This is the forty-sixth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are usually sent on Thursdays.
View this email in your browser
Dear members: 

On Day One of his term as President of the United States, Joe Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan."  Get ready for round two of the PPP loan and California Relief Grant. We also got an inside look at how one small business is dealing with current conditions, thanks to Director of Operations Miyuki One Bear from Enoteca La Storia. 

We're getting through this together.

If you need help, be sure to contact one of us at SJDA.  Our staff email list is at
Biden's "American Rescue Plan"
City of San Jose staff put out a memorandum yesterday providing a description of the major elements of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion "American" Rescue Plan.  The plan still needs to be approved.
Economic highlights include:

Jobs and Economic Recovery: $3 billion to the Economic Development Administration for grants to local governments, non-profits, and educational institutions to support jobs and economic recovery.

Small Businesses: $15 billion in flexible, equitably distributed grants to help small businesses get back on their feet, put the current disaster behind them, and build back better.

Emergency Paid Leave: Extends the paid emergency leave provisions of more than 14 weeks in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to September 30, 2021, and eliminates exemptions under FFCRA for employers with more than 500 employees or less than 50 employees. The plan also includes extending refundable tax credits to reimburse state and local governments for the cost of providing leave to their workforce.

The memorandum and the plan are here.
Round 2 of Paycheck Protection Program funding

A second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding is now available to small businesses, and the last day to get approved for a PPP loan is March 31. 
Here is a playbook that summarizes best practices, resources and learnings from organizing 200+ PPP outreach events at the Small Business Administration. Frequent outreach from diverse, trusted channels, such as churches, nonprofits, etc., is key to improving access and awareness among minority-owned small businesses. Feel free to share this resource with any organizations who may find it helpful. 
Round 2 of California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens
Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the second round of California Relief Grants, starting at 8 a.m., Feb. 2. Applications close at 6 p.m., Feb. 8.
The grants are in amounts from $5,000 to $25,000 and are meant to help small businesses and non-profits that have been affected by the pandemic. It is not a first-come, first-served program.
If you applied during the first round, received a confirmation email and were notified of the outcome, you do NOT need to re-apply. Your application will be included for consideration in the second round.
Priority will be given to applications from regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income communities and underserved small business groups, and how much impact the business experienced.
Because the application period for Round 2 is so short, small business owners are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible to the partners that will provide free assistance in the application process, such as Small Business Development Center. For more providers, see the California Relief Grant partners page.
If you have questions, please call the City of San Jose Office of Economic Development at 408-535-8181 or email
Jan. 27, 12:30 p.m. webinar:  Commercial lease considerations for California small business owners and landlords
With 8 in 10 small business owners struggling to make commercial rent or mortgage payments and a statewide eviction moratorium to sunset on March 31, a wave of commercial evictions and foreclosures is likely on the horizon.
Please join Start Small Think Big and Small Business Majority, which will provide legal context to business owners and landlords who are navigating rent issues in California during the public health crisis.

Topics of discussion:
  • An overview of the current economic trend in California
  • An overview of your rights as a commercial tenant in California
  • A panel of legal experts and business advisors to help you navigate
  • How to find information and rent relief options in your city or county
Register here.
A word with Miyuki, Director of Operations at Enoteca La Storia
Enoteca La Storia is one of the many downtown businesses operating below their usual revenue levels and have made cutbacks and other adjustments to survive. They have pivoted to take-out and delivery, implemented email sales and social media promotions and reduced staff. In addition, they have modified their menu and installed air purifiers and outdoor heaters for their patio (available when al fresco dining is permitted). For their employees and family members, they have arranged for free COVID testing regularly. For the community, ELS has been donating goods and services to several local charities and organizations.

We spoke to ELS’ Director of Operations Miyuki to learn about current business conditions and get an understanding of how other small businesses may be doing during this time.
  • Have you reached out to other business owners about how they’re coping and how you can help each other navigate this difficult time? Yes, we often collaborate with our neighboring businesses and the Little Italy Association. We also are involved in the Greater Downtown Economic Recovery Task Force to share ideas and provide input.
  • What advice do you have for other small business owners? Be scrappy! No idea is too crazy! Tap into your staff for ideas and inspiration; you never know who has skills you might be able to leverage. That bartender may have a marketing degree; that busboy may have mad social media skills!
  • What do you think would be of biggest help to your business right now? Take the time to teach yourself new digital skills. Leverage your vendors to help. Ask for help. Opening up restaurants for spring dining now would help. Also, make applying for grants easier because sites constantly crashing do not help. 
  • Can you tell us a little more about the donation work you've been doing for local charities and organizations and the support you've been giving to your employees? We donate gift cards to vetted charities, mostly requests from our customer bases' connection to schools or other charities they support. We participate in all fundraisers sponsored by Little Italy. We do internal fundraisers (with ELS staff, vendors, friends) to help staff in need. We schedule onsite COVID testing every six weeks for our staff and families. We offer free meals for staff who have been unable to work or who have lost unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Do you have a message you’d like to share with the downtown community? Let's look out for one another! Get on text loops with your immediate neighboring businesses to communicate quickly regarding any issues.
  • Anything else you would like to share? We need to pressure the county to allow us to operate outdoors safely ASAP. Being closed is having a domino effect as buildings are empty, and is leading to increased squatting, break-ins and blight in our business communities. We need to be permitted to operate safely, or we won't be operating at all in a few months. And if grocery stores and retail do not require contact tracing forms, why restaurants? There is way more stuff being touched by customers in retail grocery than in restaurants. It puts undue strain on restaurant operators and is very off-putting for our guests. 
Updates from the County of Santa Clara and State of California
All major healthcare providers serving Santa Clara County are now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to Santa Clara County residents age 75 and older. Patients (age 75+) of KaiserPalo Alto Medical Foundation, and Stanford Healthcare can now make vaccine appointments through their providers. Any county resident age 75 and over who is not a part of one of these systems can now schedule an appointment through a Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) vaccination clinic. This registration form is now available in English and Spanish. Santa Clara County will be opening more vaccination sites and making vaccines available to a broader segment of the community as more vaccine doses become available. For more information regarding the County’s vaccine rollout plan and eligibility, visit (also available in SpanishVietnameseChinese, and Tagalog).

The County of Santa Clara published a new online dashboard tracking the number of vaccine doses received and administered by vaccine providers in Santa Clara County. The dashboard will continue to be revised and expanded as the County gets more refined data from providers. 
Creating a better tomorrow means being here for the arts today
This is a time of unexpected and unprecedented changes to the ways in which each of us work, communicate, connect and experience our everyday lives. The California Arts Council is prioritizing this year’s grant funding to nurture and heal our communities through the arts; to keep the doors of our arts and cultural institutions open; to protect jobs in the creative field; and to preserve our cultural heritage, our stories and our culture bearers. View the 2021 grant season announcement here.

Details, dates, guidelines, staff contacts, and more can be found here. Visit the Grant Resources page for application resources, videos, and webinars. 
Police Chief Candidate Forum Survey
The City of San José is in the process of recruiting for a new Chief of Police following the retirement of Chief Eddie Garcia after 29 years of service to our community. The City will host a live Police Chief Candidate Forum. During this session, the candidates will answer questions posted by San Joseans.
Ask the questions that matter the most to you by submitting them via this short 2 minute survey. During the live Police Chief Candidate Forum, a facilitator will ask the candidate a series of questions that will address major themes and issues from the replies.
This survey will close on Jan. 27. Contact if you have questions. This live forum will air on Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. on the City’s YouTube channelCity website, and Channel 26. Survey is also available in Spanish and Vietnamese.
COVID-19 Links
More Local Resources
If you are a business or property owner reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage, you can submit an online police report here.
To report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district, use the Groundwerx Everywhere app for iPhones or Android.
To report damage, graffiti or things that need to be cleaned in city parks/property or outside the district, use the San Jose 311 app for iPhone, visit or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to with their contact information and an address. A kit will be delivered to your place of business. 

SJDA staff can help.  Our list of staff and emails are here.
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.
Copyright © 2021 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences