La Mesa Chamber News | June 22, 2020
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Your Local & Coronavirus Updates as of
June 22, 2020
Hello to our Members and Community Leaders:

We are pleased to send you community information, as well as COVID-19 updates and more to keep you always “in the loop.” Have a great week!
Local Checks are Donated to Assist Local Businesses -
New Fund Named the La Mesa Business Assistance Fund -
Randall Lamb’s Generosity Speaks Volumes!
The generosity continues for our businesses. The Chamber was approached by several locals to accept donations and distribute them to the damaged businesses in our city. It was an overwhelming experience to receive a $5,000 check from Keri Douglas of Randall Lamb. This was an extremely gracious offer, considering that Randall Lamb was one of the buildings destroyed in our city, making this donation bittersweet. We are grateful for their community spirit and desire to assist those businesses that were also impacted. They chose to forgo a photo with their check. The Phair Company donated $1,000 to the damaged businesses. They are currently building the newest homes in La Mesa, a fenced and gated community called, La Mesa Summit Estates. The pre-construction lots are still available to view. Jeff Phair and his partner Gary Green are in the photo below presenting the check. The Lion’s Club of La Mesa brought out their team to present a check in the amount of $2,000 to the new fund. The Lion’s Club are known for their charitable projects and their support of our local community and their annual Italian Dinner. Those who were part of the check presentation were: David Shaw, President, Mary Rynearson, 2nd Vice President, Kasem Abudullah, Amenda Hammett, Patty Hardebeck and Bridget Jones. Thank you to all of these donors and support of our community!

Applications will be created and ready in the next several weeks for businesses to apply for these funds.
June 26th is the Deadline for the 1st Phase of Funding
From the Gofundme Fund
If you have NOT applied for funding from the La Mesa Business Disaster Recovery GoFundMe fund you need to get your application to apply. This fund is managed by community partner the East County Economic Council – known as the ECEDC. The process is simple, fill out the form and return it to them. The website to get the application is:
La Mesa Chamber Supports SB 878 Authored by Senator Brian Jones
Senator Brian Jones, who is a business supporter, as well as has a keen understanding of how businesses struggle, especially during COVID-19 has authored SB 878. Given the current economic conditions, Senator Jones believes it’s more important now than ever that there should be transparency of Licensing Entities. SB 878 requires all boards and bureaus within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to prominently display on their websites the current average time frame for processing initial and renewal license applications. An online system known as BreEZe, was authorized by DCA and estimated to cost $28 million, and was to be fully operational by 2014. By 2015, the project was not fully operational, and costs were estimated to be over $100 million and rising. Today, 6 years later BreEZe is still not fully implemented and DCA has requested an additional $30 million over the next 3 years for support of BreEZe. This bill will make sure that public access to this information and will hold boards and bureaus accountable for any delays or backlogs.
COVID-19 Information
Gradual Roll Out of Parks, Museums, Zoo, & Other Locations
We want to make sure that after months in lock-down that we provide a list of our popular attractions at Balboa Park – which are now open and those that are scheduled to open:
Opened June 12th:
  • Balboa Park Conservancy Visitors Center
  • The Prado at Balboa Park restaurant
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • Tea Pavilion at Japanese Friendship Garden

Opened June 19th:
  • San Diego Automotive Museum

Opened June 20th:
  • San Diego Zoo

Opening June 22:
  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Opening July 3rd:
  • Fleet Science Center
  • The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
Opening July 4th:
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum

No Reopening Date Announced (as of 6/12):
  • Balboa Park Carousel
  • Botanical Building
  • Centro Culturo de la Raza
  • Panama 66 Restaurant
  • San Diego Art Institute
  • San Diego Junior Theatre
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • Spanish Village Art Center
  • Timken Museum of Art
  • WorldBeat Cultural Center  
COVID-19 News
County Hits “Trigger” With 8 Outbreaks
The county has hit one of the 3 COVID-19 triggers that require public health officials to re-examine their previous decisions to reopen a range of businesses and activities after COVID-19 shutdown orders. The County will ”pause” any new reopenings. On Saturday, the Health and Human Services reported that of the 10,544 tests reported Thursday, 2 percent were positive while the average over the 14-days has been 2.6 percent. Of the 10,350 cases reported countywide this year 1,595 people were hospitalized, including 4,643 patients admitted to intensive care. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Gary Warth
San Diego County-Treasurer Tax Collector’s Office
Officially Reopened
The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office safely reopened for in-person services last week, allowing them to continue offering services to San Diegans. Protective barriers, social distancing between cashiers, and floor markers were implemented to protect the health and safety of customers and staff. Those unable to visit in person can call the office at 1-877-829-4732 to have questioned answered. Customers can use the website where customers can: pay their property taxes online, mail a penalty cancellation request form with payment documentation, email a claim for an unclaimed property tax refund, mail a TOT reporting form and payment.
The Governor States Masks are Mandatory in Many Public Spaces
The Governor has stated that mask wearing in public spaces is now the law in California. This is to curb the spread of coronavirus. People who are eating or drinking in a restaurant and maintain a 6-foot distance are exempt. Children under 2 years old are also exempt.
Small Businesses Get Easier Path to Forgiveness of Relief Loans
Small business owners won’t have to pay back their federal pandemic relief loans even if they don’t rehire all of the workers they laid off, the Trump administration affirmed, eliminating a rule that many borrowers had feared would leave them stuck with a large debt. Congress relaxed that requirement this month with a new law that loosened many terms of the Paycheck Protection Program, a $660 billion relief effort intended to help struggling small companies retain or rehire their workers. New loan forgiveness forms were released that slashed the documentation requirements and will give many borrowers an easy pathway to having their debt eliminated.
Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Stacy Cowley 
If business have questions email:
Business Updates
Using Cash No Longer a Safe Option in Global Pandemic
In troubled times, people have been known to hoard currency at home – a financial security blanket against deep uncertainty. No longer a thing to be shoved mindlessly into a pocket, tucked into a worn wallet or thrown casually on a kitchen counter, money’s status has changed during the virus era perhaps irrevocably. The pandemic has also awakened debate about the continued viability of what has been the physical lifeblood of global economies: paper money and coins. Public officials and health experts said that the risk of transferring the virus from person to person through the use of money is minimal. In the midst of the coronavirus cash is handled differently – people microwave it to kill the virus, handle it with gloved covered hands, money is laid out on tables for days, others are disinfected with spray, China disinfects with ultraviolet light or heat and more. “Cash combined with courage in a crisis is priceless,” billionaire investor Warren Buffet says. With the pandemic, cash transactions are also likely to remain for many businesses and there are just things that you can’t do without cash.  Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Zeina Karem
Fitness Clubs Facing $10 Billion Revenue Loss As Members Cancel
Fitness clubs rocked by COVID-19 closures face a swell of bankruptcies with more than $10 billion of revenue wiped out as clients ditch memberships. In a Harrison survey of 1,000 fitness club users, more than a third said they have canceled or plan to terminate exiting memberships. Gyms already loaded with debt are facing long-term declines in revenue despite social distancing measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus. People are shunning closely packed fitness centers to avoid being in proximity to other individuals even as the economy reopens. The short-term issue for gyms may be liquidity.  Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Sonali Basak
Panic, Stress & Fun Drive Purchase Decisions
Shopping madness has been about the essentials, only super-sized: 10-pound bags of rice; 25-pound sacks of flour; 50-pounds worth of sugar; pickles and pancakes mix for a crowd. For some, it’s impulse shoe purchases. With nowhere to go. And mistaken multiple pounds of blueberries when a single container was the goal. Remember the toilet paper scare? In the U.S., retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened stores and weighed down a tanking economy. The Commerce Department reported that a long-standing migration toward online purchases accelerated, posting an 8.4% monthly gain. Shopping as therapy has been shown to reduce negative moods and boost overall happiness. Browsing for things one does not need, fills the time. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune - Leanne Italie
Latam Airlines Files for
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Latam Airlines, South America’s biggest carrier, sought U.S. bankruptcy protection as it grapples with a sharp downturn in air travel sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. This underscores the severity of the financial challenges facing the travel industry as a result of the lockdowns and quarantines. Air travel has plunged to a fraction of the levels it was just months ago as the virus spread throughout countries, prompting growing alarm in the aviation industry. The Intenational Air Transportation Association last month predicted that airlines’ revenue from hauling passengers would drop $314 billion this year, meaning they could bring in less than half of what they did in 2019. Latham’s move comes a little more than two weeks after another major Latin American airline, Avianca Holding filed for bankruptcy protection in New York. Australia’s second-largest carrier, Virgin Australia, sought bankruptcy in its home market last month. The International Air Transport Association warned that other airlines could fail without government support. The global airline trade group said the industry’s total debt could jump to $550 billion this year, a $120 billion increase since January 1. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Adam Schreck
City of La Mesa Hires New Assistant City Manager Carlo Tomaino
After an extensive, national recruitment process, Carlo Tomaino has been chosen for the Assistant City Manager position for the City of La Mesa. Mr. Tomaino comes to La Mesa after thirteen years at the City of Lake Forest, California where he was the Economic Development/Housing Manager for the past three years. Mr. Tomaino was responsible for Lake Forest’s economic development programs, including business attraction and retention strategies, marketing outreach, and communication. He coordinated the economic development function with city departments and outside agencies.

Mr. Tomaino was also responsible for managing the City’s affordable housing fund, entitling affordable housing projects and managing the City’s real property. In addition, he oversaw Lake Forest’s response to homelessness and has worked on private property development negotiations.

Mr. Tomaino holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He began employment with the City on Monday, June 15th.
From the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce:
Webinar on Air Travel During the Recovery
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego’s airport and airline partners were enjoying a thriving economy, focused on expansion and growth.
Many months into the coronavirus pandemic, air travel looks markedly different. Airports and airlines have made major changes to accommodate for traveler safety, and the passenger experience has changed dramatically.
Join us for a discussion with our area’s aviation leaders on the changing face of air travel during the recovery, and how our airport and airline partners are enacting new policies and procedures.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, and will kick off with a special introduction by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Thursday, June 25
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
SBA’s Reopened EIDL and Advance Program to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible. To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance
  • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
  • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
  • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
  • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
  • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at
From Kaiser Permanente:
Covid-19 Return to Work Playbook
Kaiser Permanente has released a playbook, “Planning for the Next Normal at Work,” to guide workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare to bring employees back to traditional work environments. As the nation’s largest nonprofit, integrated health system serving 12.4 million members, Kaiser Permanente provides health coverage to approximately 14,400 large and 74,000 small businesses.
The intent goal of this playbook is to provide trusted, expert-informed guidance to help businesses restart their workplaces in a way that best safeguards the health of their employees. As stay-at-home restrictions ease and people begin to return to their workplaces, the ability for employers to protect the physical, mental, and social well-being of their employees will be paramount.
This resource is available to all employers, whether or not they are a Kaiser Permanente purchaser. The “Planning for the Next Normal at Work” guide will be updated regularly as official guidance continues to evolve.
The guide was created in response Kaiser Permanente’s business customers’ requests for guidance and aims to prevent a resurgence of the virus while acknowledging that professional life and productivity will look different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 98-page playbook includes information and guidance from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health departments, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
We would be pleased to provide an abbreviated presentation along with a physician representative to answer any questions.
San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan:
Preparing for Virtual Court
Driver Charged in Death of
4 Pedestrians
An Escondido woman accused in a vehicle crash that killed four people, including two children, was in court via video conference facing four counts of murder and four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Wondering Where to go for help? Join us for a virtual event on crime victim resources.
JOIN US TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 at 5:30pm for a virtual event with Grossmont Community College where we will talk about resources against hate crimes, domestic violence and price gouging. REGISTER HERE. 
Standing Up Against Hate in the Age of COVID-19
The DA's Office is joining the San Diego Regional Hate Crime Coalition to stand up against hate in a new PSA video that calls attention to potential COVID-19 related hate crimes.
Learn more about the Coalition, here.
Court Hearings Go Virtual
It's a whole new world in court. Hearings have gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all parties appearing remotely. Deputy DA's Philippa Cunningham and Mary Naoom show us what that looks like in this video.
From Supervisor Nathan Fletcher:
COVID-19 Equity Taskforce, Jobs at MTS, Creating a New Climate Plan
Ensuring Equity in COVID-19 Recovery
Together, with leaders from across the region, on June 17 we launched a new Regional COVID-19 Taskforce for Equitable Recovery to implement equitable policies and programs that ensure a fair and just recovery for people of color and underserved communities in the San Diego region. The Taskforce’s first strategy session will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
Prioritizing Safety as We Reopen and Recover
On June 13, we talked with Sully Sullivan on Newsradio 600 KOGO -- someone who certainly does not always agree with us on the issues -- to discuss the approach we are taking to a safe, phased reopening and what leadership looks like during a global pandemic. Maintaining the public’s health remains our priority throughout this process, and we look forward to a sustained recovery as San Diegans take steps to keep one another safe.
Time to Create a New Climate Action Plan
On June 15, a California appeals court ruled that the County Climate Action Plan is not in line with the County’s general plan -- the fifth loss for the Climate Action Plan and a sign that we must create a new plan that can create a real impact and that takes the needs of our community into account.

“Let’s redirect our energy towards creating a Climate Action Plan that implements real change and prioritizes equity,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “It’s time for us to lead on climate.”
Let's Get Our Kids Reading!
This week we joined the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego Council on Literacy to take part in Children’s Virtual Storytime, an activity that promotes literacy and storytelling skills while our kids are out of the classroom due to COVID-19. This week’s read: “Our Stars” by Anne Rockwell, which uses science and telescopes to explore our universe!
Supreme Court Defeats Anti-Immigration Trump/Gaspar Lawsuit
In 2018, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar led the effort to have the County of San Diego join Donald Trump in his lawsuit against the State of California's protections for immigrants. On June 15, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on this case and with that action strikes a blow to the Trump/Gaspar approach and validates the State of California protection for immigrants.

“Today was a good day for our county, our state and our community,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “I was proud to see the Supreme Court reject the anti-immigrant efforts of President Donald Trump and Supervisor Kristin Gaspar who sought to abolish California’s protections for immigrants. This is a victory for those who believe immigrants make our community stronger and a defeat for those who use immigration to divide us based on race and hate.”
Career Opportunities with MTS
Looking to jump-start your career while giving back to your community? Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) is hiring for positions across the board.
Let’s Keep the Fair Spirit Alive!
We know it's "no fair!" there won't be a San Diego County Fair this year. But we're keeping the Fair spirit alive for you this summer!

It's certainly not the Fair we'd planned on, but our online offerings include a Student Preview slideshow celebrating a variety of student works, a stunning Photography portfolio, a colorful online Out at the Fair celebration, and a virtual Jr. Livestock Show and Auction. Order some Fair flair in our online Gift Shop or get your Fair Food Fix at Roxy's, Copper Kettle, California Corn Dog Company or Snax Shack Funnel Cake at the Fairgrounds Fridays & Saturdays in June.
Regions Recover Together Webinar
Tuesday, June 23, 1-4pm, On Zoom

Recent events have magnified the deep inequities and injustices in our communities, reinforcing the immediate need to bring about systemic change. As we work together to rebuild a more inclusive and sustainable California where all of our communities can prosper, it is more important than ever to reduce the significant racial and geographic inequalities that existed before the crisis. To do this, we must start by listening to and lifting up the voices in the communities and regions throughout the state.

Join CA Fwd, our California Stewardship Network, the California Economic Summit network, and state and local leaders at the helm of California's local and regional recovery strategies to:
  • Share best practices of how regions are responding, recovering and rebuilding in real time.
  • Learn about regional strategies for sustainable and inclusive economic planning aimed at redressing inequalities. 
  • Build a stronger, more equitable California together.
SDG&E Offers Solutions to Help Businesses Save Energy
Local businesses may be worried about their energy bill as summer arrives and as they try to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. Businesses can take advantage of SDG&E programs to help stretch bill payments over a longer time, find the best pricing plan and take online energy webinars.

Qualifying SDG&E small business customers can enroll in the Level Pay program. If your energy bill goes up or down, you’ll pay the same amount each month (based on their average bill the previous 12 months) for three months. Then, adjustments are made to the monthly payment every three months based on actual usage. Check out a short video that explains the details of the program at

SDG&E’s Business Contact Center, which can be reached at 1-800-336-7343, helps business customers set up payment arrangements if they’re struggling to pay their utility bill because of COVID-19.

Being on the right SDG&E pricing plan can make a big difference in a business’s bottom line. Visit which has instructions on how to choose a pricing plan that best meets a business’s needs while keeping energy costs under control.

Free online webinars are offered to business customers who’d like to expand their knowledge on energy-related topics such as energy-efficient lighting, cooking equipment and HVAC systems. A list of webinars can be found at

SDG&E has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 resources for business customers at Links to local, state and federal financial assistance program are available on this site.

Get more tips on how small businesses can save energy at
Chamber Members Open for Business
The Regal Bar
8344 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa | (619) 469-1633
La Mesa Wine Works
A cooperative Tasting Room featuring Premium Wines from San Diego County Wineries
8167 Center Street in La Mesa
Wed - Sat 3- 8 & Sun: 12-5
Reservations Recommended - 619.741.0700
Take Out / Delivery
Anthony's Fish Grotto
Takeout and retail 2-7pm, 7 days a week
9530 Murray Drive in La Mesa

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse
Delivery: 11am - 11:30pm
Curbside Pickup: 11am - 9pm
5500 Grossmont Drive
(619) 589-7222 |

Brew Coffee Spot
Online Ordering & Pickup
(619) 246-1244
6101 Lake Murray Blvd. in La Mesa

Cali Comfort BBQ
Take out: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 7 days a week.
8910 Troy Street in Spring Valley

Cucina Basilico
Takeout: 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
(619) 825-3171.
7200 Parkway Dr. in La Mesa

Dream Dinners
Easy, Homemade Meals
5208 Jackson Dr #116 - La Mesa
(619) 460-6800 |

Edible Arrangements
Free delivery! 8237 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa
(619) 464-1111 |

El Pollo Loco
10 a.m. - 10 p.m. for drive through meals.
4990 Baltimore Drive in La Mesa
(619) 797-1956 |

Himalayan Cuisine
Take out: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday
Friday & Saturday: 11am - 10pm
(619) 461-2503
7918 El Cajon Blvd #P in La Mesa

Hooleys Public House
Tue-Thur 3:30-7:30pm & Fri-Sat 3:30-8:30pm
5500 Grossmont Center Dr. #277
(619) 713-6900 |
Los Pinos Taco Shop
Takeout: Mon - Sat 10:30am - 9pm.
Sunday 4 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
(619) 462-5031
5646 Lake Murray Blvd in La Mesa

Marie Callender's
Takeout: 11am - 8pm
(619) 465-1910.
6950 Alvarado Rd. in San Diego

Nonno's Ristorante Italiano
Open to dine in with reservations, as well as pick up or carry out orders.
5314 Baltimore Drive in La Mesa
(619) 337-9559 |

Red Lobster
Sun - Thurs: 11am - 10pm, Fri & Sat: 11am - 11pm
(619) 463-4449 | 8703 Murray Drive in La Mesa
Free delivery when ordering at:

San Pasqual Winery
Order pickups and bottles to go only (no wine service) - Mon - Fri 12 - 6 & Sat & Sun 12 - 5
8364 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa
(619) 462-1797 |

Surf Rider Pizza Co.
Takeout: Tuesday - Sunday 11:30am - 7:30pm
8381 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa
(619) 340-1270 |

The Lunch Box Cafe and Deli
We're open for dine-in service, takeout or delivery!
Tuesday to Friday: 7:30am - 2:00pm
Saturday: 7:30am - 1:00pm
8751 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa
(619) 463-4013 |

The Regal Bar
8344 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa
(619) 469-1633

Valley Farm Market
Fresh meat, chicken and fish, as well as milk, eggs, bread and fresh produce. Products are available on a “first come, first served” basis.
9040 Campo Rd. in Spring Valley
(619) 463-9595 |
Thank you for your support!

Mary England
President & CEO
Cell: 619-251-7730
La Mesa Chamber of Commerce ∙ 8080 La Mesa Blvd. Ste. 212 ∙ La Mesa, California 91942