This is the 34th 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: 

Editor:  Here’s an article we wrote for Downtown Dimension that we didn’t have room to include in the February edition.  Dimension will be out digitally on Feb. 1 and in the mail shortly after. Subscribe at the bottom of any page at

OhMyCron!  Businesses hope the omicron variant of coronavirus won’t be as impactful in February as it was to start the year.

The momentum gained from summer and holiday events, outdoor dining experiences and partial return to offices suddenly went quiet after Christmas across the country.  Downtown San Jose businesses were disrupted and streets were noticeably empty as residents, employees and visitors stayed home while Omicron infections spiked. 

No stay-at-home orders were issued, although Mayor Sam Liccardo mandated that everyone attending large indoor events at city-owned facilities – like a concert or Sharks game at SAP Center – would have to show proof of booster vaccinations to enter starting Feb. 4.

Another setback was the announcement Jan. 13 that San Jose State classes would be taught “in fully remote modality” between Jan. 26 and Feb. 11, according to a statement by Interim President Stephen Perez.

The voluntary suspension of activity, called a soft shutdown, touched most businesses.  If they didn’t close altogether, many businesses tightened operating hours. 

Events also were pushed back and rescheduled.  For instance, Mission Chamber Orchestra postponed its Jan. 29 concert, featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine, to March 4 at the Hammer Theatre Center.

“We are so relieved to be able to reschedule this concert to a date that should be safe for people to attend,” said Conductor Emily Ray.  “Ms. Pine is one of the top violinists in the United States and it would be a shame if the concert would have to be canceled completely.”

Closures and delays exacerbated the lack of energy downtown, but it also reminded us how much businesses are struggling.  Commonplace throughout the COVID pandemic, it is once again time to purchase gift cards, make donations and order food for pickup or to-go to help struggling businesses.

In Today's Message
Meetings / Feedback

SJDA February 10, 2022 Public Meeting:  Everything PBID
Join us on Thursday, February 10 at 8:15 a.m. to hear about the Property Based Improvement District's (PBID) once a decade renewal.  What new services will Groundwerx provide?  How will social impact teams improve solutions for the unhoused?  Where have the district boundaries expanded?  Are property assessments changing?  What is the process for approving the PBID? 

The meeting will feature a detailed presentation on the current and proposed PBID services, and what we plan to accomplish with a renewed district, followed by a Q&A.

Please register to attend SJDA's public meeting on February 10. 

Upon registration, you will receive a link providing you with access to the Zoom webinar. 

The meeting will also be streamed live on Facebook.

It is up on the SJDA and SJDA Public Meeting page.

San Jose City Council COVID Small Business Recovery Update
You can view the City Council’s monthly Covid Recovery efforts from Tuesday here. Nanci Klein of the City’s Office of Economic Development gave a brief overview of Small Business Recovery.  She said the City will have $2.7 million in grant funds available for those areas of the City that need help the most, which includes downtown, starting in April.  Her message begins at 24:50 and ends at 27:00 on the video. The screenshot graphic above was displayed during her part of the discussion.

Provide feedback through Downtown Transportation Plan online open house
The Downtown Transportation Plan online open house has launched. The downtown business community represents a key stakeholder in downtown transportation planning.

The entire open house has been translated into Spanish and Vietnamese.

By 2040, Downtown San Jose will welcome 30,000 new residents and 50,000 new workers. New buildings and commercial activity will make the streets buzz with life. But all this new activity can have negative consequences, too, like traffic and dangerous collisions.

The San José Downtown Transportation Plan proposes changes to help us go from today’s car-dependent transportation system to a future that is more people-focused. You’re invited to this online open house to learn more about the plan and share your feedback at

Today’s the day to provide feedback on San Jose’s Emergency Mobility Action Plan
San Jose's Emerging Mobility Action Plan draft is in its final stages before it is ready for City Council consideration. A year’s worth of community vetting has already occurred.

But you still have today to review the plan and send comments to Laura Stuchinsky, program lead for the EMAP, at

This plan will inform future policy to regulate the introduction and operation of new modes of transportation (such as scooters, kiwibots, Uber/Lyft and ZipCars) in the City of San Jose. The importance of this plan lies in that it will explore policy creation and community engagement on important San Jose emerging mobility matters through an equity lens. 

Questions to possibly consider if you’re reviewing:  

  • How might this content be received by your fellow community members?
  • Are there parts of the report that seem unclear and may require further explanation?
  • Do you feel that the experiences of the community you represent are reflected in the report?
Financial Opportunities

State offers two new grant and tax credit programs for small businesses
The first of two application periods expired Jan. 24 for the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) and the California Competes Grant Program (CCGP).

Business owners can apply again March 7-28.   There are no restrictions on the size, type of business or location that can apply. More information on evaluation criteria are in the Frequently Asked Questions.

  • The California Competes Tax Credit offers a credit against the State income tax. With $180 million available, the minimum credit request is $20,000 and no more than 20% of the total available ($78.9 million) may go to a singular applicant.  
  • The California Competes Grant Program - The grant request can range between $5 million and $36 million. It has a $120 million one-time fund available for grants to businesses of any size that meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Will create at least 500 new full-time jobs in California
    • Will make capital investments of at least $10 million
    • The jobs and/or investment will take place in an area of high unemployment and/or poverty as defined in the California Competes Tax Credit regulations

For details, see the Cal Competes website. Apply online. Questions? Call (916) 322-4051, or email Explanations in other languages are here.

2022 State Arts Grant Opportunities
Grant Cycle A (opened January 19)

  • Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief – Up to $30,000 in operational funding for arts and cultural organizations, prioritizing small organizations.
  • Cultural Pathways – Up to $30,000 for two years of support for arts programs in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal groups.
  • Impact Projects – Up to $20,000 for collaborative projects that center artists and artistic practice in responding to issues currently faced by California’s communities, prioritizing projects of small organizations.
  • State-Local Partners – Up to $60,000 for general operating support and technical assistance for county-designated local arts agencies.
COVID Updates

Federal updates 
Free N95 Masks:
Four hundred million free N95 masks will be available for distribution via CVS, Walgreens and community health centers. Each individual can take up to three masks. The program is expected to be up and running in spurts, but fully by early February.

Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests for Everyone: Every home in the U.S., regardless of their insurance status, is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. Orders may ship in 7-12 days. Order at

Updates from the State of California
State Extends Mask Mandate Until February 15

The California Health and Human Services Agency extended its requirement for masks to be worn in indoor public places, regardless of vaccine status, until Feb. 15. For more information and a list of exemptions to the mask requirements, visit State Public Health Guidance for Face Coverings.

Everyone is required to wear masks in:

  • Indoor public spaces (until Feb. 15)
  • Workplaces (until Feb. 15)
  • Public transit
  • Healthcare settings (including long term care facilities)
  • Adult and senior care facilities
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers

Masks are required for unvaccinated people and recommended for everyone in places of worship.


Notre Dame High School invites you to a beloved annual tradition! The 19th annual Crab Fest takes place on Saturday, Feb. 5. Crab dinners are on sale now for drive-thru pick-up style in the Notre Dame 280 parking lot. All proceeds support Notre Dame's co-curricular programs. More information can be found here.

Silicon Valley’s Future of Downtown San Jose event changed to Feb. 24 at Marriott San Jose.  Due to COVID omicron variant, an online viewing option is also available.  Tickets here.

Enter your short film to Screen - Short Film Fridays
Due to rising cases of Omicron, Screen! Shortfilm Friday’s have been rescheduled to Fridays in May,

This is a program partially funded by the Abierto program and supported by SJDA.

Filmmakers! There is still time for you to submit your short films.  This is your chance to put your short film out there and show it to the public. Deadline to submit is March 1.

The short films will be shown May 5, 13 and 20 at 3Below. 100 percent of ticket sales will go to the filmmakers.  

To submit your film, please click here to read the requirements and complete the form. A Screen! representative will reach out to you after receiving the form.

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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