La Mesa Chamber News | June 1, 2021
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's email blast: May 27 Eblast
The Bash is Back!
The "Summer Bash" Business Expo Will Be Held on July 21st
Join us for a fun-filled evening and meet members of the business community and see what goods and services they offer and enter a chance to win Door Prizes from each business vendor. We have not been able to hold this annual Business Expo since 2019, so we are eager to offer this opportunity to our businesses and the public. To celebrate our ability to “get together again” tickets are only $10 a piece and we have a new venue, our Chamber Member hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon. We will use the ballroom and the outdoor courtyard! As in the past all vendor space will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

We have an ADDED BONUS this year: All vendor tables reserved and paid for by June 28th will be entered into an “Early Bird” raffle for a gift basket valued at $200 - that includes gift cards and more!
Wednesday, July 21st 

Location: Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon
141 N. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00p.m.

Tickets: $10 per person

Note: This is a 21-year or older event.

Sponsorships are available – Call Mary England 619-251-7730 or

For details, visit
“Next Door Craft Beer and Wine Bar” Knows How to Throw a Party!
The May 26th Ribbon Cutting & Mixer - Rocked!
Driving up to Next Door Craft Beer and Wine Bar, located at 7235 El Cajon Blvd. you saw the bouquets of balloons flying in the wind and you knew you had arrived. You were greeted by Chamber volunteers, Sandy Eggleton and Rachel, who welcomed you and provided an opportunity to enter the evening raffle. You immediately entered the bar and saw the food station laden with cheeses and other delectable food items to tempt your palate. You could hear the sounds of jazz music being played on the patio and hear the laughter of people enjoying themselves, while sipping delicious beverages.
The crowd were congratulating owners Arturo Alarid, Juan Alarid and Linda Baltodano for being a part of the local business community and the La Mesa Chamber; while learning about the various craft beer and wine selections that were available. The occasion was joyous and fun-filled as people were connecting with folks, they had not been able to see throughout the pandemic. The room was full of laughter and smiling faces. Marvin Sears, owner of Studio M.I.F. was capturing the evening on video, while Sandy Small and Yvette Zehner were snapping photos. The ribbon cutting was a lively affair and was enhanced by Supervisor Joel Anderson’s representative, Eileen Henot who presented Arturo, Juan and Linda with a certificate of appreciation for opening a business in La Mesa. They were also presented a certificate of appreciation from La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis, Senator Brian Jones and the Chamber of Commerce, by La Mesa Chamber President & CEO, Mary England. A good time was had by all! We encourage you to stop by the Next Door Craft Beer and Wine Bar at 7235 El Cajon Blvd. and try any of the 52 selections of wines that they pour, any of the top-notch selections of craft beers, sample some of the cheese plates, sandwiches, salads and other items they serve while you relax and unwind after a busy day.
Don’t Miss Out on Meeting I-Que BBQ on Thursday, June 3rd
We remind you to join us and welcome I-Que BBQ to our Chamber and meet the owners, Tyron Hopkins and Noemi Preciado who are excited to embark on this new venture. They are both retired educators and worked together and did BBQ catering. They have opened their restaurant at 8733 Broadway in La Mesa and enjoy serving customers their savory, mesquite smoked meats that originated in Atlanta. The event is FREE to Chamber Members and $5.00 per person for guests. Bring your business cards and mix and mingle while tasting some great BBQ and other selections from the menu that are served. The desserts may be hard to stay away from too!
Thursday, June 3rd

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
“Official" Ribbon cutting at 6:00 p.m.

Location: I-Que BBQ at 8733 Broadway, La Mesa
(In the IHOP shopping center)

Cost: FREE to members - $5 for guests
NOTE: We recommend those that are feeling ill, or who have been exposed to someone ill – please stay home.
Join Us for a Mixer and Ribbon Cutting on July 15th at TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown
Join us and welcome TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown to our Chamber and meet Rachel Lynch, Director of Sales, as she hosts tours and shows us this beautiful new hotel. This unique hotel offers extended stays near the Gaslamp Quarter and Balboa Park. The downtown suites feature an urban-inspired fitness center, kitchen or kitchenettes, microwave and stovetop in kitchens and rooms with two queen beds, a single king bed, or King Suite with an extra sofa bed. For our evening mixer and ribbon cutting guest will receive complimentary parking in the lot next door, great hors d’ oeuvres, a complimentary champagne toast, ”happy hour” priced beverages, and raffles and prizes throughout the evening. Bring your business cards and mix and mingle.
Thursday, July 15th

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Ribbon cutting at 6:15 p.m.

Location: TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown
1445 Sixth Street, San Diego
Complimentary Parking in the lot next door!

Cost: FREE to members - $5 for guests
Business News Updates
Coronavirus Numbers Dip to New Lows
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across San Diego County dipped below 100 for the first time in more than a year in the county tracking report on May 25th. This is the first time the region’s total number of hospitalizations have been in two digits since they began to be tracked on April 1, 2020. The region’s total number of residents who have received at least one coronavirus vaccine topped 1.9 million on that date, slowly closing in on a herd immunity goal of 2.1 million. Dr. Rodney Hood, a well-known Southeast San Diego general practitioner and member of the governor’s vaccine safety review work group, said he is particularly proud of how the local vaccination effort has worked to embrace disadvantaged communities. Source - The San Diego Union Tribune - Paul Sisson; Photo: Associated Press.
Retail Shelves Cleaned Out by Strong Demand
Big retail chains such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Best Buy Co. say they are rushing to have enough goods to sell in their stores this year; amid surging demand from American consumers for products from fitness equipment to televisions. The situation is a sharp turn from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago, when many retail executives worried if whether shoppers would ever return to their stores. Companies shifted to e-commerce and added curbside services. But, this spring, as vaccines roll out, households get stimulus funds and restrictions are lifted, people are shopping in stores again. The spending is adding to inventory challenges and teams are dealing with a range of in-demand items, that place a strain on supply chains. Dick’s reported sales in the quarter ending May 1 more than doubled from a year ago when stores temporarily closed and jumped from 52% from the same period in 2019.

Total U.S. spending at stores, restaurants and online jumped 10.7% to $620 billion in March from February 2021 and stayed at that level in April, according to Commerce Department data. That means Americans spent more than $100 billion extra each month compared with March, and April 2019, when the U.S. economy was booming, and unemployment was near historic lows. Supply chains have been strained by the pandemic, shortages of shipping containers and delays at California ports that handle cargo from Asia are also a challenge. Freight costs have been rising, and trucking companies are looking for drivers to meet the demand.  Inventory constraints have resulted in fewer discounts and a leaner inventory at companies. There were 35% fewer items on sale in the first quarter, compared with the same period a year ago, while inventory was on average 4% lower than a year ago for some companies. Some chains say they are buying less on purpose. Lesson learned from COVID-19 was the balance between supply and demand and that companies can have a strong profitable business with less inventory. Source - The Wall Street Journal – Micah Maidenberg. Photo: Seth Wenig / Associated Press.
State’s $116.5M Shot at Vaccination Boost
In the latest and most audacious effort yet to boost California’s COVID-19 vaccination rates, state officials on May 27th announced what appears to be the largest inoculation incentive in the nation; the chance for 10 residents to win $1.5 million apiece.

Those prizes – along with 30 additional awards of $50,000 each – are open to Californians who have gotten at least one dose. Those who have previously received their shots will be entered into the drawings automatically, and there is no need to register according to the state officials. The Governor stated that these are real incentives to say thank you to those not only seeking to get vaccinated as we move forward, but those that have been vaccinated since we first began.

The grand prize recipients will be chosen June 15, the date the state is set to fully reopen its economy. The $50,000 winners will be selected in two batches, half on June 4 and the rest on June 11. Should someone under 18 win, the prize will be put in a savings account until they come of age.

Additionally, starting now, the next 2 million people who begin and finish their COVID-19 vaccine series will automatically be eligible for either a $50 prepaid gift card or a $50 grocery card that can be used at supermarkets such as Ralph’s, Food 4 Less, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Safeway and Andronico’s.

Prospective winners can decline the award, or they can accept and remain anonymous, though they are permitted to make their award public, Newson said. All California residents are eligible, regardless of immigration status, with some exceptions, such as people who are incarcerated and some government employees, including workers for public health departments and the California State Lottery.

Officials peg the total size of California’s incentive program, officially dubbed “Vax for the Win,” at $116.5 million. The cash for the vaccination incentive program will come from California’s general fund. State tax revenues are projected to exceed earlier estimates by more than $75 billion by next summer, allowing the governor and lawmakers to fund a variety if programs. Newsom intends to tap into money set aside for pandemic disaster relief and later replenish that account with a portion of the state’s $27 billion share of federal COVID-9 relief funds. Vaccine lottery programs have also been set up in Maryland and Oregon, and some New York vaccine sites are offering free state lottery scratch-off tickets with a grand prize of $5 million to adults who get their first dose of a vaccine, as well as free state park passes. Source – The San Diego Union Tribune – Luke Money & Rong-Gong Lin II.
 Want to Host a Vaccination Event?
The County of San Diego is working with organizations businesses to host a vaccination event. If you or your business associates would like to host a vaccination event - Register here and fill out the Host an Event form.

For vaccine-related materials, visit COVID-19 Vaccine Educational Materials.
La Mesa to Host Virtual Flag Day Parade
The La Mesa Flag Day Parade will not be held again this year but the annual tradition will be brought to life through a new online event. For this year’s salute to “Old Glory”, a two-week long virtual event will run from Monday, May 31 through June 14, 2021. The first 100 households to sign up to participate will receive a take-home kit with activities, themed accessories and a guide to participating in tasks to complete their Flag Day Virtual Parade bingo card. Completed cards can be submitted for an opportunity to win great summer prizes.

Sponsorship opportunities for La Mesa businesses are available and will be recognized in both printed and digital materials. Businesses are also encouraged to include a themed special or deal for the two-week event to encourage community members to get out and support local merchants. All donations go into an endowment fund to help with costs for future parades.

For more information or to register for your take-home kit, contact or visit the City website at
Caltrans Update: I-8/SR-67 Full Weekend Closures Planned for June 11 and June 18
Weekend detours may cause traffic delays for El Cajon Drivers
Crews have started bridge repairs at Interstate 8 (I-8)/State Route 67 (SR-67) requiring two full weekend closures from Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m., on June 11 and June 18, according to Caltrans. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and to prepare for delays by allowing additional travel time to reach their destinations.

Ongoing lane closures on both directions of I-8 from .5 miles west of Ballantyne Street to just east of Ballantyne Street will continue Sunday through Thursday at 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The following closures and detours will take place Friday, June 11 at 9 p.m. through Monday, June 14 at 5 a.m.:
  • Highway closure—All lanes of eastbound I-8 from .5 miles west of Ballantyne Street to just east of Ballantyne Street: Detour eastbound I-8 to northbound SR-125, to eastbound SR-52, to southbound SR-67, to eastbound I-8.
  • Connector closure—Northbound SR-125 connector to eastbound I-8: Detour northbound SR-125 to eastbound SR-52, to southbound SR-67, to eastbound I-8
  • Connector closure—Eastbound I-8 connector to northbound SR-67/Broadway Avenue: Detour eastbound I-8 to northbound SR-67, exit onto Bradley Avenue east to Mollison Avenue South to Broadway Avenue west.  
  • Connector closure—Westbound I-8 connector to southbound SR-67/Magnolia Avenue: Detour westbound I-8 to Main Street east, to Magnolia Avenue.
  • Ramp closure—Eastbound I-8 off-ramp to southbound Magnolia Avenue: Detour eastbound I-8 to north SR-67, exit onto Bradley Avenue east to Mollison Avenue south, to westbound I-8 to Magnolia Avenue.
Through traffic between Magnolia Avenue and State Route 67 will remain open during both weekend closures.

Closures and detours will continue Friday, June 18 at 9 p.m. through Monday, June 21 at 5 a.m. as follows:

  • Highway closure—All lanes of westbound I-8 from .5 miles west of Ballantyne Street to just east of Ballantyne Street: Detour westbound I-8 to northbound SR-67, to westbound SR-52, to southbound SR-125, to westbound I-8.
  • Connector closure—Northbound SR-67/Magnolia Avenue connector to westbound I-8: Detour northbound SR-SR-67 and exit onto Bradley Avenue west, to southbound SR-67, to westbound I-8
  • Connector closure—Southbound SR-67 connector to eastbound I-8: Detour southbound SR-67 to westbound I-8, to Main Street east to eastbound I-8.
  • Ramp closure—Mollison Avenue on-ramp to westbound I-8: Detour north on Mollison Avenue to Broadway west to westbound I-8. 

A detour map will be provided before the closure dates.

Caltrans began bridge deck repairs at I-8/SR-67 in mid-May with nighttime lane reductions on I-8 from .5 miles west of Ballantyne Street to just east of Ballantyne Street. Crews are working weeknights and weekends to expedite completion set for mid-August.

Caltrans thanks community members for their patience during this necessary bridge work. Please drive with caution during construction activities and Be Work Zone Alert!

The construction schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions, traffic incidents, or construction related reasons.

Follow @SDCaltrans on Twitter at and like Caltrans District 11 on Facebook at for news related to state transportation in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Construction During COVID-19 Pandemic: Caltrans District 11 offices will be closed to in person business and are providing service remotely. Public works construction is deemed essential and our partners, contractors, and workers are following U.S. Center for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health guidelines at all construction sites. For more information about COVID-19, visit:
From SANDAG: The draft 2021 Regional Plan is here!
A milestone meeting and now it's your turn! 

The draft 2021 Regional Plan is now available for public comment through July 30, 2021! Earlier today, the SANDAG Board of Directors met for an overview of key milestones that led to the development of the draft 2021 Regional Plan. Watch the video below to catch up on today’s meeting:
Share your input on the draft 2021 Regional Plan  

SANDAG will be hosting a series of virtual public open houses and hearings throughout June and July to share information about the draft 2021 Regional Plan and ensure everyone has an opportunity to provide their comments. Below is a list of ways to submit comments as well as dates of upcoming virtual events. Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available. We hope to see you there!
Mark your calendar
  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021  
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Thursday, June 24, 2021
  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021
  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Friday, July 16 at the SANDAG Transportation Committee meeting
Friday, July 23 at the SANDAG Board of Directors meeting
Submit comments on the draft plan through July 30, 2021:
  • Online: (English | Español)
  • Email:
  • Phone: 619.699.1934, toll free 877.277.5736 and TTY 619.699.1904
  • Fax: 619.699.1995
  • Mail: Attention 2021 Regional Plan, SANDAG, 401 B Street, Suite 800, San Diego CA, 92101
For more information, visit
All Aboard for Home Grown Fun! 🚊

North County Transit District’s FUN Tripper saves you money and time!

For only $12, you'll receive a round-trip ride on NCTD’s COASTER, SPRINTER or BREEZE, plus admission to HOME•GROWN•FUN.

Let NCTD do the driving, skip the hassle of parking and get delivered right to our convenient west entrance!

We won't keep you waiting!

NCTD will offer the special BREEZE Route 408 to take event-goers directly from the Escondido Transit Center to the Solana Beach Station, and then to the west entrance of HOME•GROWN•FUN. Buses leave every 30 minutes.

Check out the full NCTD schedule online to plan your ride.

HOME•GROWN gardeners will delight in the Garden Walk, a nod to the beloved Fair tradition of building grand landscape displays.

San Diego Garden Railway Society engineers have dusted off their tracks and put their engines in motion to tour our region's leading agricultural commodities. Don't be fooled by the scale of this exhibit, complete with giant garden creatures!
Looking to make some extra bucks? It's not too late to get a summer job. We're looking for parking and ticketing attendants, security guards, traffic controllers, and operational support.

Come be part of the team that creates summer fun for San Diego!
FREE Virtual Home Fire Education Sessions to Keep You Safe Presented by the American Red Cross
The Chamber encourages you to sign up NOW for your personalized session!
The American Red Cross is offering to educate our community virtually on safety and how to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Did you know that home fires are the most common emergency across the country? Each year the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters, the vast majority are home fires. Home fires claim SEVEN lives every day!

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

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

The Chamber encourages you to sign up and schedule your personalized Free Home Fire Education session NOW. Together, we can stop home fire deaths and injuries!
La Mesa Chamber Calendar
June 3 - I-Que BBQ Evening Mixer and Ribbon Cutting : 5:30-7pm at 8733 Broadway, La Mesa | Details/RSVP

July 15 - TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown Evening Mixer and Ribbon Cutting : 5:30-7pm at 1445 Sixth St., San Diego | Details/RSVP

July 21 - "Summer Bash" Business Expo : 5-8pm at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon | Details/RSVP

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

Not only do we provide members a physical plaque to display at their place of business, we also provide a way to further brand your business by providing a Virtual Plaque to display right on your website. Membership in a chamber of commerce has come to signify corporate citizenship and excellence, and your website is your storefront to the consumer and the world. Just place it on your website with a link back to or to your personal business page in our directory.
Special Thank You to Our Premium Members
Diamond Member
Grossmont Center
At Grossmont Center, you’ll be reminded why our center has thrived since 1961 because it’s where friendships are made, family bonds are strengthened and memories are created.
5500 Grossmont Center Dr. #213 in La Mesa
(619) 465-2900 |
Platinum Members
Boston Beer Company
Edible Arrangements
Local Umbrella Media
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
Major Security Services
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