October 15, 2020
I wish I had some words of wisdom for you all this month, but wow 2020 just keeps surprising us. I am almost speechless at this point. I have talked about perseverance and perspective and hope, resilience and kindness. Maybe today, I will simply write about “reality”. Here we are – this is our reality and though we are in the homestretch of the year 2020, we still have a few long months ahead. 

VOTE. It is your right, your responsibility and your privilege. This 2020 election was sure to amaze us all, but watching it play out has been… has been… has been… a reality check on all of us. This whole year with the pandemic, the fires, the hurricanes, the police brutality and the ensuing riots and peaceful protests, it has caused each of us to do a reality check, a moral compass check, a spiritual awareness check and/or that priority check and reset. In some ways, we can probably agree that we have all grown up, matured and have begun to understand life more this year than ever before. That is our reality. 

I certainly have done all of those “checks” in the last few months. I have spent less time on social media, more time outdoors and more time talking to friends and relatives. I have completely given up NextDoor, and much social media. Like many of you, I have rearranged my priority list and have tried to appreciate health, clean air and good neighbors a little more.

We can all agree this upcoming election is huge and while I probably should not talk too much about the national election, I have a few observations to share about our local one.  
  • Vote No on Prop 15. I may have felt differently about this proposition if we were not in the middle of a pandemic, but we are, so heed my advice. Though the property tax is paid by landlords, it is passed on to tenants by the nature of their lease structure. Our small businesses cannot afford any other expenses right now - they are just trying to survive. In addition, the massive tax increase will prompt companies to flee California at a time when businesses are already struggling. The commercial property tax increase would also drive up the cost of living.
  • Vote No on Prop 21. Rent control has proven to hinder development of affordable housing. More rent control worsens the housing crisis by reducing private builders' profit incentive to build more housing.
  • Yes on Prop 22. Classifying drivers as employees would make these services more expensive and could potentially cause the loss of 1 million jobs in CA. Drivers prefer flexibility and choosing when they would like to work.

With regards to the election here in our hometown. We have two initiatives on the ballot, both worthy of passing or not passing. The voters will decide. Do your homework and read the For and Against arguments. Unquestionably, fiscal transparency is important to the residents of Los Gatos, the question is whether we get there through ballot initiative or Council action.

Three cheers to all the candidates running for Town Council. You are all to be congratulated on well-run and respectable campaigns. Your participation in the many forums and debates was admirable. You all should be proud. As the Chamber, we could work well with all of you. Regardless of the outcome, I look forward to getting to know all of you better in the years to come. The Chamber never endorses any particular candidate and this election will not be any different. I would be remiss not to share my one concern. Three of the Town Council candidates have served on the Town’s Planning Commission and have a pre-established working relationship. I worry that if all are elected, they could create a voting block that could be potentially dangerous and hinder economic progress and evolution.  We have made too many strides in the last few years to give that up now. After our forum, we put together a matrix showing how each of the candidates aligns with the chamber’s vision and goals for the future of the business community. Take a look and then you can decide who you think might be the best fit for those Council seats. It is imperative we have a diversity of voices and ideas on our Town Council. I hope you will consider this suggestion as you cast your ballot.  

Lastly, if you are looking for a little escape from reality this month, come out TONIGHT and the next two Thursdays for the first-ever Los Gatos Flatbed Music Fest. Last week was a great success. People were able to dance and safely socially distance at the same time! This week, the Fest features Hootenanny. Next Week, 10/22 the Summit Sisters will perform and on the last week of October on 10/29, we bring you another local band, Rusty Rock N’ Roll. The flatbed truck drives a little, stops and plays a little.  We all need a little live music.

We have a great networking opportunity for you on Wednesday, October 21. A Multi-Chamber Halloween themed virtual mixer. Zooming off to the breakout rooms is quite entertaining. I guarantee you will meet a lot of people, build a relationship or two and have fun. 

We have some great holiday surprises coming your way beginning in November. Shopping Local will be the reoccurring message so start planning now on how you are going to do that.

To close, reality bites and is sure hard to accept sometimes, but we will be stronger and will persevere if we vote, have perspective and prove we are resilient. Most important, in these next few weeks, try not be judgmental, be kind instead and find in yourself that enduring hope for the future. 

Catherine Somers
Executive Director
Social Distancing Protocol & Signage
All businesses and organizations must submit revised Social Distancing Protocols by Oct. 28th. More information and instructions on how to submit a new Social Distancing Protocol are available here. The new check mark sign that is generated will have a date of 10/05/2020 with your name in the box below and an orange check mark.
Los Gatos Town Council
Candidate Forum & Interviews
Would you like to learn more about our candidates running for Town Council? View the LG Chamber's Candidate forum or their interviews by KCAT. Make an informed vote!
Chamber Forum
KCAT Interviews
Other Candidate Forums & Interviews
League of Women Voters Candidate Forums
Click the links below to view the interviews with these candidates:
California Senate District #15 - Ann Ravel, Dave Cortese
California Ballot -- Pros and Cons (will be available soon)
For other city candidate forums visit the League of Women Voters website or their YouTube Channel

Democracy Tent - Interviews with the Candidates
We want to be your source for election information! We've created a VOTE LG page on our website. Visit this page to see all the propositions, measures and our local candidates, as well as information on:
  • Registering to Vote
  • Election Timeline
  • Ways to return your ballot
  • Candidate forums & interviews
Virtual Multi- Chamber Mixer
SVO, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Mountain View & Morgan Hill Chambers
Wednesday, October 21,
Get your costume on and join us for a joint virtual networking mixer!

Even in this uncertain time, it's important to keep growing our networks and keep up with one another - while following social distancing guidelines. Join us for this first multi-chamber virtual networking event from the comfort of your favorite chair, couch, home office, or kitchen counter!
Chamber Members - FREE

Non-members $20
Attendees will be randomly split into small breakout rooms where they will have 15 minutes to network with one another. There will be a few rounds to give attendees the opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas, explore partnerships or just chat.
Let's Explore Medicare
October 29 at 10am
Join us for a webinar on the basics of Medicare. Whether you're looking for a change or are new to Medicare, this presentation will provide you with the basics of Medicare and a helpful checklist of tips and information.
Presentation given by Jeff Carneghi of Anthem Blue Cross.
Becoming an Inclusive Community Workshop #3
Community Culture
Thursday, October 22 at 7pm
For questions or to send in comments prior to the meeting, please email Community@LosGatosCA.gov

Passcode: 558528 

Please note there is no phone option for this meeting. To participate in the Zoom Breakout Room function, you need to join from a PC.
You can also view the meeting on KCAT Local Channel 15 television or on the Town/KCAT YouTube page.
What is Los Gatos culture? What is the look and feel of Los Gatos? The Town continues to explore issues of racial, social, and socio-economic justice with the third Community Workshop addressing the topic of Community Culture. All are invited to share experiences, perspectives, and motivations for working toward a more inclusive Los Gatos. The workshop will be opened by Mayor Marcia Jensen, facilitated by Town Council Member Marico Sayoc, and a community panel will be available to listen, learn, share, and discuss. The panel will include Rabbi of Congregation Shir Hadash Melanie Aron, Netflix Executive Jon Hicks, and Los Gatos High School student Nika Sabouri. Be prepared to split into smaller groups using Zoom Breakout Rooms for more in-depth discussions regarding social change and how Los Gatos can be more welcoming for all. 
Free Entrepreneurs’ Legal Advising Clinic
November 7 via Zoom
Get Answers to Legal Questions in a 30-Minute Private Session With a Qualified Business Attorney for FREE.

Wrestling with a thorny legal question, but can’t afford the cost of a high-priced business attorney? Many entrepreneurs and small business owners say they could have saved considerable time, expense, and headache if only they had consulted an attorney earlier rather than later. At this clinic, you can talk to an experienced business attorney about many issues, such as financing, employment matters, commercial lease agreements and more. Clients will be seen (via Zoom) between 10:30am and 1:30pm. Register to get an appointment.
Friends of the Chamber
Would you like to show your support for the Chamber and the community? Friends of the Chamber is a membership category we've created for community members who do not own businesses, but would like to support the Chamber in our efforts to be a catalyst, convener and a champion for a stronger community. Anyone who has donated $100 or more to our "Support the Chamber" effort is an automatic Friend. If you'd like to become a Friend of the Chamber click here to donate or click the Join Now button on our website. Those who donate $50 or more receive a "Friends of the Chamber" sticker, pictured above.
Los Gatos Together 2020 Mask
NEW COLORS! Stop by our office for a fun Los Gatos Together 2020 mask. Thanks to Kristina Taroni of Number One Broadway for having them made! $14 (navy, black, gray, pink)
Digital Marketing Workshops
While you are sheltering in place, now is a great time to learn about digital marketing. Sofya Elperin-Smirvov is an expert in small business marketing. Sofya offers digital marketing training, consulting and full marketing management. She is an expert in paid search ads, email marketing, social media, content creation, website optimization and all digital and traditional marketing channels.

YouTube Channel & Paid Video Ads, October 16, 1-2:30pm, $20

Facebook Ads (Beginner), October 30, 1-2:30pm, $20

Email Marketing + MailChimp How-To, November 18, 1-2:30pm, $20

Registration required for all webinars
Certificate of Origins
Los Gatos Chamber is now processing Electronic Certificates of Origin. In partnership with the American World Trade Chamber of Commerce, we offer electronic chamber-stamped Certificates of Origin and export related documents. 
  • $25.00 for Chamber Members
  • $55.00 for non-members
Member Events
Los Gatos Lions
White Cane Days
Through October 31
Town of Los Gatos
Boards & Commissions
Applications accepted until Nov. 6
American Cancer Society
Discovery Shop
October 20-November 5
Los Gatos Audiology
October 16
Protect Los Gatos
Maybe you've noticed these green signs around town? The Chamber and the Town are embarking on a Protect Los Gatos campaign, reminding people to social distance and wear a mask. We've placed signs around town: on A-frames, in store windows and on pop-up patios. Please keep us all safe!

If you'd like a sign, stop by the Chamber office and pick one up.
Town of Los Gatos website
The Town of Los Gatos has compiled a very comprehensive page of Covid-19 messages and resources. It outlines how all the Town departments are functioning throughout this crisis. In addition, it has resources for businesses and individuals, as well as ways you can volunteer.
Coronavirus Update
For the latest updates, please visit Santa Clara County Public Health.
Need information from one of our past newsletters? Click below for the last 3-4 months (before that email us).