October 26, 2020

Comcast Offering Small Business Grants

Comcast’s “RISE” Program to Offer $10K Grants, Free Commercials and More to Small Businesses
Article by Michelle Caffrey, Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

Back in June, Comcast Corp. pledged $100 million to help fight “injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability” with part of the funding going toward supporting small businesses. Now, we’re getting a look at what that effort will look like.

On Tuesday, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) unveiled its “Comcast RISE” initiative, which is aimed at helping small business owners who were hurt by Covid-19 through access to grants, free media and tech resources, and educational content.

RISE stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment” and is especially focused on Black entrepreneurs in its early stages, citing the outsized impact Covid-19 has had on their businesses in particular. Comcast referred to a National Bureau of Economic Research study which found that when the number of active business owners shrank from 15 million to 11.7 million from February to April, Black-owned small businesses saw the steepest decline of all at 41%.

Starting Tuesday, Black-owned small business owners in the U.S. can apply for the program’s marketing and tech support and free equipment, although all small businesses can access the free marketing insights and resources it’s offering. A second wave will include opening up eligibility to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), who also saw harsher effects from Covid-19 restrictions.

Eligible business owners can apply at ComcastRISE.com.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded in “the coming months,” Comcast said, and are directed at “small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years.”

Comcast’s media and tech resources include offering companies free advertising and marketing consulting with its advertising sales arm Effectv. It also includes free production of a 30-second commercial, a 90-day TV media campaign, new computer and internet equipment, with services covered for up to a year.

Educational content about small businesses, like tutorials, will be offered on Comcast’s X1 set-top box as part of the RISE initiative under a “business learning” destination page.

“We see and know firsthand how vital small businesses are in powering economic growth, recovery and innovation. Now more than ever, driving awareness and maintaining a strong digital presence are crucial for these businesses to succeed,” Teresa Ward-Maupin, senior vice president for digital and customer experience at Comcast Business, said in a statement. “We created Comcast RISE to give these business owners access to the tools and resources they need to survive the pandemic and thrive.”

Comcast announced its $100 million effort to fight inequality earlier this summer in the wake of a sweeping social justice movement and mass daily protests over police brutality and systemic racism. It said $75 million would be in cash support and $25 million would be media spending across five main focus areas.

Preliminary plans included awarding “significant grants” to organizations like the National Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP, the National Action Network and the Community Justice Action Fund.

CEO Brian Roberts told employees in June that Comcast’s leaders agreed “it’s time we start putting our words into real, sustainable action.”

Gilroy Chamber Members See Big Savings on Health Benefits

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce members and their employees have access to unique healthcare options customized to be both affordable and accessible. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is offering a low-cost health benefits program that employers, employees, and Gilroy residents can join.

Businesses can offer this plan to their employees at no cost to the employer. Employers can pay for a portion of the benefits if they choose, but it is not required. The health benefit opportunity being offered is ACA compliant and provides 3 minimum essential coverage plans which have all the preventative services included as well as dental and vision for children.

“In light of the difficult financial challenges residents, businesses and employees are facing,” said Scott Winant, Chair of the Gilroy Chamber, “it’s good to have options that can provide a savings to one’s budget.”

Here’s what members are saying:

“I started investigating CHCCHealth.net when my husband and I were coming off COBRA. I compared it to what we could get in the marketplace, and even with buying the most expensive (CHCC) plan, we saved $500 compared to the least expensive HMO in the marketplace – and we still get to keep all our private doctors! This is a 40% savings off the marketplace price, and a $750 savings on what we were paying for COBRA.” – Karyn Corbett, Gilroy Chamber Member

“I joined the plan being offered through the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce / California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and am now paying $425 per month. Prior to joining this plan, I was paying $1,038 per month for Blue Cross Anthem.” – Lisa Blagof, Realtor and Gilroy Chamber Member.

Costs and outcomes vary depending on individuals’/families’ needs and available plans. To learn more go to https://www.gilroy.org/garliccityhealthcare/

 

Sponsor a Wreath

2020 will mark our 7th year for doing Wreaths Across America. In spite of the difficult year that it’s been, we still hope to place wreaths on all the Veterans’ graves who are buried in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Anyone interested in helping us achieve that goal can click on the link below. Each wreath only cost $15. Checks can be mailed to the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce at 7471 Monterey Street, Gilroy, 95020.

Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for Saturday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. Ceremonies will be taking place at Gavilan Hills Cemetery (includes St. Mary Cemetery) in Gilroy and Mt. Hope Cemetery in Morgan Hill. Guests are invited to take part in the wreath laying. Masks and other COVID safety protocols will be in effect.

Nominate a Woman of the Year

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2021 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org with the deadline to submit Friday, November 6, 2020. Categories include:

2021 Man and Woman of the Year – designed to acknowledge those persons who have a history of unselfish service to the community, contributing to Gilroy’s welfare and betterment.

2021 Small and Large Business of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce business which has demonstrated an extraordinary level of excellence and success in areas such as management skills, innovation, personal commitment, community involvement and support, and a contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit. Separate categories are presented based on business size with small businesses being 25 full or part-time employees or less and large businesses with 26 and above full or part-time employees.

2021 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.

2021 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.

2021 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.

2021 Young Professional of the Year – designed to recognize the accomplishments of a highly motivated young professional who works or lives in South County. Nominees for this award must be between the ages of 21-40 years old.

2021 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – Awarded to young leaders in the community who inspire others through their service and dedication

 

 

October 19, 2020

Help Us Remember

2021 will mark our 7th year for doing Wreaths Across America. In spite of the difficult year that it’s been, we still hope to place wreaths on all the Veterans’ graves who are buried in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Anyone interested in helping us achieve that goal can click on the link below. Each wreath only cost $15. Checks can be mailed to the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce at 7471 Monterey Street, Gilroy, 95020.

Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for Saturday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. Ceremonies will be taking place at Gavilan Hills Cemetery (includes St. Mary Cemetery) in Gilroy and Mt. Hope Cemetery in Morgan Hill. Guests are invited to take part in the wreath laying. Masks and other COVID safety protocols will be in effect.

 

Santa Clara County is now in the Orange Tier!

 

 

Virtual Multi-Chamber Event

A multi-Chamber networking event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00 p.m. Don’t be scared, this Halloween themed event includes the following Chambers:

• Gilroy
• SVO
• Morgan Hill
• Campbell
• Cupertino
• Los Gatos
• Saratoga
• Sunnyvale

This is sure to be a treat as you will have an opportunity to mix and mingle safely with others from your favorite haunt. Click on the link below to register.

Don’t forget to use promo code GIL for free registration!

Nominate a Young Professional

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2021 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org with the deadline to submit Friday, November 6, 2020. Categories include:

2021 Man and Woman of the Year – designed to acknowledge those persons who have a history of unselfish service to the community, contributing to Gilroy’s welfare and betterment.

2021 Small and Large Business of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce business which has demonstrated an extraordinary level of excellence and success in areas such as management skills, innovation, personal commitment, community involvement and support, and a contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit. Separate categories are presented based on business size with small businesses being 25 full or part-time employees or less and large businesses with 26 and above full or part-time employees.

2021 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.

2021 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.

2021 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.

2021 Young Professional of the Year – designed to recognize the accomplishments of a highly motivated young professional who works or lives in South County. Nominees for this award must be between the ages of 21-40 years old.

2021 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – Awarded to young leaders in the community who inspire others through their service and dedication

Rental Assistance Opportunity

Renters Can Apply for Federal Assistance
Alyson Hanner

SACRAMENTO – The FEMA Individuals and Housing Program is available to all eligible renters and homeowners in the counties of Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo, which are covered in the Aug. 22 federal disaster declaration. Federal monetary awards may help pay for temporary housing and other needs not covered by insurance. The initial rental award is for two months and may be reviewed for further assistance.

Renters may also qualify for an award under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance Program for essential personal property and other disaster-related expenses.

These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks or school supplies; replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment; vehicle repair; and medical/dental bills.

Anyone can register with FEMA:

  • Online, by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov;
  • By downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet; or
  • By calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. PDT daily. Helpline operators are also available to answer questions about applications already submitted.

The registration process includes your providing a phone number so FEMA can contact you and set up a virtual home inspection. If you use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, you should provide FEMA your specific number assigned to that service.

To register online at disasterassistance.gov click the blue Apply Online button at the bottom of the page, then review the disaster survivor application checklist and complete an application to learn if you are eligible to receive disaster assistance.

After registering, you may stay on disasterassistance.gov to create a personal online disaster assistance account to stay in touch with FEMA. To create one:

  • Click the green Check Status button at bottom of disasterassistance.gov.
  • Click the blue Create Account button at bottom of page.
  • Enter your date of birth and Social Security number, which you provided previously when registering for assistance.
  • Answer four security questions that are generated from public record data to verify your identity.
  • Create a user ID and password.
  • Enter an email address. FEMA will send a temporary PIN to it within 24 hours. Follow the instructions in the email to finish creating your account.

For the latest information on wildfire recovery, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4558.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at SBA.gov/disaster.

Alyson Hanner joined the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in 2020 after working nearly 20 years in the broadcast news industry. Since joining Cal OES, she has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the historic 2020 wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she served as managing editor at local television stations in San Diego and Sacramento.

October 12, 2020

Dr. Cody Succumbs to Pressure

Just a few days after more than 1,000 emails inundated Dr. Cody and the County Supervisors’ inboxes, Dr. Cody called a press conference and announced the County was relaxing some of the restrictive standards as we prepare to move into Tier 3 (Orange) on Wednesday, October 14. Dr. Cody announced this move at her October 5 press conference. The next day, more than 300 phone calls, coordinated by the Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, were made to the Board of Supervisors’ informing County leaders of why it’s important to allow businesses to operate with indoor capacity.

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce has played a significant role in helping to bring this change about. The Gilroy Chamber, along with 15 other Chambers of Commerce, who belong to the Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, have worked diligently since their press conference back on September 14 to continually apply pressure on County leaders letting them know the business community wants and needs relief.

Mark Turner, President/CEO of the Gilroy Chamber and Co-Chair of the Silicon Valley Coalition is one of 5 members of the Coalition’s strategy team. The strategy team has been developing plans to broaden the Coalition’s effort to include the faith community in pressuring County leaders to loosen the restrictions that have been choking small businesses, churches, movie theaters and other organizations.

The County is currently in the Red Tier which should allow 25% capacity for indoor dining and other indoor gatherings, however, Dr. Cody, the Santa Clara County Health Officer, up to this point, has not allowed any indoor dining or other indoor gatherings. As the County now moves into the Orange Tier (Tier 3) on October 14, she is allowing 25% capacity. While the Gilroy Chamber and the Chamber Coalition see this as progress, they do not see this as sufficient and plan to continue pressuring County leaders to advance indoor capacity to the state’s allowance of 50%.

The Chamber Coalition in conjunction with the faith community are planning a Walk for Freedom (peaceful protest) on Saturday, October 24. More details will follow but the goal is to get at least 1,000 participants to join in.

Santa Clara County Expected to Move In To Orange Tier… With Limitations

This past Monday, County Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody issued a Revised Risk Reduction Order, which will take effect the day after Santa Clara County moves into the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. In light of the lower levels of transmission required to enter the Orange Tier, and in an effort to simplify requirements, this Revised Order would essentially align our local rules with the State’s rules for counties in the Orange Tier with a few exceptions. (See here for an Executive Summary of the Revised Order in English, Spanish.)

Entering the Orange Tier would allow indoor gyms, retail, shopping malls, hotels, museums, and other activities to open at higher capacity than is currently allowed. It would also allow some new activities to resume, including indoor cardrooms, bowling alleys, climbing facilities, wineries, and outdoor bars (seated only service). See here for the State’s matrix of activities allowed in the Orange Tier. Note, however, that not everything would be permitted to open at the Orange Tier level. The Revised Order would allow indoor dining and indoor gatherings to resume locally, but with the Red Tier’s limitations of 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. See the new directives for Gatherings and Dining for additional details (these will take effect when the Revised Order does). Indoor movie theaters will also be permitted to resume operation, subject to the same limitations as indoor gatherings.

For the time being, Santa Clara County remains in the Red Tier and the July 2nd Risk Reduction Order remains in effect. But, on Tuesday, October 6th—with a boost from our strong testing numbers—we met the metrics for the Orange Tier for the first time. If our adjusted case rates and positivity rates continue to improve or remain stable, we will enter the Orange Tier on October 13th. The Revised Order would then take effect the following day, October 14.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Under the Revised Risk Reduction Order issued October 5, ALL businesses must complete a NEW Social Distancing Protocol using the revised webform that will be made available soon. Businesses must complete their revised Social Distancing Protocols within 14 days of when the Revised Order takes effect.

New Social Distancing Protocol Form – Required by All Businesses
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/social-distancing-protocol.aspx#protocol

Executive Summary of the Revised Risk Reduction Order Issued October 5, 2020
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/executive-summary-order-10-05-2020.pdf

Revised Health Officer Risk Reduction Order
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/order-health-officer-10-05-20.aspx

New Mandatory Directive for Dining
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/Mandatory-Directives-Dining-10-9-2020.pdf

New Mandatory Directive for Gathering
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/Mandatory-Directives-Gatherings-10-9-2020.pdf

Wanna Get Away?

Pumpkin People contest returns

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the seventh annual Pumpkin People Restaurant Passport Contest.

Those who purchase a pumpkin dish, item or drink from 10 or more of the participating restaurants will qualify to be entered into a drawing for a two-night stay in South Lake Tahoe.

Participating restaurants are:
• Baskin Robbins (First Street) — Pumpkin Ice Cream and Toppings
• Bobaloca — Pumpkin Spice Tea and Smoothies
• Cafe 152 Bread Company — Pumpkin Loaf, Pumpkin Cookies
• The Claddagh Pub & Restaurant — Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Martini
• Fifth Street Coffee — Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Pumpkin Bread
• First Street Coffee — Pumpkin Vanilla Latte
• Jersey Mike’s Subs — Pumpkin Cookies
• Kneaded — Pumpkin Bread
• Mama Mia’s Ristorante Italiano — Pumpkin Cheesecake
• The Milias Restaurant — Weekly Special Pumpkin Dessert
• Old City Hall Restaurant — Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin-Chorizo Pasta, Artisanal Pumpkin Pie
• Pineapple Village — Garlic Crispy Pumpkin
• Tealeaf — Classic Pumpkin Milk Tea, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
• Tristan’s Cookies & Cream — Pumpkin Cheesecake
• Victoria’s Mexican Restaurant — Pumpkin Margaritas
• The Westside Grill — Pumpkin Pie

After purchasing a pumpkin item from a participating restaurant, ask to have a sticker for your passport indicating your participation with that restaurant.
The contest runs through Oct. 31. For more information, visit gilroy.org/passport.

He Must Be Out of Gas

Is Newsom Serious About Banning Gas Powered Cars?
By Dan Walters, CalMatters

Gov. Gavin Newsom flatly declared Wednesday that “In the next 15 years we will eliminate in the state of California the sales of internal combustion engines.”

It was the latest example of Newsom’s fondness for headline-grabbing pronouncements of “big hairy, audacious goals.”

The classic example was his flat campaign declaration that he would solve California’s chronic housing shortage by building 3.5 million new homes.

That was impossible, as anyone familiar with housing issues could attest, and after his election, Newsom backed off, calling it an “aspirational” goal.

Actually, housing production has declined during his governorship.

The governor’s declaration that by 2035 new car buyers in California must buy only “zero emission vehicles” (ZEVs) seems to be in the mold of his housing promise. In fact, his executive order does not command that it happen, but rather says “it shall be a goal of the state that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will be zero-emission by 2035” and directs the Air Resources Board to figure out how to do it “consistently with technological feasibility and cost-effectiveness.”

Even if he’s serious about it — and one is never certain that he is — there are immense hurdles to overcome, not the least being Californians’ obvious reluctance to embrace battery-powered ZEVs as their primary motor vehicles due to their cost, relatively small size and limited range.

While California accounts for about half of the ZEVs on American roads, they are still fewer than 2% of the nearly 30 million cars and light trucks in California. And despite state and federal subsidies, they are a fraction of the state’s current goal of having 1.5 million in use by 2025.

Newsom’s declaration, and a request to the Legislature to phase out fracking to produce oil and natural gas, cheered environmental advocates who want California to be bolder in reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases. He blamed global warming for the destructive wildfires that have swept through the state this year.

However, business leaders, particularly those in the affected industries, warn about the pitfalls of trying to wean California’s economy off hydrocarbons.

California is one of the nation’s leading producers of oil and gas, particularly since fracking regenerated older fields, and the state consumes immense amounts of both fuels to not only directly power transportation but to generate the electricity that ZEVs must have.

During recent hot spells, as California’s air conditioners drove electric power consumption to levels requiring blackouts, natural gas-fired power plants supplied more than half of the juice.

“Unless California, along with other states and countries, supports a market for ZEVs that ensures vehicle performance, range, safety, functionality, price, and choice for automobile consumers, then California residents alone will be left with higher energy and transportation costs without a material effect on global (greenhouse gas) emissions,” the California Chamber of Commerce said. “Forcing this transition through a mandate will burden the consumers least able to afford it, either by pricing them out of the new vehicle market or increasing the cost to maintain and fuel a used vehicle with a combustion engine.

Predictably critical as that statement may be, it makes valid points about the practical and socioeconomic challenges of doing what Newsom insists will be done.

Finally, there’s the political/legal question of whether California can do it. It would require the federal government to continue California’s “waiver” from federal air pollution rules and that would probably hinge on whether Republican President Donald Trump is re-elected or is defeated by Democrat Joe Biden.

NO on 15 Fact Sheet

Three Measure Test Attitudes on Crime

By Dan Walters, CalMatters

Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this year that as the state’s prison population continued to decline, he wanted to start closing down prisons.

He made good on that intention last week when the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced plans to shutter Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy, which had been constructed in the 1950s as a place where young felons could be transformed into solid citizens.

“Given the need to achieve savings and the decline in the prison population since 2007, the state budget called for the closure of a prison. (Deuel Vocational Institution) was chosen for closure based on cost to operate, impact of closure on the workforce, and population housing needs, and prioritization of public safety and rehabilitation,” Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a statement.

The announcement is the latest manifestation of the immense change in California’s approach to criminal justice, from the lock-‘em-up policies of the 1980s and 1990s — which increased the prison inmate populations eight-fold — to the “reforms” of the past decade that have reduced those populations by more than a third.

Some of that reduction stemmed from federal court orders to decrease the severe overcrowding that developed despite construction of dozens of new prisons. However, it mostly reflected a leftward shift in the state’s political atmosphere and former Gov. Jerry Brown’s desire, during his second governorship, to reverse the tough sentencing policies he had embraced during his first tour of duty four decades earlier.

Brown encouraged the Legislature’s dominant Democrats to modify the state’s tough sentencing laws, symbolized by the “three strikes and you’re out” doctrine approved by voters in the early 1990s, and personally sponsored one of several ballot measures to go easier on those convicted of crimes.

In effect, Brown and others in the criminal justice reform movement have sought a return to the penal philosophy that California had adopted during the post-World War II era — that counseling, education, drug treatment and vocational training could convert offenders into productive members of society. It was the philosophy that led to construction of Deuel Vocational Institution in the early 1950s.

The new reformist approach, however, is not without its critics who contend that crime will increase with fewer offenders behind bars, although there’s no statistical support for that, at least so far. The debate over whether reform is working has also found its way, as do many contentious California issues, onto the ballot via three propositions. In numerical order:

—Proposition 17, placed on the ballot by a reform-minded Legislature, would allow felons who have completed their sentences, but are still on parole, to vote. It’s a mostly symbolic gesture but draws ire from criminal justice hardliners who say it would dishonor victims.

—Proposition 20 is the hardliners’ response to the recent spate of laws that lighten punishment, including Brown’s Proposition 57, a 2016 measure that made parole easier for “nonviolent” inmates. If passed, Proposition 20 would make fewer felons eligible for parole, particularly those convicted of sex crimes, by changing the definition of “nonviolent.”

—Proposition 25 is a referendum to repeal one of the Legislature’s landmark criminal justice changes, a 2018 law that eliminates cash bail for criminal defendants on the assertion that bail discriminates against the poor. The bail bond industry, facing extinction, sponsored the referendum and is seeking a “no” vote to repeal the law, arguing that it allows dangerous defendants to roam freely and commit new crimes.

Together, these three measures test whether California voters endorse the criminal justice reform movement or believe that it’s gone too far.

Chamber Board Seeks Nominations for the 2021 Spice of Life Awards

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2021 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, October 9, 2021. Categories include:

2021 Man and Woman of the Year – designed to acknowledge those persons who have a history of unselfish service to the community, contributing to Gilroy’s welfare and betterment.

2021 Small and Large Business of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce business which has demonstrated an extraordinary level of excellence and success in areas such as management skills, innovation, personal commitment, community involvement and support, and a contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit. Separate categories are presented based on business size with small businesses being 25 full or part-time employees or less and large businesses with 26 and above full or part-time employees.

2021 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.

2021 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.

2021 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.

2021 Young Professional of the Year – designed to recognize the accomplishments of a highly motivated young professional who works or lives in South County. Nominees for this award must be between the ages of 21-40 years old.

2021 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – Awarded to young leaders in the community who inspire others through their service and dedication

Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Information for Employers

Don’t wait… CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES ACTION BY JANUARY 1, 2020

S.B. 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years.

There is no requirement that the 5 employees or contractors work at the same location or that all work or reside in California.

Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

By what date must employees be trained?
Both managerial and non-managerial employees must receive training by January 1, 2020. After January 1, 2020, employees must be retrained once every two years.

What if my employees were trained between January 1 and December 31, 2018?
The law requires that employees be trained during calendar year 2019. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained prior by January 1, 2020.

How can I get training for my employees?
The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce in partnership with CalChamber provides online training courses in English and Spanish. Employees can take their self-paced training from desktops, tablets or cell phones. Members of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce receive a 20% discount on their training courses. To register or get more information, click here  and use code GILHPT during checkout or when ordering over the phone.

What are the laws and regulations governing the sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention trainings?
The law requiring sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training is Gov. Code 12950.1. The regulations governing such trainings are 2 CCR 11024.

Who is required to pay for the training? The employer or employee?
California law specifies that, “An employer . . . shall provide” sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Gov. Code 12950.1(a)-(b). The Department is authorized to seek a court order that “the employer” has not complied with this requirement. Gov. Code 12950.1(f). This language makes clear that it is the employer’s—not the employee’s—responsibility to provide the required training, including any costs that may be incurred. This language also makes clear that employees may not be required to take such training during their personal time; the training must be “provided” by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.

 

October 5, 2020

To Chief Scot Smithee, thank you for a job well done.

I can’t imagine it’s an easy job being a cop. There are a lot of challenges that go along with being a member of law enforcement, especially these days. While the cop on the street has to deal with a lot of stressful situations, running the department as the chief brings a whole other level of stress. The Chief of Police must balance budgets, deal with politics, manage their staff, be a counselor and consoler, handle personnel issues, implement new mandates adopted by the state, do outreach to the community along with coach and encourage new leaders.

The Chief baton at the Gilroy Police Department (GPD) has been passed to a 17-year GPD veteran, Pedro Espinoza. Pedro is sure to do an excellent job in his new role.

The man exiting the stage is Police Chief Scot Smithee. Scot has been part of the Gilroy Police Department for nearly 36 years, serving these last four years as the department’s chief. Scot has served with great honor and distinction. He has held this community in high esteem and has had great respect for its residents, visitors, and business owners. Not only has the community shown great respect in return, the men and women of the Gilroy Police Department believed in Scot, respected him, and willingly served under his command. Scot was and is a true leader.

In this community’s darkest hour, following the shooting incident at the 2019 Garlic Festival, Chief Smithee rose to the challenge of leading this community and his department through the difficult hours, days and weeks that followed. He stood at the podium answering questions at the daily press conferences displaying the type of strength Gilroyans needed to see in their leaders, yet he was still able to show vulnerability, empathy and a caring spirit. These are the qualities everyone looks for in those they follow.

Despite the challenges and difficulties that go with being a cop, I don’t believe it would be easy, after such a long tenure, to remove the badge and walk away. Scot has served as a police officer in Gilroy for more than half his life. It’s all he’s known. He has invested his best years here to make Gilroy a better and safer place for everyone.

On behalf of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Director’s and Chamber staff, I’d like to say thank you to Scot for his years of sacrifice, service and dedication.

Mark Turner
President/CEO
Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

Governor Newsom Fails South County Residents

Let Your Voice be Heard!

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Arrive to the virtual meeting at 9:30am and be prepared to stay 2-3 hours depending on the speaker queue. See Ken’s attached document for details/talking points.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 9:30 am

Public Comment is Agenda Item #6 (should start around 9:45am)

The meeting agenda is attached for your review.

To address the Board in public comment, please review the Public Comment Instructions below, then access the teleconference at https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/94761940886. You may also call into the meeting by smartphone at 1(669)219-2599, meeting ID 94761940886# (participant ID not required)

**Logging on from a computer is the preferred method**

You will be required to identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak – so please be sure the name showing on your Zoom account is showing YOUR NAME (i.e., not your business’s name)

Public Comment Instructions

Members of the Public may provide public comments at this meeting as follows:

  • Spoken public comments will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Board, click on the link above for the appropriate meeting to access the Zoom-based meeting. Please read the following instructions carefully.

You may download the Zoom client or connect to the meeting in-browser. If using your browser, make sure you are using a current, up-to-date browser: Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Microsoft Edge 12+, Safari 7+. Certain functionality may be disabled in older browsers including Internet Explorer.

You will be asked to enter an email address and name. The Clerk requests that you identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak.

When the Board President calls for the item on which you wish to speak, click on “raise hand.” The Clerk will activate and unmute speakers in turn.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. (Call in attendees press *9 to request to speak, and *6 to unmute when prompted.)

When called to speak, please limit your remarks to the time limit allotted.

You can expect to have only one minute to speak. The Clerk will cut off your audio at the end of one minute.

Business Owners should:

  • Introduce themselves
  • Name of business
  • How long they have been in business
  • How many employees they have
  • What they want from the county
  • Being brief and to the point is best.

Employees Should:

  • Introduce themselves
  • Where they work or worked
  • How long did they work there
  • How you have been impacted

Here are sample talking points…the key is to be authentic and heartfelt in the words you choose to use. If one of the talking points below speaks to you, make it your own and use it.

  • We are dying. The problem is acute, deep, and getting worse with every day. Can’t feed the kids, can’t pay the rent, can’t serve the public.
  • We’ll do our part if given the chance. We are prepared to follow the rules but aren’t given the chance (nor the clarity). Worse, we open (and do all the buying, hiring, and prep necessary) and then are told to close. Loss of money and loss of hope. Identify goals without moving the target
  • Is anyone really listening? We hear a lot of talk but the only action is STAY CLOSED or operate outdoors. Neither are viable, long-term solutions. We want to work with you but need to be at the table.
  • If we can’t reopen – how will we survive? What other support mechanisms can the County provide? We’re broke and understaffed. We can’t get loans, we can’t get grants.
  • Time is now. We can’t wait weeks let alone months. We need a clear understanding of the path…one that does not keep changing
  • Entrepreneurs Understand Risk Management. Give us the guidelines to reopen safely and trust us to manage the risks to keep the livelihoods of ourselves and our employees going. Communicate clearly what business and other can do to reopen safely.
  • The stress we are feeling is not just financial. The emotional toll of not knowing is causing us to lose hope.
  • Unfortunately, we know that COVID-19 is going to be with us for a very long time, even once we find a vaccine, so keeping significant parts of our economy shut down is not a solution.
    We are calling on Santa Clara County to take a proactive leadership role to demonstrate pathways to safely reopening the economy.
  • We need to find ways to mitigate risk and safely live with the virus – keeping the economy shut down is not a solution.
  • We can accomplish this by setting high standards for health and safety protocols that limit the transmission of COVID-19 – and allow small businesses to operate and employees to get back to work.
  • The state and county have two different goal posts for safely reopening our economy and our small businesses are caught in the crosshairs – suffering as a result.
  • The economic problem is acute, deep, and getting worse with every day.
  • At minimum, the County must clearly communicate how we can find solutions to safely reopen, using an evidenced-based approach to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Santa Clara County must prioritize saving our small businesses by steering more financial resources to help them stay afloat, especially when they are being forced to remain shut down.
  • Without any local action and an immediate pathway to safely reopening, our small businesses and low-income families simply won’t survive this crisis – increasing poverty and the demands upon the County and State for increased social services.
  • Hundreds and thousands of small businesses and restaurants that are being left behind ever since the COVID-19 shelter-in-place began over 6 months ago.
  • Without any local action and an immediate pathway to safely reopening, our small businesses and low-income families simply won’t survive this crisis – increasing poverty and the demands upon the County and State for increased social services.

Reminder-New Reporting Requirements for COVID-19

Gilroy Rotary Announces Community Grants Program

Chamber Board Seeks Nominations for the 2021 Spice of Life Awards

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2021 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, October 9, 2021. Categories include:

2021 Man and Woman of the Year – designed to acknowledge those persons who have a history of unselfish service to the community, contributing to Gilroy’s welfare and betterment.

2021 Small and Large Business of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce business which has demonstrated an extraordinary level of excellence and success in areas such as management skills, innovation, personal commitment, community involvement and support, and a contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit. Separate categories are presented based on business size with small businesses being 25 full or part-time employees or less and large businesses with 26 and above full or part-time employees.

2021 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.

2021 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.

2021 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.

2021 Young Professional of the Year – designed to recognize the accomplishments of a highly motivated young professional who works or lives in South County. Nominees for this award must be between the ages of 21-40 years old.

2021 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – Awarded to young leaders in the community who inspire others through their service and dedication

Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Information for Employers

Don’t wait… CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES ACTION BY JANUARY 1, 2020

S.B. 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years.

There is no requirement that the 5 employees or contractors work at the same location or that all work or reside in California.

Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

By what date must employees be trained?
Both managerial and non-managerial employees must receive training by January 1, 2020. After January 1, 2020, employees must be retrained once every two years.

What if my employees were trained between January 1 and December 31, 2018?
The law requires that employees be trained during calendar year 2019. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained prior by January 1, 2020.

How can I get training for my employees?
The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce in partnership with CalChamber provides online training courses in English and Spanish. Employees can take their self-paced training from desktops, tablets or cell phones. Members of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce receive a 20% discount on their training courses. To register or get more information, click here or go to gilroy.org and click on “HR Corner” under the “Resources”.

What are the laws and regulations governing the sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention trainings?
The law requiring sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training is Gov. Code 12950.1. The regulations governing such trainings are 2 CCR 11024.

Who is required to pay for the training? The employer or employee?
California law specifies that, “An employer . . . shall provide” sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Gov. Code 12950.1(a)-(b). The Department is authorized to seek a court order that “the employer” has not complied with this requirement. Gov. Code 12950.1(f). This language makes clear that it is the employer’s—not the employee’s—responsibility to provide the required training, including any costs that may be incurred. This language also makes clear that employees may not be required to take such training during their personal time; the training must be “provided” by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.