La Mesa Chamber News | March 16, 2021
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's email blast, see it here. We also sent out Breaking News.
The $1.9 Trillion "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” was Passed by Congress March 10
On March 10th, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) on a 220-211 party-line vote. This important plan provides $1.9 trillion in further support for individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses to help mitigate COVID-19’s devastating impact. The President signed H.R. 1319 into law on Friday, March 12th.

Unfortunately, the "American Rescue Plan Act" does NOT extend the PPP’s current March 31 expiration date. This new Plan allocates $7.25 billion to PPP - Paycheck Protection Program.

We have provided an outline of notable provisions below provided by the Center for Association Leadership.
As a quick refresher, the legislation makes several important changes to the PPP:

  1. Most 501(c) nonprofits will gain access to the Program.
  2. The “affiliation rules” will be lifted for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations. This means that an organization’s headcount would be considered “per physical location” rather than in-total and across all locations. As such, a 501(c)(3) with more than 500 employees and/or a 501(c)(6) with more than 300 employees – but at multiple locations – would be eligible for PPP.
  3. An additional $7.25 billion will be made available to the PPP.

Unfortunately, the American Rescue Plan Act does not extend the PPP’s current March 31 expiration. ASAE and stakeholders across industry continue to press Congress for a plainly necessary extension. POLITICO reports there is strong bipartisan support in the House to extend the Program to May 31.

With the PPP taking $7.25 billion of the $1.9 trillion relief pie, the American Rescue Plan Act includes myriad other provisions to provide further assistance to individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses.

Register for ASAE’s fly-in, American Associations Day

Our community has built quite a bit of momentum on the legislative and regulatory fronts. Join us on March 25-26 and subsequent Hill meetings during our fly-in so we can continue our great progress and achieve further success in 2021.

At $39 for ASAE members, American Associations Day will include two days of engaging content and provide 5.5 CAE credit hours (up from 4.5 hours). Review the full agenda.
Are You Waiting for Your EDD Check or Need Help Filing Your Claim?
If you or your family members have been struggling with getting assistance with your EDD filing and/or your check OR you need help filing your unemployment claim, you will now have help from the 79th Assembly District. As you know, our 79th Assembly Member, Dr. Shirley Weber, was selected by the Governor and is now the Secretary of State for California. This is an honor, having someone from San Diego County chosen to serve our state in a leadership role in Sacramento. Dr. Weber has left her office to begin her job in Sacramento for the people of California.

In the meantime, that office is ready, willing and able to assist those of us in the 79th Assembly District that need assistance. We have included the memo from the 79th Assembly District office, that has the information you need to help you receive your check or help with your EDD claim.
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) Assistance

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has made progress in assisting and paying out unemployment benefits. However, with COVID-19 continuing to devastate California’s economy, many of you are still out of work and need assistance. We want to help! If you, or someone you know, reside in the 79th Assembly District and are struggling with EDD filings relating to either general Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance(PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), please contact the 79th Assembly District Office, so that we can help you. CLICK HERE for assistance or call (619) 531-7913.
St. Patrick’s Day is This Wednesday - We Suggest Joining the Party at Hooleys and Celebrate “All Things Irish” All Month!
San Diego County will most likely move to the Red Tier this week. The modifications/restrictions allowing inside and outdoor dining, will still limit the occupancy allowed to celebrate at Hooleys Public House in Grossmont Center on St. Patrick’s Day. We have a solution - celebrate ALL month!

This party to taste original Irish “fayre” and Irish beer, great beverages and experience fantastic service can happen ALL month-long! Enjoy the mouth-watering corned beef sandwich, stacked with corned beef on huge grilled rye bread ( a crowd pleaser) or any of the other special items being served. To see some of the menu items being served and meet the owner, Craig McDonald – take a look below at our “La Mesa Live” video segment featuring Hooleys.
BREAKING NEWS!
CALIFORNIA’S HEALTH OFFICIALS MAKE IT OFFICIAL - THE STATE REACHED 2 MILLION VACCINE DOSES TO MOST VULNERABLE ALLOWING RULES TO RELAX – WE MOVE TO THE RED TIER!
It looks like San Diego County will be promoted to the less-restrictive red tier by as early as Wednesday, March 17th according to county officials. By hitting the 2 million mark, the state will reassess counties and allow them to move to the red tier within 48 hours instead of waiting until Tuesday. The state said Friday that the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Contra Costa, and Sonoma can reopen more businesses as of Sunday, March 14th. On Tuesday March 16th the state expects 13 more counties to move into the red tier, including Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside and Ventura.

California’s Department of Public Health modified the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and modifying opening activities, when vaccines have been deployed to the hardest-hit communities. The modifications will shift Blueprint tier thresholds to allow slightly higher case rates per 100,000 population, once more inoculations have occurred in the communities suffering the most, allowing counties to move to less restrictive tiers.

The red tier will feature a limited allowance of indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses. This will allow counties to move quickly to reopen activities such as indoor dining and indoor gyms at reduced capacity. 

The county must stay in the Red Tier and post two consecutive weeks of data before San Diego moves to another less restrictive level, which would ease more restrictions.

The blueprint will be updated again when 4 million doses have been administered in the vaccine equity quartile.

Here are some of the changes: 
Restaurants:
You can now dine INDOORS at your favorite restaurant. However, the maximum capacity is 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer. So now dine indoors or outdoors at a restaurant of your choice. 

All Retail:
Capacity has been increased to 50%. Enjoy shopping in your retail location.

Shopping Centers/Malls:
Has increased to 50% capacity. 

Museums, Zoos & Aquariums:
Now open for indoor activities with modifications. Indoor activities now allowed with a 25% maximum capacity.

Places of Worship:
Now open indoors with modifications with a maximum capacity of 25%.

Movie Theaters:
Now can offer indoor entertainment. Capacity allowed is 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Gym/Fitness Centers:
Now open for indoor classes with modifications. Maximum capacity is 10%. Climbing walls are now added for exercise.

Outdoor Live Events with Assigned Seating & Controlled Mixing (e.g. sports & live performances):
Max 20% capacity includes suites with 25% occupancy per suite and suites no more than 3 households. In-state visitors only, advanced reservations only. Primarily in-seat concessions (no concourse sales).

Amusement Parks:
Maximum 15%. Small groups – Max. 10 people or 3 household groups with no intergroup mixing. Indoor capacity max 15% with some time restrictions. No indoor dining. In-state visitors only. Online ticket purchases only.

MORE BREAKING NEWS!

State Approves Relief for Brewers Now Allowed to Reopen Without Serving Food, with 8 p.m. Consumption Curfew
Continuing efforts to slowly loosen COVID-19 business restrictions, state health officials on Thursday, March 11th issued rules allowing breweries and wineries that do not serve meals, to reopen outdoor, while also setting a path for the reopening of bars.

County Supervisors Joel Anderson and Vice-Chair Nora Vargas, who had been advocating for this change, had co-authored a Board Letter requesting a change of the guidelines to benefit local brewers throughout San Diego County and the State of California. After this news, Supervisor Anderson stated, “Yesterday’s announcement lifting restrictions from breweries is great news for so many who have been fighting to stay afloat for the past year. I will continue to work with our business community to ensure a safe reopening and equitable recovery.”

According to the updated rules, beginning Saturday, March 13th breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve meals will be permitted to reopen outdoor in counties that are in the restrictive “purple” and “red” tiers of the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Customers must have advance reservations and will be limited to 90 minutes, and all on-site alcoholic beverage consumption must end at 8pm.

The NEW rules do NOT apply to breweries, wineries and distilleries that currently serve food. Those establishments will continue to be governed by the same rules as restaurants.

The state’s guidance, however, is subject to approval by individual counties. Counties are permitted to impose tighter restrictions than the state. San Diego county is still in the most-restrictive “purple” tier, but we are expected to advance to the “red” tier this week.

San Diego is home to over 150 independent craft breweries. Prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, the local brewery industry contributed $1.2 billion annually to the local economy, supporting nearly 6,500 jobs.
Chamber Welcomes Evolve Treatment Centers to Our Community
On Wednesday, March 10th we joined members of the Evolve Treatment Centers team to officially welcome them to our business community. The ribbon cutting celebrated the opening of this beautiful Mount Helix location. Joseph Remaley, LCSW, Clinical Program Director was presented their membership plaque, as well as a certificate welcoming them to our business community, by President & CEO, Mary England. With the opening of this new residential treatment center in La Mesa, Evolve now offers a full continuum of care for teens in San Diego County. The Evolve Mount Helix Residential Treatment Center is Evolve’s second teen treatment center in the region, joining its first Evolve San Diego, offering intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization program for adolescents.
Photos courtesy of Sandra Small/ Photographer
“COVID-19 has reduced many teens’ and families’ access to mental health care, which has led to an increase in psychiatric hospitalizations and lack of step-down services,” says Joseph Remaley, LCSW, Clinical Program Director of Evolve Mount Helix. ”With the opening of our residential treatment facility, and in collaboration with Evolve San Diego’s outpatient programs, our world-class clinical team can now offer more comprehensive services and a full continuum of care for youth most at risk.”

Evolve Treatment Centers, accredited by CARF and The Joint Commission, offers the highest caliber of evidence-based treatment for teens, 12 to 17 years old, who struggle with mental health, substance abuse, and/or behavioral issues. To learn more, visit evolvetreatment.com.
Let Supervisor Joel Anderson Know Your Opinion Regarding the Federal Stimulus Funds Expected Soon
The County of San Diego is seeking input from residents on how best to use the anticipate federal stimulus funds expected to be distributed under the American Rescue Plan bill. For example, previous COVID-19 funding was used for small business grants, food services, child- care services, and income stipends. Community members living within Supervisorial District 2 were invited to attend a virtual meeting on Monday, March 15th to share their ideas. 

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 on this website: www.supervisorjoelanderson.com/content/d2/us/en/contact.html
County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission Public Outreach and Engagement Services Procurement
The County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) invites your participation in an Industry Day virtual meeting, in anticipation of the upcoming procurement for Public Outreach and Community Engagement services.  

The Industry Day is an opportunity to provide input and feedback on the public outreach and engagement services needed to assist the IRC in obtaining broad and diverse community input across San Diego County, during the process of redrawing supervisorial districts, known as redistricting.

Date: March 18, 2021 | Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM

See the flyer for meeting instructions and additional details on procurement documents.

The IRC’s goal is to reach as many residents of the County as possible to participate in the redistricting process for the County of San Diego.

Attendance is open to all interested individuals and no advance registration is required. Please share this information with any interested parties.

The County and IRC reserves the right to use, without restriction, any information provided. Please note that all information provided may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

To request live language interpretation, individuals should call (619) 409-3003 or send email to redistricting@sdcounty.ca.gov at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Welcome to Our New Members!
Natalie Chiles Photography

Photography studio offering in studio and on location services including headshots, branding photography, high school senior portraits, child portraits and school portraits.

8270 La Mesa Blvd., Ste. 202, La Mesa, CA 91942
(619) 318-7891 | www.nataliechiles.com
TECHIT SERVICES

Managed IT Services, Onsite I.T. Technical Support, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Cloud Services, Remote IT Support, Business IT Services, Computer Support, IT Consulting, Wired/Wireless Data Network, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Windows 10, Wifi Services/Wifi extensions, Computer Network Installations

501 West Broadway, Ste. 800, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 764-6150 | (888) 783-2448 | www.techit-services.com
CDC: Small Group OK for Vaccinated People
Federal health officials last week told millions of Americans now vaccinated against the coronavirus that they could again embrace a few long-denied freedoms, like gathering in small groups at home without masks or social distancing, offering a glimpse at the next phase of the pandemic. The recommendations, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arrived almost exactly a year after the virus began strangling the country and Americans were warned against gatherings for fear of spreading the new pandemic. 

Now the agency has good news for long-separated families and individuals struggling with pandemic isolation: Vaccinated grandparents can once again visit adult children and grandchildren under certain circumstances. Vaccinated adults can begin to plan mask-free dinners with vaccinated friends. 

60 million Americans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 31.3 million have been fully vaccinated, according to a database maintained by the New York Times. Providers are administering about 2.17 million doses per day on average. CDC officials encouraged people to be inoculated with the first vaccine available to them, emphasizing that the vaccines are highly effective at preventing “serious COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death.”

In the new guidance, federal health officials advised that fully vaccinated Americans can gather indoors in private. They can gather with unvaccinated people in private homes without masks or distancing so long as the unvaccinated occupy a single household and all members are at low risk for developing severe disease should they contract the virus. 

In public areas and in places like restaurants or gyms, vaccinated people should continue to wear masks, maintain social distance and take other precautions, such as avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing their hands often. The CDC’s advice is aimed at Americans who are fully vaccinated. The CDC advised that vaccinated Americans do not need to quarantine or get tested if they are exposed to the virus, unless they develop symptoms of infection. If they do so, they should isolate themselves, get tested if possible and speak with their doctors. The CDC did not revise its travel recommendations, continuing to advise that all Americans stay home unless necessary. They did note that virus cases had surged every time there had been an increase in travel. Hopefully the next set of guidance will have more science around what vaccinated people can do, perhaps travel being among them. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Roni Caryn Rabin.
COVID-19 UPDATES
Public Health Update

Cases & Trends as of 3-10
  • 263,748, trending downward
  • COVID-19 Hospital Census trended downward in hospitalizations, ICU-related
  • COVID-19 related ICU census is going down; overall ICU census is going down as well
  • Deaths = 3,405 total – still see deaths, trending down
  • Community outbreaks = 24 as of 3/9

Triggers Dashboard
  • Adjusted Case Rate – 8.8 – Purple tier
  • Testing Positivity – 3.3% - Orange tier
  • Health Equity Metric – 4.5% -Orange tier

Blueprint for a Safer Economy 
  • Healthy places index quartile -areas heavily impacted by COVID-19,
  • Communities that are hard-pressed with barriers to vaccine access
  • Goal 1: 2 million doses have been administered to persons living in the Vaccine Equity Quartile (assessed statewide)
  • Goal 2: 4 million doses have been administered to persons living in the vaccine Equity Quartile (assessed statewide)
COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Vaccination works!
  • Vaccines are best tool to get us back to normal
  • The best way to control the spread
  • Safest way to gain immunity 
  • Very effective at preventing illness
  • Extremely effective at preventing the disease, hospitalizations and deaths

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
  • 75 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the US through Feb. 28th
  • There are no safety concerns

Johnson & Johnson
  • Only 1 shot is needed
  • People 18 years + are eligible
  • Refrigerator stable for 3 months
  • No diluent required

Viral Vector Vaccines
  • Have been used recently to respond to Ebola outbreaks and studied since the 70’s
  • Currently used for veterinary diseases
  • Non-replicating virus carries small amount of DNA
  • CANNOT transmit any disease and CANNOT alter DNA

Most Diverse Trials to Date
  • 72% effectiveness overall in the US (64% in S. Africa)
  • 83.5% effective vs. severe COVID in US (0 hospitalizations/C-19 deaths)
  • Data supports prevention of transmission or asymptomatic infection
  • CDC – Facts about COVID-19 Viral Vector Vaccines 

Goal: 70% by July 1st in SD County

Vaccination Dashboard
  • NEW – Fully Vaccination People Guidance – CDC
  • Next Vaccination group begins March 15, more details To be announced

Update on COVID-19 Variants in San Diego County
  • B.1.1.7 Variant
  • 197 total cases
  • 3 hospitalizations, 1 death
  • Still anticipating that this will become dominant strain soon 
OTHER UPDATES
CDPH Mask Guidance (as of 3/9)
  • Very similar to CDC’s guidance from last month focused on good fit and good filtration, should do “double masking” (e.g., a close-fitting cloth mask worn on top of a surgical/disposable mask to improve the seal of the mask to the face)
  • Don’t wear 2 medical masks or a medical mask on top of a KN95 or N95
Quarantine Post-Travel

The California Department of Public Health Travel Advisory was updated on 1/6/21 and has not changed. Strong recommendation: All persons arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries, should self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival, except as necessary to meet urgent critical healthcare staffing needs or to otherwise engage in emergency response. Additionally, this recommendation does not apply to individuals who routinely cross state or county borders for essential travel.
COVID-19 Immunity

A NIH study suggests that people’s immune systems remember COVID-19 for months after recovery. However, there may be variable levels of immunity among individuals. More research is being done to understand immunity for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC does not know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If people get COVID-19, they also risk giving it to loved ones who become extremely ill. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public infirmed as new evidence becomes available.
COVID-19 Testing

The County is still highly encouraging COVID-19 testing. There are no changes for healthcare providers. If someone is experiencing symptoms, they should get tested.

Health plans are required to cover COVID-19 tests at no cost to the enrollee. It is recommended that you first contact your healthcare provider for a COVID-19 test.

If you are unable to get a test from your healthcare provider, the County of San Diego has coordinated free diagnostic COVID-19 testing at many locations. These tests take about 5-10 minutes. Results generally come back in approximately 2-4 days.
Movement to Red Tier

The County of San Diego is currently in the Purple Tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. It is anticipated that if the rates and metrics continue to improve, the County may possibly move to the Red Tier. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. Counties must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks to move to a less restrictive tier.
Eligible Next COVID-19 Vaccine

Beginning March 15, healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals aged 16-64, who are deemed to be at the very highest risk to get sick from COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition.

State guidance for the next vaccine phases has not been received.
COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Metric

The COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Metric is a statewide measure to reach 2 million vaccine doses administered to the hardest hit communities in the state, representing about 25% of eligible Californians. This metric is based on aggregate doses of vaccine administered to persons living in the “Vaccine Equity Quartile”.
Proof for COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Please visit the County’s website for more information about proof of vaccination eligibility.  
Indoor Essential Meeting in Red Tier

In the Red Tier, an essential meeting conducted indoors must abide by safety precautions and must follow capacity guidelines noted in the state industry guidance that applies. People are highly encouraged to hold outdoor activities as much as possible to mitigate spread.
Guidance for Individuals Fully Vaccinated

Per the CDC, people are considered fully vacated:
  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine

If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

Per the CDC, 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 who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
Quarantine Guidance:

Per the CDC, local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. Your local public health authorities make the final decision about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. 
 
Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:  
  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives. See the County's Home Quarantine Guidance.
Isolation Guidance:

Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 or have symptoms from those who are not infected. The range of symptoms can vary from no symptoms to mild and severe. A healthcare provider should make the determination if a person has COVID-19 symptoms and should get tested. Employers should not require employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to work. See the County's Home Isolation Instructions.
Food and Agriculture Sector:

See the State’s website for information about essential workforce. The Food and Agriculture Sectors in Phase 1B Tier 1, will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County starting Saturday, February 27th. Information about proof of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine
COVID-19 Variant Data:

A weekly summary of COVID-19 cases caused by a variant strain as determined by whole genome sequencing is available online. The Variant Cases Summary is updated every Wednesday.
Medical Volunteers:

San Diego County vaccination sites are seeking medical volunteers.

Health Travel Advisory available online.
   COVID-19 Vaccine Updates & Reminders
The following Sectors are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine!

Phase 1B – Tier 1Sectors include:
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Childcare & Education
  • Emergency Services

Phase 1C – Persons 16-64 years old with one or more health conditions:
Will be eligible to receive vaccines beginning Monday, March 15th

Proof of Vaccine Eligibility:
For information on Proof of Vaccine Eligibility for Food and Agriculture Sectors, please visit sector webpages for Business and Employers & Restaurants. Food and Beverage Providers.

CDC Update-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 who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Arrives in San Diego:
  • The one-shot COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in the region and will make it easier for San Diegans to be vaccinated
  • The vaccine is being distributed the same way as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and is just as effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19

Pharmacies are Providing COVID-19 Vaccines (MUST be scheduled via their website)
  • CVS or can Phone 800-746-7287
  • Rite Aid
  • Walgreens
  • Albertsons
Miscellaneous Business Updates
Community Town Hall – Discussing Vaccines and COVID-19  Happens Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

The County will be hosting a virtual town hall on Facebook live. Townhall can be viewed on these Facebook accounts:
  • @SanDiegoCounty  
  • @nathan.fletcher   
  • @SupNoraVargas
COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Applications - Deadline to Apply March 16th

San Diego County residents financially impacted by COVID-19 who need help paying their rent and utilities may qualify for assistance

For more information or how to apply visit: www.sdhcd.org or call (858) 694-4801 to speak to a housing representative

The program is funded by over $100 million in state and federal monies

Residents of San Diego and Chula Vista can visit : www.erapsandiego.org for more information on rental assistance programs in those cities.
Apply now: California Competes Tax Credit-Apply By March 29th

Is your business growing in the state of CA over the next 5 years, or considering leaving CA?

Apply for a significant tax credit to offset your state income tax liability by March 29th

For more information on eligibility and assistance: 
NEW Rounds for CA Relief Grants are Coming!

  • Non-profit Institutions only – applications - March 16th - March 23rd
  • Small businesses & non-profits -applications Round 5 – March 25th – March 31st

Learn more at CAReliefGrant.com for eligibility, criteria & updates.
Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill

After one year of the onset of the pandemic the “American Rescue Plan” is aimed at easing the economic impact of the virus.

For more information:
Small Business Can Apply for PPP Funding

SBA will continue to accept PPP applications for all eligible borrowers until March 31.

See details here as well as Coronavirus Relief Options.
From Teague Insurance Agency, Inc.: Periodic update for
Risk Management Center
These training shorts can improve safe work habits, productivity, and morale. The shorts cover a wide variety of work-related subjects to assist your organization in preventing injuries.
This Week's Training Shorts

Active Shooter Preparedness - Organizational Preparedness

A training short outlining proactive steps, trainings exercises, and safety preparations to take in your organization to be prepared in the event of an active shooter situation.

Overcome FMLA Confusion
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be downright frustrating and overlooked by employers. We'll review real-life scenarios to clarify how to properly identify FMLA eligibility, how to write compliant policies, and more.
  • Who is eligible for FMLA
  • When and how to administer it
  • Common FMLA mistakes

Tuesday, March 30 at 11:00 AM PDT
State Outlines Allocation of Shots to Education Workers
California released a new plan on February 25th outlining how the state will allocate vaccines to education workers as the Governor continues to push to reopen more schools to in-person instruction. At least 10 percent of the state’s vaccines would go to education workers starting in March, which translates to roughly 75,000 dedicated doses a week. Each week, the state will provide doses to county offices of education for distribution. Teachers and other education workers will get single-use codes to make expedited appointments online. If 75,000 vaccine doses do come through each week, it could be a matter of weeks for California’s 320,000 K-12 public school teachers to be inoculated. On Wednesday, February 24th San Diego County officials announced that COVID-19 vaccinations opened on Saturday, February 27th for people in emergency services, childcare and education, and food and agriculture. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune – Janie Har & Jocelyn Gecker.
Shopping Online Eases Elder Isolation
The internet has become a crucial link to the outside world during the pandemic, one that millions of people still don’t have access to. Among older adults, the lack of Internet has even impeded their ability to get vaccinated. 

But the pandemic has also motivated many who have been isolated at home or unable to leave their senior communities to learn something they have resisted until now: how to buy groceries and more online. Americans 65 and older rang up an average of nearly $187 per month online last year, up 60 percent from a year earlier, according to market research. Nearly 22 million, or 42 percent of Americans 65 or older, lack broadband at home, according to a 2021 study. In speaking to older Americans, they like learning new skills and are seeking assistance from family members and other organizations to learn technology. Source: The San Diego Union Tribune- Anne D’Innocenzio
Cal Coast Credit Union Teams Up With Wawanesa Insurance on New Discount for Members
California Coast Credit Union and Wawanesa Insurance have announced a new partnership that offers additional savings to Cal Coast members who choose Wawanesa for their auto insurance. All new and existing Cal Coast members may be eligible for a discount on an auto insurance policy with Wawanesa. The program is open to anyone living or working in San Diego or Riverside Counties who becomes a Cal Coast member, as well as existing Cal Coast members. 
 
“We are always looking for new ways to help our members. That’s why we are excited to offer our members this additional cost-saving opportunity with Wawanesa,” said Cal Coast President and CEO, Todd Lane. “We are proud to partner with Wawanesa, who shares our commitment to providing exceptional service and community support.”
 
In addition to saving money on auto insurance, Cal Coast members will benefit from Wawanesa’s industry leading customer service. Wawanesa received the 2020 J.D. Power Award for #1Customer Satisfaction Among All Auto Insurers in California.
 
“We look forward to partnering with Cal Coast to offer additional savings to their members and continue to support the local communities that we operate in,” said Wawanesa’s President of U.S. Property & Casualty Operations, Chris Henn.
 
To check your eligibility for this discount and receive a free auto insurance quote, Cal Coast members are encouraged to call (833) 302-5625, which is a dedicated Wawanesa phone number for members of the credit union. If you aren’t currently a Cal Coast member, anyone who lives or works in San Diego or Riverside Counties can open an account at calcoastcu.org or complete the application online here.
Anderson Alert: Week of March 6 Board Meetings Highlights
On March 2 and 3, Supervisor Joel Anderson joined his board colleagues for their regularly scheduled board meetings. Below you will find a few updates from last week's sessions to help you stay in the know. Supervisor Anderson appreciates hearing your feedback on these or any other issues and if there is anything with which his office may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. View the full newsletter here.
Transparency in Sexually Violent Predator Hearings

On March 2, 2021, Supervisor Anderson and District Attorney Summer Stephan co-authored a Board Letter requesting support for Senate Bill 248. This state legislation would require most proceedings for the civil commitment of a sexually violent predator to be conducted in open court. Unfortunately, a majority of the board voted against supporting this legislation.

"Survivors of violent crimes have every right to be present when a court is deciding the fate of criminals who assaulted them," said Anderson. "This helps with the personal healing process and empowers survivors to move forward with their lives, not allowing the actions of criminals to define any aspect of their future well-being."

Directing $6M to Clean 98 Acres of El Monte River Valley

Supervisor Joel Anderson and Chair Nathan Fletcher partnered on a policy to preserve open space, protect habitat, and ensure proper clean-up of the El Monte River Valley. On March 3, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to direct $6 million to the clean-up project.

"I am grateful to Chair Fletcher's leadership in working with me to bring this proposal forward and I am hopeful that my colleagues will commit to continuing to work with me for the important restoration of this East County community treasure," said Supervisor Anderson.
E-Commerce Distribution Center in East County

On Wednesday, March 3, the Board of Supervisors was expected to vote on a lease agreement to allow for an e-commerce distribution center in East County. The Board voted to continue this item until the March 17th Board Meeting. Supervisor Anderson looks forward to the Board discussion on this item.
FREE MTS and NCTD Ride to Vaccination Appointment

MTS & NCTD are offering free rides for everyone in the region who needs a lift to their vaccine appointment. Ride any bus, trolley, SPRINTER or COASTER for FREE with proof of vaccine appointment.

MTS has created a transit trip planner with vaccine sites to help residents get to their appointments.

Senator Brian W. Jones Invites You to a Virtual Town Hall
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to California
Small Businesses
Small nonfarm businesses in all 58 California counties and neighboring counties in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Primary California counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba;
  • Neighboring California counties: Monterey, Orange, San Benito, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura;
  • Neighboring Arizona counties: La Paz, Mohave and Yuma;
  • Neighboring Nevada counties: Carson City, Clark, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Washoe;
  • Neighboring Oregon counties: Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.
Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on March 5, 2021.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to apply for economic injury is Nov. 5, 2021.
Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) Program – 2021 Application Cycle & Program Expansion
The County of San Diego (County) is excited to announce the 2021 application cycle for the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) Program beginning Monday, March 22, 2021. The County’s Planning & Development Services (PDS) manages the PACE Program to acquire permanent easements to promote the long-term preservation of agriculture within the County.

The County’s Board of Supervisors recently adopted an expansion to the properties eligible to participate in the PACE Program on March 3, 2021 (#10). This expansion no longer requires that applicants must have experienced a density reduction under the 2011 General Plan Update. Properties must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply for the expanded program:

Active agriculture for at least two years immediately prior to application

Property must be zoned A70 – Limited Agriculture, A72 – General Agriculture, RR – Rural Residential, S90 – Holding Area, or S92 – General Rural

To determine Zoning and program eligibility, please generate a Property Summary Report for the property using the Self-Service portal.

Key dates for the 2021 PACE application cycle are:
  • Monday, March 22, 2021: PACE application period opens
  • Monday, April 19, 2021: First review of PACE applications
  • Wednesday, May 5, 2021: Final submission date for PACE applications

Staff will continue to provide project updates as they become available through the stakeholder email list and through the project website. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Neal at AgConservation@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 505-6677.
From SDG&E: Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses
There are a variety of ways you can reduce costs in your business when it comes to energy. By assessing the needs of your employees and customers, you’ll be able to make a plan that helps you cut costs where you need it the most.  

  1. Don’t heat or cool what you don’t use. This may seem obvious but it’s easy to oversee. Only heat or cool the rooms and areas of the building which are in use every day, not hallways since they aren’t occupied for more than a few minutes. Rooms with low usage should have their thermostats turned down in winter and up in summer or off until they are in use.
  2. Get employees invested. Saving energy is a team sport, not the sole responsibility of the business owner. Encourage staff to share innovative ideas on how to cut down energy costs – creating an energy efficient work culture. 
  3. Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking. It's important to locate any leaks in your business to prevent costly heating and cooling loss. You can easily plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking to efficiently manage your ventilation.  
  4. Install occupancy sensors. Install dimmers and occupancy sensors in proper locations to automatically turn off lighting. It's important to ensure that the sensors are properly installed. Even good equipment can be installed incorrectly, like in an obstructed location (e.g. behind a coat rack, door, bookcase or other furniture).  
  5. Turn off unused equipment. Office computer monitors are an easy way to save on your business's energy bill as they use a lot of energy. Ensure that monitors are set on automatic sleep mode during non-working hours or are manually turned off when not in use. Screen savers do not reduce energy use by monitors.  
  6. Reduce paper usage. Paper and printing can be costly for your business. Print only when necessary and double-sided when you do. This will reduce paper waste and help cut the energy required to run your printer, which reduces your energy costs and may extend the life of your printer.  
  7. Install hand dryers. Install hand dryers instead of using paper towels. As paper towel dispensers need to be refilled, they are a constant, recurring cost and more expensive than automatic hand dryers in the long run. It’s also less mess. 
  8. Insulate your water heater. If your business's water heater is older than seven years, be sure to wrap it in insulation to retain water heat. Regardless of whether your water heater is old or new, insulate the first three feet of the heated water out pipe. 

By considering these steps, you may see changes in your energy bill. People often underestimate the little things they do at work, so promoting awareness about energy issues is important. Not only will you be lowering your energy bill, you’ll also be promoting a healthy environment within your own workplace. For more ideas on how to save energy in your business, visit sdge.com/business. 
Apply for the 2021 Arthur F. Butler, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County Foundation is proud to announce the application process for the 2021 Arthur F. Butler, Jr. Memorial Scholarship has opened. Please find the Application Criteria and Applicant Information sheet here. All completed applications must be emailed by Wednesday, March 31, 2021 by 4:00pm to be considered for an interview.
Apply for the 2021 Nancy Fazio Memorial Scholarship
The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County Foundation is proud to announce the application process for the 2021 Nancy Fazio Memorial Scholarship has opened. Please find the Application Criteria and Applicant Information sheet here. All completed applications must be emailed to me by Tuesday, March 30, 2021 by 4:00pm to be considered for an interview.
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