La Mesa Chamber News | December 22, 2021
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's e-blast: December 15 Eblast See more past email blasts here.
The Board of Directors of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce Wishes You a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season and a New Year Filled with Happiness
In Memoriam
Randy Young – Gone but Not Forgotten
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Randy Young, of Ultimate Catering Concepts passed away last week. Randy Young and Lisa Waln Bender joined forces to start their catering business, Ultimate Catering Concepts. Prior to that, Randy had been in the food industry for many years. He was a manager of many restaurants and came to the La Mesa Chamber, via his management of the Outback Steakhouse in Lake Murray, prior to its closing.

Randy loved people, creating amazing food dishes, and being at events and serving great food and networking. He was an active participant and if you attended the Chamber’s "Taste of San Diego - East" at the Town & Country Hotel or the "Summer Bash" Business Expo at the Courtyard by Marriott in El Cajon this year, you met him. He would have greeted you when you visited his food station with a smile and discussed what he was serving you that evening. You would have immediately been overtaken by his warm smile and personality. Randy was a “people person.” He loved to talk to people, had an engaging way of interacting with people and left a positive and lasting impression on everyone that he met. He made many friends in his short 57 years with all of us.

Randy passed away suddenly while catering a wedding reception last weekend. He left us doing what he enjoyed. According to his partner Lisa, he was happy all day, took time to eat lunch and they were preparing to set up and serve the food for the reception, when he had his heart attack. To his Wife of 22 years, Dya and his son, Jacob we send our heartfelt condolences. The family plans to hold a Celebration of Life in January.
Omicron Sweeps U.S. Now Dominant Strain
With the holiday travel season underway, new coronavirus cases are surging in the United States, prompting governors and mayors to once again wrestle with how far to go to combat the virus. Scientists say Omicron spreads more easily than other coronavirus strains, including Delta though many details about it remain unknown, whether it causes severe illness. But even if milder, the new variant could still overwhelm health systems because of the sheer number of infections. 

On Monday, San Diego County reported 1,447 new coronavirus cases and in additional 30 hospitalizations and six deaths. Breakthrough Omicron infections are common, but scientists believe that the vaccine will still provide protection against the worst outcomes. One of the most urgent concerns now, is the strain on the health system. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune and more of this story may be found there – UT News Services
County Board Sizes Up Redrawn Districts 
Opponents of Shifts in Boundaries Have 30 Days to Challenge
New voting maps for San Diego County will shift the lines of representation, establishing a majority Latino district in South County, and another central district with high numbers of Latino, Asian, Black and immigrant populations. 

The new map approved December 14, establishes District 1, currently represented by Supervisor Nora Vargas, as a minority-majority Latino district in South San Diego, including the cities of Imperial Beach, National City and Chula Vista.

District 2, represented by Supervisor Joel Anderson, (we are currently in that District but will be moved) covers East County and much of the incorporated backcountry, along with the cities of El Cajon, Santee, and Poway. The final version of District 2 has a population that’s about 57 percent White, 21 percent Latino, more than 10 percent Asian and 3.4 percent Black. El Cajon was targeted to be moved out of District 2, but after an outcry from the Chaldean Iraqi Christian community the commission agreed to return El Cajon to District 2. 

District 4, served by Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, central portions of the city of San Diego including City Heights and North Park join Lemon Grove, La Mesa and the communities of Rancho San Diego, Campo, Paradise Hills, and part of Spring Valley. It forms an ethically diverse district with high number of minority voters and immigrant and refugee communities. This is our NEW DISTRICT and NEW Supervisor.

This year was the first time that San Diego County lines were drawn by an independent, bipartisan commission, without input or approval by elected officials. The map took effect immediately upon adoption by the commission on December 14 but is subject to challenge by referendum for 30 days thereafter. To mount such a challenge, proponents would need signatures from more than 115,000 voters to start the referendum process. The new map was submitted to the Registrar of Voter, and it will be applied to upcoming election starting with the June 2022 primary election. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune by Deborah Sullivan Brennan.
California’s Nation-Leading Mortgage Relief Program
Receives Federal Approval
The California Mortgage Relief Program Will be the Largest in the Nation - $1billion in funds to help tens of thousands of homeowners save their homes
Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that California’s plan to provide $1 billion in mortgage relief grants to tens of thousands of homeowners who have fallen behind on housing payments or reverse mortgage arrearages during the COVID-19 pandemic has been approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, clearing the way for a full program launch in the coming weeks. Under Governor Newsom’s plan, the California Mortgage Relief Program will help an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 struggling homeowners, with funds reserved for homeowners in socially disadvantaged and underserved communities often hit hardest by the pandemic.

"We are committed to supporting those hit hardest by the pandemic, and that includes homeowners who have fallen behind on their housing payments," said Governor Newsom. "No one should have to live in fear of losing the roof over their head, so we’re stepping up to support struggling homeowners to get them the resources they need to cover past due mortgage payments. Our Housing is Key program has already provided renters and landlords with the assistance and resources they need to stay afloat. Now, with our California Mortgage Relief Program, we are extending that relief to homeowners."

Through the mortgage relief program, past due housing payments will be covered in full – up to a maximum of $80,000 per household – with a direct payment to qualified homeowners’ mortgage servicers. The financial support is provided as a one-time grant that qualified homeowners will not have to repay, so that they can get caught up and have a fresh start. Funding for the program is allocated through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.
“During this pandemic, Californians have lost their jobs or had their paychecks cut, leading many to wonder how they can keep up with their housing payments,” said Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “This program will help families keep their homes and provide the stability they need to recover from the financial, physical and emotional toll caused by the pandemic.”

The California Mortgage Relief Program will be a part of California’s Housing is Key program and is designed to work in tandem with several existing state and federal initiatives and programs to support residents facing difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Homeowners who have had their mortgage payments paused during the pandemic are now facing the end of those forbearance periods," said Tiena Johnson Hall, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency, "The California Mortgage Relief Program will alleviate some of that anxiety and give eligible homeowners a chance to get caught up on those housing payments and regain that sense of security."

Californians at or below 100 percent of their county’s Area Median Income, who own a single-family home, condo or manufactured home (permanently affixed) and faced a pandemic-related financial hardship after January 21, 2020, may be eligible.

The California Mortgage Relief Program will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks through an online portal at CaMortgageRelief.org. Interested applicants can visit the website to review program and eligibility information leading up to the launch of the application portal.

A detailed description of California’s program, as approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, can be viewed here.
From San Pasqual Winery: 12 Wines of Christmas Sale! 30% Off!
12 Wines of Christmas Sale! 30% Off Mixed Case!!

Makes a Great Gift!
Perfect for All Your Holiday Festivities!!

• 2019 Pinot Gris • 2019 Rosé of Cabernet Franc  • 2015 Barbera • 2016 Cabernet Franc  • 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon • 2016 Cuvée Classic • 2015 Malbec • 2016 Merlot • 2016 RBG Red Blend • 2016 Syrah • 2016 Tannat • 2016 Tempranicha

Available On-Line and at The La Mesa Blvd. & Seaport Village Locations!

Wishing you a Safe and Happy Holiday!!

Holiday Hours

La Mesa Boulevard
1pm - 7pm Monday - Thursday, 12pm - 5pm Sunday | 1pm - 5pm Christmas Eve | Closed Christmas Day

Seaport Village
11am - 7pm Monday - Thursday & Sunday | 11am - 5pm Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

FCC Internet Subsidies Available, Must Apply by Dec. 31
The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311.
Apply for Your REAL ID Today!
Flying within the U.S., visiting friends and family on base, and entering federal buildings have all become easier with a REAL ID! Upgrade your license to a REAL ID today!

The REAL ID is a federally accepted form of ID that can replace your current California ID. A REAL ID or passport will be required to board domestic flights, visit secure federal facilities such as military bases or courthouses. Although the enforcement date was extended to May 3, 2023, consumers are still encouraged to get a REAL ID sooner rather than later. The application process is as easy as 1-2-3 to get your REAL ID. View a full list of acceptable documents and start your application online, then complete the final step in person.
Prevent a Winter
COVID-19 Surge
Since Thanksgiving, there's been a 47% increase in COVID-19 case rates. While 80% of Californians have received at least one vaccine dose, we must do more. A new statewide public indoor mask requirement will prevent further spread. And make sure you #GetVaccinated & #GetBoosted Myturn.ca.gov.
County Updates for the Business Community for 12.21.21
County Closures for Christmas Day Holiday

All public San Diego County offices, including family resource centers, library branches and animal shelters, will be closed on Friday, December 24th for Christmas.

County-operated COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites will also be closed Friday and Saturday and will resume normal hours Sunday. Please see the Vaccination and Testing schedule for all hours of operation. 
Actor Jaleel White and host Akbar Gbajabiamila Share COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences

Actor and producer Jaleel White, and former NFL player and host of "The Talk" and "American Ninja Warrior" Akbar Gbajabiamila, are partnering with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The well-known celebrities are sharing their COVID-19 vaccine experiences through candid conversations to help reduce hesitancy in Black and African American communities across the state. Read More.
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness of the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Check out and share the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Tips to Have a Safe Holiday Gathering and Traffic Safety Marketing Community Materials to help prevent impaired driving. 
Safe Toys & Gifts Month

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness month. During the holiday season and beyond, it is important to keep safety in mind as you shop for the little ones in your life. Visit the American Public Health Association for a list of guidelines for choosing safe toys, and Child and Family Services for safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season.

In 2016, California became the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide by 2022 for large businesses, and by 2023 for small businesses.
Finance 101 for Small Business

Join the San Diego and Imperial Valley Women's Business Center for the upcoming webinar to help prepare businesses and provide financial education in the marketplace. 

January 20, 2022 | 11AM-12PM | Register Here
From SDG&E: Take Advantage of No-Cost Training From Energy Experts
Did you know that SDG&E provides webinars for business owners and trade professionals, and most are at no cost? You or your employees can learn about the latest in green building practices, technology and energy-saving solutions from industry experts. Some of December’s topics include:
  • HVAC system testing
  • Residential electrification retrofits
  • Analysis-based lighting recommendations
  • Central heat pump water heater systems for multifamily housing
  • Photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage systems (ESS) for code compliance

Certifications and continuing education units are available for many of the classes. Check out the class listing at sdge.com/EIC.
Don't Forget to Apply for the Small Business Stimulus Grant
Small Business Stimulus Grant Funding is Available from the County of San Diego – We Are District 2

The County of San Diego has received funds from the federal government’s American Recovery Plan Act. This grant is to provide economic assistance to help businesses and non-profit entities impacted by COVID-19. This financial assistance will be allocated to eligible, qualified small businesses and nonprofit entities based on the availability of funds, program guideline, and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation.

Supervisor Joel Anderson District 2 Supervisor has asked chambers to assist with the paperwork for small businesses to complete the submission application. The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is happy to help. The La Mesa Chamber has decided to take an extra step in this grant funding process and the recovery of our businesses in La Mesa and announce immediately:

All Businesses in La Mesa - Whether a La Mesa Chamber Member Or Not - Can Contact Mary England for Assistance in Applying for This Grant

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce believes that assisting ALL businesses in their recovery from the pandemic and ability to obtain funds from the American Recovery Plan Act should be a priority. We are ALL in this together! Chamber Members and Non-Chamber members, effective immediately, may receive help from Mary England, President & CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce in filling out all paperwork and answering any questions you may have. Mary may be reached 7 days a week –Maryengland@lamesachamber.com or 619-251-7730 to assist you.


If you are NOT sure of how to answer questions on the application or need assistance on clarifying what documents you need to submit – contact Mary England at Maryengland@lamesachamber.com or (619) 251-7730, we are happy to help!

NOTE: If you applied for and received county funds under the other Small Business Stimulus Grant, allocated from the CARES Act funding – YES you may apply for these funds, you just need to list the amount you received from the county on the application.
La Mesa Chamber Calendar
March 23, 2022 - "Spring Fling" Business Expo : 5-8pm at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon | 141 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon | Details

July 18, 2022 - "Taste of San Diego - East" : 5-8pm at Town and Country San Diego | 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley | Details

August 18, 2022 - "Summer Bash" Business Expo : 5-8pm at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon | 141 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon | Details

NOTE: We recommend those that are feeling ill, or who have been exposed to someone who is ill – please stay home.

For local La Mesa news, visit lamesacourier.com

For East County news, visit ww.eccalifornian.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:
Cush Plaza La Mesa
Cush Plaza La Mesa
Commercial Real Estate
5565 Grossmont Center Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
858-549-2874
Platinum Members
Gold Members
A.L. Sound
American Medical Response
Barnes & Noble -
Grossmont Center
Benchmark Financial
Community Spectrum
EDCO Waste & Recycling Corp.
Frazier Farms
Kostedt Design & Marketing
Magnaglobe Enterprises
Major Security Services
McGee Mechanical
Park Station
PenChecks, Inc.
Productivity Plus Office Support

Sanctuary Cruises
Sensi Media
Studio M.I.F.
The East County Californian
Ultimate Catering Concepts
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