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This is the 41st 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: 

Have you given thought to what you might do to help people return to downtown San Jose?

Now that the indoor mask mandate is relaxed, we are seeing more employees back downtown – but not nearly at the pre-pandemic levels.  We understand the return to office now means a flex schedule for most, but our small business community would sure benefit from an estimate of what percentage of your office you expect to see in #DTSJ each week so they can plan for hours, staffing, inventory, etc.

To all of our DTSJ businesses:  tell us about your promotion, whether it’s an incentive to get people back to the office in person, special offers or happy hours.  We’ll support it with our SJDA communications vehicles, all of which have maintained their significant number of followers through the pandemic.

If you have a new idea for downtown recovery, we want to hear it.  Our organization has a track record of making good ideas happen.

We realize the thing our businesses really need is more business.  We plan on helping get the word out about the quality and depth of DTSJ food, drink and entertainment options workers will find when they come back to their downtown offices.  

Help us coordinate our approach to inviting people back downtown.  Please send your ideas and plans to rjensen@sjdowntown.com or jvuong@sjdowntown.com.

In Today's Message
Financial Opportunity

Application Portal Opens for Microbusiness Grants
In January, Santa Clara County accepted $2.4 million from the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to aid microbusinesses adversely affected by the pandemic. Small businesses can start applying for a $2,500 grant at 9 a.m. today, March 17. The online application is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

To qualify for one of the $2,500 grants, a business must have been in business in 2019, have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, made less than $50,000 in total revenue in 2019, and have less than five employees. Applicants’ businesses must still be operating or plan to reopen in 2022.

COVID Updates

Free at-home COVID-19 tests for everyone
Each home in the U.S. can now place a total of two separate orders for free at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits. Those who ordered tests in January when they were first offered can now place a second order for two additional kits at Free COVID-19 Tests.

Mask updates

City and Santa Clara County facilities
The requirement for all city employees and visitors to City of San Jose facilities, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks while indoors remains in place. County personnel and visitors to indoor County facilities are also still required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. The City continues to monitor case rates within the County and within the City organization to guide when to lift the requirements.

Federal Government - Masks still required on public transit
The mask mandate, remains in effect through April18. The extended the mask mandate requires masking across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and in commuter bus and rail systems. During this time, the CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation sector.

Santa Clara County - Masks recommended, not required
Santa Clara County health officials have announced that all masking metrics have been met and indoor masking is no longer required effective March 2. Both County and State Public Health Departments strongly recommend the public continue to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.  County personnel and visitors to indoor County facilities are still be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

County Office of Education:  Masks in schools recommended, not required
Santa Clara County Office of Education officials confirmed schools within their jurisdiction are following the state’s transition from a mandate to strong recommendation for masking for both teachers and students. The transition went into effect March 14.

SJDA Update

Downtown is Hiring Web page updated for next wave of new employees
SJDA has checked in with you and our Downtown is Hiring Web page is up to date.  The struggle continues and we want to help. Thus, we’re happy to list the jobs you are trying to fill.

Check the jobs available or list them at sjdowntown.com/downtown-is-hiring.
 

SJDA responds to Mayor’s March Budget Message

SJDA has been on the front lines advocating for more public safety and business support to address the concerns of our members.  In a letter this week posted on our Blog, SJDA responded to Mayor Sam Liccardo’s latest budget message for FY 2022-23 with spending recommendations that bolster activities and enhanced experiences downtown, including the return of downtown foot patrols, expanded homelessness services, a permanent resolution to al fresco dining, art programming funded by the Abierto program and capital improvements to Downtown Ice.

Petition

Reinstate downtown foot patrols in FY 22-23 budget
A message from Urban Vibrancy Institute:  “Safety, community, collaboration, cleanliness, and vibrancy are essential ingredients for a healthy, robust city. We aim to help transform San Jose into a world-class city. Improving safety on the streets can help build confidence in residents and visitors to reinvigorate downtown and restore its vibrancy for all to enjoy.

“To establish this, UVI urges all San Jose business owners and residents to support us to help reinstate the DOWNTOWN FOOT PATROL PROGRAM. This program aims to ensure the safety of citizens and mitigate risks.

“We ask all Santa Clara County residents to help us achieve this goal by signing this petition to ensure all safety.”

Meetings

How changing tax laws affects your business
March 29 | 11 a.m. | Free |
Register | Hosted by Business Journals

In this webinar, experts will discuss:

  • The most important tax rules & laws to be aware of in 2022
  • Best practices for tax planning for the upcoming year
  • Advantages of utilizing accounting software for tax preparation

genARTS Creative Conversation: Bridging the Arts and Community
March 30 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Free |
Register | Hosted by genARTS Silicon Valley

genARTS Creative Conversation is an annual event in partnership with Americans for The Arts. This year the event will be held at the San José Woman's Club. The discussion is focusing on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels; encouraging individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts; allowing governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and raising public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

SJDA April 15, 2022 Public Meeting Notice: Homeless Solutions

San Jose Downtown Association's April 15 public meeting will focus on homelessness, mental and behavioral health challenges.  Hear from Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, City and County staff on how service delivery innovations, proposed temporary and permanent housing options and the County's mental health and substance abuse State of Emergency will impact downtown San Jose. 

Attendees can attend in person at Tabard Theatre or watch from home or office online.  Both ways, the meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. 

Register here to attend in person at Tabard Theatre.  For all guests attending in person, proof of vaccination will be required at the door.  Masking is encouraged but not required.  Click here for complete COVID protocols at Tabard Theatre.

Register here to attend via Zoom Webinar.

Thank you to our co-sponsors The Tabard Theatre Company, Nirvana Soul and Pinnacle Peak Advisors LLC.

Visit sjdowntown.com’s public meeting page for more information.

Events

Team San Jose sends out Convention Center calendar 
Team San Jose has commenced sending out Convention Center activities and big events at the various cultural facilities, including Center for Performing Arts, The Civic and California Theatre.

You can download the calendar here.

Events coming up sure to attract room nights include: a Public Dance (March 26), and Genesis Gaming Tournament (April 15-17).

Distribution of the calendar helps businesses to plan staffing and supply needs for the larger events.

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:
Links
Freshly updated and categorized!
Health Links
Workplace Safety
Grants and Loans
City / County / State / Federal
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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