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This is the fourteenth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear Members and Downtown Stakeholders:

Our efforts are paying off and we're seeing more allowable businesses and activities.  Our restaurants have offered outdoor dining for seven days now.  This week, Local Color and SJDA organized artists and volunteers to paint messages and murals on boarded up windows and doorways throughout downtown to help keep it looking as clean and fresh as possible.  Have a look.  The Farmers' Market opens for the season tomorrow.  The Hart's Dog Park on Santa Clara Street reopened, too.  That's progress. 

But the pandemic is not over.  We must maintain our vigilance keeping up our public health practices so that the spread of the coronavirus continues to slow. Social distancing. Shelter-in-place. Wash hands. And keep hands away from face.  The county is continuously assessing the best strategies to ease restrictions in the safest way possible.  Let's continue to work together to keep the movement toward more social liberties rather than take steps backward to renewed enforcement.

Mostly peaceful protests continue, too, evoking positive and potentially long-lasting change in our city and across the country.  Unfortunately, some of the outrage turns into vandalism and damage to our storefronts.  To offset some of the costs, the public has donated more than $11,000 to our Rebuild Downtown Fund.  More about how to apply can be found below.

We've struggled now for almost four months.  We will persevere and re-create a stronger, more equitable downtown.  Thanks for letting SJDA staff know how we can best support you. 

We are in this together.

San Jose Updates
San Jose Al Fresco Program
San Jose Al Fresco, the City's program to allow businesses to utilize sidewalks to conduct business during shelter-in-place, is now open and accepting applications.

Once your application is submitted, you will be able to start utilizing the space in front of your business immediately, as long as you meet the terms and conditions described in the application.

Though often discussed as an outdoor dining initiative, this program is available to other kinds of businesses as well. The application process is relatively straightforward,  though there are additional requirements around utilizing private property (privately-owned parking lots adjacent to your business for example) and for restaurants serving alcohol.

If you have expanded your footprint into the public right of way but haven't yet sent in your application, please do so. It will help us prove to the City that this program is welcome, that it helps small businesses, and that we would like to see this type of thinking applied more broadly.

If you have any questions about the Al Fresco initiative or would like assistance applying, please contact Business Development Manager Nate LeBlanc: nleblanc@sjdowntown.com

SJDA lists open-air seating restaurants
Check out SJDA's Eat webpage, with a new "Outdoor Dining" section. When you are open and have outdoor seats, please email Jessica and we'll add it to your dining options as featured on sjdowntown.com

Tap into Rebuild Downtown Fund to help defray damage expenses
More than $11,000 has been donated by the public to the Rebuild Downtown Fund set up by San Jose Downtown Foundation to help businesses recover from recent damage.    
The fund is meant to help impacted businesses to: 
  • replace glass windows and damaged doors,
  • replace stolen products, 
  • offset insurance deductibles,
  • beautify property, and
  • cover the cost of boarded up windows.
If you seek funding to help defray damage or looting expenses, fill out this short application by noon Monday, June 22.  Payments should begin soon thereafter.

San Jose Downtown Farmers' Market officially opens Friday, June 12
All systems are GO! for the San Jose Downtown Farmers' Market seasonal opening Friday at 10 a.m.  Seniors (60+) and high-risk shoppers get the first hour; the market is open to everyone from 11 am-2 pm at San Pedro Square. At least 15 farmers will be at the market selling their fresh fruits and vegetables.  Please wear a face mask while you shop.  Other guidelines will be in practice as well.  More here.  Guidelines here.

Face Coverings Now Required
The San Jose City Council passed an ordinance requiring members of the public to wear face coverings when outside of their homes including:
  • Inside of any business (indoors or outdoors);
  • Waiting in line to enter a business or retrieve items with curbside pickup;
  • Engaging in essential infrastructure work;
  • Obtaining healthcare services; and
  • Waiting for or riding public transit.
Exceptions include: exercising outdoors, like walking, hiking, bicycling, or running; children 6 years old or younger; anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance; anyone who has been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face covering; and any worker to the extent wearing a face covering creates a safety hazard at work under established health and safety guidelines.

San Jose Resumes Limited Parking Compliance Activities
On Wednesday, San Jose Parking and Traffic Control Officers (PTCOs) began identifying non-operational vehicles and leave a warning for owners, notifying them that it is illegal to park non-operational vehicles on city streets.  This is the first step in reviving parking compliance activities in the city that were halted in March due to the pandemic.

Starting June 15, non-operational vehicles will be towed.  The next phase, expected to begin later in June, will include identifying and issuing warnings for safety-related parking violations such as blocking curb ramps, bike lanes, sidewalks, and red curbs.

Parking compliance activities are meant to address potential health and safety concerns while remaining sensitive to community’s economic concerns and public health order protocols.
Messages from the State of California
Beware of contact tracing scams
On Monday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a consumer alert warning consumers about a new fraud scheme involving phony COVID-19 contact tracers.  Contact tracing is an important tool to slow the spread of coronavirus.  This tool helps local public health departments identify people who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected individual. Once informed, people can quickly take proper precautions.  In this new fraud scheme, scam artists pretend to be contact tracers to trick Californians into divulging their private personal information such as Social Security numbers, financial information, or health insurance information. These scam artists are contacting Californians by phone, email, or text. 

To avoid falling victim to this scam, the California Department of Justice offers some tips and precautions:
  • Real contact tracers will only ask you about your medical symptoms and the people you may have been in contact with.
  • Real contact tracers will never ask for your Social Security number, financial or health insurance information.
  • If someone claiming to be a contact tracer asks for any kind of financial information or tries to charge you money, it is a scam! Please report it.
If you believe you have been the victim or target of a scam related to COVID-19, please immediately file a complaint at ‪www.oag.ca.gov/report.

DMV reopens 169 offices today
Today, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reopened its remaining field offices that were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  With this phase of reopening, employees at 169 field offices will assist customers with current appointments at the specific office and limited transactions that require an in-person visit. Behind-the-wheel drive tests are not yet available, and the DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals. More.
Along the Road to Recovery
Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program favor small businesses

The rules small business owners need to follow in order to get their federal loans forgiven just got more lenient under the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act.

$131 billion remains to be loaned. With new loans comes more time to spend the money, less emphasis on payroll; and more time to rehire staff.  Those who already received their loans should contact their lender to see if their loans can apply to the new guidelines.  More here.
COVID-19 Resources
Santa Clara County Links: 
Keeping Downtown Clean and Safe
  • Groundwerx's hours are from 6 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Use the Groundwerx Everywhere App or call 408-287-1520 to report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district.  Download the Groundwerx Everywhere App for iPhones and Android.
  • Use the San Jose 311 app, to report streetlight outages, graffiti, and potholes.
  • Help #KeepSJClean this summer by recycling right. 
  • Let's keep our streets clean by moving our cars for streetsweeping services. Check the schedule.
  • For fallen trees or branches, call the tree emergency hotline at: (408) 497-4062. Please have a nearest address available to share with the operator.
Local resources for businesses:
  • Businesses or property owners reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage can submit an online police report here.
  • 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 or Android, visit sanjose.custhelp.com or call 311.
  • Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to antigraffiti@sanjoseca.gov with their contact information and an address.
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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