This is the 29th 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: 

Happy holidays everyone. May each of us stay safe and healthy during this season, and throughout the New Year.

In today’s edition, we have the latest news that you need to know about the Omicron variant.

If you are looking for a recap of 2021 DTSJ happenings as curated by Executive Director Scott Knies, take time with SJDA’s End-of-Year meeting recorded Dec. 10.  Watch the video here.

Need more holiday reading?  Another interesting report worth scanning if you’re into SJC airport operations is the Annual Status Report on the Airport Master Plan, released Dec. 17. 

In Today's Message
City Updates

ADA compliance memo update
The Rules and Open Government Committee approved a memo from Councilmembers Peralez, Esparza and Davis to help ensure small businesses are ADA compliant and prevent future serial ADA lawsuits. 

Many San Jose businesses have been sued in recent years for not being ADA-compliant.  The suits increased 20 percent in 2020 and five firms filed 80 percent of the suits, according to the councilmembers’ memo.

The proposal calls for ensuring compliance when the business opens by reducing barriers for grants to business owners (see below) for Certified Accessibility Specialist (CASp) inspections as well as additional outreach and engagement to San Jose’s small business communities.

City staff is also asked to stay informed about related actions at the state level.  All actions related to this will honor the intent and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the memo said.

ADA accessibility help for businesses
The City of San Jose is offering reimbursement to small businesses and non-residential property owners to make their property more accessible for those with disabilities. The City has allocated $40,000 for the program to provide grants of up to $8,000 in credit for qualifying small businesses and non-residential property owners.

When applying for a building permit to make the physical changes to their property, an owner may apply for the grant, which can reimburse the costs of a Certified Accessibility Specialist (CASp) inspection and a CASp report and can help cover the costs of the City permit and inspection fees. For more details, please read our blogpost. For more information and help applying for the grant, contact Xuan Ha, City of San Jose Small Business Ally, at 408-535-3555.
State of California Update

Grant and Tax Credit Programs for Small Businesses Beginning January
Business owners can apply for help from the State of California – a tax credit and a grant program. The California Competes application periods are Jan. 3-24 and March 7-28, 2022.  For more details, visit the blogpost and Cal Competes’ website. For questions, call 916-322-4051 or email

COVID Updates

City Omicron update  
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced a proposal for all City of San Jose employees, as a condition of employment, and residents or visitors that enter city-owned facilities, be required to have a booster shot, or third round of vaccinations. If the proposal passes the City Council vote, San Jose could become the first city in California with such a mandate.  Currently, San Jose requires proof of full vaccination to all city-owned facilities

“To avoid crippling levels of hospitalizations and tragic outcomes, we have the great benefit of widespread access to booster shots, but we lack the benefit of time,” said Liccardo.  “We must take decisive action to protect our workforce and our community, and a booster mandate will help."

The Omicron Covid-19 variant is now the most dominant strain in the United States, accounting for more than 73% of new COVID-19 cases less than three weeks after the first was reported, according to estimates posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Read more 

Mercury News: Mayor Liccardo calls for new booster requirement for San Jose employees and visitors - Council to vote on it in January

County of Santa Clara Dec. 16 Omicron update
With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading throughout the world and the effectiveness of the initial COVID-19 vaccine series diminishing over time, the County of Santa Clara strongly urges everyone eligible to obtain a booster shot right away.

Booster shots are available, through both appointments and drop-in availability, at many pharmacies, clinics, and mass vaccination locations throughout the County. Everyone 16 and older who is six months out from their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months out from their Johnson & Johnson vaccine, is eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot.  This is particularly urgent and critical for persons age 50 and older, and those with significant underlying health conditions.  To find a booster shot appointment or drop-in booster location, please go to

As of Dec. 16,  just 44% of eligible County residents have received a booster, and approximately 250,000 residents who are 50 years and over have yet to get their booster shot.

In addition to vaccinations and boosters, masking, testing, ventilation, and distancing remain an effective multi-layered defense against COVID-19. Officials noted that as the holiday season is upon us, people should stay mindful of risks and take steps to decrease them.

If people must travel or gather for the holidays:

  • Get tested before travel, upon return, and again 3-5 days later.
  • Have everyone ages 5+ get their COVID vaccine and boosted if eligible.
  • Wear a mask indoors and in crowded settings.
  • Keep group gatherings small. Gather with close family units.
  • Take advantage of quick and easy home test kits available in pharmacies and stores.
  • Outside gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings.
  • Be particularly cautious around elderly or immunocompromised individuals and consider COVID-19 testing before such interactions.

Parents of very young children and those who have not been vaccinated should make sure to take all advised precautions. Avoid large gatherings. Always wear a mask in indoor public settings (unless under age 2).

Vaccinations are no-cost to the public, insurance is not required, and there are no immigration requirements.

California:  Masks Required for All Public Indoor Settings
As of Dec. 16, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccine status through Jan. 15, 2022. This new requirement is in response to the rising case rate and hospitalizations. In addition to the updated requirement on mask wearing, CDPH offers guidance on getting the most out of masking.

Additionally, the CDPH updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now be required to show either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. NOTE: Per City of San Jose urgency ordinance, operators or hosts of large indoor events at City-owned facilities with 50 or more guests shall require all attendees age 12 and older and all staff to show proof of full vaccination before entering the facility.

CDPH also issued a new travel advisory effective Dec. 13 recommending that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

Children’s Discovery Museum hosts vaccinations Jan. 2
Children's Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way
Sunday, Jan. 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The vaccine clinic does not require advance appointments, however, capacity and wait times may vary. Vaccines are free, and no insurance or proof of immigration status is required. Anyone age five or older is eligible. Staff will be onsite to support language needs and disability access. Individuals seeking vaccination are encouraged to arrive at least one hour before closing time. Check for the most up-to-date information.

SJDA Virtual Job Board

SJDA continues to help get the message out about your job openings. Complete this form with your business information and open positions and SJDA will post the opportunities weekly on, publicizing the message to our 42K+ social media followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Also, please email or if you are fully staffed and need your posting deleted. 


Downtown Ice - Open daily
Downtown Ice has extended its hours from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. for the holiday period through Jan. 2. One-hour skating sessions occur every 90 minutes. Tickets are sold online.

COVID safety protocols are enforced. You must show proof of vaccination.

Details and tickets are at the Downtown Ice website

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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