A Weekly Message to our Downtown San Jose businesses
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To our members:

This was a busy week with a lot of news for DTSJ businesses. We start with info about relief for businesses impacted by the recent storms.  We'd love to hear about that, too; email and we'll check in to see if you still need assistance. 

For a feel-good story, San Jose learned it is the 8th "happiest" city in the U.S.  It appears our return-to-office numbers continue to climb from the depths of the rain-plagued holidays when more than 80 percent of us stayed home.

We also share a number of small business programs that City of San Jose endorsed. Check them out.

And again, the news media has its sights on downtown San Jose.  Big weekend coming up with eSports gamers in tournament action and the best figure-skaters in the U/S/ packing large crowds into SAP Center all weekend.


In Today's Message
Disaster relief for storm-impacted businesses

SBA Disaster Loans
Due to the Biden Administration’s Major Disaster Declaration in the wake of our severe winter storms, the Small Business Administration has made available Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period, which began Dec. 27.
Businesses can apply online at If applicants have any questions, they can call (800) 659-2955 or email:

State of California: Businesses impacted by storms eligible for emergency tax relief
Business owners and taxpayers impacted by California’s winter storms are now eligible for emergency tax relief from late payment interest and penalties. Business owners across the state can now access much-needed assistance to help accelerate their recovery efforts, including relief from interest and penalties.

Impacts of the storms have been felt throughout the state, and small business owners who have been affected by flooding, power outages, and other storm-related hardships may request up to an additional three months to file their tax returns. Taxpayers who face return deadlines between January 4, 2023 and January 31, 2023 who are granted relief will not have to pay interest and penalties if they are unable to file their returns and pay taxes and fees by the original due date.

Impacted taxpayers can request relief: on the CDTFA websiteBy mail at California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, PO Box 942879, MIC 35, Sacramento, CA 94279; In person at a field offices; or By phone at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time), except state holidays.
Customers can also contact CDTFA to update account information, change an address or contact information, request replacement copies of CDTFA tax records, or ask questions about their account.
In addition to our State of Emergency Tax Relief webpage, information regarding relief requests is available in various languages online, via videos in English and Spanish, and on CDTFA’s Online Services webpage.

Business promotional opportunites

SJDA will help promote your upcoming Velentine's and St. Patricks days events
San Jose Downtown Association will help promote your upcoming Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day events and specials.  A St. Patrick's Day page will be built on; both celebration promotions and events will reach our Downtowner Online subscriber list; and we'll publicize the events on our social media. Send us the info

SJSU Offers page on
SJSU students and faculty are checking out the SJSU Offers page on for discounts, The page receives more than 100 unique visits each week.  If you have a new offer or want to update your present offer, go to this form.

Where people are happiest and back-to-the-office barometers

We're No. 8 (out of 164) happiest city in America
Three South Bay cities make top 10 in financial management company smartasset's list of places where Americans are happiest. Personal finances are one of the leading indicators of the study, along with quality of life and well-being. The study and results can be useful to businesses because they say something about our customer base.

San Jose captured the No. 8 spot in the survey, more so for well-being and quality-of-life reasons. At the top was Sunnyvale and Fremont landed at No. 4.

Here's what smartasset had to say about San Jose's rating:

"Roughly 43% of San Jose, California residents earn $100,000 or more (10th-highest) and less than 7.4% live in poverty (eighth-lowest). Additionally, Santa Clara County - where San Jose is located - takes the No. 2 spot for both the percentage of residents reporting poor mental health days (10%) and life expectancy (84.7 years)."

These sorts of studies are great publicity grabs for the sponsoring company, but they are also fun reads that can pump up a winning locale. Click here for some pick-me-up weekend reading.

San Jose Continues improving in back-to-work barometer

San Jose's and San Francisco's march back to the office was better than the other eight metro areas measured in the Kastle Back-to-work barometer.  While other cities improved between 0.0% and 3.7%, San Jose increased 7.2%.and San Francisco improved 7.5% However, the two Bay Area cities had the most to gain, sitting at the bottom of the scale for overall back-to-work percentages.  In the previous week, S.J. increased 12.3% and SF 15%.

Overall, San Jose metro is at 38% return to work and SF is at 43% back.  San Jose is still behind the other nine, and San Francisco is now slightly ahead of 9th place Philadelphia now.

Related:  Wall Street Journal:  D.C. office market feels effects of federal government employees' remote work. 

Meetings and Workshops

How to do business with California High-Speed Rail Authority
Wednesday, Jan. 31 | 10 a.m.-noon
Online | Register
More about High-Speed Rail's Small Business Program

Learn how to navigate the Authority’s website and search for high-speed rail contracting and procurement opportunities. The workshop will cover:

  • An overview of the high-speed rail project
  • Small Business certification programs
  • Navigating the Authority website
  • Finding contract opportunities
  • Connect HSR Vendor Registry
  • Connecting with Primes
  • Business Advisory Council

SVCreates online workshops for artists and non-profit arts leaders

City and County announcements

Downtown streets included in $62 million in grants for transportation safety
The City of San Jose will receive several grant awards totaling $62 million for transportation safety projects that support walking, biking, and taking transit, according to a statement announced Wednesday.

The winning San Jose projects include Vision Zero safety improvements, conversion of one-way streets to two-way, and completely revamping some streets to better accommodate walking, bicycling, and transit use. To make the best use of the funding amounts available, some proposed projects were awarded for initial phases, while others were funded through construction. The Department of Transportation will continue to seek funding to fully implement all of the projects.

A grant of almost $13 million will be used for a project along St. James and Julian street that will mostly pay for construction of:
  • Repaving and restriping the streets for two-way traffic
  • New and modified signals
  • New LED pedestrian-scale lighting
  • Street trees
  • Wayfinding information
  • Green-backed bicycle sharrows
  • Bike racks
  • Accessible curb ramps
  • High-visibility crosswalks
Signal improvements to help make intersections safer for pedestrians are also slated just south and east of downtown at First and Virginia streets, Seventh and Reed streets and Naglee and Dana avenues. More

Programs to help build and grow your small business

The City of San Jose Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairssent these messages in one email this week to the small business community:
  • The American Small Business Growth Program  
Silver Lining, in partnership with Wells Fargo, invites small business owners to apply to the American Small Business Growth Program at a “Pay What You Can” rate. In the program, you’ll build an Action Plan to expand your clientele and grow your business. With a full year of support, this program will help you actually implement that plan and hit your goals. To learn more, please go to
  • Two Programs at the ICA - sign up by Feb. 10 
  • The Lab at ICA is an 8-week program for early-stage companies focused on strategic growth. The program will cover topics such as financial management essentials, growth visioning, path to profitability, financial projection, prepare for capital.  
  • The Accelerator at ICA is a 4-month program for established growth-stage businesses to get capital-ready. The curriculum will cover topics such as growth planning, HR strategy, financial management, investment readiness, etc. 
To learn more and sign up, please go to 

Storm Damage Help for Residents and Small Businesses  
If the recent storms caused structural damage to your home or business property, please call 408-535-3555 or check out the City's resource page at 
BEACH Clinic Program
Are you starting a new business and looking for legal and business advice? Do you have questions about your existing business but don’t know who to seek advice from? Become a client of the Bronco Entrepreneurs Advisory Clinic Hours (BEACH) program to receive business advice at no cost to you. The BEACH program is hosted by Santa Clara University School of Law and the Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.   
Sign up before Feb. 6 at

How to Build a Startup Funding Strategy - Feb. 15 
Join Sam Wong, CEO of Fundable Startups, to explore pitch decks and understand the right funding approach to triple your startup payouts. Start leveraging your startup’s inflection points by signing up for this in-person-only event.  

Santa Clara County RFPs
Stay up to date with County of Santa Clara Procurement and Contracting news, upcoming events, and business opportunities.
Downtown is hiring

Businesses can go to the Downtown Is Hiring page on to list your openings for 2023.  The form for businesses to list a position and available positions downtown for those looking for jobs are both on the page, which averages about 300 visits per month!

Parking tip and traffic

Parking tip for businesses:  Incentivize customers to come downtown by reminding them of the 90-minutes-free parking program at five Park SJ garages: Market & San Pedro; Second and San Carlos; Third Street; Fourth Street; and Third and Santa Clara.

March 11, 4am-3pm -- Crews will close various city streets in downtown for the San Jose Shamrock Run 5k. Streets that will close include St John St. between Almaden Ave. and N. Market St, San Pedro St. between St John St. and Santa Clara St, and Santa Clara St. between Market St. and Almaden Ave. The PDF attached shows the route map at the end of the document. 

Downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley in the News

NOTE:  Feb. 16:  Retirement party for Sparky Harlan, Bill Wilson Center's CEO and former SJDA Board Member.  Noon-1:30p.m., Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 1400 Parkmoor Ave.  RSVP

Recent media reports involving or relevant to downtown San Jose.
(Subscriptions may be necessary to see the article).
San Jose Spotlight: 

Patch and Spotlight:  SJDA CEO Alex Stettinski sees vibrant future for downtown San Jose
Mercury News:  SJC shows 53% increase in passenger trips in 2022 (11.33 million) vs. 2021 (7.36 million). December slow due to cancellations
San Jose Inside:  Outdoor dining an obstacle for disabled community 
Mercury News:  Two zip codes near downtown make list of most expensive places to rent apartments 
Mercury News:  Who to watch at this weekend's National Figure Skating Championships at SAP Center
ABC-7:  Gamers head to DTSJ for world's largest grassroots Super Smash Brothers / Genesis eSports tournament.  Business is boosted.
San Jose Stage:  Read about Ted Lange, director of "Satchmo at the Waldorf," opening Feb. 1 (Lange was one of the stars of "The Love Boat.)

Read the latest issue of Downtown Dimension, the SJDA monthly newsletter. Subscribe


Health Links
Local storm / flood links

Power outages
City storm preparedness
National Weather Service
Sandbag locations
Be flood ready
City of San Jose Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram

Grants and Loans City Workplace Safety
County / State / Federal Earthquakes,  before and after
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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