Gilroy Chamber Business Focus July 2022

July 25, 2022

What’s New With Business

The current state of Child Care is causing huge issues for employees, and the businesses that rely on them. Skyrocketing costs and lack of availability is impacting working families, but there are solutions out there. TOOTRiS is hosting a series of free 30-minute webinars to go over these Child Care challenges and creative ways to solve them. These 30-minute webinars are scheduled every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 12:00 p.m. (noon).  You can sign up for a webinar here

 

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and Zero Waste Silicon Valley invite Businesses and residents to drop-off their electronic waste on Saturday, August 27 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. This is a free event contactless drive-thru event. 

The general rule of thumb is that if it has a plug, you can recycle it with us! But check out the list of items here for more specifics.

Batteries, lightbulbs, refrigerators, ovens/stoves, washers/dryers, large household appliances are NOT ACCEPTED.

 

Chris and Larry Mickartz with InfoPower Communications have completed their extensive work on the Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook, a 248-page full color 9” x 12” hard cover tabletop book. There are over 2,000 photos from the early days of planning in 1978 through 2021 with highlights of each year… guaranteed to bring back those treasured memories of one of the most successful food festivals of our time. For more information go to ggfplaybook.com.

 

Help save a life. Schedule your blood donation appointment today. The Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center, located in The Neon Exchange at 7365 Monterey Road, is hosting a blood drive in honor of all those impacted by the GGF shooting and in support of the American Red Cross. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, contact the Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center at gilroystrong@dao.sccgov.org, or (408) 209-8356.

Build More Houses! Use Less Water! California, Can You Have It Both Ways?

Column: Officials say yes, but skeptics aren’t so sure the two goals are compatible during a drought

Article by Teri Sforza, The Mercury News 

Thousands of new apartments will be built in Irvine, and this create cognitive dissonance for Stan Jones.

The planned 24-acre lagoon at “Cotino, Storyliving by Disney” in Rancho Mirage, and the 17-acre Wavegarden Cove Pool and Resort in Palm Desert, do much the same for Paul Burt of San Pedro.

Larry Anderson shakes his head, too. He tracks construction within a 40-mile radius of Hemet and counts more than 7,000 new units planned or already rising, even as the governor implores Californians to dramatically cut water use to deal with historic drought and officials scold us for falling short.

“If the water shortage is that bad, why is there such a boom in new housing development going up all over the place?” Anderson asked. “How can anybody believe there is a water shortage when this new building is going on?”

“If the governor wants us to cut the use of water by 15%, why do he and the state legislature (who have plenty of their local water to drink and irrigate their gardens) force water-shortage areas to build housing units that require more water?” Jones wondered. “Why aren’t there columns written critical of those that have plenty of water forcing us to have an even greater per household shortage of water?”

It might seem crazy on its face. But the water czars say those goals are not as incompatible as they appear.

More and less

First, officials point that California’s population is not growing, but actually declining. These new units won’t, at least theoretically, add people to the Golden State, but rather spread them around to (what they hope will be) more affordable and efficient digs.

Second, new construction and landscaping are far more water- and energy-efficient than even just a few years ago. These 21st-century developments use native plants and recycled water for landscaping, water-wise toilets and appliances and showerheads.

And third, there’s still a whole lot of room for conservation. In 2000, Californians used about 231 gallons per person per day. Today, they use about 85 gallons per person per day. Dramatic as that is, there’s still plenty of room for more, officials said.

“Interestingly, our drinking water use is down 10% despite a population increase of 13% since 2013,” said Nicole​​ Stanfield, spokesperson for the Santa Margarita Water District. “New homes and communities are more efficient than ever – with high-efficiency appliances, faucets have efficient flow devices, and landscapes use California-friendly plants rather than thirsty grass. Our new communities have many shared spaces and use recycled water to keep them green.

“We’ve always relied on imported drinking water in our region and have invested a lot of resources to reuse and store it locally. SMWD recently achieved its longtime strategic goal to recycle 100% of its wastewater. With the completion of OC’s largest recycled water reservoir, Trampas Canyon, in 2020, we can now store all of our recycled water rather than send some to the ocean.”

The long-term goal is to have 30% of the water supply be local by 2030. With limited access to groundwater – like much of Southern California – the South Orange County provider said recycling and desalination will be key to reaching the goal.

Edward Ortiz of the California Water Boards said there are still many things that Californians can do to save water both in the short and long term, including the embrace of drought-resistant plants, fixing leaks and only watering when and where it’s really needed.

Damon Micalizzi, spokesperson for the Municipal Water District of Orange County (which imports the stuff), said that conservation alone will never be enough.

“Does anyone really expect the governor to put up a ‘no vacancy’ sign for California?” he said. “If we’re ever going to get out of these perpetual cycles of conservation mandates and drought restrictions, it’s going to be the result of building infrastructure to shore up our current supply.

“California has a storage and delivery problem. The water is there. Climate change is just making it more difficult to capture. We’ve been talking about building things for years, and we haven’t broken ground.”

Reservoirs are needed to store what gushes into the sea when we get big, heavy rains, he said. The Delta Conveyance Project would modernize the delivery from north to south. Desalination would provide an entirely new source. More recycling would boost supply. “But you just can’t conserve your way out of the drought,” he said.

More homes

California ranks 49th out of the 50 states on housing units per capita, and the state is pushing, shoving, cajoling and threatening cities and counties to finally fix that.

The region’s 191 cities, in six counties, plan to build more than 1.3 million new homes by the end of 2029 in response to state requirements that they quit dragging their NIMBY feet and build more, more, more.

Critics object that the 1.3 million-unit number is too big — like adding an entire Orange County and entire Ventura County to the region.

Our colleague Jonathan Lansner, who keeps his famous “trusty spreadsheet” and knows literally everything about real estate (and lots of other things, which he’ll happily tell you about), scoffed.

California builders filed permits for 119,000 new units in the 12 months that ended in May, about the same building pace as the previous four years, he said. “So for all the state bureaucracy’s homebuilding bluster … zippo has changed!” said he.

With about 14.5 million existing housing units, the current building pace is not even close to 1% of current housing supply. With residential water use comprising about 20% of total water demand — agriculture and industry account for most of the rest — “new housing equals maybe a 1/10 of a percentage point of water demand … an incredibly small puddle in the seas of purported water shortage.”

Not convinced

Skeptic Burt, retired from Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Bomber Program, thinks the powers-that-be are shortsightedly seeing only what they want to see. 

Desalination plants should have been built 60 years ago, he said. Low water levels shrink hydroelectric generation from the Glen Canyon to the Hoover Dam.Cities that sit atop groundwater aquifers that are plentiful now may be in for painful surprises, he said.

“First, dendrochronology (tree rings) tell us there have been two droughts in California; one lasting about 150 years, another 200 years,” he said by email. “Think about that.

“If the current drought cycle turns out to be one of these ‘big ones’ — in the big picture — none of these feculent ideas to curtail usage that might ‘sound good’ will be enough, period! End of story.”

Protesting Truckers Pledge Extended Blockade of Port of Oakland

Drivers who have brought the port to a virtual standstill say they will maintain their protest until they can talk to California’s governor about the state’s new ‘gig economy’ law

Independent truck drivers gather to delay the entry of trucks at a container terminal at the Port of Oakland during a protest against a California law known as AB5.

By Paul Berger – Wall Street Journal

Truckers say they are prepared to block the West Coast’s third-busiest container port until California Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to concerns about a new state law that will make it harder for them to operate, ratcheting up the potential for new disruptions to already-strained U.S. supply chains.

“It may go on for a few more weeks or a few more months,” said Gary Schergill, the general manager for an Oakland-based trucking company, J & S Drayage LLC, who identified himself as a representative of hundreds of truckers protesting at the port. “We’d like to have a sit-down.”

Representatives for Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The truck protests, originally intended to last a few days, have swelled since they began Monday, bringing cargo movements at the port almost to a standstill.

Protesters have prevented most trucks from dropping off and picking up containers at cargo-handling facilities. One trucker said protesters threatened to smash his windows if he entered the port.

As the number of protesters grew on Tuesday and Wednesday, unionized dockworkers refused to cross picket lines on foot or by car, citing health and safety concerns. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has said it supports the new California law because it protects worker rights and helps them join a union.

Ed DeNike, president of SSA Containers, which handles about 70% of the cargo entering and leaving the port, said he hopes to resume some operations soon.

Once dockworkers do get to their cranes they won’t be able to do much work. Mr. DeNike said his container yards are so full the firm has only enough space to move about 2,000 of the 10,000 containers it usually loads and unloads from ships in a 24-hour period. “At some point, we may not be able to do anything,” he said.

Port officials said 15 container ships were waiting for berth space by the docks on Wednesday.

The Oakland port, a major import gateway and a hub for U.S. agricultural exports, has struggled to handle surges of container volumes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic it was unusual for ships to have to wait for a berth at the port.

Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a Washington-based association representing farming interests in shipping, said the protests are a blow to exporters of almonds, walnuts, rice and dairy products who were just beginning to make progress after two years of struggling to get products overseas. “The supply chain already is in crisis,” Mr. Friedmann said. “This is a huge disruption.”

The protests at the port gates mark the latest disruption to hit U.S. ports since the impact of the pandemic upended trade flows in 2020, triggering big backups at Southern California ports as companies rushed to restock inventories and the gateways struggled to handle surging container volumes. The backup at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has receded but bottlenecks have hit ports including Oakland at times and have more recently grown at East Coast ports as importers have sought alternative gateways.

The California law, known as AB5, is part of a broader regulatory battle across the U.S. over independent-contractor arrangements at transportation companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which aims to organize drivers in California, says trucking companies have misclassified drivers as independent contractors to deprive them of fair wages and benefits.

Many trucking companies employ their own drivers. But in California they also rely on an estimated 70,000 independent owner-operators carrying loads between the state’s ports and distribution centers. The law makes it harder for trucking companies to classify the drivers that work regularly for them as independent contractors.

Many drivers say the new law will force them to seek work as an employee-driver or they will have to pay more for insurance and permits to remain independent under the law’s guidelines.

Said Ahmedi, a 47-year-old trucker and protester from Elk Grove, Calif., said he likes the freedom of being self-employed, but it would be too complicated to continue as an owner-operator under the new law.

Mr. Ahmedi said he earned almost $70,000 last year as an independent driver and was still able to take two, monthlong trips to visit family and in-laws in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.

“If I am a working driver I am stuck with the company,” he said.

California legislators passed the law in 2019 and it was due to take effect in 2020, but it was delayed because of a legal challenge by the California Trucking Association. A June 30 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case allows California to begin implementing the law in the coming months. The trucking association’s legal challenge continues in lower courts.

Troubled Bullet Train Project Given a Reprieve

Opinion by Dan Walters, CalMatters

A rendering of the proposed California High-Speed Rail. Courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority

In 2019, just weeks after being inaugurated as California’s governor, Gavin Newsom issued what many took as a death knell for the state’s troubled bullet train project.

“But let’s be real,” Newsom told legislators in his first State of the State address. “The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.

“Right now, there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.,” Newsom said. “I wish there were. However, we do have the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield.”

It seemed as though Newsom wanted to finish the initial phase in the San Joaquin Valley and then give up on a statewide link between the San Francisco Bay Area (and perhaps Sacramento) and Southern California.

The reaction from project supporters, particularly construction unions, was swift and sharply negative and Newsom claimed that reporters misinterpreted his intentions.

“I just think people in the media should pause before they run headlines and actually consider the facts and maybe even ask the person that’s stating things before they run with things,” Newsom said. “That’s the deep lesson I learned in this.”

He insisted that he wasn’t abandoning a statewide system, but wanted to concentrate first on completing a working portion in the San Joaquin Valley. That limited goal, however, also has vexed the governor as costs continued to rise and work slowed to a crawl.

Seizing on Newsom’s words, President Donald Trump’s administration tried to claw back a nearly $1 billion federal grant for the project that predecessor Barack Obama had awarded. When Joe Biden became president, the grant was restored.

Last year, Newsom asked the Legislature to appropriate the $4.2 billion remainder of a $9.95 billion bond issue that voters approved in 2008 to build the system, but legislative leaders balked, saying, in essence, that it would be money down a rathole and would be better spent on local and regional transit projects.

The stalemate over the bond money lasted for a year but in June, Newsom bought off legislative naysayers by providing $3.65 billion from the state’s huge budget surplus for the local projects in return for freeing the bond money.

However, the compromise also included an inspector general’s position to oversee the High Speed Rail Authority, which outside critics have faulted for delays and cost overruns.

“They know that with the inspector general that they’re going to be watched,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, one of the sharpest critics, said. “They’re going to be held accountable.”

There has been some construction, including a bridge over the San Joaquin River near Fresno, but having tracks that will carry trains is years away and heavy expenses loom for electrification and rolling stock. Newsom has also expanded the San Joaquin section on both ends to Merced in the north and Bakersfield in the south, which carries its own price tag.

It could be a decade, or more, before trains actually begin carrying passengers between the two cities, but without connecting Bakersfield to Los Angeles and Merced to San Francisco, the segment would be little more than an amusement park ride.

As it stands — and as Newsom said in that 2019 speech — there are no plans to finance multi-billion-dollar extensions to make the bullet train a real transportation alternative. He seems to be content to provide enough money to maintain construction for the remainder of his governorship and leave it to his successor — or successors — to decide what to do after that.

July 18, 2022

Proud Members of the Gilroy Chamber

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce appreciates the support of our members. Investment dollars are dedicated to vital programs such as economic development, business marketing, leadership programs and more. We applaud each of you for helping make Gilroy a better place to live and work.

30 Years & over

Fortino Winery

Hanna & Brunetti-Assoc. Engineers Survey Services

Pacific Diversified Insurance Services

20 Years & over

Bracco’s Towing & Transport 

Clos La Chance Winery

E-Z Clean Car & Doggy Wash

MBS Business Systems

Abbas Raissi, DDS

South Valley Civic Theatre

10 Years & over

DreamPower Horsemanship

Learning Services

Merrill Gardens-Village Green

Method Construction, Inc.

Pacific Coast  Benefits, LLC

Power Pros

Eshan Rezvan, DDS MS

RFI Security, Inc.

Westside Grill 

5 YEARS & over

Executive Plan Design

Garlic City Embroidery Studio

Gilroy Car Care

Gilroy Compassion Center

Gilroy Police Foundation

Sonja Biggs Educational Services, Inc.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to California Small Businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small nonfarm businesses in the following counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by freeze that occurred in the following primary counties in California, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Declaration

Number

Primary

Counties

Neighboring

Counties

Incident Type

Incident Date

Deadline

17515

Butte, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba.

Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sonoma, Trinity and Tuolumne.

Freeze

Feb. 21 – Feb. 28, 2022

3/01/23

17516

Colusa and Glenn.

Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Sutter, Tehama and Yolo.

Freeze

Feb. 24, 2022

3/01/23

17517

Amador, Calaveras and El Dorado.

Alpine, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne in California; Douglas in Nevada.

Freeze

April 11 – April 13, 2022

3/01/23

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disasters and businesses directly impacted by the disasters,” Garfield said.

 Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disasters not occurred.

 “Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disasters only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate as low as 2.94 percent for businesses and 1.875 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said. 

By law, SBA makes economic injury available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared these declarations on July 1, 2022.

 Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.

 Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants

Applications are Now Open!

Applications Close: July 26, 2022

Announcement of Winners: October 2022 

 AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants is providing 100 cash grants to Asian American or Pacific Islander American (AAPI-) owned small businesses. 

About The Grant Program

The COVID-19 pandemic hit AAPI business owners across the country hard. Now as signs of recovery emerge, the long tail of COVID’s economic impact on small businesses continues. We recognize the power of Asian and Pacific Islander American entrepreneurs and have partnered with community organizations with support from Meta to provide $2 million in cash grants to help business owners stabilize, innovate, and grow.

AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants will award Asian and Pacific Islander American-owned businesses cash grants and other valuable resources:

  • $10,000 cash awards to give a boost to 40 AAPI business owners who launched their businesses during the pandemic
  • $25,000 cash awards to 60 AAPI business owners who launched prior to pandemic and made it through, where a cash grant could help take their vision to the next level

AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants is a project of National ACE and Reimagine Main Street, with support from Meta.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The business must be Asian American/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian (AAPI) majority-owned (51% or more AAPI-owned).
  • The business must be based and operating in the United States.
  • The business must currently be in operation.
  • The business is legal and for-profit.
  • Launch date prior to January 1 2020, Revenue of at least $100,000 in each calendar year 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Started on or after January 1, 2020 and by at least December 31, 2021, average monthly revenue of at least $1K since launch
  • You are able and willing to document your revenue.

Click here to apply. 

Job Killer Pay Data Publication Bill to Be Heard in Assembly Next Month

By Ashley Hoffman, CalChamber

A California Chamber of Commerce job killer bill that will encourage lawsuits against businesses and make hiring more burdensome will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee in a few weeks.

The proposal, SB 1162 (Limón; D-Goleta), encourages litigation against employers based on the publication of broad, unreliable data collected by the state. It undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes burdensome administrative and record keeping requirements, and subjects employers to a private right of action and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

The additional burdens and costs this proposal would create will limit an employer’s ability to offer higher wages and benefits to new or existing employees and discourage growth or expansion in California.

Reports Not Helpful, Will Only Facilitate Lawsuits

In 2020, SB 973 required all California employers with 100 or more employees to report pay data by sex, race, ethnicity, and job category to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DEFH). The first year this information was reported was last year, 2021. The reports were modeled after the proposed federal EEO-1 form, and employers must categorize employees within 10 broad job categories and identify the number of employees that fall within 12 pay bands.

In responding to concerns about the usefulness of the reports, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explicitly stated that these reports are not useful for identifying disparities in pay between two similarly situated workers: “The EEOC does not intend or expect that this data will identify specific, similarly situated comparators or that it will establish pay discrimination as a legal matter. Therefore, it is not critical that each EEO–1 pay band include only the same or similar occupations.”

In a letter sent to legislators, the CalChamber explained that after only one year of this reporting requirement, SB 1162 seeks to publicize all of this data identifiable by individual companies and add average wages for each job category by race and gender under the pretense that it would reveal gender and race-based pay disparities.

The CalChamber pointed out that this data was never designed to show such disparities and that publicizing the data to target employers is a cynical and disingenuous manipulation of what the EEOC itself has acknowledged is not a reliable measure of pay disparities between similarly situated employees.

Indeed, these reports will surely be used to develop future legislation, the CalChamber warned. Just this year, there were several bills pending in the Legislature that would use this data as if it does in fact provide proof of discrimination. The bill also proposes adding a report in which employers must publicly identify any labor contractors that they contract with, again with the intent of criticizing employers who use contractors, which is not unlawful.

Similar to what is proposed in SB 1162, a 2017 bill, AB 1209 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego), would have required the publication of data from employers on mean wage differentials between male and female employees. In a Sacramento Business Journal article that year, a member of the plaintiff’s bar stated: “By posting this on the Secretary of State’s website, the government is basically giving us (plaintiff lawyers) the data we need to go in there and hammer companies.”

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed AB 1209 due to this exact concern about litigation, stating in his veto letter: “…it is unclear that the bill as written, given its ambiguous wording, will provide data that will meaningfully contribute to efforts to close the gender wage gap. Indeed, I am worried that this ambiguity could be exploited to encourage more litigation than pay equity.”

Private Right of Action, PAGA

In its letter, the CalChamber also pointed out that section two of SB 1162 contains a private right of action. Because it amends a section of the Labor Code, it also exposes employers to lawsuits under PAGA.

More significantly, one of the biggest issues with the overreach of PAGA is that a plaintiff need not show harm to bring a PAGA claim, the CalChamber explained. This means that any employee, even one who was not interested in the open job position, could bring a claim under PAGA for a violation of this section.

Could CA Labor Law Derail The Supply Chain?

Article by CalMatters

California’s long-simmering war over a controversial state labor law is threatening to boil over at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland — sparking fears of disastrous ripple effects across a global supply chain already at its breaking point amid pandemic backlogs, ongoing labor disputes and inflation at a 40-year high.

The escalating dispute is increasing pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom to outline a game plan for implementing AB 5, a law he signed in 2019 requiring companies to reclassify many of their independent contractors as employees and grant them the requisite benefits.

On Monday, truckers are expected to protest AB 5 at the Port of Oakland — as they did Wednesday at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The law was originally set to go into effect in 2020, but tangled legal battles temporarily blocked it. However, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 cleared the way for the law to proceed when it declined to consider a challenge brought by the trucking industry, though legal fights are still playing out in lower courts.

The move threw into legal jeopardy the status of California’s approximately 70,000 independent truck owner-operators, who, in order to comply with new regulations, may have to obtain licenses and insurance that trucking officials say could increase their annual operating costs by $20,000 — forcing some out of the industry, straining an already overstretched workforce and raising consumer prices. But some truckers support the law, saying it will protect them from wage theft and other abuses.

How Newsom handles the situation could have implications for how he’s perceived on the national stage, especially as he returns to California today from a high-profile trip to Washington, D.C.

A White House official told Bloomberg that the Biden administration is looking forward to California’s action plan for handling AB 5, and groups ranging from Republican state lawmakers to the trucking industry have sent Newsom letters asking him to take executive action to delay implementation of the law.

  • Retired U.S. Army General Stephen Lyons, the recently appointed White House supply chain envoy, said at a Wednesday meeting at the Port of Los Angeles“The truckers are so critical to this supply chain and we’ve got to make sure there are conditions that will take care of them. We’ll continue to watch and assess these impacts.”

Meanwhile, it remains unclear when and how the state will start enforcing AB 5. Newsom’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

But that isn’t the only labor dispute putting stress on the supply chain: About 20,000 pieces of cargo have been piled at the Port of Los Angeles for more than nine days awaiting rail transport, up from a typical wait of about two days, Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director, said Wednesday. Part of the reason: A railroad labor standoff that could lead to tens of thousands of workers across the country walking off the job on Monday if the Biden administration doesn’t intervene before then.

Separately, West Coast dockworkers and shipping companies are engaged in high-stakes negotiations over a contract that expired July 1, though both sides have committed to continue working until a deal is reached.

July 11, 2022

Groundbreaking Ceremony: Eigleberry and 7th Street Parking Lot

Join the Gilroy City Council and the City of Gilroy to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new parking lot in Gilroy’s historic downtown at the corner of Eigleberry and 7th Street. Please enter the groundbreaking site from Eigleberry Street or Gourmet Alley. Everyone is welcome.

In addition to regular vehicular parking, the new parking lot will also include EV charging stations, electric vehicle parking spaces, bike lockers, and disability parking. The new parking lot is anticipated to open for public parking in early 2023.

For more information about the Eigleberry and 7th Street Parking Lot, please visit: https://ca-gilroy.civicplus.com/859/City-Infrastructure-Projects

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Eigleberry and 7th Street parking Lot

Thursday, July 14, 2022

4:00 PM

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, join the Gilroy Downtown Business Association for live music, vendor booths, and food at Downtown Live, held on Monterey Street in Gilroy’s historic downtown, starting at 5:00 PM.

California Supreme Court to Determine Scope of Employer Liability for At-Home Spread of COVID-19

Article by Kate Gold and Morgan Peterson, California Labor & Employment Law

Last week, the California Supreme Court agreed to decide two unique questions with far-reaching implications for employer liability: (1) may an employer be held liable to an employee’s spouse when an employee contracts COVID-19 in the workplace and then infects their spouse at home, and (2) does an employer have a duty of care to its employees’ households to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The Ninth Circuit certified these questions to the California Supreme Court in Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks, No. 21-15963 (9th Cir. 2022), after an appeal of a Northern District of California judge’s dismissal of a suit brought by a Victory Woodworks employee and his spouse. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in March 2022.

In the underlying action, the employee and his spouse alleged the company’s negligence and lack of safety precautions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the employee to contract COVID-19 in the workplace, which he then unknowingly brought home and transmitted to his wife, causing her to become severely ill. The district court dismissed the case, finding not only that California workers’ compensation law’s exclusive remedy provision barred the suit because the spouse’s injury was “derivative” to the employee’s, but also that the employer did not owe a duty of care to the employee’s spouse.

The Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to decide these novel issues of law because of the lack of precedent in California and the California public policy implications if employers may be held liable for the spread of COVID-19 to employees’ households.

The Court’s answers to these questions could have a tremendous impact on employers since, although COVID-19 infection rates may rise and fall, the virus has shown no signs of disappearing. We will continue to monitor this case as it develops and will provide an update on the California Supreme Court’s decision.

California’s 2022 Ballot Measures Are Set

Article by CalMatters

California voters will be asked to weigh in on seven statewide ballot measures in November, the fewest measures in an election year since 1916. (In November 2020, for example, voters determined the fate of 12 statewide ballot measures.) On Friday, Secretary of State Shirley Weber assigned numbers to the initiatives, which CalMatters breaks down in this comprehensive explainer. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Proposition 1: Enshrining the right to abortion and contraception in California’s constitution. Newsom last week signed into law a bill requiring this constitutional amendment — placed on the ballot by state lawmakers following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade — to be designated as Prop. 1 and listed first.
  • Prop. 26: Authorizing in-person sports betting at Native American casinos and designated horse race tracks.
  • Prop. 27: Legalizing online sports betting offered by large, well-established companies that pair with Native American tribes.
  • Prop. 28: Funneling more state money into arts and music education for public school students.
  • Prop. 29: Strengthening regulations for kidney dialysis clinics — and yes, this is indeed the third time you’ve been asked to vote on this issue in four years.
  • Prop. 30: Hiking taxes on millionaires to pay for electric cars and build charging infrastructure.
  • Prop. 31: Reconsidering California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco.

Many other measures failed to qualify for the November ballot by last week’s deadline, including a high-profile initiative to boost California’s minimum wage to $18 per hour by 2025, CalMatters’ Jeanne Kuang reports. But voters will likely consider that measure in 2024 — along with one to raise income taxes on Californians earning more than $5 million to pay for pandemic detection and prevention programs and another to overturn a state labor law recently limited by the nation’s highest court.

What’s New with Business

Catch the Health Wave

Join Bay Area Community Health (BACH) for their annual Ohana Health Fair on Saturday, August 6, at Glen View Elementary school- 600 West Eight St, Gilroy from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

This is a free event open to the public, students, families, and residents of the community. Join BACH for cultural music, entertainment by local performers, raffle prizes, and activities in a Luau-type atmosphere. BACH will also provide services, resources, and valuable educational information. Participants will have access to health screenings, vaccines, and health related information for all ages.

For more information, please contact Carolina ArroyoSolveson at (408)-609-1618 or csolveson@bach.health

BACH is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in the area offering primary medical care in Southern Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. Their commitment is to provide access to high quality comprehensive and affordable healthcare for all.

Gilroy Rodeo Needs Your Help!

Gilroy Rodeo is looking for individual and group volunteers for 2022. Make a difference in your community and have fun doing it. Your nonprofit groups can earn money for their clubs by assisting us in the daily operations such as parking detail, trash clean up, ticket taking, etc. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.

Benefits of Volunteering

Whatever your interest or skills there is undoubtedly a place for you to volunteer. As a volunteer, besides the personal satisfaction of being part of the Gilroy Rodeo, there are also other benefits available to you.

  1. Free gate admission and parking with volunteer credentials
  2. Volunteers working longer than 4.5 consecutive hours in 1 shift will receive a FREE meal.
  3. We offer community service hours for your time spent at the rodeo.

If your group is interested, please contact Kim Sullivan at volunteers@gilroyrodeo.com.

Gilroy Rodeo is a 501(c)3 with the mission of bringing the rodeo and the spirit of western heritage back to Gilroy while enriching the community both culturally and financially.  They strive to return all profits from the rodeo to youth organizations in our area, with special attention to those organizations involving agriculture. To learn more, visit GilroyRodeo.com

Luchessa Bridge Closure July 13 through Mid-August

As part of the Valley Water South County Recycled Water Pipeline Project, the Luchessa Bridge will be temporarily closed to all through traffic between Thomas Road and Church Street. This closure is anticipated to start on July 13, 2022, and be in place through mid-August.

Detours will be in place. Please plan extra time in your schedule to accommodate the detour route.

Emergency vehicles will have bridge access at all times.

The walking trail at West Luchessa Avenue may have potential intermittent closures during construction. Detour signs will be placed to direct and inform the public should a temporary trail closure be required.

For more information about the closure or project please contact Valley Water Public Information Representative Jose Villarreal at 408-630-2879 or jvillarreal@valleywater.org.

Official Flyer

July 4, 2022

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Its 110th Anniversary in 2022

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, commemorating its founding on April 6, 1912.

The Chamber was founded just weeks after an organizational committee was formed in March 12, 1912 and a March 23 editorial in the Gilroy Advocate, the precursor of the current newspaper of record, the Gilroy Dispatch, which opined, “It is of vital importance that Gilroy should have a representative body to talk up matters of public importance.”

It didn’t take long for the organizational committee to present its recommendations, because on April 6, 1912, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce held its first meeting, established bylaws and elected officers of the board of directors.

“The purpose of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce shall be to promote the civic, economic, and social welfare of the people of the City of Gilroy and of the area surrounding of which the City of Gilroy is the trading center,” the members concluded.

Just a few months later, in July, the Chamber embarked on a membership drive and “reorganization” with the stated goal of “Building community bigger, busier, and better.” The drive was a big success: 317 members signed up.

That same July, however, the committee went on record, according to the Advocate, as “not favoring admittance of women associative members at this time, it being the opinion of the committee that the Women’s Civic Club is taking care of civic welfare needs and it will be the policy of the chamber to work in close affirmation with that organization.”

Women were later admitted as full members and have now served not only as officers, but as the President/CEO of the Chamber.

In commemoration of the anniversary, the Gilroy Museum, which is operated by the Gilroy Historical Society, opened a permanent exhibit honoring the Chamber and its 110 years and counting.

According to Museum Manager Susan Voss, the exhibit contains an old checkbook, documents, pamphlets and booklets touting the Chamber and an award from the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The Chamber won the award for its tobacco display.

Today, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce continues its work “to make Gilroy the best place to live, work, and play,” by connecting people, business and customers, representing the business community’s interests, supporting essential community organizations, and promoting all things Gilroy.

About the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

Mission Statement: We aim to make Gilroy the best place to live, work, and play by:

  • Connecting people, businesses, and customers.
  • Making Gilroy a world-class recreation destination.
  • Helping businesses achieve economic success through technology.
  • Being kick-a** problem solvers.
  • Representing the business community’s interests at all levels of government.

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is credited with creating cutting-edge initiatives that help the community of Gilroy thrive. Most recently, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce worked with Visit Gilroy, the City Council and other organizations to pass a resolution declaring Gilroy a Recreation Destination. This effort focused on three key initiatives which included bringing the Sharks Ice to Gilroy, developing a mountain bike adventure park adjacent to Gilroy Gardens, and Gourmet Alley in downtown.  We have been the go-to organization for the initial structure and support of key agencies including Visit Gilroy, Gilroy Economic Development Corporation, Gilroy Downtown Business Association and Gilroy Leadership Education Foundation.

Our focus is on building strong alliances to keep Gilroy one step ahead.

Business is the key driver to building community, and the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to ensuring Gilroy’s economic vitality encouraging, supporting and promoting policies that create a business-friendly environment.

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

7471 Monterey Road, Gilroy, CA 95020

(408) 842-6437

Website: https://gilroy.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GilroyChamberofCommerce/

Email: chamber@gilroy.org

 

Spice up Your Summer in Gilroy!

Follow the Road to Garlic and see how many garlic experiences you can fit into your Gilroy visit. You will need more than one day to get the full experience!

Spice up Your Dining with Garlic Dishes All Day Long

Enjoy a garlicky omelet for breakfast, a garlic burger and fries for lunch, and some garlic shrimp, pasta, or chicken for dinner. And don’t forget—garlic ice cream for dessert! Read more about great Garlic Dining

Spice up Your Shopping

Get fresh garlic and garlic products at Garlic shops in Gilroy. From garlic pepper jelly and minced garlic to garlic hot sauces, olive oils, and seasonings, Gilroy has enough of the good stuff—garlic—to spice up your visit and take some home, too!

Spice up Your Memories

Be sure to catch a ride on the Garlic Twirl, a garlic-shaped ride, when you visit Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park & Water Oasis Waterpark. And capture a visual memory with a photo op at our giant garlic mural downtown or in our large wooden garlic in our California Welcome Center Gilroy. You can also pick up plenty of garlic souvenirs to take home from the Welcome Center, from garlic plushes to garlic pins, stickers, dish towels, and more. 

Book your hotel today and plan your Great Gilroy Garlic Getaway and experience all the great garlic that makes Gilroy the Garlic Capital of the World!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Garlic isn’t the only piece of Gilroy’s past that you can still experience. Buckle up and put on your boots—Gilroy is bringing back its Cowboy Era with the Gilroy Rodeo! 

Country Night at Fortino Winery, July 29, 2022, 5-10 p.m. 

Fortino Winery and the Gilroy Rodeo are inviting you to a night of drinks, games, line dancing, live music, and Ricky’s BBQ Truck. Tickets: $20. Twenty-one and over only.

Gilroy Rodeo August 12-14, 2022

Enjoy a variety of rodeo events (can include this list if need more content: “such as roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, specialty acts, and more.”) and live music, dancing, food, drinks, and vendors. The Gilroy Rodeo is a nonprofit entity that seeks to bring rodeo and the spirit of western heritage back to Gilroy while enriching the community culturally and financially. 

Local Wreaths Across America Volunteers Participate in Giving in July

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Wreaths Across America Volunteers Participate in Giving in July

 As a Sponsorship Group, local support helps place veterans’ wreaths on headstone in December, while giving back to local community efforts, now!

[Gilroy, CA] –  July 5, 2022 – National nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) is celebrating its annual Giving in July campaign — a month dedicated to the volunteer groups and individuals who give back to their communities while helping to share the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. 

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a Sponsorship Group(Team Turner CA0073P) through the organization’s national program. Since its founding in 2007, WAA has partnered with hundreds of like-minded charities, community programs, and civic groups throughout the country to remember and honor our nation’s veterans and active-duty military throughout the year. Giving in July celebrates these groups and highlights the opportunity to ‘do good twice’ through the sponsorship of veterans’ wreaths through the organization’s Group Sponsorship Program. Through this program, WAA gives back $5 of each $15 wreath sponsorship made through our Group to support our mission to make Gilroy the best place to live, work, and play.

Through this national program, WAA has given back more than $17 million in local contributions over the last 14 years!

The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. This year, on Wreaths Across America Day, December 17th, 2022, more than 3,100 cemeteries will participate in National Wreaths Across America Day, including local at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park and St. Mary’s Cemetery in Gilroy, and Mt. Hope Cemetery in Morgan Hill.

You can support the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce by sponsoring a veteran’s wreath here. Each $15 sponsorship goes toward a live, balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as we endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest at noon on Saturday, December 17, 2022, as part of National Wreaths Across America Day.

Wreaths Across America is the non-profit organization best known for placing wreaths on veteran’s headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. However, in 2021 alone, the organization placed more than 2.4 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at 3,100 participating locations nationwide. Throughout the calendar year you can tune in to Wreaths Across America Radio, 24/7, to learn more about the mission and those who support it across the country, as well as the hundreds of local charitable efforts nationwide that are funded through wreath sponsorships.

# # #

About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. 

For more information or to sponsor a wreath please call the Gilroy Chamber office at 408-842-6437, or visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

 

Supreme Court Rules California Employers Can Force Arbitration of Individual PAGA Claims

by Eye on Washington Team

Watch for developments to determine how state courts and the state legislature respond to the ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers may compel employees to arbitrate individual claims raised under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

The Details

Background:

In the case before the U.S. Supreme Court (Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana), Moriana – an employee of Viking River Cruises (Viking) – had signed an agreement to arbitrate any dispute arising out of her employment and waived her right to bring class-wide, representative or PAGA claims. PAGA enables employees to “stand in the shoes” of the state to recover penalties for Labor Code violations. If successful, 25 percent of the penalties are awarded to employees. PAGA claims are often brought as representative claims on behalf of other employees, which significantly increases exposure for employers.

After Moriana left Viking, she filed a PAGA claim alleging that Viking committed Labor Code violations affecting her and other employees. Viking moved to compel arbitration and, leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s review, lower courts had ruled that:

  • California law requires that the representative PAGA action waiver in the agreement be treated as invalid, and
  • Since state law precludes division of PAGA actions into individual and non-individual (representative) claims, the employer was barred from forcing arbitration of the individual PAGA claims as well.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling:

The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with the lower courts in part and ruled that:

  • The division of PAGA actions into individual and non-individual claims is permitted.
  • Employers can compel arbitration of individual PAGA claims.
  • Under PAGA, an individual can maintain non-individual PAGA claims only by virtue of also maintaining an individual claim in that action. Therefore, once an employer compels arbitration of an employee’s individual PAGA claim, the non-individual claims should be dismissed.

Next Steps

If you have employees in California and use (or intend to use) arbitration agreements:

  • Review the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision with legal counsel to determine whether you should consider using arbitration agreements (or modify existing agreements).
  • Watch for developments to determine how state courts and the state legislature respond to the ruling.
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