This is the 38th Weekly Message to Businesses from San Jose Downtown Association since the end of the COVID-19 "tier" system June 15.
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To our members: 

Our props to the City of San Jose which has sent out 200 Flash Reports since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“The City of San Jose had to find a way to efficiently, consistently, and quickly communicate and connect with the community during this worldwide emergency. The Flash Report became a tool to provide timely and vital information relating to COVID-19 to residents and businesses,” explained this week’s report.

At about the same time, and for the same reason, SJDA started its Weekly Message to businesses.  At first, it was known as the COVID Thursday message, but refreshed it after the state got off the Tier System in June 2021, calling it the Weekly Message to Businesses. It’s still usually sent on Thursdays, but we found that sometimes the news predicated that we send on other days, too.

We sent 68 messages before June 15, 2021 and 37 since, often lifting the excellent reporting and writing in the Flash Reports – and giving it credit.  Our Thursday message offers COVID info, webinars, financial opportunities, meeting information, general business and Silicon Valley information, and summaries of the week’s news that has an effect on the center city and downtown businesses.  

We’re going to continue sending it out – our analytics show a better than average open rate and plenty of interaction by people clicking on links to learn more.

Exactly as we hoped:  we’re providing a one-stop shop for what you need to know from week to week, which allows you to focus on your families and your businesses.

Meanwhile, congratulations and thank you City Flash Report for a job well done.

In Today's Message
COVID Updates
Updates from the State of California

From the City Flash Report – State Endemic SMARTER Plan Issued
Governor Newsom last week announced the state’s SMARTER Plan to mitigate future impacts of COVID-19 variants as the virus moves into an endemic phase. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, endemic is defined as “the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.” Or, “a point at which the infection is relatively stable and predictable.”

The complete SMARTER Plan can be found here. What SMARTER stands for:

S – Shots – Vaccines are the most powerful weapon against hospitalizations and serious illness.

M – Masks – Properly worn masks with good filtration help slow the spread of COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses.

A – Awareness – We will continue to stay aware of how COVID-19 is spreading, evolving variants, communicate clearly how people should protect themselves, and coordinate our state and local government response.

R – Readiness – COVID-19 is not going away, and we need to be ready with the tools, resources, and supplies we will need to quickly respond and keep public health and the health care system well prepared.

T – Testing – Getting the right type of tests – PCR or antigen – to where they are needed most. Testing will help California minimize the spread of COVID-19.

E – Education – California will continue to work to keep schools open and children safely in classrooms for in-person instruction.

Rx – Evolving and improving treatments will become increasingly available and critical as a tool to save lives.

Also from the City Flash Report – Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
Effective February 19, California employers with more than 25 employees must begin complying with the state’s latest paid sick leave legislation and provide supplemental paid sick leave to covered employees who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 related reasons. Under Senate Bill 114, an employee can use up to 40 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  • They are subject to a quarantine or isolation period due to COVID-19.
  • They have been advised by a health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • They are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • They are caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or who has been advised to isolate or self-quarantine.
  • They are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • To attend an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

County Masking Requirements Remain in Place
Local indoor masking requirements remain in place this week.  Santa Clara County will continue to base decisions on whether and when to lift indoor masking requirements on the risks posed by COVID-19, using defined metrics related to vaccination, hospitalizations, and COVID-19 case rates.

Of the three metrics, only one has been met – more than 80 percent of the County’s population is fully vaccinated. The other two metrics have not been met – COVID-19 hospitalizations in the County are low and stable, and the seven-day average of new cases per day is at or below 550 for at least a week. The County anticipates it will be able to lift indoor masking requirements in a matter of weeks, as case rates continue to decline.

Business Opportunity

Comcast RISE Expands Marketing and Technology Resources to All Women-Owned Small Businesses 
Comcast RISE is a multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to small businesses owned by people of color. Comcast recently expanded the program to include all women-owned small businesses. There are already over 300 California small businesses receiving Comcast RISE services. 

Comcast is accepting applications for the next phase of RISE until June 17. If your business qualifies, you’ll have the opportunity to receive one or more of the following business services: 

  • Marketing and advertising consultations  
  • Media placements over a 90-day period  
  • Commercial creative production services 
  • Technology services from Effectv and/or Comcast Business 

As we know from the recent wave of COVID cases across the country, the work to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic is far from over. That’s why Comcast is proud to further their efforts to help small businesses owned by people of color weather the storm with our new Comcast RISE Business Directory. This resource, which can be found at, is a user-friendly digital map for laptops and mobile phones that collates and presents key information about local businesses throughout Northern and Central California, who have benefited from the Comcast RISE program. Having an easy-to-use business directory will provide local consumers with the information they need to become aware of, locate and contact these small businesses for all their "shop local, shop small, shop diverse” needs.

Visit to review the selection criteria and apply. The application is open and will close on June 17.   

Meetings / Feedback

Loans for small businesses webinar
Hosted by City of San Jose
Feb. 24 (Today) | 3:30-5 p.m.
Free |

Interest rates on new commercial loans are expected to rise soon. Hear from experts from the Small Business Administration, TMC Finance and Access SBDC. Learn the latest updates on low-cost government loans for expansion, refinancing of existing debt, and more.

SJDA:  You can still review last week’s “Everything PBID” meeting
San Jose Downtown Association’s Feb. 10 meeting covered “All-things PBID,” studying the Property Based Improvement District's (PBID) once-a-decade renewal.  The meeting goes into depth and answers questions not included in this month’s Downtown Dimension newsletter about current and proposed services, the scope of new social impact teams, and detailing of the boundaries and the process to renew the district for the next 10 years.  The second half of the meeting – the Q&A – takes an even deeper dive into the nuts and bolts of the Groundwerx and PBID programs.

People who missed the live meeting can catch up by watching it on YouTube or on the SJDA Public Meeting pages.  Or check the PBID Renewal page on


Winter Jazz Festival ends Sunday
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is back and in person, with established stars and exciting new discoveries in jazz, blues, R&B, Latin and Americana.  Centered on its new downtown SJ popup venue and recording studio the SJZ Break Room, the Fest brings you Latin alternative/global music sensation La Santa Cecilia, Marquis Hill New Gospel Revisited, breakout vibraphonist Sasha Berliner, Americana singer/songwriter Chris Pierce, NYC jazz fusion trio Harriet Tubman, post-bop supergroup The Cookers and five more must-see artists. 

Short film entries accepted through March 1 for Short Film Fridays
Screen! Short Film Friday’s have been rescheduled to Fridays in May,  This is a program partially funded by the City of San Jose Parks Dept. Abierto program and supported by SJDA.

Filmmakers! Submit your short films by March 1.  Please click here to read the requirements and complete the form. A Screen! representative will reach out to you after receiving the form.

The short films will be shown May 5, 13 and 20 at 3Below. 100 percent of ticket sales will go to the filmmakers.  A wrap party June 3 at StageOne Creative Spaces will include announcements of the audience choice winners and award prizes.

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:
COVID-19 Links
Newer Links
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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