IMPACT Newsletter
February 2023

We want to hear from you on laws and regulations which are IMPACTing your business. E-mail Jim Vigdor at, or attend the Legislative Advocacy Forum via Zoom on the 4th Wednesday of each month January thru October.

Jim Vigdor
Director of Government Affairs
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
Inflation: The Greatest Challenge
for Small Business

According to the US Chamber of Commerce Q4 2022 Small Business Index Inflation remains the single top concern of Small Business owners for the past 4 quarters. Three in ten small business owners cited staffing as one of their top challenges. Of the staffing concerns, the concerns were topped by employee retention, lack of job applicants for job openings, low quality of job applicants, and employee well-being & morale.

Supply chain concerns have eased slightly from the end of Q2 2022 but somewhat higher than the same quarter last year.

Revenue concerns have remained flat throughout the year and now fall behind Inflation as the next top concern for small businesses.

Concerns about interest rates and having access to credit or loans have been on the rise as the Fed keeps increasing interest rates to help moderate inflation.

New State Minimum Wage
Effective January 1, 2023 the new minimum wage for the State of California is $15.50 for all businesses. This is a change from the planned phase in schedule and was increased for all businesses regardless of size due to the State Inflation rate being greater than 7%.

Exempt employees no less than two times the state's minimum wage for full-time work to meet this initial requirement of the exemption test. 
2023 IRS Standard
Mileage Reimbursement Rates
The 2023 IRS Standard Mileage Reimbursement Rates have been announced and are now in effect.          
65.5 cents per mile driven for business use
 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for active duty Armed Forces Members
14 cents per mile driven
in service of charitable organizations

This increase will provide taxpayers with a more accurate reflection of the actual cost of using their personal vehicles for business and other approved purposes.

These changes should be taken into account by employers and individuals for accurate tax planning and compliance.-
Protecting Homeowners From Disasters Act
Congresswoman Julia Brownley has introduced HR 318 restores pre-2017 policy eliminating the current requirement for a Presidential Disaster Declaration to take a property and casualty tax deduction, which is a provision under the individual income tax code. If a business files it’s taxes under the Individual Income Tax Code, this fact sheet on the deduction would be applicable, and it also explains how personal vs. business losses are treated for the purposes of the deduction. This bill does not make any changes to the Corporate Tax Code. So, if a business is incorporated and files taxes under the Corporate Tax Code, this bill is not pertinent.
Atmospheric Rivers Bring
Water to California
Recent rains have brought much needed water to our drought-stricken State. Rains have raised the Shasta and Oroville to the highest levels in 2.5 years. Overall reservoirs are on average back up to 37% of capacity. The snowpack is at 33” so far this year with a usual average of 55”. But, the 33” is 11” higher than typically at this time of the year. Overall in different areas of the snowpack the levels are between 200% - 300% of an average year.
All the rain has created a bit of a conundrum. While we are experiencing floods around the State, we remain in a drought. However, recent rains have downgraded us from “severe drought” to “extreme drought.” This brings to the forefront the need for investment around the State for more water storage and conveyance.
There is some relief in sight as reported by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office as Congress has authorized $1.7B from the Defense Spending Bill at the end of the year to modernize and protect California’s water infrastructure and surrounding environment primarily in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe.
Simi Valley is 100% reliant on water that comes from the State Water Project. Simi sits on multiple basins of groundwater. The City has investigated accessing the water and it was turned down by voters years ago. In light of current water conditions, this might be a topic to be revisited.

2022 Economic Census / Business Census
Your Response Makes a Difference.
The Economic Census is the official five-year measure of American business and the economy. Data provided by businesses fuels the most comprehensive economic statistics available, representing all U.S. industries and geographies.
Invitations to complete the Economic Census will be mailed to selected businesses starting on January 31, 2023. If you receive one, responses are due by March 15th and are required by law.
For more information, please contact the US Census Bureau by clicking on this link: 2022 Economic Census
Update on AB 257, Fast Food Council
AB 257, “Fast Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, was passed into law in the last legislative session. The new law established a council for the Fast-Food Industry in CA tasked with conducting a full review every three years on the adequacy of fast-food restaurant’s health, safety, and employment standards and setting industry-wide minimum health, safety, wage, working hours, and employment standards. Council could enact its own laws without going through the Legislature and it could automatically hold franchisors liable for violations by a franchisee.
This law has now been put ON HOLD until voters decide its fate on the November 2024 ballot.
The California Secretary of State confirmed the industry challenge led by the “Save Local Restaurants Coalition” had submitted enough signatures for the voters to decide in 2024. Signatures are still being verified; however, the Sacramento Superior Court ruled the law could remain on hold while the signature verification process completes.
Simi Valley Chamber testified in the State Senate in opposition to the passage of this bill.
2022 Chamber Legislative Tracker Online
2023 Tracker Coming Soon

The Simi Chamber of Commerce works with the United States Chamber of Commerce, CalChamber, the Tri County Chamber Alliance to monitor legislation that we feel has a great impact on the businesses of Simi Valley. In addition, from our conversations in our monthly Legislative Advocacy Forum (you're all welcome to attend) with our Legislators staff members from the Federal Government to the City as well as representatives from Education, Park District and Utilities we gather information on Bills they are working on or following. We also take input from business representatives who attend and advise us of legislation of concern to them.

We select Bills to follow, join coalition letters in support or opposition and at times testify to our position at a Senate or Assembly Committee hearing on a particular piece of legislation. We track the Bills we choose on our "Legislative Tracker." It includes information on the Bill, positions taken and the status of Bills as they move through the government process.

Our 2022 Legislative Tracker is now available for review on the Simi Valley Chamber website under our Legislative Advocacy Forum page.
The 2023 Legislative Tracker is currently being compiled and will be updated with the new Bills that are now being introduced to the legislator. 
LAF Legislative Advocacy Forum
The Simi Valley Chamber Legislative Advocacy Forum (LAF) meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month to discuss current legislation and its impact on businesses. Staff from the U.S. Congress, CA State Legislature, County of Ventura, City of Simi Valley, Education and Utilities attend these meetings. Join us for the next meeting on Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00 AM in the Chamber. Zoom link for meeting here.

Legislative Corner
CA Legislation Tracker
California requires the Legislature to pass any Bills going to the Governor for signature by the end of August and the Governor is required to sign into law or veto any Bills received by the end of September.

To see the details of any Bills in this last legislation, please click on the following link:

For information on Bills followed by the Simi Valley Chamber, please click the button above. "View the Legislative Tracker"