MARCH 2017

In an article that appeared in The VIEW, the quarterly newsletter of Commercial Real Estate Women San Francisco, six trends among millennials are explored, suggesting that San José is headed in the right direction. The article notes that in 2015, millennials surpassed Generation Xers and the Boomers to become the largest component of the US workforce.
San José is strong in the following key areas:
  • The Urban Campus - locating headquarters downtown. Adobe is in Downtown San José, and so is Apigee and scores of technology companies. Their employees appreciate the city's high "walkability" scores, transit accessibility and the vibrant food and culture environment.
  • Co-Working Spaces - San José has more than 25 co-working, accelerator, incubator organizations, ranging from WeWork to The TechShop. See OED's interactive map for details.  
  • Urban Manufacturing - San José is home to 65,000 manufacturing jobs. Right downtown, a new robotics company, Savioke, is building its robots in its City Plaza headquarters.
  • Smart Infrastructure - As the urban center of Silicon Valley, San José is enhancing its transit system, upgrading opportunities for ridesharing and biking, and facilitating electric vehicle use.
For more information, contact Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, OED.


Silicon Valley travelers have another option to stay, and it's right in the heart of downtown San José.

City dignitaries and business leaders turned out by the hundreds on Jan. 31 to mark the opening of the European-inspired AC Hotel, at 350 W. Santa Clara St. The 210-room, select-service property features all-king beds, swanky lounge areas, a full bar, and a generously sized gym and pool.

It's the first AC Hotel - part of the Marriott family of hotel brands - on the West Coast, and one of only 12 of the European-inspired properties opened so far aro und the world. The property adds much-needed capacity to San José 's hotel m arket, which has seen tight availability in recent years.

"I'm really excited to open this hotel," said Benoit Racle, AC Hotel global brand director, at the event. He hailed the "very elegant environment," saying the property was "designed for entrepreneur-minded people" from top to bottom.

The location is amid downtown's Fortune 100 office tenants and minutes to Mineta San José International Airport, SAP Center and cultural destinations like the City National Civic. 

For more information, contact Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, OED.


After decades of planning, BART's route from Berryessa to meet Caltrain at Diridon Station is being finalized, along with where to place the critical stop serving San José's Downtown businesses and residents. 

Two options are being explored, and an excellent analysis of the options is presented in a recent SPUR report. The choice is between two locations on Santa Clara Street: one between Market Street and 4th Street ("downtown west") or one on Santa Clara between 5th and 7th Streets ("downtown east").
The full report provides good arguments for each option, although they tend to favor the west option.  
For more information, contact Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, OED. 


On Friday, March 17, 2017,  a forum will be held for businesses interested in learning more about the opportunities offered by San José's Foreign Trade Zone  program.  

Topics include FTZ fundamentals in terms of international commerce; how to apply for FTZ Authority; and business support services offered by government agencies to support Silicon Valley exporters.

Friday, March 17, 2017; 8:30 -10:30 am
San José City Hall - Wing Building, Rooms 118-120
No cost to attend.

For more information, contact Joe Hedges, International Program Manager, OED.

In 2016, passenger count at Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) grew by 10.2 percent over the previous year, and its percentage growth in available seats topped the 50 largest US airports. 

Of the 1.6 million new seats available last year at the airport - up 12.5 percent over 2015 - 274,100 were due to the addition of international flights to Frankfurt, London, Shanghai and Vancouver. The first three destinations are served by wide-body jets.

Nonstop service additions included flights to Frankfurt on  Lufthansa, London Heathrow on  British Airways, Shanghai on  Air China, Vancouver, British Columbia on  Air Canada, Baltimore/Washington on  Southwest and seasonal service on American. Additional flights or larger aircraft were put on existing routes to Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Salt Lake City and San Diego.

"This growth has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in local economic impact and has created new jobs at the airport and within our community,"  Kim Becker, the city's aviation director, said.

The nearly one million new fliers meant 10.8 million passengers used SJC in 2016, the fourth straight year of passenger growth.

Read all the details in the SJC news releaseFor more information, contact Rosemary Barnes, Public Information Manager, SJC.

1World Onlin e is a fast-growing San José startup, unifying the values of data and advertising into an all-in-one, engagement-driven platform. It serves web enterprises worldwide through polls, quizzes, and other interactive media.  Results include websites enjoying higher engagement and new revenue; business teams gaining better understanding of audiences; and editors and journalists accessing timely news content for story targeting.

1World customers include media publishers worldwide that seek to engage with readers.  Readers participating in media engagement across the globe on topical issues likely are using 1World's platform. 1World views in the past year exceeded 1.3 billion.

1World Online is growing aggressively and was recently in the news for raising close to $5 million in funding. The company's continued growth necessitated a move to a larger office but 1World chose to remain headquartered in San José, where the company was founded.  1World also has offices in Europe, Russia, India and Latin America.
Alex Fedosseev, CEO and Founder of 1World Online says he loves doing business in San José, 

"A big part of the 1World team lives and works in San José and we really enjoy being in the heart of Silicon Valley. The area has quick and easy access to all the resources San José has to offer. We're especially excited about how the city is unifying arts and technology to create vibrant spaces. We are already providing tools for engagement, research and promotion to City of San José and looking forward to create more excitement and bring in more business to our city!"

For more information, contact Tina Kapoor, Senior Executive Analyst, OED.

In January, San José State University launched the SJSU Institute for the  Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at  "From Words to Action,"  a   town hall meeting  featuring sports, media and social leaders discussing the past, present and future of athlete activism.

"San José State is the ideal home for a center of academic and research excellence and community engagement focused on sport, activism and social change," SJSU President Mary Papazian said. "We are thrilled to welcome so many luminarie s to San José today, and we look forward to building an institute that will enable and empower voices representing diverse viewpoints."
The Institute's advisory board includes John Carlos, Olympic bronze medalist, track and field; Harry Edwards, founder, Olympic Project for Human Rights and professor emeritus, UC Berkeley; Al Guido, President, San Francisco 49ers; Jared Shawlee, COO, San José Earthquakes; Tommie Smith, Olympic gold medalist, track and field; Marc Spears, senior NBA writer, ESPN's The Undefeated; John Tortora, COO, San José Sharks; and Yoshihiro Uchida, Olympic judo coach. Part of the Institute is the Dr. Harry Edwards Collection, h oused in SJSU Special Collections and Archives. It includes historic photos, autographed books, Olympic Project for Human Rights memorabilia, and correspondence from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama. Read SJSU's news release for details.

For more information, contact Blage Zelalich , Downtown Manager, OED.    
After five years in the Calle Willow Business District, Santa Clara University's Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) selected the Alum Rock/East Santa Clara Street Neighborhood Business District to assist small businesses.  

The NPI is a hands-on, community-based learning program through the Leavey School of Business undergraduate program, helping students learn from and assist small and minority-owned businesses in disadvantaged communities.

Each year, NPI leverages grant funding to assist four or five businesses and has partnered with Center for Employment and Training green building program, providing CET with opportunities to apply their classroom learning and contribute to the community.  Wells Fargo Santa Clara Valley Region has been a major supporter, providing critical funding for businesses to improve their practices or address physical improvements to their sites. 

This year, the Office of Economic Development is assisting businesses in the Alum Rock East Santa Clara Neighborhood Business District with the Storefront Assistance Grant for interior and/or exterior improvements.
For more information, contact Sal Alvarez, Executive Analyst, OED.


In a report to the City Council Community and Economic Development Committee, OED's Business Development division reported the range of activities undertaken by Business Development staff in support of San José companies. The full report provides details, and the highlights include:
Pre-Development and Permitting Facilitation
Business Development staff help project applicants work through permitting requirements for new construction, additions, renovations, and any other development-related plans, assisting on an as-needed basis. The team worked with approximately 75 companies, brokers, and developers on pre-development facilitation in fiscal year 2015-2016. In FY 2015-2016, the department performed at least 32 such permit-facilitation interactions.
Expedited Permitting: Special Tenant Improvement (STI) and Industrial Tool Installation programs (ITI)
STI provides a dedicated review team from all key City departments to address all development-review issues in a single, expedited review meeting. Users can achieve significant time savings - sometimes reducing many months of process to just a few hours. Companies participating include eBay, Apple, Qualcomm, SilverSprings Networks, SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral), HGST/Western Digital, Quantumscape, WeWork, BAE, Jabil, Nutanix, Supermicro, Cisco, Samsung, Adobe, Broadcom, BD Biosciences, General Dynamics, Thinfilm, and Toshiba.

The ITI program, for industrial projects installing new equipment and tools, has reviewed over 90 projects resulting in construction valued at over $60 million for companies including: IBM, Thinfilm, HGST/Western Digital, Sunpower, HP, Cisco, Canon, Therma, Jabil, BD Biosciences, Lumentum, Phillips Lumileds, Synaptics, and Apple. The full report includes more detail and information on the new Streamlined Restaurant Permit Pilot Program which pre-qualified 46 restaurants and cafes in its first three months.
Manufacturing Permitting Incentive
The Manufacturing Initiative was launched in April 2015 to help manufacturers provide jobs and maximize the use of real estate. Three agreements are in place to date with advanced manufacturers; Bentek, Four in One, and SSL. Staff is working with six additional manufacturers who will add about 600 new jobs.
Foreign Trade Zone
The City's Foreign Trade Zone #18 is a federal trade and economic development program established by the U.S. Congress, and enhances the global competitiveness of businesses operating in the US, helping to retain manufacturing jobs that might otherwise be moved offshore
Five companies have Foreign Trade Zone authority in the San José region, including the RK Logistics Group, Lam Research Corporation, SSL, Tesla Motors, and San José Distribution Services.  
Business Cooperation Program
Designed to address gaps in the State of California Revenue and Tax Code, the program helps to educate and clarify for businesses that making minor adjustments to purchasing behavior ensures the City will receive its full share of sales tax revenue.
The City offers businesses a rebate of up to 20% of the additional net new Use Tax collected by the State Board of Equalization. The program will result in the City receiving an estimated $650,000 in new sales tax revenue by the end of fiscal year 2016-2017 and participating companies receiving $130,000 collectively in rebates that would have not occurred without the Business Cooperation Program.
Workforce Development
One of San José employers' biggest challenge is finding, recruiting, and retaining talent. Business Development works closely with work2future to connect employers with programs that focus on talent acquisition, talent development and talent re-purposing.  Partnerships fostered by work2future include the Workforce Institute of San José City College with DC Electronics, and Foothill College with Olympus.
In addition, the team and work2future partnered with eight manufacturing companies to provide job placement and employee upskilling, and have 38 total internships or on-the-job training commitments in process.
Partner Programs
In addition to the in-house programs provided by the City, OED staff works to promote and leverage other partner programs including; the State of California Business Assistance programs; Advanced Manufacturing Sales Tax Exclusion; and the Pacific Gas & Electric Economic Development Programs.
Read the full report, or contact Chris Burton, Senior Business Development Officer (OED). 



Two kinds of grants are available for small business owners leasing ground floor space in Downtown or a Neighborhood Business District, to help improve the pedestrian experience and enhance retail areas.

Applicants must be a small business owner leasing or occupying an existing ground floor space and want to enhance or activate their storefront.
The Vacant Storefront Grant provides up to $15,000 reimbursement for City fees, permits and taxes associated with activating ground floor space that has been vacant for more than three months.
The Existing Storefront Grant provides up to $5,000 reimbursement for City fees and permits for exterior improvements that enhance or enliven their storefronts, for instance, by adding outdoor seating or a curb café, providing or upgrading pedestrian-facing signage, or sidewalk improvements or replacement.
For more information or to apply for grants, contact Sal Alvarez, Executive Analyst, OED.
The San José Opportunity to Work Ordinance, an Initiative Ordinance on the November 2016 General Election ballot, was approved by a majority of San José voters and goes into effect on March 13, 2017.

The Ordinance requires employers with 36 or more employees and who are subject to the San José Business Tax or who maintain a facility in San Jose, to offer additional work hours to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees, including subcontractors or the use of temporary staffing services.  

Covered employers will be required to post notices in the workplace informing employees of their rights as well as maintain work schedules, employment and payroll records, and copies of written offers to current and former part-time employees for additional work hours for no less than four years. 

Employers can apply for a hardship exemption in 12-month increments if the employer demonstrates they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the Ordinance and full and immediate compliance would be impracticable, impossible or futile.  

More information is available online, or call the City's Office of Equality Assurance at 408-535-8430 or email the Office of Equality Assurance.
#408 Creates

The Knight Foundation has awarded $500,000 to San José projects that include crowdfunded loans to small businesses and community food hubs.

One of the grantees is San José's Office of Cultural Affairs'  Creative Industries Incentive Fund ($30,000), which fosters art businesses in Downtown, Japantown and East San José.
Danny Harris, the Knight Foundation program director in San José, says the projects open up pathways to encourage entrepreneurs and individuals to add to the city's success. "San José's diversity and culture of innovation are among its greatest assets," he said.
For more information, contact  Kerry Adams-Hapner, Director, Cultural Affairs, OED.

The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs and the  Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) announce the availability of the application and guidelines for the fifth round of the Creative Industries Incentive Fund (CIIF). CIIF provides project support between $2,000-$8,000 to arts-based commercial businesses involved in the production and distribution of the arts. Incentive awards support creative industries of all types such as manufacturers, service providers, presenters and designers, among others. 

CIIF has expanded to include a new funding category targeted specifically at arts businesses in San José serving as cultural anchors and catalysts in their neighborhoods. This place-based expansion is in response to a growing number of applications to CIIF from neighborhood-based arts businesses as well as nomadic enterprises seeking physical space to anchor themselves in a specific neighborhood. The requests have ranged from storefront improvements to neighborhood activation.  The new category, Category 2: CIIF Place-Based, is in addition to the original CIIF category of business support that was offered in CIIF Rounds 1 through 4. This new and expanded CIIF program is supported, in part, by the Knight Foundation.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 5:00 p.m. (PST) on March 6th, 2017, for projects to be completed between May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Application information is  available online

For information on submitting a grant application contact the Center for Cultural Innovation's Program Staff,  Lauren Bailey,  phone (877) 482-0530.


US News' recent "Best Places to Live" rankings showed San José at #3, but the city outranked the first two cities in "Quality of Life" score. Read the  full report  for details.


Auto Club of Northern California's  VIA Magazine perfectly capturedSthe flavor and experience of San José, including art, food, views and ambiance.


For more information, call 408.535.8168, or contact Elisabeth Handler
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