La Mesa Chamber News | February 22, 2021
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
If You Own a Restaurant - Be Sure to Apply for $4.5 Million Grant Funds from Uber – Deadline is February 28th
Restaurants are able to take advantage of a grant opportunity via Uber Eats program, “Eat Local Support Effort” that will provide $20+ million in financial commitments over the next 6 months to restaurants as the pandemic continue to shake the industry. As part of the program, LISC, will administer the $4.5 million Restaurant Grant Program that will help restaurant partners in the U.S. get through the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Applications are now being accepted. Apply here. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, February 28 at 11:59 p.m.ET. 

These grants may be used for but not limited to paying rent, utilities, payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading technology infrastructure and other immediate operational costs.

The Uber Eats Restaurant Grant Program will support restaurants active on Uber Eats or Postmates as of January 1, 2021, in any U.S. city with financial challenges related to the pandemic. Details are listed with the application.
Introducing Up & Running California - New eBay Program Offers FREE Ecommerce Training for Small Businesses
Beginning February 17th, eBay and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate offer the opportunity for small businesses to apply for a grant package including cash, credits and dedicated training through eBay Seller School. Ecommerce offers tremendous opportunity for small businesses, allowing them to stay rooted in their local communities while vastly expanding their reach to potential buyers on a global scale. This new program will equip up to 300 in-state businesses to take full advantage of this new opportunity with interactive coaching and instruction that will help them effectively compete and grow online.

This new, 100% FREE program will offer participating businesses with the educational resources, interactive instruction and seller-to-seller coaching they need to compete on eBay’s marketplace. Participants will enjoy full access to eBay Seller School, their interactive online learning platform. Seller School offers both beginner-level and more advanced courses to help all sellers accelerate and scale their eBay business, regardless of their time and experience on the platform.

Other program benefits will include:
  • Exclusive access to six weekly webinars, led by a dedicated growth adviser
  • Seller-to-seller coaching
  • 200 free insertion fees per month
  • A 90-day, eBay basic store subscription upon “graduation”
  • A seller “starter kit” that includes various supplies to immediately begin selling online

Selected businesses will learn how to supercharge their listing and marketing strategies, create a dynamic digital storefront, leverage powerful data analysis tools to fuel their performance, and more. Applications are now open at ebay.com/California until 11:59 p.m.PT on Thursday, March 11. 
Welcome to Our New Member, San Diego Aesthetics and Med Spa!
San Diego Aesthetics and Med Spa
We are a medical spa specializing in advanced aesthetics treatments such as lasers and injectables as well as corrective skin care.
8710 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa | (619) 363-2201 | http://sdamedspa.com
Chamber Member Cali BBQ Joins Food Hub in Barrio Logan Located at 2707 Boston Avenue - San Diego
Amid the pandemic, restaurant owners have been forced to get creative for over a year, or risk losing their business altogether. San Diego County has implemented some of the toughest restrictions on businesses in the name of public safety, and local restaurant owners have been hit the hardest. Now open at 2707 Boston Avenue in San Diego is the Barrio Food Hub. This hub is a 10,000 square-foot “ghost kitchen” filled warehouse, that will eventually house more than 50 eateries. Known as “ghost” and “virtual” kitchens, commercial spaces (on an average of 200 square-feet with a private kitchen, 3-compartment sink, prep sink, new gas and plumbing connections and a kiosk to allow for walk-up and take out orders) are a way to give restaurants and chefs the opportunity to operate a business within a small space to prepare food without having to worry about the substantial costs of maintaining a dine-in, brick-and-mortar restaurant. We are thrilled that La Mesa Chamber Member, Cali BBQ has joined the Barrio Logan Food Hub and is ready NOW to take your order online for pick up or delivery.
Governor Signs Legislation to Extend Eviction Moratorium & Assist Tenants & Small Property Owners
The Governor signed legislation last week to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, protecting millions of Californians struggling as a result of the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation signed will pause evictions for tenants who declare under penalty of perjury an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID related reason. Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to property owners, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction, even after the moratorium ends. SB 91 also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance California will receive. The program will target aid to low income-qualified tenants most at-risk with unpaid back rent. Assistance will also be extended to property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. By agreeing to this waiver, property owners will become eligible for 80 percent in rent reimbursement for amounts owed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Approximately $150 million of the federal will be reserved for tenants in counties with populations of 200,000 or less and the additional funds will be available to counties with populations larger than 200,000. The state will directly administer $1.5 billion through contracted groups and local governments can either join forces with the state or administer their own programs. The program will begin in March.
Escondido Company Develops New Rapid Test for COVID-19
An Escondido company has teamed up with scientists at UC San Diego Health to develop a new rapid test for the virus that causes COVID-19, which can be scaled up to analyze as many as 100,000 samples in a day with equipment readily available in hospitals throughout the United States and the world. Menon Biosensors Inc. developed technology called the “molecular mirror” that can analyze samples rapidly, in mass batches and at a lower cost than existing tests, said Suresh Menon, CEO and founder of the company. Menon said his company is working with UCSD Health to verify the accuracy and reliability of the test, and the two entities applied last week to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to roll out the test at labs across the country. The team of Menon and UCSD is among 20 finalists for the $6 million XPrize, a competition that drew more than 200 teams from throughout the world to develop a faster, cheaper and easier-to-use coronavirus test. The top five-teams are expected to be announced this month. Currently, scientists believe the molecular mirror test, developed by Menon can detect the existing, known variants of the coronavirus that have emerged. If the virus mutates into new variants in the future, the test can be easily adapted to detect them and can also be quickly adapted to new viruses. Menon, a native of Kerala, India has earned degrees and holds more than 100 patents and trademarks. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Joe Tash.
J & J Seeks U.S. Approval of Its 1-Shot Vaccine
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson submitted its single-shot coronavirus vaccine to U. S. regulators for emergency use authorization after the vaccine was shown to be robustly effective against illness in a global trial – and especially at preventing severe disease and death. This step is pivotal toward reducing the burden of disease for people globally and putting an end to the pandemic. The data has not been peer-reviewed or published but will be carefully reviewed by career FDA scientists and an external panel of experts who will determine if the vaccine meets the safety and efficiency requirements for emergency use. The easier logistics of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for several months and requires only a single shot, would make it a welcome addition amid the drive to accelerate vaccinations as variants loom. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Carolyn Y. Johnson & Laurie McGinley. Image Source: Dado Ruvic/Reuters.
Program Aims to Speed Up Vaccine Dispersal
Blue Shield of California will create an algorithm to determine where to allocate COVID-19 vaccines statewide with the goal of being able to administer 3 million shots a week by March 1, according to a contract made public on February 15, that grants the insurance giant far-reaching powers in overseeing the state’s distribution of doses. The company will attempt to drastically scale up the number of daily doses, but that goal will largely depend on the supply sent to the state. Blue Shield will immediately work to centralize the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program after a sluggish start due to a lack of available doses and complex regulations dictating which Californians should be prioritized and data reporting issues. The state’s decision to put Blue Shield at the helm removes key decision-making on vaccine administration from the purview of counties just as California’s vaccination efforts have begun to take off. Kaiser Permanente, which provides health care services for more than 9 million Californians, is expected to sign a separate contract with the state to run a vaccination program for its members while overseeing two or more mass vaccination sites and helping to vaccinate “hard-to-reach and disproportionally impacted populations.” Both companies have agreed that they will run the programs at or near cost and will not profit, according to a letter of intent. Blue Shield’s contract stipulates that the company cannot bill the state for more than $15 million during the contract term for out-of-pocket costs. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Melody Gutierrez.
Lost a Job or Income? Don’t Lose Access to Key Tax Credits
Americans who lost their job or some of their income in 2020 should pay attention to a new, one-time provision that ensures they don’t lose access to valuable tax credits as well. The “lookback” rule allows taxpayers to use either their 2019 or 2020 income, whichever is most beneficial, in order to get the most out of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. These are considered the two most valuable tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families. Together, they lift more working-age people out of poverty than any other government program. However, some people are potentially facing a smaller credit or no credit because of job loss or reduced income in 2020. That can be the difference between a refund, which is a financial lifeline in many households. Lawmakers, as part of a relief package passed in December, decided taxpayers could “lookback” to their 2019 income to claim these credits. The Earned Income Tax Credit is worth $538 to $6,660 depending on income and number of children. People without children can claim the ETC, although its value is much lower. The Child Tax Credit offer up to $2,000 per qualifying dependent child. Part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan would temporarily raise the child tax credit to as much as $3,600 per child annually. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Sarah Skidmore Sell. 
This Year Could be a Complex One for Filing Income Taxes
The 2021 tax season is underway and taxpayers see some changes ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic that could affect their returns. People should be aware of certain situations, including working in a different state or claiming a stimulus check.

Are stimulus checks taxable?
No. Anyone who qualified but didn’t receive a payment can claim the amount as a credit on their 2020 federal return. New parents who had a child last year and report it on their 2020 return might receive a higher tax refund or see their tax liability shrink. The second round of stimulus payments covered more people, including mixed-immigration status families. The payments were reduced to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for joint filers. For people who earned more than those amounts, the payments were reduced and then phased out for individuals making more than $87,000 and $174,000 for couples with no children.

Can I write off my work-from-home expenses?
No, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect in 2018, eliminated the ability of employees who receive a W-2 from their employer to deduct home office expenses.

What if I’m self-employed?
The self-employed and small-business owners might be able to deduct home office expenses if they meet two requirements. One, taxpayers must regularly use their home office exclusively for work and not for any other purpose, and two, it must be the main place where the individual conducts his or her business. A self-employed business owner would be able to possibly make the claim that their home office served as their principal place of business during 2020. Those taxpayers can use two calculations to deduct a portion of their expenses, including utility bills, mortgage interest, depreciation, rent or office supplies. The first calculation uses the percentage of the home office space relative to the entire area of the home. The second involves multiplying $5 by the area of the home used as an office, which is limited to 300 square feet.

Are my unemployment benefits taxable?
Yes. The income people received from unemployment benefits, including from federal pandemic relief programs, is taxable at both the state and federal level. Anyone who received jobless benefits in 2020 will be sent a 1099-G form, which contains the amount of benefits paid out and any taxes withheld.

What else should I know?
In the pandemic relief package enacted last spring, a special provision temporarily suspended limits on charitable contributions, allowing taxpayers to deduct up to $300, regardless of whether deductions are itemized. Donations must be to charitable organizations with tax-exempt status that are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. That includes churches, charities, nonprofit schools, hospitals, volunteer fire departments, and certain cultural groups. The IRS has an online search tool to help determine an organization’s charitable status. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Abdel Jimenez.
La Mesa May Expand Public Comment Opportunities
Within the month La Mesa expects to update its equipment to allow live public comment via phone. With in-person council meetings on hiatus for nearly a year, people who want to speak to the council currently are only able to do so at the city’s Emergency Operations Center in La Mesa’s Fire Administration Building on Allison Avenue. The city still accepts comments by email, with letters read by City Clerk Megan Wiegelman. Wiegelman stated that the opportunity for people to speak to the City Council via phones is being evaluated. These upgrades come at the request of Councilman Colin Parent, who wanted to provide access for people who cannot physically attend a hearing. He believes that this is a way to allow people who have been excluded from the meetings to have a voice, making it fair for everyone. Parent and Mayor Arapostathis agreed to form a subcommittee that will work on expanding the city’s portfolio of public participation opportunities looking toward the end of the pandemic when meetings will be in-person once again. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Karen Pearlman. 
COVID-19 UPDATES
COVID-19 Vaccine Update as 2/19/21:

Due to national delays in vaccine shipments, all county COVID-19 vaccination points of dispensing, or PODs, and the North County Super Station in San Marcos are currently only offering appointments for second doses.

Previously scheduled appointments for first doses at these sites are being rescheduled into the following week.

Those affected by appointment cancellations are being notified via their UCSD MyChart accounts and should also check their email.
County Reserves COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments for Project SAVE:

Project SAVE (Scheduling Assistance for Vaccine Equity) sets aside a portion of vaccine appointments to equitably distribute the novel coronavirus vaccine and is operating in four sites:
  • South Region Live Well Center – Chula Vista
  • Martin Luther King Community Center – National City
  • Mar Vista High School – Imperil Beach
  • Southwestern College – San Ysidro

Those at high risk for COVID-19 complications will be reached by community health workers at various locations in the South Bay.
Delivery Shortfall Slows COVID-19 Vaccination Availability:

The County of San Diego announced on February 19 the shortage of vaccines caused by the delayed arrival of an expected Moderna shipment. Vaccination sites county-wide will slow and, in some cases, will pause with appointments being rescheduled. Th expected date is February 23rd for the shipment. Second doses will remain the priority for vaccination sites.

New Vaccine Clinic Opens in Vista:

San Diego County’s latest vaccination center opens at Linda Rhoades Center, 600 North Santa Fe Ave. Those in Phase 1A can schedule an appointment for that location.

Food and agriculture, teachers, and first responders will be the next tier eligible to receive vaccinations when available.

The Metropolitan Transit System is offering FREE rides to people with proof of a vaccination appointment.
Get Notified When it’s Your Turn to Get the COVID-19 Vaccination:

If you’re eligible and vaccine appointments are available through My Turn, you can schedule one. If it’s NOT your turn yet or appointments are NOT available, you can register to be notified when you’re eligible or when appointments open.
STATE UPDATES

Immediate Relief for Small Businesses Quadrupled - Governor Newsom announces immediate action for relief:
  •  A four-fold increase from $500 million to more than $2 billion – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
  • $2 billion in tax cuts for 750,000+ small businesses
  • 2 years of waived license fees for 59,000 restaurants and bars
  • Fee relief for 600,000 barbering and cosmetology businesses

SBA’s Microloan Program:
  • Provides up to $50,000 in funding to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand.
From Senator Jones: A Legislative and Community Update
As we are headed into a new legislative session‚ I wanted to share a brief update on my legislative priorities‚ as well as share some community updates that I thought you might find helpful.
Topics in this newsletter include:
  • COVID Relief Legislation
  • Legislative Update
  • “Let Them Play” Resolution
  • EDD Oversight Hearing
  • VFW and American Legion Posts
  • Recognizing Community Members
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation Closures
  • State Route 67 Highway Improvements Project
  • Seniors Drivers Licenses
  • Residential Insurance Policies
  • Recovered COVID Patients Needed
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 SanDiegoUnionTribune.com/OpenForBusiness 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 | www.bjsrestaurants.com

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.
619-337-0670
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 | dreamdinners.com

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

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

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 | www.hooleys.com
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 | www.littleromalamesa.com

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 | mariecallenders.com

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

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: www.redlobster.com

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 | www.sanpasqualwinery.com

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

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 | thelunchboxcafe.com

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 | www.valleyfarmmarkets.com
For local La Mesa News, please visit lamesacourier.com
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 www.lamesachamber.com 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 | www.grossmontcenter.com
Platinum Members
Boston Beer Company
Edible Arrangements
Power Plaques.com
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