La Mesa Chamber News | March 25, 2022
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's e-blast: March 11 Eblast See more past email blasts here.
 “Spring Fling - Business Expo” Hits a Home Run!
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to know that if you attended the March 23rd "Spring Fling” Business Expo that you were networking with our finest business “team.” All our vendors, “suited up” with their best as they decorated their tables, put their marketing information out and were ready for the “game” to begin at 5:00 p.m. 36 business vendors were ready and waiting and happy to meet the guests as they arrived, A total of 38 free door prizes were given away that night. As you entered the room, the chatter and laughter were an obvious factor in the high energy of the evening. The microphone was “hot” most of the time with various announcements being made and business leaders constantly giving away their door prizes.
A LOUD round of applause to the following businesses who joined us and took a display table and shared in our evening:

AAA Imaging ∙ Amanda Hammett Insurance & Financial Services – State Farm ∙ East County Art Association ∙ East County Magazine ∙ Express Blinds & More ∙ Fully Promoted EmbroidMe La Mesa ∙ HNK CPAs ∙ JM Medicare Services ∙ Kristie Facto State Farm Insurance ∙ La Mesa Floral Design Shoppe ∙ La Mesa Courier ∙ La Mesa Flooring Company ∙ La Mesa Lions Club ∙ La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation ∙ Lamplighters Community Theatre ∙  LASHBAR La Mesa ∙ Local Umbrella Media ∙ Major Security Services ∙ Masterpiece Limousine ∙ Mattress Makers ∙ McGovern Law Group ∙ Nightwalker Caverns Escape Room Adventures ∙ Oakwood Escrow ∙ PaymentCloud ∙ Reventia Sterling Designs ∙ San Diego Community Power ∙ San Diego Eye Professionals ∙ San Diego Flood Restoration ∙ Spa Piel ∙ St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center ∙ Sungarden Terrace Retirement Community & Adult Daycare ∙ The Montera Senior Living ∙ The Upper Hand Spa Salon ∙ Thoughtful Creations ∙ Union Bank ∙ Westmont of La Mesa
A great sampling of food selections for the night were available and we thank the following for being a part of our winning evening:

Brew Coffee Spot ∙ Edible Arrangements ∙ La Mesa Dream Dinners ∙ Little Roma ∙ Los Pinos Taco Shop ∙ Marie Callender’s ∙ Moore Confections ∙ Nonno’s Ristorante Italiano ∙ Twylla’s Spices and Essentials

A special thank you to our evening sponsors who were our “ultimate players”:

Presenting Sponsor: Union Bank, Premier Sponsor: Kirk Paving, Inc., Venue Partner: Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon, Supporting Sponsors: AAA Imaging, Amanda Hammett Insurance & Financial Services – State Farm, American Medical Response (AMR), Carl Burger Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM World, Sungarden Terrace Retirement Community & Adult Daycare, Westmont of La Mesa, Graphic Designer: Kostedt Design & Marketing, Photographers: and Sandra Small/ Photographer, and Water Sponsor: Sycuan Casino Resort.

Photos courtesy of Sandra Small/ Photographer. MORE photos to come! View the full album and check back for more here.
La Mesa Chamber Evening Mixer Hosted by Grossmont Center and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse
Join us and mix and mingle, while enjoying great food prepared by the BJ's staff and see why this restaurant is so popular! Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and a “no host” bar will be offered where you may purchase a great variety of BJ’s award-winning brews on tap.

Bring your business cards and join us for great food, beer, raffles and more!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Time: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa

Don’t be left out – RSVP now so we know you will be joining us and prepare enough refreshments.
Save the Date - Join Us and Welcome New Member Oakwood Escrow
The La Mesa Chamber invites you to join them in welcoming Oakwood Escrow to our business community on Wednesday, April 27th. The open house begins at 5 p.m., with the “official” ribbon cutting scheduled for 6 p.m. Join us and meet owner, Haley Kremensky and her team at Oakwood Escrow located at 8697 La Mesa Blvd., Ste. D in La Mesa. Refreshments and delicious beverages will be served. Haley and looks forward to meeting you. RSVP online or to: so Haley can prepare enough refreshments for you.
Welcome to Our New Chamber Members!
Silvergate Shipping Inc.

We believe every customer's shipping needs are unique, and requires special care and handling. As a Freight Service Provider we handle each important shipment as if it were our own.

(619) 518-5225 |
Lifepoint Church

Lifepoint Church is a church start up that launched in 2012. We began at a building on Lake Murray Blvd. then moved to Maryland Ave Elementary and have been at the end of the Village in downtown.

8111 Orange Ave., La Mesa | (619) 518-2383 |
EDCO’s Commercial Food Waste Recycling
Please take a look at this informative video that EDCO has shared to learn about this new program. We thank Council Woman Laura Lothian for sending this to us. If you have a business within the food industry this is important information for you.
Governor Newsom Proposes $11 Billion Relief Package for Californians Facing Higher Gas Prices
Registered vehicle owners in California will be eligible for at least $400 per vehicle, totaling $9 billion in direct payments to millions of Californians
$2 billion in relief for free public transportation for three months, pausing a portion of the sales tax rate on diesel, and suspending the inflationary adjustment on gas and diesel excise tax
$500 million to support active transportation programs, like walking and biking projects
Fast-tracking $1.75 billion of the Governor’s historic $10 billion ZEV package to get more Californians into clean vehicles faster, build charging stations

[On March 23], as oil and gas companies continue to rake in record profits, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the details of his proposal to deliver $11 billion in relief to Californians facing record-high gas prices.
“We’re taking immediate action to get money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Governor Newsom. “But this package is also focused on protecting people from volatile gas prices, and advancing clean transportation – providing three months of free public transportation, fast-tracking electric vehicle incentives and charging stations, and new funding for local biking and walking projects.”
The Governor’s proposal calls for $9 billion in tax refunds to Californians in the form of $400 direct payments per vehicle, capped at two vehicles. This package also provides $2 billion in broader relief including:

  • $750 million in incentive grants to transit and rail agencies to provide free transit for Californians for 3 months. As a result, roughly 3 million Californians per day who take the bus, subway, or light rail won’t have to pay a fare every time they ride.
  • Up to $600 million to pause a part of the sales tax rate on diesel for one year.
  • $523 million to pause the inflationary adjustment to gas and diesel excise tax rates.

The package also calls for $500 million in active transportation for projects that promote biking and walking throughout the state. Additionally, this proposal fast-tracks a $1.75 billion portion of the Governor’s historic $10 billion ZEV package to further reduce the state’s dependence on oil and save Californians money, including the investments in more ZEV passenger vehicles and building more charging infrastructure throughout the state – especially in low-income communities.
The tax refund will take the form of $400 debit cards for registered vehicle owners, and individuals will be eligible to receive up to two payments. An average California driver spends approximately $300 in gasoline excise tax over a year.
The proposal provides up to two $400 rebates per vehicle, for owners to support families with more than one vehicle in use. Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records, in order to include seniors who receive Social Security Disability income and low-income non-tax filers. The Governor’s proposal does not have an income cap in order to include all Californians who are facing higher prices due to the cost of oil.
The Newsom administration will meet with the Legislature to negotiate the details of the proposal in the coming days. Once approved through the Legislature, the first payments could begin as soon as July.
Governor Newsom has allocated billions of dollars in direct relief to Californians over the past two years, including $12 billion in direct checks through the Golden State Stimulus, $5.2 billion in rent relief, and $2 billion in utility relief. Since 2019, the Administration and Legislature have added significant expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit, including expanding the credit to taxpayers with ITINs, expanding the credit to every Californian working full time at minimum wage, and adding the Young Child Tax Credit. Additionally, the Governor’s historic $37.6 billion climate package provides the resources needed to forge an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.
From Assemblymember Dr. Weber: Nonprofit of the Year Nominations and Community Conversations with La Mesa Residents
Please join me in partnership with La Mesa Conversations on Sunday, April 3, 2022 from 3-4pm for a Legislative Update and a chance to share your priorities for the City of La Mesa. We will meet at La Mesita Park located at 8855 Dallas Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket for comfortable seating!
COVID-19 Emergency Rental Relief Program Ending
Program Ends on March 31
Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2022, to pay unpaid rent and/or utilities owed up to March 31, 2022. Once an application has been successfully processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified of the next steps. Please note that awards are subject to funding availability.

In San Diego County, multiple jurisdictions administer the rental relief programs depending on where you live. Residents of the City of San Diego and residents of the City of Chula Vista have their own separate program and application process. All other residents in the region can apply to the program administered by the County of San Diego. Specifically, the County administers the rental relief program for the following areas: the unincorporated areas of San Diego and the cities of: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista.

For more information on the San Diego County Emergency Rental Assistance Programs and jurisdictions, please visit:

To check on the status of your application, please visit your applicant portal for more information.
2022 La Mesa Earth Day Fair -
April 9
Join the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation in partnership with the City of La Mesa to celebrate a FREE family-friendly Earth Day Fair on Saturday, April 9 from 10 AM to 1 PM at MacArthur Park, 4900 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, CA.

The event welcomes all ages and will showcase fun, educational, and sustainable activities, products, and services.
Legislative Leaders Issue Statement on Extension of Rent Relief Legislation
Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement about AB 2179, legislation that would extend eviction protections through June 30 for Californians who are participating in rental assistance programs.

“We need to protect eligible renters who have applied for relief funds, but haven’t received them yet, or who will apply before the March 31 deadline. We made a commitment to those who are in line and they shouldn’t be harmed because of how long the process is taking. That’s why AB 2179 will receive quick action in both the Assembly and Senate.”

The bill will first be heard in the Assembly on Monday, March 28.
From Live Well San Diego - Business Sector: Updates for the Business Community 3.23.22
Topics include:

  • DWC Announces Return to In-Person Hearings
  • Microenterprise Program 
  • Webinar: 30 Minute Policy Brief
  • Webinar: Instagram and TikTok Strategy
  • COVID-19 Data Reporting Tools
  • COVID-19 Test to Treat Program
  • Hunger Free Navigator Training
  • Request for Proposals - Technology for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Tribal Leaders Summit
  • And more.
America Works Initiative Survey - Share Workforce Challenges
We have been asked to share the opportunity to have our members and friends take a survey and share information about the challenges faced by employers across the nation. The survey can be found here.

Please complete this brief survey by clicking here. It should take less than 3 minutes to complete. We ask that you please complete the survey by Monday, March 28, 2022.

America Works Initiative Survey - As a part of the America Works Initiative, we are launching a program specifically focused on helping our Chamber Federation members tackle the workforce shortage issue in your states and communities. Therefore, to better quantify and understand the workforce challenges facing employers locally and across the nation, we would like to partner with you to conduct a quick survey about labor force conditions.
From the City of La Mesa: March 2022 | Monthly La Mesa Economic Development eNewsletter
How to do Business with the City of La Mesa

Do you want to learn how to do business with the City of La Mesa? Please plan to attend our first virtual Lunch & Learn on Thursday, April 14, 2022 from Noon - 1 p.m.

Meeting ID: 867 3209 4696
Passcode: 312627

You will hear from La Mesa's Purchasing Officer, learn about the vendor requirements, and get your questions answered. Small businesses are encouraged to join the discussion. Free to attend. No registration required.

For more information on becoming a vendor, please visit

If you have any questions, please email or call (619) 667-1191.
SWOT Analysis

As we spring forward, now is a good time to evaluate your small business practices and get back to the basics.

One method of evaluation is to perform an annual analysis of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT).

For your SWOT analysis, consider the following:
  • The skills and services you offer that no one else does.
  • The skills and services your competitors offer but you don't offer.
  • Opportunities the market offers that can be leveraged by your business.
  • Market conditions and dangers which can threaten the goals of your business.

For more information on conducting a SWOT Analysis, click here.
Federal Resources for Small Businesses

The Federal Government has made a strong commitment to the recovery of small businesses across the nation, including:

To learn more about Federal resources for small businesses, please click here.
State Resources for Small Businesses & Start Ups

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has developed a new incentive guide for businesses to identify relevant state funding resources for recovery and success. For more information on the California Business Comeback Guide, click here.

For more state resources for small businesses & start ups, please click here.
From DA Stephens: News from the DA's Office
DA Proposes Plan to Address Intersection of Homelessness and Crime

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan released new data about the intersection of crime and the county’s homeless population and is proposing a Three-Point Plan to address it.

Two years of District Attorney data shows that individuals who are experiencing homelessness become involved with the justice system as victims and perpetrators at dramatically higher rates than the rest of the population. Read more.
SB 1042 Elevates Human Trafficking to More Serious Crimes

Under current California law, human trafficking is defined as a “non-serious” and “non-violent” crime, falling into the same category as other low-level felony crimes such as vandalism, theft and drug sales. Senate Bill 1042, which the DA's Office supports, would change that. Read more.
Did you know that boys make up as much as 50% of human trafficking victims?

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and Health and Human Services Director Nick Macchione announced a new outreach campaign aimed to raising awareness about boys who become victims of human trafficking.

San Diego is one of the country’s hotspots for trafficking – the FBI has ranked San Diego as one of the 13 worst regions in the United States with up to 8,000 victims per year. Sex trafficking isn’t always obvious. We commonly identify girls and women as victims of trafficking; however, boys are regularly targeted.

  • As high as 50% of trafficked children in the US are boys.
  • The average age of entry into sexual trafficking for boys is between 11-13 years old.
  • Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are 7.4x more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.

$150,000 in Cal Coast Cares Foundation Student Scholarships Available – Application Period Extended
The Cal Coast Cares Foundation has announced that over $150,000 in student scholarships will be awarded this year to support college-bound high school seniors, current or former foster students and current college students in San Diego or Riverside Counties. The application period is open and the submission deadline has been extended through April 15.

The non-profit foundation will award a $2,000 student scholarship to selected recipients who have a goal of pursuing higher education, have proven dedication to academic excellence and community leadership, and meet the application criteria. To view the requirements and to apply, visit: Recipients of first-year foster student scholarships are eligible for second-year scholarships as long as they meet certain minimum academic requirements.

“Cal Coast has supported education since the beginning, in large part because our founders were educators. We understand that the rising costs of supplies, textbooks, and tuition can be a hurdle for some students looking forward to continuing their education at an accredited college or university. By giving back through student scholarships, we are honored to make a difference in the lives of so many deserving students in the region,” said Nickie Behdin, manager - foundation & school partnerships.
Established in 2015, the Cal Coast Cares Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides scholarship opportunities for local students and grants for educators. You can help students and teachers by donating to the Cal Coast Cares Foundation here:
From Trilogy Health: Give yourself a "Lift"
Dr. Ellyn Levine | Trilogy Health | 5290 Baltimore Dr., La Mesa | | (619) 567-6914
City of La Mesa Programs - Spring Session 2 Classes & Programs Start April 4!
Register online at

Classes and programs start April 4, 2022!

For more information, please contact La Mesa Community Services at 619.667.1300
From SDG&E: Need Help With Your Energy Bill?
SDG&E recognizes that this is still a challenging time for many customers and wants to help. Check out these energy assistance programs.

  1. California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program: Save 30% or more every month on your bill. Find out if you qualify at  
  2. Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program: If you don’t qualify for CARE and your household has 3 or more people, you may qualify for FERA. You could receive an 18% discount on your electric bill. Visit to learn more.  
  3. Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program: You may qualify to receive free energy-saving improvements for your home, such as new appliances, lighting, insulation and more. Find details at  
  4. Arrearage Management Plan (AMP): If you have outstanding bills and you are a CARE or FERA customer, you may be eligible for debt forgiveness. See if you qualify at
  5. Business customers: Set up a flexible payment plan, so you can rest easy knowing you’re covered. Visit to learn more. 

Online assistance program applications are easy, fast and convenient. For more information, visit
A Grant Program for Small Businesses Available
The California Office of the Small Business Advocate has awarded $4,175,000 in funding to the County of San Diego for the Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. This program will provide grants of $2,500 to County of San Diego microbusiness owners who were in operation in 2019, still in operation, and were impacted by the COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Who Can Apply?

Some of the highlights are below:
  • Self-employed workers, independent contractors, sole proprietors and corporations with no more than 5 employees in 2019.
  • Currently have no more than 5 employees
  • Gross revenue under $50,000 (as reported for 2019)
  • In operation before December 1, 2019 and still in operation in 2022
  • Demonstrated decline in revenue or service demand due to COVID-19 in 2020 or 2021 as compared to 2019
  • Operating within the County of San Diego

We suggest that you go to the website to review ALL of the particulars of this funding.
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 4

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.

Chambers have been asked 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 – 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 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
April 6 - Evening Mixer Hosted by Grossmont Center and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse : 5:30-7pm at 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa | Details/RSVP

April 27 - Oakwood Escrow Ribbon Cutting - 5pm at 8697 La Mesa Blvd., Ste. D in La Mesa | Details/RSVP

FEATURED EVENT! July 18 - "Taste of San Diego - East" : 5-8pm at Town and Country San Diego | 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley | Details/Buy Tickets

FEATURED EVENT! August 18 - "Summer Bash" Business Expo : 5-8pm at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon | 141 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon | Details/Buy Tickets

September 15 - Joint Mixer with La Mesa and Santee Chambers : 5-7pm at Lantern Crest Senior Living | 300 Lantern Crest Way, Santee, CA 92071 | Details/RSVP

October 19 - Salute to Local Heroes & Installation Dinner : 5:30-8:45pm at Sycuan Casino Resort | 5485 Casino Way, 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

For East County news, 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:
Cush Plaza La Mesa
Cush Plaza La Mesa
Commercial Real Estate
5565 Grossmont Center Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
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