A Weekly Message to Member Businesses
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To our members:

Five point one. The earthquake shortly before noon Tuesday centered less than 15 miles from downtown was enough of a shake to get our attention. Thankfully not quite strong enough to cause major damage in our city or downtown.

How many of you did a little research for reminders of what to do during and after a quake.  For yourself? And for your business?

Here's a brief primer for earthquake preparedness.

Tips for Small Business
Before the quake:

  • Assess your risk. Here's the link to FEMA, which outlines the three factors that determine your risk: level of seismic hazard; number of people; and properties exposed.  Use your risk assessment to determine your best course of action.  
  • Other things you can do:  Secure insurance, have a contact list of employees.
  • Identify safe places for staff and visitors, like sturdy tables and door frames. Create an evacuation route you and your employees have practiced. Always have someone designated to be in charge who knows what to do,  Have a Plan B evacuation route ready and a plan how to assist your customers and/or visitors.
  • If you have important volumes of business data, such as financial and inventory records, keep them up to date and transfer them to the cloud and you won't have to worry about retrieving them in the time of crisis. Otherwise, store them in a disaster-proof container.

In the minutes, hours, days and weeks after the quake:

  • Follow the evacuation plans.
  • Try to act fast and get employees back to work ASAP.  Experiences with COVID shelter-in-place should make this simpler for you.  Likewise, consider pivots in staffing and business strategy.  Turn the challenge into opportunity.

Insurance company blog
HR handbook blog 
OSHA info

Personal safety

Most injuries from earthquakes come from items falling on top of people.  Get under something sturdy; you are safer under a table than a doorway.  Protect mostly head and neck and hold on so that you aren't rocked out from under your protected area.

If inside, stay inside, get away from glass and stay put. Turn off the stove and don't turn on gas until a professional has checked your system. 

If in a high-rise building, do not use the elevators and stay away from display and book shelves.  If trapped, remain calm and try to get someone's attention by wrapping on hard or metal parts of the structure.

If outside, stay outside and get to an area that is as wide open from tall things like trees, power poles, power lines and buildings as possible.

Centers for Disease Control earthquake info
Brief summary of the San Jose quake by Newsweek

In Today's Message

Scott Knies Exit Roast is this Saturday

Tickets are still available for this Saturday's roast of SJDA Outgoing CEO Scott Knies.  Scott would love to see his friends from the downtown business community with whom he has worked for 34 years.  At the Signia by Hilton, the evening begins with networking and drinks at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and the Roast begins about 8 p.m.

Plus, this is a fundraiser for the San Jose Downtown Foundation
and our award-winning Downtown Doors high school student-art program

Kastle Back-to-Work Barometer  - San Jose count slips
After a growth surge among office workers in recent weeks, the back-to-work barometer by Kastle reveals a 2.4 percent setback in the San Jose region by workers -- dropping from 43.2 percent to 40.8 percent.

San Jose dropped below San Francisco, which declined less than one point to 41.2 percent.  Philadelphia remains on the bottom at 40.4 percent office occupancy. The 10-city average is 47.9 percent. All 10 metro areas decreased, according to the Oct. 24 report.  San Jose had the second biggest decline behind Austin, which dropped 2.7 points but remains to have the biggest back-to-work share at 61.6 percent.
Groundwerx keeps it clean

As the sun sets earlier and time falls back an hour, here's a reminder that Groundwerx staff is happy to accompany you to your car, home, office or public transportation stop.

Use the Groundwerx app or call the dispatcher at 408-287-1520. The app can be downloaded on Apple App Store and Google Play.

From blades to roller skates

Skating update

Construction at the Circle of Palms starting next week as move-in begins for the ALOHA DOWNTOWN ROLLER RINK opening Nov. 19 through Jan. 8.

Construction time is expected to take less than three weeks, a reduction of four weeks compared to the ice rink build.  Basic construction includes a Sport Court laid over a plywood base, plus “Jersey barriers” – also known as K-rail – providing the walls of the rink.  Unlike the ice rink, which was built on a platform, the roller rink will be laid directly upon the plaza, meaning the palms overhead will have a bigger scale to skaters and spectators.

This new roller rink will have a theme suitable to the holidays and programmable LED lighting on the palm trees.  Whereas the ice rink had "tree corrals" surrounding the trees, the roller rink will have two corrals with the other two spaces designed for a DJ station and for skaters to rest.  The rink will also feature retro design elements to play off a “roller disco” theme.

Across the street at Plaza de Cesar Chavez this week, crews were starting to lay the "snow" down over the grass surfaces, which will make way for the Christmas in the Park displays, which opens the day after Thanksgiving.

Meetings and workshops
Capital Connections: Downtown Development
Friday, Nov. 4 | 8:30 am
Capital Club | Complimentary
Join a panel of local experts in development, hospitality and architecture as we discuss the current state of development in downtown San Jose and what to expect in 2023.
Reach out to to attend.

The VC Playbook:  A guide to equity financing
Nov. 16 | 10 am-2pm
Dr. MLK Jr. Library, Third Floor
Free | Register

A Silicon Valley SBDC event.  Learn about the best practices on getting financed from Venture Capitalists & Bay Angels.

City initiatives

San Jose Launches Disparity Study to Increase Vendor Opportunities for Diverse Businesses

The City of San Jose is launching a disparity study to better understand how minority-, women-, disabled veteran-, and LGBTQ+- owned businesses participate in its contracting policies and practices. The study will determine if there are barriers preventing disadvantaged businesses from working with the City and identify ways the processes could be more accessible and inclusive for all San Jose businesses. 

“This is an effort to level the playing field and give small, underrepresented businesses an opportunity to do business with our City. I look forward to the recommendations that come out of the study so we may have the tools to build more equitable contracting opportunities, and increase the value of those contracts. We want to see our small and disadvantaged businesses grow and prosper,” said Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Chair of the Small Business Advisory Task Force 

The City encourages participation and input from the local business community. All San José businesses are invited to attend and contribute to the first Disparity Study Business Engagement Meeting on Monday, November 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Details are available at

The study will include a comprehensive review and analysis of the City’s Finance, Public Works, and department-led contracts. A significant portion of the study will focus on engaging with local business owners to hear their feedback on the City’s process for selecting vendors, and their experiences attempting to do business with the City.  MGT Consulting Group, is conducting the study.

Small businesses can save energy and money through new San Jose Clean Energy Program

Through San Jose Clean Energy’s San Jose Energy Efficient Business Program, in partnership with Franklin Energy, local businesses can receive significant rebates, up to 90% off, for energy-saving upgrades. This includes energy-efficient upgrades to HVAC, refrigeration, and water heating. By signing up for the program, owners can deeply cut costs for their business and help San José meet climate goals.

Businesses can get started in two ways: sign up for a FREE facility audit with an energy advisor to determine the best upgrades for your business or contact a contractor if you already know what upgrades you want to make. Participating contractors are program experts and will help ensure business owners qualify for maximum program rebates. Visit or call 510-740-9005 to get started. Inquiries are also welcome at The Energy Efficient Business Program is available to any business or school with an active San Jose Clean Energy account.

City of San Jose will reimburse businesses providing transit passes to all their employees

The City of San Jose's Department of Transportation has started a pilot program that provides reimbursement to small businesses (not residential or colleges/schools) that enroll in VTA’s SmartPass program.

The City (DOT) will reimburse companies on a first-come-first-served basis, with a total of $100,000 available this fiscal year and another $100,000 next fiscal year.  Basic parameters of the program include:

  • Business must reside within the boundary of a meter district (downtown, Japantown, old Civic Center)
  • Business must be a “small business” which is 35 or fewer employees;
    • This will be verified by reviewing City’s business license information which includes headcount;
    • Maximum reimbursement will be based on the number of passes purchased, up to 35.
  • Business will need to apply and pay for SmartPass directly with VTA. Sign up on the VTA website.
  • Submit receipt from VTA for SmartPass to the city at;
  • City will verify with VTA that business is enrolled/paid in the SmartPass program

Each downtown pass ranges from $165 for non-profits to $180.  In his budget message last spring, Mayor Sam Liccardo estimated that the budget could cover more than 500 employees each year.

Street closures

Oct 29, Saturday, 8am-6pm – Crews will close W St John St between Terraine St and N San Pedro St. for the 2022 Hallo-Wellness Event coordinated by GYMGUYZ and will focus on community health awareness and youth obesity awareness. The event is open to the public and is themed around Halloween. The event will include exercise stations, health and wellness vendors, music, and a bounce house. 

Oct 31-Nov 4, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm – Crews will close the sidewalk on the southwest side of Notre Dame Ave between Carlysle St and Santa Clara St to install a concrete ADA ramp. Pedestrians will detour to Santa Clara St or Carlysle St. Signs will direct pedestrian traffic. 

Oct 31-Nov 4, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm – Crews will install new sewage at 374 W Santa Clara St. One lane on northeast bound W Santa Clara St will close between Delmas Ave and Guadalupe Parkway overpass. Traffic will merge to the left lane.

Every Wednesday through Nov. 16, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.  —  Crew members will set up a farmer’s market on First St between San Carlos and San Salvador streets. Both directions of First St will close.

Through Nov 22, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm  Crews will close First and Second St between San Carlos St and San Fernando St. Crews will install fire hydrants in three locations. Two locations are on Second St and one location on First St. Northbound traffic on First St will merge to the left lane. Southbound traffic on Second St will merge to the left lane. Flashing arrows, signs, and cones will direct traffic.

Downtown is hiring

The link to job opportunities at the seasonal Aloha | Downtown Skates Roller Rink joins other downtown positions listed on Downtown Is Hiring.

Downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley in the News

Recent media reports involving Downtown San Jose. (Subscriptions may be necessary to see the article).

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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