained. Cost: implementing the rules and abiding by them could be pretty expensive for small businesses, especially ones newer to selling/engaging online. Enforcement: Because, obviously. Stay tuned.
The budget is in bill form! It’s 1,000 pages long, and no we aren’t joking.
The primary election is over! Say goodbye to those text messages and phone calls soliciting your time and money – for at least a week or so.
Jokes aside, some of the most closely watched races wound up being undramatic. The closest city of San Diego City Council race was in District 6 where candidates Kent Lee and Tommy Hough picked up 38.33% and 38.28% of votes at the time of this writing. Elsewhere the incumbents in Districts 2, 4 and 8 all took first place in their respective districts, but will face challengers heading into November.
Yesterday, the San Diego City Council’s Rules Committee voted to recommend the full Council place a ballot measure to amend the People’s Ordinance on the November 2022 election. The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee will consider taking a position on that effort next week.
In addition to talking trash, the Rules Committee also recommended bringing forward a ballot measure to remove the coastal height limit in the Midway Pacific Highway community planning area, and to authorize childcare on dedicated park property owned by the City.
Congratulations to the City of Chula Vista and Port of San Diego for closing on $275 million in public bonds for the construction of the Chula Vista Bayfront. The project is estimated to bring 3,580 construction jobs, produce 4,000 permanent jobs, and bring an economic impact of $500 million to the region.
It’s high time…for cannabis to be heard in the County. Next week, the County Board of Supervisors will vote on placing an ordinance to establish a tax on cannabis business activities in the County on the November 2022 ballot. The Board will be presented with options whether to tax cultivation on gross receipts versus square footage basis and include a component to address relief in regards to cultivation and crop failure. Discussions on setting the tax rate will come to the Board at a later date. In addition, Supervisor Joel Anderson will be proposing sixteen measures to be included in the socially equitable cannabis program and future permitting program EIR including safety, improving the character and vibrancy of communities, and youth prevention.
Upcoming City of San Diego Public Input Opportunities:
- The Cannabis Business Division and Office of Race and Equity will be hosting in-person and virtual listening sessions to receive input on the formation of an equity program now through June 16. The public may also participate in the 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 of San Diego is in the process of developing a broadband plan for the unincorporated area. To provide feedback, interested stakeholders should take their broadband survey or attend future community workshops. The Chamber is involved in business group stakeholder discussions – if you have any questions, please contact Angeli Calinog.
- The County will soon host a series of workshops on the proposed strategies and measures of their Climate Action Plan update. The water & wastewater workshop will be held on June 15. 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 County’s revised Transportation Study Guide (TSG) for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will be available for public review from May 12 to June 13. 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 San Diego City Council will meet on June 13 and June 14.
- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet on June 13 and June 16 to hear on the proposed budget, and June 14 and June 15 for the regular agenda and planning and land use session agenda.
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.