A Weekly Message to Member Businesses
View this email in your browser

To our members:

We start today with the news from Kastle Systems, which compiles data assisting in return-to-work plans that the San Jose metro area has joined the rest of the country in significant growth in office occupancy -- at least for the week from Sept. 7-14.

We've followed their Back-to-Work Barometer for the past several months and San Jose has lagged behind nine other metro areas.  San Jose is still last of the 10, but we moved the needle significantly the past week, going from 34% to 39.5%.

The 10-city average rose to 47.5%, the highest level since before the pandemic.  New York City, which was stumbling along, too, led the percentage increase, with office occupancy increasing from 38% to 46.6%. San Jose gained on San Francisco, which increased just 2 points to 40.7%, tied with Philadelphia next to the bottom of the list.  Austin is the first city monitored to reach 60% occupancy, while Dallas and Houston are the only other cities above 50%.

Other cities being measured -- all in the mid-40s -- are Washington, DC, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Kastle said it expects the upward trend to continue.

Recent national headlines posted by Kastle:
In Today's Message
Pilot program provides annual transit passes to downtown employees

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

To help get people out of their cars and into public transit, the City of San Jose's Department of Transportation has started a pilot program that provides reimbursement to businesses (not residential or colleges/schools) that enroll in VTA’s SmartPass program
Using the Parking Fund, 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.  Large and small companies in any metered district (Downtown, Japantown, East Santa Clara) can qualify.

Businesses must get passes for every employee -- not just some employees -- by signing up on the VTA website.  Once businesses get their passes they will need to go to DOT with proof that they purchased passes for every employee.  

The passes range from $165 for non-profits to $180.  These links off the VTA SmartPass web pages provide more information:
Determining SmartPass Categories
Determining Service Level
Determining your Annual Rate per Participant 

To receive reimbursement for VTA SmartPass enrollment, email DOT at

Abierto public activation - Apply to produce San Jose events

Four groups still accepting applications -- evaluations begin soon

There's still time to apply for a piece of $600,000 in Abierto program funds.  San Jose Downtown Association, Filco Events, San Jose Jazz and School of Arts and Culture are curating applications to disperse Abierto program funds -- intended to bring people back to San Jose and celebrate after two difficult years.

SJDA will accept applications through Sept. 30, and already has several applicants.  The other three curators will continue accepting applications into October. 

San Jose arts-based individuals, groups or organizations who plan to celebrate the city’s re-opening through events and public space activations are eligible.  Abierto (Italian for “open”) funding provided by the Mayor’s Budget Office of the City of San Jose will range between $500 and $50,000 per applicant.  

The four lead agencies will process the requests, disseminate the funds and provide logistical support.  Before the end of June 2023, recipients can take part three different ways:

  • Activate in Viva Parks/Viva CalleSJ programming;
  • Activate in a one-time program or event;
  • Or activate an event or activation series.

Start by completing an Intent to Participate form available at and send it to Justin Imamura at  Forms are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.  A review committee will evaluate applications and recommend grant awards soon thereafter.

In the first season of the Abierto Program, SJDA allotted funding to Urban Vibrancy Institute for weekly music events; Curatus for South First Fridays STREET MRKT and SubZero; SJSU Department of Humanities and the Arts for a variety of events; Stage One for a short-film series; Friends of Hue for a photo exhibit and School of Visual Philosophy for Second Saturday events along The Alameda.

Save the Date:  SJDA Annual Meeting is Oct. 14

Subject: SJDA Oct. 14 Annual Meeting, 2022 Member Survey and election of Board of Directors

San Jose Downtown Association will introduce new CEO Alex Stettinski and hear current CEO Scott Knies' final "State of the Downtown" at the SJDA Annual Meeting Oct, 14.

The meeting also includes financial reports on SJDA’s assessment districts and the popular lightning-round two-minute committee presentations.

Attend in person at the Hammer Theatre Center or watch online from your electronic device.  Both ways, the meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. 

Register here.  The meeting will also be streamed live via Vimeo.

Please participate in the 2022 Member Survey and election of SJDA’s Board of Directors for the 2023-2025 term by filling out our online Board Ballot and Member Survey.

Members located within the Business Improvement District are eligible to vote.  All ballots received by Oct. 13 will be eligible for a drawing for one of three prize packages,

Proof of vaccination in person will not be required, but face masks are recommended. More about the Hammer.

Bridge Bank and Hammer Theatre Center sponsor the event.

Meetings and workshops 

State of the City address
Today | 6 pm
California Theatre
Free | Register
Mayor Sam Liccardo will deliver the State of the City Address. During this program we will also celebrate residents of San Jose.


Do you want to start a business?
Thursday, Sept. 29 | 3:30-5 pm
Free | Register

Find out what you need to b successful. From business plan to loans to permits – learn from Allie Lopez, Small Business Development Center and Xuan Ha, City of San Jose Small Business Ally.  In English with Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin interpretation.

Downtown is hiring

Businesses can list and prospective employees can search jobs on SJDA's Downtown Is Hiring Webpage. Check it out.

Street closures

SoFA Street Fair  –  Sunday, September 25, 2022  –  2-8 pm
South First Street – Closed between San Salvador Street and Reed Street; San Salvador Street – Closed between Market Street and South First Street; and William Street – Closed between Market Street and just east of South First Street. All closed 6 am-midnight

Through Oct 3, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. — Crews will demolish sidewalk at Park Ave between Woz Way and Almaden Blvd. 

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

Sept 29, Thursday, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.  — Crews will close S First St between William and Reed St for the Best Buy Tech Teen Center Grand Opening. 

Groundwerx keeps it clean

Groundwerx Cleaning Crews help keep downtown clean with sidewalk sweeping, anti-graffiti efforts, pressure washing and more. The special equipment used by Groundwerx is designed to be as quiet and environmentally friendly as possible. 

If you see a mess that needs immediate attention, call Groundwerx at 408-287-1520. Groundwerx also has an app that can be downloaded on Google Play and Apple App Store.

Coming up

19th annual Downtown Doors Artist & Sponsor Virtual Reception
Thursday, Sept. 29 | 6 p.m.
Free | Zoom

RSVP here

Meet the student artists from San Jose high schools who have contributed their artwork to enhance Downtown San Jose's urban landscape, and learn the techniques they used and inspiration for their pieces. We'll celebrate the 10 students, their schools and program sponsors and thank the downtown site hosts. New art scheduled for installation in the next two weeks.

Women of Impact Luncheon
Oct. 14 | 11:30 am
Signia by Hilton San Jose | Hosted by Notre Dame High School

$175 | Register before noon Sept. 29

For the past 13 years, Notre Dame San Jose has been celebrating the contributions of women in Silicon Valley at our annual Women of Impact event. Honoring women for their vision, commitment and leadership, the event highlights their important role in our community and provides resources to transform the future through education that prepares young women for engagement and leadership in careers and fields where they are underrepresented.

This year Notre Dame will honor Dr. Mary Lomax-Ghirarduzzi, the author of Twice as Good: Leadership & Power for Women of Color and the inaugural vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and full professor of communication at University of Pacific, as well as Lori Castillo '92 Martinez, the vice president and chief equality officer at Salesforce.

This event supports tuition assistance as well as expands opportunities for young women to pursue leadership programs and advanced classes in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

Questions or to sponsor a table, or (408) 294-1113 x2170.

Downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley in the News

From the SJSU Alumni Newsletter: SJSU named a top public school in the west in new U.S. News rankings

"The transformative nature of San José State University is on full display in the

2023 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings."

"In the West regional rankings, SJSU rose three spots to #4 in Top Public Schools. Fifteen states make up the U.S. News and World Report’s West region. SJSU also ranked in the top three among public universities in the West in three other categories:"

#2 – Campus Ethnic Diversity

#3 – Best Value

#3 – Best Colleges for Veterans

"Additional West regional rankings include:

#7 – Social Mobility (among public universities)

#15 – Least Debt (for graduates)"

More recent media reports involving Downtown San Jose/Silicon Valley. 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.
Copyright © 2022 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences