This is the fifty-fifth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are usually sent on Thursdays.
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State’s framework for the Red Tier and the County’s Risk Reduction Order.

Dear members: 

As the media and our newsfeeds remind us of the anniversary of the shelter in place order and the reality of the pandemic, we take a moment to reflect on the hardship and loss of the last year. Together we have watched the tragic loss of lives, businesses we care about face closure, and the economic hardship brought about by this global crisis. Although the gratitude does not erase the difficulty, we can celebrate that we have also experienced collaboration, creativity, and appreciation - especially for those workers we now know are essential.  Signs are everywhere downtown of hope and tenacity, from new businesses opening, residents moving in, art being installed, and even dog park openings. Through it all, the Downtown Association has doggedly pursued ways to support the needs of our members and visitors, and remind the community of all that downtown has to offer.  We are grateful for your partnership in that effort and know that together we’re moving toward a brighter future.

Mayor’s budget message and two new priorities for FY 2021-22

The Mayor Sam Liccardo's March Budget Message for FY 21-22 presented on Tuesday contained several recommendations with significant implications for downtown. The City Council agreed on two priorities from a list of 31 to focus on in the upcoming fiscal year:  Creating an Encampment Management Strategy and ongoing Al Fresco "dining forever."

SJDA sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council supporting the budget initiatives noted below:

  • Al Fresco extension and expansion
  • Storefront Activation Program 
  • San Jose Small Business and Manufacturing Recovery Initiative 
  • Downtown San Jose Police Foot Patrols  
  • Resilience Corp empowering and employing transitional age youth
  • Data Equity 
  • Restoring our Parks 
  • San Jose Abierto activating events and festivals as the pandemic subsides
  • Expansion of SOAR to support unhoused individuals transitioning from encampments to housing 
  • Airport Connector RFP to support connectivity between downtown and the airport
Read the full Mayor’s Budget Message here.
SJDA's letter is here
Business Eviction Moratorium Webinar
Today (March 18) | 3:30-5pm | Free | Register
Sponsored by City of San Jose

If you didn’t pay rent for your business at any time during the pandemic, you may want to attend.  Start Small Think Big and other experts will give you the lease negotiation tips and tools you need now and after the moratorium ends on March 31.
All Three Vaccines Available are Safe and Effective
With COVID-19 continuing to circulate, the medical advice is this: the best vaccine is the one you can get the soonest. Bay Area health officers released a statement that all three vaccines available for COVID-19 are safe and have been shown to be highly effective at preventing illness, hospitalization, and death.

There is also growing evidence that people who have been vaccinated by any of the three vaccines are unlikely to spread COVID-19 to others who are not vaccinated. The three vaccines have been carefully studied with different groups of people at different phases in the pandemic, and it has been confirmed that all three offer a high level of protection. You can learn more about vaccines on the state’s COVID-19 website

Now eligible for vaccines
As of Monday, the following people are eligible to receive vaccines in Santa Clara County: 

  • Individuals age 16-64 with high-risk conditions including: cancer, chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or above), chronic pulmonary disease (oxygen dependent), Down syndrome, solid organ transplant (with weakened immune system), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension), severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), and type 2 diabetes mellitus with A1c > 7.5%. Note: This list is subject to change in the coming weeks.  
  • Workers in food and agriculture: Workers in groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail that sells food and/or beverages; restaurant workers, caterers, and food delivery drivers; and farmers, farm and ranch workers, and agribusiness support services.  
  • Workers in education and childcare: Workers of public and private childcare establishments (including daycares), pre-K establishments, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.  
  • Emergency services workers (who cannot practically work from home): Workers in a variety of public safety, disaster response, security, protective services, and animal control functions listed in the state’s Emergency Services Sector Index.    
  • Residents age 65+
  • Public transit workers: Workers in public transit including airport and commercial airline workers.
  • Workers and residents in high-risk group residential setting: Individuals who live or work in a group residential setting such as an incarceration/detention facility, homeless shelter, or behavioral health facility.
COVID Financial Update

Three more funding rounds for State of CA small business assistance in March
New funding rounds 4 and 5 of State of California relief grants for California Small Businesses can be found here

  • Round 4 is March 16-23 for nonprofit cultural institutions only that did not receive funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3.  More info below.
  • Round 5 is March 25-31 for eligible businesses and non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2 or 3 and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria.
Eligible grant awards range from $5,000-$25,000, depending on business revenues.  Under $100,000 revenue are eligible for a $5,000 grant.  Under $1 million revenue are eligible for a $15,000 grant.  $1 million to $2.5 million revenue are eligible for a $25,000 grant.

Eligibility guidelines and application instructions are all found on the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant web page.

Round 6 has not yet been scheduled, but will serve those businesses that have applied, met requirements and were waitlisted.

Basic facts for CA Relief Grants for cultural organizations, from Californians for the Arts
Application open March 16-23, 2021

Grant sizes $5,000 (less than $100,000 revenue; $15,000 $100,000-$1 million; $25,000 $1 million+ (no cap on revenue unlike the other small business relief grants)

Eligibility: Grants to eligible nonprofit cultural institutions shall be prioritized on documented percentage revenue declines based on a reporting period comparing Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus Q2 and Q3 of 2019

Note: If you have applied for a CA Relief Grant already and received a grant in rounds, 1, 2 or 3. you are not eligible. If you applied but did not receive a grant, you must complete the new application starting March 16.

Application Info: Once you go to you will be asked to choose a partner.

Cultural Institutions include: Art Dealers; Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters; Dance Companies; Musical Groups and Artists; Other Performing Arts Companies; Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events with and without Facilities; Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures; Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers; Museums; Historical Sites; Nature Parks & Other Similar Institutions.

Federal Paycheck Protection Program
The deadline to get approved for the second round of federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is March 31. Distribution is on a First-come, first-serve basis.

The PPP 2.0 includes two avenues for accessing funds: First Draw Loans and Second Draw Loans:

First Draw Loans

  • Open to organizations that did not receive a PPP loan in 2020, or that did not receive forgiveness by 12/27/20 for a 2020 PPP loan, and either returned or did not accept a portion of that loan
  • Small businesses and nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees are eligible
  • Also: tribes, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors

Second Draw Loans

  • For organizations that received a PPP loan in 2020 and
    • have used or will use the full loan amount for authorized expenses
    • have 300 or fewer employees
    • can show a 25% or more decrease in gross revenue between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020
  • For most borrowers, the maximum Second Draw loan amount is 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs for either 2019 or 2020.

Both types of loans are forgivable if, within the 8- to 24-week period after the loan is received, the organization:

  • maintains employee and compensation levels
  • spends the funds on payroll (at least 60% of total) and other eligible expenses

Funds from both loan types can be spent on:

  • payroll costs, including benefits
  • mortgage interest, rent, utilities
  • worker protection costs related to COVID-19
  • certain other operations expenses

The new PPP 2.0 includes special set-aside funds (First Draw more than $15 billion; Second Draw, more than $25 billion) for borrowers with 10 or fewer employees

Need help? Get assistance from your local SBA office (search here). More instructional PPP info here (video) and here (doc).

Business Tip

Taking steps toward a more friendly dog downtown
With the opening of the new SoFA Pocket Park dog park Feb. 18, we’re becoming even more of a dog-oriented city center.  As customers walk around with their pets, businesses have an opportunity to support these clients by supplying doggie treats, water bowls and other pet-friendly amenities. If this is a strategy you are thinking about for your business or are already doing, let us know so we can promote your pet-friendly actions.  Need some ideas? Our friends at downtown pet store and adoption center Andy’s Pet Shop can help you think about how and what to serve this new audience.

Also, here’s a blog about the importance of public spaces (like dog parks) during a pandemic.

SJDA in the News

Recent media reports involving Downtown San Jose with commentary or behind-the-scenes input by San Jose Downtown Association.  

Also for your reading pleasure …
COVID-19 Links
Newer Links
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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