La Mesa Chamber News | March 29, 2021
Having trouble seeing images / this email? View as Webpage
Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's email blast, see it here: March 22 Eblast

A Year Fighting COVID-19
March 19th marked a year since California issued a stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19. For many, this date marks a year of challenges, innovation, changes, fear and grief.

Businesses continue to keep their doors open and sacrifice daily to serve their customers, keep paying their employees, their business invoices, their personal expenses – rent, their lease payment or house payment, while trying to keep their families and their personal lives on an “even keel.”

Residents continue to observe all of the health mandates and guidelines, while trying to protect their quality of life. They have changed the way they shop, keep their distance when out and modified their daily lives to persevere.
COVID-19 Cases & Trends (As of 3/23/21)
  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases by date of illness onset – San Diego County residents: 268,160
  • ICU Bed Occupancy and capacity is decreasing
  • Total number of deaths = 3,498
  • Total number of Community outbreaks = 1,395
  • 16 outbreaks in the last 7 days

COVID-19 Percentage Positive
  • Testing positivity is decreasing: 2.4%
  • Adjusted Case Rate is also down: 5.5
  • 3rd week of the Red Tier

First Local Case of Brazilian COVID-19 Variant Identified
There is some evidence that the P1 and other new variants are more easily spread, but the P1 variant is not believed to cause more severe illness or increase the risk of death.

San Diegans should do the following now more than ever: wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.

Three Paths That Could Put San Diego in the Orange Tier
  • The case rate falls below 4 (currently 5.5)
  • California administers 4 million vaccines (currently at 2.9 million)
  • Certain testing metrics qualify for the Yellow Tier
Blueprint for a Safer Economy
There is no guidance from CDPH – it is expected this week.
We anticipate seeing the outdoor live events guidance this week.
This is something that the entire region is waiting for!

Bars vs Breweries/Wineries/Distilleries Guidance
CDPH guidance was updated March 13th and remains in effect. Under this guidance bars remain closed; facilities that serve food can open following the current restaurant guidance (beverage must be served as part of a meal). Guidance differ for bars due to the operation and social setting. Wineries, breweries and distilleries (where meals are not served) can open outdoors with modifications. 

Collection of Employee Vaccination Data
There is guidance from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding the question titled Collection of Employee Vaccination Data. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing details its Employment-Information-COVID-19-FAQ, this offers additional guidance regarding the Collection of Employee Vaccination Data.

Reporting COVID-19 Data
COVID-19 data is reported from several laboratories that share information at different rates/days. Data is also based on several variables such as timing of testing, reporting time, when a person becomes symptomatic, etc.

San Diego County still has substantial spread, and we need to focus on intervention: Physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, avoid gatherings - especially indoors, testing, quarantining after exposure, ventilation, contact tracing and vaccines.
Use of Equipment and Facilities in Shopping Malls
The use of equipment/facilities could be considered permissible, provided routine sanitation of the equipment between use was followed, in accordance with a safe reopening plan and shopping center.

Curfew for Restaurants, Bars, Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries Customers
Per the Public Health Order (section 11.e). “All restaurants, bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries that are otherwise permitted to be open, shall be closed from 10 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. every day except for delivery, take-out, and drive thru. Guests already in the establishment at 10:00 p.m. may remain in the establishment until 11:00 p.m.”

Accelerated Progression in Blueprint for a Safer Economy
Per CDPH, in order to advance in the blueprint for a safer economy, each county must meet the Adjusted Case Rate, Test Positivity, and Health Equity Metric criteria to advance to a less restrictive tier. Accelerated progression is eligible when the Health Equity Quartile Test Positivity Rate, meets the threshold of the Yellow Tier for two consecutive weeks. For a County in the Red Tier, if the case rate has declined or has not increased more than 5%, then the County can move to a less restrictive tier (if the Health Equity Quartile HPI has met the 2% threshold of the Yellow Tier for two consecutive weeks.) 

When the health equity metric is in the yellow tier for 2 straight weeks then San Diego County can move into the Orange Tier.
COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments
Doctors, pharmacies, community clinics, and their healthcare providers are working to provide vaccinations to San Diegans in the priority groups. While vaccines have arrived in the region, supplies remain extremely limited. Please be patient – as supply increases, providers will be able to perform more vaccinations and offer more appointments.

If you have a healthcare provider are enrolled with a local healthcare system, please contact them to schedule a vaccine appointment. If you do not have a doctor or other healthcare provider, call 2-1-1.

Live Performances
Per the state effective April 1st additional activities will be permitted. Guidance is forthcoming. Check CDPH’s activity and business tiers table for information about the upcoming changes.

Individuals Fully Vaccinated at Work
At this point in time, CDC guidance for individuals fully vaccinated pertains to private residences. Guidance for workplace from Cal/OSHA have not been released.
Vaccine Reminder & Update
  • April 1st – Those 50 years of age or older can receive vaccines
  • April 15th – Those 16 years of age or older can receive vaccine

As of 3/23 – 2.9 million are vaccinated in the state – the goal is 4 million.

From December 16, 2020 through February 19, 2021, a total of 36,659 health care providers received the first dose of vaccine, and 28,184 of these persons (77%) received the 2nd dose.

People still can get infected with COVID-19 after the first dose. It takes at least 2 weeks or later to be effective.
  • It is important to get both doses (for a 2-dose vaccine)
  • The timing is important while waiting 2+ weeks for being fully vaccinated

Vaccinations prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations
The data shows that the vaccines are almost 100% effective in preventing CVID-19 hospitalizations

Vaccinations likely reduces transmission
Seven studies to date, showed COVID-19 vaccines reduce asymptomatic infection (transmissions)

Vaccination Motivators
No need to quarantine if exposed after vaccination if no symptoms

COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization
Vaccinations are being provided to priority groups based on available federal and state guidance and recommendations from the County of San Diego

Phase1C- Eligible High-Risk Medical Conditions and Disabilities – Now Vaccinating
People ages 16-64 deemed to be at the very highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19

Goal: 70% Fully Vaccinated by July 2021
  • 30.6% percentage of population that has received at least the first dose
  • 18.8% percentage of population fully vaccinated
  • TWO new COVID-19 vaccination clinics are opening in the region at:
  • Oceanside and City Heights
Why should younger adults get vaccinated?
  • Safest way to acquire immunity
  • Some people suffer, even if it is less likely they contact the disease
  • Younger adult group get infected first and spread the infection to more vulnerable settings and populations 

Vaccines likely reduce transmission
Seven studies to date show COVID-19 vaccines reduce asymptomatic infection (transmission)

Variant Concern
  • B117 – 300 confirmed cases
  • Deaths – 1

CDC Update – REMEMBER - fully vaccinated people can:
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household, indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

Pharmacies are providing COVID-19 Vaccines -Must be scheduled:
Welcome to Our New Member, Lindsey McCoy Photography LLC!
Lindsey McCoy Photography LLC

Branding, Product and headshot photographer local to La Mesa ready to help small businesses take their brand image to the next level!

Business Updates
Apply for the Dream Big Awards - A Chance to Win $25,000 - Big Dreams Deserve Big Rewards

The U. S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the very best in American small businesses and highlights their contribution to America’s economic growth. If you know a small business in your community that exemplifies innovation, entrepreneurship and initiative? CLICK HERE to refer a business that can be contacted about the application to be considered for the 2021 dream Big Small Business of the Year and a $25,000 cash Prize, or encourage them to apply directly now by clicking here. A business must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Dream Big Awards: 

  • For-profit business operating for at least one (1) year primarily within the United States 
  • Have less than 250 employees OR have gross revenues of less than $20 million in 2019 and 2020

Applicants can apply for up to two Business Achievement Awards, and all applicants will be considered for the Small Business of the Year Award (a $25,000 cash prize). 2021 Applications open NOW! Application Deadline: July 16, 2021.

Small Businesses:
Chambers and Trade Groups:
California Utility Customers $1.25 Billion Behind on Bills

As the financial effects of the pandemic persist, more Californians are falling behind on paying their utility bills. The California Utilities Commission says 3.3 million residential customers have past-due bills and together the amount eclipses the $1 billion mark. Here are the figures in dollar amounts from data as of January for residential customers, compiled by the Commission:

Pacific Gas & Electric: $605.6 million

Southern California Edison: $338.1 million

San Diego Gas & Electric: $145.3 million

Total: $1.25 billion

One of the alarming findings relates to the number of customers more than four months behind on their payments. For example, the number of customers 120 days or more behind in SDG&E’s service territory came to 147,285, while the number of customer 31-60 days in arrears total 76,881 – indicating that many are falling further behind as the financial impact of COVID-19 lingers. The CPUC data show more than 300,000 California households owe more than $1,000 in past-due bills and of that number, 95,244 owe more than $2,000. The numbers – not just for SDG&E, but for customers of all the big California utilities – have grown with each passing month. SDG&E’s website features a page detailing the various assistance programs available to its customers: The San Diego Union Tribune – Rob Nikolewski.
Remember This Fund is Available!
Restaurant Revitalization Fund - $28.6 Billion in Cash Grants to Restaurants

One of the most significant recent developments in the American Rescue Plan is the creation of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This new $28.5 billion grant program will specifically target hard-hit restaurants and bars, with restaurants able to apply for grants based on lost gross revenue between 2019 and 2020. The maximum grant size will be $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups.

By estimates, the restaurant and bar industry have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. This industry has lost $250 billion in revenues since the beginning of the pandemic and the passage of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is an industry-specific solution. The SBA will administer and disperse the RRF grant, but the program does not yet have a launch date.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Signs an MOU With the State - Joining a Network of Vaccine Providers Overseen by Blue Shield

The county signed a MOU with the state acknowledging that it is joining a network of vaccine providers overseen by Blue Shield. Discussions with local officials throughout California led to a concession from the state and Blue Shield: Counties will retain the right to redistribute incoming doses to health care providers and other organizations that help to run vaccine superstations and smaller sites.

As of last week, nine counties – including San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside – had signed a MOU with the state, along with Kern County, which contracted directly with Blue Shield. Most San Diegans are less interested in the particulars of the deal than knowing when and where they can get their shots. When doses are plentiful, that shouldn’t be an issue; the region’s immunization sites have the capacity to inoculate 34,000 a day. And Blue Shield could be helpful if the company delivers on its promise to make the vaccine rollout more efficient and equitable. This agreement offers an additional layer of bureaucracy. Blue Shield’s primary responsibility, spelled out in the agreement, is to enroll vaccine providers into a statewide network and monitor how many doses each member has and how many they’re using. Blue shield will summarize that data in daily reports to the state and factor the information into an algorithm that will recommend how to divvy up doses.

The state’s contract with Blue Shield could cost up to $15 million, with California’s total vaccination costs likely to reach $1.37 billion during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, according to the state’s Department of Finance, which noted that much of these expenses will likely be covered by the federal government. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Jonathan Wosen. Photo: County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher speaks at the Tubman Chavez Community Center in San Diego on Friday, March 5. (Sam Hodgson / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
SeaWorld Reopening Animal Exhibits & Fireworks - State Says Park Will Have to Wait Until April 1st to Open for Rides

As theme parks prepare to transition to a reopening of rides and attractions, SeaWorld has begun allowing visitors to return to its indoor animal exhibit areas and plans to offer nightly fireworks later this week, marking its first pyrotechnics show in more than a year. With San Diego County now back in the red tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening plan, Sea World is permitted to open its indoor attractions like the underwater viewing tunnel at Shark Encounter because it falls under category of zoos and aquariums, which are subject to slightly looser restrictions. Come April 1, however, large theme parks will be permitted to reopen – including rides – although at much-reduced capacities.  Visitors can now see 400 penguins in their snowy habitat via a moving walkway, and over at Wild Artic they can see beluga whales, walruses and more. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Lori Weisberg. 
Millions of Employees Won’t Get a Tax Break for Working From Home

The home office deduction could’ve been this tax season’s most popular way to reduce taxes – a breakout tax break. After all, the pandemic forced two-thirds of the full-time U.S. workforce to work from home - “WFH” became shorthand for this new realty. The federal tax code for years used to help out this kind of WFH employee. They could reduce taxable income by deducting the cost of running home offices and for other unreimbursed employee expenses. But those deductions were killed by the 2017 tax overhaul passed under President Trump, which slashed Corporate tax rates while rejiggering individual rates – allowing for a higher standard deduction, but fewer itemized deductions. Today, most employees forced to work from home due to the pandemic, fail to qualify for the home office deduction, which might have shaved hundreds or even thousands of dollars off an individual tax bill. No deduction for paper, furniture, etc. The perfect WFH tax break disappeared in time for everyone to go WFH. Self-employed people are still able to take the home office deduction. But ordinary workers cannot. The pandemic has created a wave of tax headaches. There is confusion about how to account for money received under various federal pandemic relief bills. People who got unemployment aid are facing unexpected tax bills. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune - Todd C. Frankel.
San Diego County Lost Billions to the COVID-19 Virus in 2020
San Diego County’s first pandemic year cost the economy up to $10 billion. Unemployment hit levels not seen in generations and the tourism industry, one of the region’s biggest employers, was decimated. A new report from SANDAG, uses data to point out it could have been a lot worse. Aggressive spending by the federal government meant some of the poorest residents – while not all – were able to stay afloat. Federal programs greatly increased weekly unemployment benefits, stimulus checks were sent directly to bank accounts and a hodgepodge of different rent relief programs helped keep people in their homes. SANDAG estimates the 2020 gross regional product was down by $7 billion to $10 billion from the previous year, but initial estimates in October put losses at $12.4 billion.
The jobless rate in San Diego County hit a high of 15.9 percent in April during the height of California restrictions, according to recently revised unemployment data from the state Employment Development Department. That was the highest for record going back to 1990. Before 2020, the highest unemployment reached in San Diego County was 10.5 percent in October 2009 during the Great Depression.
Residents of San Diego County were spending less money everywhere, from fast food to furniture stores, by the end of the year than they were before the pandemic. Notable exceptions were a jump in spending at grocery stores in March at the start of the crisis and hardware in May, when it was one of the only types of retail establishments open. The balance of the article can be found online. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Phillip Molnar.
ECHTF Partner News: Funding Flash!
The County’s Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program (ERAP) application period has been extended through March 31, 2021
East County residents affected by COVID-19 and struggling to pay their rent and/or utilities are encouraged to apply to the County’s Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program. Please visit Applications are available online in several languages. If you or your clients do not have internet access and need assistance applying, please call (858) 694-4801.

The County’s ERAP 2021 serves all areas of the San Diego region exceptfor the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista. Those cities' residents must directly apply to the City of San Diego or Chula Vista for emergency rent and utility assistance. Tenants and landlords throughout the region can visit for information about all three programs and apply.
Let Supervisor Joel Anderson Know Your Opinion Regarding the Federal Stimulus Funds Expected Soon - San Diego County Expects to Receive $650 Million!
The County of San Diego is seeking input from residents on how best to use the anticipated federal stimulus funds, an estimated $650 million to be distributed under the American Rescue Plan bill. As a County, significant money has been used setting up the vaccine distribution sites, staff and supplies, totaling a cost of more than $100 million. Previous COVID-19 funding was used for small business grants, food services, child- care services, and income stipends. Supervisors would like residents to be a part of that conversation. Each Supervisor is holding a Community Workshop to hear from residents about needs and thoughts regarding this funding.

Our District 2 Community Workshop was already held. For those of you who could not attend the virtual meeting and would like to share your opinion on these funds, please send your comments directly to Supervisor Anderson here:
FREE Virtual Home Fire Education Sessions to Keep You Safe Presented by the American Red Cross
The Chamber encourages you to sign up NOW for your personalized session!
The American Red Cross is offering to educate our community virtually on safety and how to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Did you know that home fires are the most common emergency across the country? Each year the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters, the vast majority are home fires. Home fires claim SEVEN lives every day!

The Red Cross is now scheduling virtual home fire safety education sessions in our community. You will learn how to create a safety plan, and how to stop home fires before they start. The campaign to reduce home fire-related deaths and injuries looks different this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it’s safe, they will be partnering with fire departments to install smoke alarms in homes.

These personalized sessions can be requested by calling 619-354-9609 or by signing up on their website at The flyer below provides all the information you need.

The Chamber encourages you to sign up and schedule your personalized Free Home Fire Education session NOW. Together, we can stop home fire deaths and injuries!
Another Reminder - Be Sure and Advertise Your Business for FREE in the San Diego Union Tribune Newspaper & Online Directory
Have you filled out the simple form online to advertise your business for FREE? The San Diego Union Tribune has created an opportunity for businesses to let the public know - “Yes, We’re Open.” This business marketing campaign lists your business name, address, phone number and website in ads they print in the newspaper and their online directory.

Sign up NOW - visit to fill out the form to list your business in print and online – FREE!

If you need help or questions - call Mary England 619-251-7730 and we will be glad to assist you!
Member Restaurants Offering
Take Out / Delivery
You are able to order food for “take out” and you may “pick up” meals at these restaurants. You may check the websites of these restaurants to see what food delivery services they use to make your dining experience easy and convenient.
Anthony's Fish Grotto
Takeout: 11:30am - 8pm
Retail market: 11:30am -7pm
9530 Murray Drive in La Mesa

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse
7 days a week from 11am-10pm - Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Curbside Service, & Delivery.
5500 Grossmont Drive
(619) 589-7222 |

Brew Coffee Spot
Patio open 8-3 daily | online ordering | take out
(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
Takeout & delivery
Tue - Thur 4 - 9 pm | Fri 4 - 10 pm | Sat 11 am - 10 pm | Sun 11 am - 7 pm
5500 Grossmont Center Dr. #277
(619) 713-6900 |
Little Roma
Delivery available.
Mon - Sat: 11am - 9pm | Sun: 4pm - 8:30pm
Delivery hours: M-Sat 11am- 9pm | Sun 4-8:30pm
5575 Baltimore Drive, Suite 104 in La Mesa
(619) 461-7000 |

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
Take out and delivery available!
Mon-Thur & Sun: 11am-8pm | Fri & Sat 11am-9pm
6950 Alvarado Rd. in San Diego
(619) 465-1910 |

Nonno's Ristorante Italiano
Carry out.
5314 Baltimore Drive in La Mesa
(619) 337-9559 |

Red Lobster
Takeout: 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
Mon - Thur: 12 - 6 PM | Fri - Sat: 12 - 8 PM | Sunday: 12 - 5 PM
Order pick ups and bottles to go.
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
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 |

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 |
For local La Mesa News, please visit
Show Off Your Membership With Pride!
"Most consumers (59%) think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy overall. It is 29% more effective, however, for communicating to consumers that a
company uses good business practices and 26% more effective for communicating that a business is reputable."
Quoted from "The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce"

Not only do we provide members a physical plaque to display at their place of business, we also provide a way to further brand your business by providing a Virtual Plaque to display right on your website. Membership in a chamber of commerce has come to signify corporate citizenship and excellence, and your website is your storefront to the consumer and the world. Just place it on your website with a link back to or to your personal business page in our directory.
Special Thank You to Our Premium Members
Diamond Member
Grossmont Center
At Grossmont Center, you’ll be reminded why our center has thrived since 1961 because it’s where friendships are made, family bonds are strengthened and memories are created.
5500 Grossmont Center Dr. #213 in La Mesa
(619) 465-2900 |
Platinum Members
Boston Beer Company
Edible Arrangements
Sandra Small/ Photographer
SMIB Management, Inc.
The Little Warehouse
Self Storage
Gold Members
AAA Imaging
American Medical Response
Barnes & Noble -
Grossmont Center
Benchmark Financial
Community Spectrum
Discovering My City Magazine
DMZ Visual Marketing
EDCO Waste & Recycling Corp.
Frazier Farms
Hallman Jewelers
Kostedt Design & Marketing
Magnaglobe Enterprises
Mobility Works
Park Station
PenChecks, Inc.
Productivity Plus Office Support
San Pasqual Winery
Sanctuary Cruises
Studio M.I.F.
The East County Californian
Vision Studio Concepts
William H. Sauls
Thank you for being a member and for your support!

Mary England
President & CEO
Cell: 619-251-7730
La Mesa Chamber of Commerce ∙ P.O. Box 94 ∙ La Mesa, California 91944