A Weekly Message to Member Businesses
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To our members:

Downtown San Jose has taken on global status as a hub of anime culture (short for “animation”) and to most people it means specifically Japanese animation.  San Jose hosted FanimeCon in May, will host SiliCon with Adam Savage later this month (Aug. 27-28) and this weekend the Crunchyroll Expo rolls into town.

Sponsored by Crunchyroll, which is a U.S.-based on-demand streaming service of Japanese anime, the Crunchyroll is self-described as the "hypest event in anime."

Over the weekend, the Sunday Chronicle Datebook ranked San Jose's specialty in anime conventions alongside the Winchester Mystery House and La Vic's world-renowned Orange Sauce.

Event organizer Mary Franklin, who has loads of experience overseeing Star Wars fan events for Lucasfilm, said San Jose has become an anime mecca for three reasons:  1) proximity to three airports; 2) a top-notch convention center staff; and 3) and a manageable downtown full of hotels, restaurants and other places to gather and meet.

How about that?

The front page of August edition of Downtown Dimension includes an article about the explosion of major events in downtown San Jose this month, and doesn't even include Crunchyroll Expo. If it had, the number of distinct audience members coming into downtown this month should easily top 200,000.

Also this weekend, South First Friday Street Market, the 18-day run of Disney's "The Lion King" begins and the top women tennis players are at San Jose State for the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.  Also this month:  San Jose Jazz Festival, Cinequest and Silicon Valley Pride.  Like Crunchyroll, they are in-person events.

All this follows a successful Dine Downtown San Jose that just ended July 31. 

Be sure to make all this activity work for your business. And please let us know how you fared. 

In Today's Message
More on Downtown Dimension

While on the subject ...
SJDA would like to direct your attention to the lead story in the August edition of Dimension, in which newly named CEO Alex Stettinski answers a few questions about his life experiences and how they might be appropriate to be reprise in San Jose.
Call it a preview of just a few of the many things to come over … How does he reach consensus?  What similarities does he see between downtown San Jose and downtown Los Angeles?  What did growing up in Europe (Germany) teach him about place-making?  What programs could be added to the already-growing list of tools to mitigate the homeless situation and help those in need? 
The SJDA – Stettinski announcement came July 11.  He will start Oct. 3 and get a one-month cram course in the comings and goings of downtown San Jose from founding executive/CEO Scott Knies, whose last day is scheduled for Nov. 4.  A smooth transition is expected.
After 34 years, Knies had some positive words for the next CEO as he summarized his career in a State of the Downtown podcast joined by Councilmember Raul Peralez, who will be termed off after his eight-year stint on the City Council.  Listen here. 

Back-to-Work Barometer slows a bit

San Jose drops a point after two weeks of sizable increases

Kastle, a company that specializes in office building security and safety management, reported occupancy dropped a bit from a record high of 44.7 percent in the 10-city Back-to-Work Barometer, which the company has been tracking since COVID pandemic started in March 2020.
The average for the top 10 metro regions in the U.S. is now 44% and San Jose dropped 1 point from 36.5% occupancy to 35.5%, still the lowest of the Top 10. Only San Francisco and Kos Angeles saw slight increases.
Of the weekdays, Friday has the lowest number of office workers actually at their offices across all cities.

Even with the recent dip, San Jose is still up from 32% back-to-work ratio, where it had lingered for more than a month before the July spike in office returnees.

Post Street Al Fresco program and San Pedro Street tree trimming

Eric Nielsen. left, owner of 55 South and chair for the Historic District and Chris Arkley, SJDA operations manager, talk about weekly Post Street reconfigurations for the Al Fresco programa. Nielsen arranged for the barrels to help initiate swift transitions.

Post Street vehicle traffic open weekdays for retail and closed for night businesses on weekends

San Jose's Al Fresco outdoor dining program resumes on Post Street starting this weekend.  Road closure for Post Street between First Street and Lightston Alley will begin this Thursday at 4 pm. Activation on the street will run each week Thursday through Sunday night with the street opening back up to traffic by 9 am Monday. 

Post Street off First Street and San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets were closed in 2020 to traffic and opened for food businesses to serve meals in the less-COVID-threatening outdoors. Post Street was reopened to traffic in January of this year when day retail businesses on the street requested that traffic lanes and parking spots be available for customers.  The compromise for the pilot closure is Al Fresco activation over the weekend with the street open to traffic for most of the work week. 

Tree trimming along San Pedro Street Aug. 8-12, 6 a.m.-10 am.
The Property-Based Improvement District (PBID)  will have its tree-pruning service, Commercial Tree Care (CTC) complete street tree pruning along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets starting Monday. Due to the pedestrian-friendly nature of San Pedro Square, the trimming will take place from 6 am-10 am only.  CTC will clear all debris before business hours resume and the trimming areas will be clearly marked with signage. If the pruning stays on-track, all pruning could be is completed by the end of the week.

SJDA Public Meeting

City Council Candidate Forum

Two of the San Jose City Council seats to be decided in the November election will determine who represents Districts 5 and 7.  In District 5, Nora Campos faces Peter Ortiz and in District 7 incumbent Councilmember Maya Esparza and Bien Doan face off.  

Join SJDA on Friday, Aug. 12, 8:15 a.m. to hear the candidates describe their qualifications, vision for the city, and respond to center city issues.

Attendees can attend in person at Tabard Theatre or watch online from home or office.  To register to attend in person, go to For the livestream, go to the SJDA Public Meeting webpage.

For all guests attending in person, proof of vaccination will be required at the door.

Masking is encouraged but not required.

For complete COVID protocols at Tabard Theatre, please visit

Marketing tips from Native Digital

Sharing a recent post from Native Digital, a branding and marketing firm that has done work in San Jose and who are intent on helping customers gain customers online.

Instagram Maps added business search
  • 40% of younger users (18-24) discover businesses on IG and TikTok
  • Discovery happens via posts and stories, searching on Explore and/or hashtags

Google's latest core update

  • Winner:  Video sites like sites like YouTube, TikTok and Twitch
  • Winner: eCommerce brands with proper product schema markup
  • Losers: generalist news & media publishers
  • SERP Features: more emphasis on visual results like video & shopping


Farewell Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft shut down IE last month.
  • Chrome remains king with 2,650,000,000 users. 
  • A few, like South Korea, still depend on IE for banking & gov't tasks.
  • Most are fine with the passing of the browser of yesteryear.

Justin Watkins
CEO @ Native Digital
Cannabis Equity Business Academy

Are you interested in starting a cannabis business?

The City of San Jose will hold its first-ever Cannabis Equity Business Academy for qualified cannabis equity applicants. 

First step:  Find out if you’re eligible and join the interest list. Take the eligibility questionnaire.

The Cannabis Equity Business Academy will include classes on entrepreneurship and business ownership, cannabis operations, financial planning, inventory management, access to capital, and more. If you meet the criteria and qualify for the program, you will be asked to providecontact information. 

The City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs (OEDCA) will contact you by Sept. 1 to let you know the next steps including a full application to join the City’s Cannabis Equity Business Academy. All applicants will be background-checked by San Jose Police Department. 

Business workshop

Third Wednesday Workshop with the Silicon Valley SBDC

Aug. 17 | 10 a.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Third Floor Workspace
Free | Register

Learn how accounts receivable financing and factoring can help businesses grow by getting more sales, cash flow and customers. Also talk about how it works and how to find a lender that's right for you.

*Free Parking with validation is available at Fourth Street Garage across from the library.


City survey

Survey to improve city response to future disasters

The City of San Jose Office of Emergency Management is reporting on the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information provided from a survey will be used by the City to improve how it responds during disaster and better meet the needs of the community.

Survey questions focus on your experiences with the services and information provided by the City during the pandemic.

Take the Survey.

Contact Nancy Ta, Office of Emergency Management, at if you have questions.

Street Closure Notice

July 29 – Aug. 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Construction crews will backfill trenches and restore the street at 82-96 E Santa Clara St. The left eastbound lane on E Santa Clara St will close between N First St and N Third St. Traffic will merge to the right lane. Flashing arrows, signs, and cones will direct traffic. 

San Fernando Street open for now at Adobe's new tower (see picture at right)

Aug. 12-14 – Summer Jazz Fest --
Be aware of traffic issues around Plaza Park and on South First Street between San Carlos and San Salvador streets Saturday and Sunday only.

Nov. 27-28 -- Silicon Valley Pride Festival -- Market closed between San Carlos and San Fernando streets 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

Let us help you attract workers 

SJDA has a Web page listing available jobs in downtown San Jose

An average of 30+ postings are up on the Downtown is Hiring job board.  Check

Financial opportunities for the arts

The Arts Loan Fund  

Created by art funders to alleviate short-term cash-flow issues for arts organizations, the Arts Loan Fund provides quick-turnaround loans and aids organizations in sound financial habits that advance their mission.  The fund is now accepting applications on a rolling basis. Arts organizations face unique cash-flow challenges, including delayed grant awards, seasonal earned and contributed income, and complexity in projecting program tuition and ticket sales. The Arts Loan Fund can help.  Apply here.

Nonprofit Performing Arts Grants

The California Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant Program was created to provide grants to eligible nonprofit performing arts organizations, including qualifying fiscally sponsored organizations, to encourage workforce development. This grant will help with payroll, benefits, recruitment, training, and other expenses that support your team. The program includes $49.5 million allocated to eligible nonprofit performing arts organizations. These grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis in specified amounts depending on the applicant’s annual gross revenue in the 2019 taxable year.  Check the website for more details including an application guide and FAQs.  Apply here

Downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley in the News

Recent media reports involving Downtown San Jose/Silicon Valley. Subscriptions may be necessary to see the article:
Let us know how else we can help your business by replying to this email. We’ll have another message next week.
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