La Mesa Chamber News | December 15, 2021
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Your Weekly La Mesa Chamber News
In case you missed last week's e-blast: December 9 Eblast See more past email blasts here.
California Reintroduces Indoor Mask Mandates Announced on December 13th – Begins on Wednesday, December 15th and Will Remain in Place Until January 15, 2022
On Monday, December 13th the state announced that due to the sharp increases in COVID-19 infection rates since Thanksgiving, beginning Wednesday, December 15th mask-wearing will become mandatory in all indoor public settings across California regardless of vaccination status.

The state will also toughen the restriction for unvaccinated people who attend indoor “mega-events” of 1,000 people or more, requiring them to receive a negative COVID test within one day of the event if it’s a rapid antigen test or within two days for a PCR test. The current rules require a test within 72 hours of the event.

State officials will also recommend, but not require, that people who travel to California or return to the state after traveling be tested for COVID within three to five days.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the rule change is being prompted by what he called a 47% increase in COVID-19 case rates across the state since Thanksgiving. He said over that time, the statewide rate of daily new cases went from 9.6 per 100,000 residents to more than 14 per 100,000.

The state already technically requires mask-wearing for unvaccinated people at indoor public facilities, but the new rule will impact everyone regardless of vaccine status. Ghaly said roughly half of Californian’s population lives in counties that already have an indoor mask-wearing requirement in place. Among the indoor public spaces affected are retail stores, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers and government offices that serve the public.
The La Mesa Chamber and Community Members Join Forces and Bring “Joy” to Our Local Seniors
Several definitions of the word “joy” are – to rejoice, happiness, a glad feeling, pleasure, and delight. This year we took the “joy” of assisting our 24 homebound seniors to a new level. The outpouring of support from Chamber members and people from throughout the region was amazing! We received food, toiletries, and other items from La Mesa, San Diego, Santee, El Cajon, Jamul, and Spring Valley. To add to this “joyful” experience, we had several donors participate by crocheting blankets and shawls, and others made colorful homemade fleece blankets for our seniors. To complete this year’s “labor of love,” we were honored to receive beautiful handmade Christmas stockings from the Pioneers, a volunteer network of AT&T. These folks work tirelessly throughout the year making these stockings. They deliver them stuffed with items such as – shampoo, conditioner, scarves, socks and more. The Pioneers added a special bonus this year, an adorable stuffed bear that was attached to each stocking!
We are proud to announce the results of this year’s La Mesa Homebound Senior Project. A total of 3,361 items were donated and/or purchased for this year’s project. They were packed for delivery on December 10th into bags donated by: EDCO, Fully Promoted EmbroidMe La Mesa and Sycuan Casino Resort. Some of the totals by category were – non-perishable food items: vegetables, pasta, cereals, soups, sauces, beans, etc. – 1,170 cans or boxes, stationery/writing tablets, paper supplies and calendars – 429 tablets & paper products, toiletries: soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotions, etc. – 905 individual items, and blankets/home category – 612 misc. items. This year, we had over 145 gift cards and cash donations allocated to each senior by donors to include in baskets with their delivery. The Chamber assembled all the items into 96 bags/baskets that were decorated with a little holiday flair and ready to be taken to each home.
We are grateful to our sponsors/supporters that helped us put smiles on the faces of our homebound seniors this holiday season: AMR, Linda Bethel, Carl Burger Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM World, EDCO, Fully Promoted EmbroidMe La Mesa, Lily’s Manufactured Homes, Susan McDowell. PenChecks, Inc., Pete’s Place, Sungarden Terrace Retirement Community & Adult Daycare and Sycuan Casino Resort. They were joined by financial donations from Tracey Ferguson and Gloria Shepard, and Bruce and Kimberly McIntyre.

The generosity of the public and our members in supporting this project, is a testament to the love that we all share for our senior population. Our seniors do not ask for much and accept all they are given with a grateful heart. We thank everyone who participated in this year’s project.
Photos courtesy of Sandra Small/ Photographer and the LMPD.
Americans’ Pandemic-Era “Excess Savings” Are Dwindling for Many
Infusion of government cash that warded off an economic calamity have left millions of households with bigger bank balances than before the pandemic - savings that have driven a torrent of consumer spending, helped pay off debts and, at times, reduced the urgency of job hunts.

But many low-income Americans find their savings dwindling or even depleted. And for them, the economic recovery is looking less buoyant. Over the past 18 months or so, experts have been closely tracking the multitrillion-dollar increase in what economists’ call "excess savings," generally defined as the amount by which people’s cash reserves during the COVID-19 crisis exceeded what they would have normally saved.

In April 2020, after the pandemic’s outset, the nation’s personal saving rate-the percentage of overall disposable income that goes into savings each month jumped fourfold from its February 2020 level to 34 percent. Some of that spike in savings resulted from government checks of up to $1,200 sent to most Americans; some simply stemmed from reduced spending by firmly middle-class or affluent households during lockdown.

New research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, which assesses the bank accounts of 1.6 million families, found that low-income families experienced the “greatest percent gains” during each round of stimulus, yet also exhausted their balances faster. Those households had the thinnest financial buffer during the crisis. Households making $30,296 to $44,955 also made significant gains compared with 2019, yet typically had less than about $1,300 in cash on hand. In a silver lining, a report found that the cash balances of families with children appear to have been helped by the three rounds of monthly child tax credit payments that began in July, which provided up to $300 per child younger than 6 and up to $250 per child 6-17.

Millions of Americans could be buffeted by financial volatility again with little safeguard as new variants of the virus emerge. For some that reality has already begun.

Source: The San Diego Union Tribune –Talmon Joseph Smith.
Coronavirus in Fat Cells Poses Greater Risk
From the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus seemed to target people carrying extra pounds. Patients who were overweight or obese were more likely to develop severe COVID-19 and more likely to die.

Although these patients often have health conditions like diabetes that compound their risk, scientists have become increasingly convinced that their vulnerability has something to do with obesity itself. Now researchers have found that the coronavirus infects both fat cells and certain immune cells within the bodyfat, prompting a damaging defense response in the body.

Body fat used to be thought of as inert, a form of storage. But scientists now know that the tissue is biologically active, producing hormones and immune system proteins that act on other cells, promoting a state of nagging low-grade inflammation even when there is no infection. Inflammation is the body’s response to an invader, and sometimes it can be so vigorous that it is more harmful than the infection that triggered it.

The coronavirus appears to be able to evade the body fat’s immune defenses, which are limited and incapable of fighting it effectively. And in people who are obese, there can be a lot of body fat. A man whose ideal weight is 170 pounds but who weights 250 pounds is carrying a substantial amount of fat in which the virus may “hang out,” replicate and trigger a destructive immune system response, states Dr. David Kass, a professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins. The coronavirus “can infect that tissue and actually reside there,” he said. “Whether it hurts it, kills it or at best, it’s a place to amplify itself – it doesn’t matter. It becomes kind of a reservoir.” As the inflammatory response snowballs, it triggers even more inflammation and the release of additional cytokines. “It’s like a perfect storm,” Kass said.

Source: The San Diego Union Tribune - Roni Caryn Rabin
From Cali BBQ:
HOLIDAY 🎁 DEAL: Save $10 on $50 Gift Card

All December get $10 off a $50 Cali BBQ Gift Card purchase online.

Use Coupon Code — GCHOLIDAY — to get your savings at checkout.
From San Pasqual Winery: Holiday Special! $75 for a $100 San Pasqual Winery E-Gift Card!
Holiday Special!
Receive a $100 e-Gift Card for $75!

Offer Available Now Through December 25th!
Note: An email with the Gift Card Code will be sent to the email noted in the shipping section. If it is a surprise, put your email in the shipping section and gift at your leisure. If not, put the recipient's email in the shipping section. Only 1 gift certificate can be used at a time.
From Assemblymember Akilah Weber: Join Us for Our Winter Literacy Book Giveaway Event!
During the winter break from school, I believe it is important for our youth to continue to engage in academically stimulating activities. In fact, reading during the academic breaks ensures that information is not lost, and it also helps close the achievement gap. That is why this year, my office will be hosting an inaugural Winter Literacy Book Giveaway event on December 20, 2021!

From 1pm-3pm at the Encanto Boys and Girls Club, we will be giving away free books to youth aged pre-school through high school. We will also be giving away mentally stimulating items and have entertainment from SeaWorld’s Sesame Place.

Let’s keep our youth engaged by exercising their minds with free books! Masks and social distancing will be encouraged during this event.
From the County of San Diego Planning & Development Services: Helping Households Connect During the Pandemic
The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting, or by calling 833-511-0311.
From Teague Financial Insurance Services, Inc.: New Workers Compensation Laws for California
California State Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed numerous Assembly Bills (AB) into law related to workers’ compensation insurance that may impact your policy. Below please find the highlights along with links to the full Bills. All are effective immediately unless otherwise noted.

Assembly Bill Highlights

AB 654 – Expands the types of employers exempt from COVID-19 outbreak reporting requirements to various licensed entities such as community clinics, adult day health centers, and child daycare facilities. The Bill also clarifies that the time frame for employer notification of a COVID-19 outbreak to local public health departments is 48 hours or one business day, whichever is later.

AB 1511 – Effective Jan. 1, 2022, this Bill extends policy cancelation notification deadlines by 5 calendar days if a notice is mailed in CA, 10 days if mailed elsewhere in the U.S. and 20 days if mailed outside the U.S.

AB 1541 – Any bonds that provide funds for covered claim obligations for workers’ compensation claims must now be issued prior to Jan. 1, 2026. Previously the issued date was Jan. 1, 2023.

AB 701 – Requires warehouse employers to provide nonexempt employees with a written description of the quotas the employee is subject to, and potential actions that could occur if the quotas are not met. The Bill also sets parameters for establishing quotas and requires OSHA or the Division of Workers’ Compensation to report if a warehouse has an annual employee injury rate at least 1.5 times greater than the industry average.

AB 1506 – Relates to worker status of newspaper distributors and carriers, who are currently exempt from the ABC Test used under AB 5 to classify independent contractors. AB 1506 extends the exemption for newspaper distributors and carriers from Jan. 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2025.

AB 1561 – Also related to the ABC Test, this Bill extends the dates of the exemption from Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2025 for licensed manicurists and subcontractors in the construction industry.

AB 62 – This Bill prohibits an employer from paying its employees engaged in garment manufacturing on a piece rate basis and requires adherence to an hourly pay rate.

These summaries highlight only portions of the enacted Bills.

Many of the Bills include multiple facets and we encourage you to review the Bills in their entirety if they apply to your business. You can find more information in this Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California bulletin.

Teague Insurance |
County Updates for the Business Community for 12.14.21
Updated State Guidance: Masking, Mega Events and Travel Advisory

Beginning December 15, the following CDPH guidance will be in effect:

CDPH Face Coverings: Requirement for universal masking indoors statewide December 15, 2021, through January 15, 2022.

CDPH Beyond the Blueprint: Updated testing requirements for those who cannot provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status to require a negative COVID-19 test within 1 day for an antigen test and 2 days for a PCR test prior to entry into an event.

COVID-19 Booster Dose

Update - December 9, 2021: The Pfizer COVID-19 booster has been authorized for adolescents ages 16 and 17, at least 6 months after completing their primary vaccination series. Now everyone ages 16 and older who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago should get a booster dose.
Everyone 18 years and older who received their second Moderna dose at least six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago also should get a booster dose. 
Flu Vaccinations

Given that influenza cases typically rise over the holidays and the winter months, County health officials are encouraging San Diegans to get vaccinated now. The influenza vaccine is now available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, the County’s six Public Health Centers, and local community clinics. Learn more about the flu and find a vaccination site near you. 
Holiday Gift Assistance

With the holidays quickly approaching, gift assistance is available throughout San Diego County. Please confirm with each organization and/or location for event details, resources, and registration. (Flyer)
Free Christmas Meals

Christmas day meals are available in San Diego County! See the flyer for locations and times throughout the County. Please confirm event details and registration with each organization. 
Youth Leadership Team Recruitment

The Live Well San Diego Youth Sector is now recruiting for the next Youth Leadership Team! Youth can earn an hourly wage as a County employee while collaborating with peers, developing projects to engage youth, working with county mentors, and more. Please share this opportunity, learn more, and apply! Applications are due January 9, 2022.
December Mental Health First Aid Trainings

Mental Health America of San Diego County is hosting a series of Mental Health First Aid Trainings in person or virtually throughout December. Learn about risk factors, symptoms, and impacts of mental illness, along with a five-step plan to support someone in emotional crisis. Register for a training or call (619) 543-0412, to host a training at your location. 
From SDG&E: 10 Tips for Your Business to Save Energy This Winter
As we leave summer behind, there’s no better time than now to plan how you’ll save energy next summer. With our Demand Response Programs, your business can receive incentives for shifting energy use when it’s needed most. Here is some information about a few of our programs.
  1. Lower the temperature. Your business can keep comfortable without cranking up the heat. Adjust your thermostat by a few degrees to help reduce your energy bill. Don’t completely turn off your heat overnight though – you’ll use more energy to heat up the building again in the morning. 
  2. One of the easiest ways to save money is by controlling your thermostat. Smart thermostats can be adjusted remotely to run energy-efficient schedules. If you join SDG&E’s Smart Thermostat program, you’ll receive $50 per registered thermostat with a max of four thermostats for business and two for your home. Get details on
  3. Did you know ceiling fans help in the colder months too? Change the rotation of your fan blades to clockwise, which will pull warm air down and spread it throughout the room. 
  4. Open blinds and sunshades to allow sunlight to heat up the room, especially on south- or west-facing windows. Natural light can warm the space and reduce the need for lighting. When you need to turn on lights, save energy by using energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  5. In work areas that get little use, like storage and conference rooms, install sensors so lights will automatically go off when employees are working elsewhere.
  6. Make sure cold air isn’t drifting into your building by checking weather stripping on your doors and caulking on your windows and other areas that outside air can seep inside. This is especially important in older buildings. You can also put clear, inexpensive plastic sheeting on your windows to add more insulation and reduce cold drafts.
  7. Get a tune-up on your heater to ensure your system is operating efficiently. New, clean air filters can improve airflow and heating. SDG&E has instant in-store rebates up to $500 on the purchase of new, qualifying energy-efficient electric heat pump water heaters and gas water heaters. Learn more at
  8. Make sure your heating air intake and outlet grilles are not blocked by furniture or paper. Obstructed grilles put more of a burden on the system’s fans to move heated air through an office. Also, check your ductwork for air leaks or any damage to insulation.
  9. Check your HVAC filters monthly and clean it or replace it if it’s dirty. Keeping your HVAC system properly maintained can help save on heating costs. 
  10. Check if a door provides good insulation by placing your hand against it from the inside. If it feels cooler than the inside walls, it might be time to install a door that's better insulated. 

Visit for more helpful energy-saving tips.
Don't Forget to Apply for the Small Business Stimulus Grant
Small Business Stimulus Grant Funding is Available from the County of San Diego – We Are District 2

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

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

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

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce believes that assisting ALL businesses in their recovery from the pandemic and ability to obtain funds from the American Recovery Plan Act should be a priority. We are ALL in this together! Chamber Members and Non-Chamber members, effective immediately, may receive help from Mary England, President & CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce in filling out all paperwork and answering any questions you may have. Mary may be reached 7 days a week – 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
March 23, 2022 - "Spring Fling" Business Expo : 5-8pm at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego El Cajon | 141 N Magnolia Ave, El Cajon | Details

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

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

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

For local La Mesa news, visit

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