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This is the twenty-seventh COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear valued businesses:

Despite the orange sky from the fires in California and across the western U.S.,  we're seeing a different sort of red in Santa Clara County that we can feel better about.  Instead of the Purple Tier 1 Widespread ranking, Santa Clara County has moved up a notch to Red Tier 2 Substantial.

That means the San Jose Museum of Art and San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles can open their indoor operations.


Our fitness gyms can also open indoors, limited to just 10 percent of capacity. Places like Heroes Martial Arts, Downtown Yoga Shala, The Studio Climbing Gym, WESTCA Gym, Checkmate Boxing, Orangetheory Fitness, Be the Change Wellness, New Ballet and others can operate closer to normal. 

Likewise, mani/pedi operations can resume with restrictions at more places than you can count on your fingers and toes. (We've been waiting for a while to use that line).  Soul Imagez Tattoo can work indoors again, too.

The number of businesses in #dtsjopen continues to grow.

Next step:  Orange Tier 3 Moderate.
Doubleheader City Council Candidate Forum Sept. 11

Two San Jose City Council seats will be decided in the November election to determine who will represent Districts 4 and 6.  In District 4, incumbent Councilman Lan Diep faces David Cohen and in District 6 incumbent Devora “Dev” Davis and Jake Tonkel face off.  
 
Join us on Friday, Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. to hear the candidates describe their qualifications, vision for the city, and respond to SJDA’s Stabilization Plan.
 
Please register to attend the virtual San Jose Downtown Association City Council Candidate Forum.
 
Upon registration, you will receive a link providing you with access to the Zoom webinar.  Please note that space is limited. The forum will also be streamed live on Facebook.

COVID-19 Update
Santa Clara County Moves to Tier 2 -- More Businesses Allowed to Reopen
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County moved from purple (widespread) to red (substantial) on the State’s four-tier, color-coded system, which doesn’t sound very impressive, but turns out to be an important step forward for our local economy.

This move allows for the following changes: 
  • Additional personal care businesses, including nail salons and massage services can operate indoors.
  • Gyms and fitness facilities can operate indoors, at 10% capacity.  
  • Indoor malls can be open at 50% capacity, but food courts and common areas must remain closed.  
  • Indoor museums may operate at 25% capacity.  
  • Hair salons continue to be allowed to operate indoors and must follow the County’s protocols on number of occupants per square foot.  
  • Indoor dining is still not permitted by Santa Clara County. Although it is permitted in Tier 2 counties by the State, the stricter County order takes precedence. 
Restaurants, movie theaters, places of worship and large gatherings are still not able to operate indoors, according to County guidelines, even though they are allowed by the State for counties in the red tier. But the red designation will allow the County to consider opening up indoor gatherings depending on future local indicators and risk.
 
Schools will be able to resume indoor classes with restrictions after the County has been in the red tier for two weeks.
 
County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said that the County is still concerned about the number of new cases that are occurring every day. Because the County is testing for COVID-19 at a higher rate than the state mandates, the County was given “credit” to move into the red tier even though case rates are still beyond the state requirements for reopening.

Reminder – all businesses must file a Social Distancing Protocol online. Santa Clara County limits occupancy per square foot which may be more restrictive than the State occupancy allowance. Businesses can compute the allowance on the County’s online Social Distancing Protocol. Read the county’s press release.
Small Business Rent Relief Grant
The City of San Jose has allocated $3.8 million of CARES Act Federally Funded Coronavirus Relief Funds to provide grants of up to $15,000 to small businesses located in San Jose. The grants can be used for unpaid or pending rent from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020. The program will be managed by the Enterprise Foundation / Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which is accepting online applications  through noon on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The application period may be extended past this date.

The following criteria will apply:
  • For-profit businesses including sole-proprietors and single-person businesses may apply.
  • Business must have 10 or fewer full-time employees (FTE).
  • The business must have experienced a 20% gross reduction in revenue or a 20% reduction in staffing due to COVID-19.
  • Business must be active and working to continue. 
  • The business owner must live in Santa Clara County.
  • Physical commercial address must be in San Jose.
  • Businesses must have been in business prior to Jan. 31, 2020.
  • The business owner’s household must own at least 51% of the business.
  • The maximum family income for the business owner must be at or below 80% of area median income by family size (please refer to the San José income limits chart). 
Businesses that have applied for or received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan (EIDL), or San José CDBG Microenterprise Grant money can apply for this grant. However, awardees must agree not to use Rent Relief grants to pay for rent that has been or will be paid for using PPP, EIDL, or San Jose CDBG Microenterprise Grant money.
 
Home-based businesses, businesses that are franchises, chains, or restricted to patrons above the age of 18, and nonprofits are not eligible.  More information on the Rent Relief program is on the SBDC website. Please note that this is an online application process managed by the SBDC.
 
More information:
Small Business School Challenge coming up Oct. 15-17 – Free assistance from MBA students
The Small Business School Challenge, a 48-hour virtual event to bring free MBA consulting to small business owners, is back Oct 15-17.  You can borrow an MBA from prestigious business schools including UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale and Georgetown whose goals are to help your business flourish – not just survive. Information and signup form are available here.
 
Two news stories of note:
  • 13 essential qualities of successful remote employees (Forbes)
  • Developers stay bullish on downtown, pandemic and all (San Jose Inside)
Virtual Job Fair September 15-17: 
work2future and San Jose City College will host a 3-day, multiple employer virtual job fair on Sept. 15-17. This FREE online event will feature employers from in demand industries such as Business, Finance, Technology, Healthcare, Government, Advanced Manufacturing, and Construction. Registration and additional information can be found here.
SJDA Recovery Plans Underway
San Jose Downtown Association’ Stabilization Plan
San Jose Downtown Association has created a Stabilization Plan that takes into consideration 1,254 responses to a “What’s Next for Downtown San Jose” survey and guides downtown and SJDA through disruptions started with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Stabilization Plan helps SJDA chart a course so that it can make sense of what actions are needed in the next 12-18 months and the opportunities to be gleaned in a changed future.
The September edition of Downtown Dimension, the SJDA newsletter, released this week, offers the best condensed version of the report.
#dtsjopen recovery campaign
The #dtsjopen marketing campaign rages despite heat, smoke-filled days, COVID-19 … whatever.  The campaign has two interconnected goals:  to bring new and old customers back to downtown San Jose and help downtown businesses survive,
 
Look for campaign ads in local newspapers, television stations NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48, radio stations  Mix 106.5, KBAY 94.5 and KRTY 95.3, plus 15 Clear Channel Outdoor billboards over the next few months.
Businesses can add energy to the program by affixing posters and cling decals to their windows.  Construction sites can also post on their temporary barriers.  Arts groups and other major partners will be asked to spread the word through their communications channels.  Download the graphics at sjdowntown.com/dtsjopen or contact jcarlson@sjdowntown.com to be included.
Wildfire and Air Quality Resources
Heat and Power Outage Resources
Public Health Extreme Heat Resources: Fact Sheets from the CDC on those especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion and stroke.
More COVID-19 Resources
More Local Resources for Businesses
If you are a business or property owner reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage, you can submit an online police report here.

To report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district, use the Groundwerx Everywhere app for iPhones or Android.
To report damage, graffiti or things that need to be cleaned in city parks/property or outside the district, use the San Jose 311 app for iPhone, visit sanjose.custhelp.com or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to antigraffiti@sanjoseca.gov with their contact information and an address. A kit will be delivered to your place of business. 

SJDA staff can help.  Our list of staff and emails are here.
Let us know how else we can help by replying to this email. We’ll have another message next Thursday. We're in this together.
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