Business Focus

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is Hiring!

The Chamber Board of Directors has begun the search for our next President/C.E.O. Download the job description here, and email resumes to mturner@Gilroy.org.

Gilroy Chamber Business Focus September 2022

Gilroy Chamber Business Focus September 2022

September 26, 2022

Nominate a Young Professional

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2023 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, September 30, 2022.

Categories include:

  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.
  • 2023 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.
  • 2023 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – designed to honor a high school senior who has gone “above and beyond” in the area of volunteerism. Their volunteer contribution will have exceeded that which was required of them either by way of exceeding 80 volunteer hours or through a project that leaves a lasting impact on their community or school.
GilPAC Announces Endorsement for Council Candidates

GilPAC, which is the political action arm of the Chamber of Commerce, conducted interviews with city council candidates to determine who they would endorse. All six candidates were invited to participate, however, only four of the candidates responded, Dion Bracco, Carol Marques, Jan Bernstein-Chargin and Tom Cline.

After careful consideration and based upon the necessary experience to guide the City through the coming challenges and opportunities, GilPAC has selected the following candidates to endorse for City Council:

  • Dion Bracco
  • Carol Marques
  • Tom Cline
Rock-the-Mock is Back

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Rock-the-Mock, is back and scheduled for Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18.

Rock-the-Mock is sponsored by the Chamber’s Business and Education Committee and is done in collaboration with the Gilroy Unified School District. It’s designed to help high school students learn some basic information around job interviews and consist of a series of workshops which help prepare students for interviews. The workshops are approximately 25 minutes long and provide helpful hints from properly greeting someone to researching the company where a student is hoping to be hired.

In the workshop, “How to Prepare for the Interview,” students learn about researching a company, important information to include on a resume, how hiring managers research potential candidates and why caution should be applied when posting information on social media platforms.

In the workshop, “Dress for Success,” students are instructed on topics such as professional clothing styles, how too much bling can ruin a good thing and not overdoing colognes and perfumes to name a few.

In the workshop, “What Social Media Says About You,” students are shown how posting inappropriate information on social media can come back to haunt you when someone applies for a job. Employers do extensive background checks and information posted on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other platforms says a lot about an individual.

Students also learn the proper way to shake someone’s hand and introduce themselves in the “Handshake” workshop that occurs just before the interviews.

The “Interview” workshop places students squarely in front of adult volunteers from the business community who ask various behavioral style questions causing students to think beyond “yes” and “no” answers. In some cases, a single student might interview with two volunteers experiencing a type of interview panel. In the past, students have held their own as many of the interviewers expressed how they were impressed with students’ openness and abilities to respond to difficult questions.

The Chamber’s Business and Education Committee first implemented this program 8 years ago. Anyone interested in volunteering to be an interviewer, click here or you may contact Candace Van Sambeek at cvansambeek@gilroy.org. The Business and Education Committee is looking for approximately 40 volunteers each day.

Santa Clara County is in a Severe Drought Emergency

As Santa Clara County endures our third consecutive year of drought, the Valley Water Board of Directors has amended the existing water waste enforcement ordinance to allow Valley Water to enforce the State of California’s ban against watering decorative or non-functional turf on commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) properties, including homeowners’ associations.

Outdoor Water Waste Restrictions:

  • No watering decorative or non-functional lawns more than two days per calendar week
  • No watering any outdoor landscape between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • No outdoor watering that results in runoff
  • No watering outdoors during and within 48 hours of rainfall
  • No watering non-functional turf at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites, including homeowner’s associations

To learn more about the CII watering ban, click here.
Frequently asked questions on non-functional turf and water conservation regulations can be found on the State Water Board’s FAQ Sheet here.

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act?

By CalChamber

Initially created in 2018, the CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, Roberts says.

The CCPA was intended to provide data protection rights to California consumers, such as the right to know what data about a consumer is being collected or the right to certain protections of personal data, Hoffman explains. The law also provides some remedies in the event of a data breach and a right to inspect records. Certain companies have a few rights, for example, to opt out of some selling of information, right to request deletion of information, etc.

While the law does not apply to every business in California, it does apply to three categories of for-profit businesses:

  1. Businesses with a gross annual revenue of $25 million or more;
  2. Businesses that buy, receive or sell personal information of 50,000 California household residents or devices. This figure will soon change to 100,000 California household residents or devices; and
  3. Businesses that derive 50% or more of annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information.

     

    Who Is Covered by the CCPA?

    As defined in the law, a “consumer” means a California resident. Businesses crafting a CCPA policy should be very clear that its policies apply only to California residents, Hoffman stresses. Otherwise, if a policy is written too broadly, the business could find itself in a bind if the policy expresses the business is willing to apply these rights to people even outside of California.

    Any type of information can be covered under the CCPA, such as personalized information or anything that identifies or could be linked to a consumer or their household, she says. This includes things like names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

    Starting January 1, 2023, the law will also apply to business-to-business information. So, if you are a smaller company that is doing business with a company covered by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Hoffman recommends you familiarize yourself with the CCPA because it will affect you soon.

     

    CCPA Was Never Intended to Apply to Employees

    The CCPA was never intended to apply to employees, and the legislators who wrote the law were very clear that that was never the intent, Hoffman says.

    “But what happened was, when they were doing some cleanup, there was some concern from folks, that ‘consumer’ was written so broadly, that it could include employees,” she says.

    In response, an amendment was written to exclude employees and business-to-business transactions. When the bill was going through the Legislature, however, some groups wanted to force a discussion on worker privacy, and so a sunset was put in to force business, labor and attorney groups to come to the table and talk about worker privacy, Hoffman explains.

    Shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the sunset was extended to January 1, 2023 thanks to Proposition 24.

    Because no bill was formally passed to extend the current sunset this year, absent another bill or executive order, the employee and business-to-business exemption will expire on January 1, 2023, but enforcement will not begin until July 1, 2023.

     

    What Employers Should Begin Doing

    Employers should consult with their legal counsel to determine how the CCPA will affect their business and to ensure that proper policies are created, Hoffman says. Employers will need to know how to treat employee data, what data to collect and how long to retain the data. Employers also need to evaluate what other laws exist that have certain retention requirements.

    Employers will need to disclose to employees what data is being retained, and establish a system to manage requests protected under the law, such as rights to accessing information, a right to correct, etc.

    There also is a right to delete, which can be extremely concerning in the employment context, especially when one considers a situation where an employee is engaging in discriminatory or harassing behavior, and they may want to try and cover that up. Hoffman stresses that employers should learn about any exemptions that apply, such as an exemption for legal claims, or things like that. While employers should ensure there is a system in place for employees who seek to exercise their rights, employers also should know what the bounds of those rights are to ensure the integrity of key documents in a workplace investigation.

September 19, 2022

Nominate a Non-Profit

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2023 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, September 30, 2022.

Categories include:

  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.
  • 2023 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.
  • 2023 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – designed to honor a high school senior who has gone “above and beyond” in the area of volunteerism. Their volunteer contribution will have exceeded that which was required of them either by way of exceeding 80 volunteer hours or through a project that leaves a lasting impact on their community or school.
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. Learn more about these members by visiting our directory.

30 Years & over

Amy N. Tran, D.D.S.

California Landscape Company

Chiesa Family

El Camino Packing

Fritter, Schulz & Zollinger Physical & Occupational Therapy

New SV Media

Paymaster Payroll Service

Round Table Pizza

20 Years & over

Blaettler Accounting Corp.

Farmers Insurance, Maria Cid Agency

GMH Today

Headstart Nursery, Inc.

Heritage Bank of Commerce

Intero Real Estate, Susan Patereau

Intero Real Estate, Rick Patereau

Pembrook Development

Staples, Inc.

West Side Nursery

10 Years & over

GB Landscape Services, Inc.

Gilroy Express Car Wash

Gilroy Sister City Association

LJB Farms

Z-Best Composting Facility

5 Years and over

Rotary District 5170

Sunny Smiles Dentistry

California to Give $2,500 Training Grant to Workers who Lost Jobs During Pandemic

BY MIKHAIL ZINSHTEYN, CalMatters

Living through a pandemic sucks, but for Diana McLaughlin, early 2020 was especially bad: A divorce in February 2020, societal shut-down in March, and as part of the COVID-19 economic fallout, she lost her job in April of that year, returning to full-time work only 18 months later.

California lawmakers had economically distressed folks like McLaughlin in mind when last year they approved half a billion dollars on education grants worth $2,500 to help workers displaced by the pandemic acquire new job-related skills.

McLaughlin is among the first 3,000 or so recipients of this grant, adult learners who were issued checks in a pilot program this spring and summer. Now the state is opening the grant to a wide range of adults with low incomes who lost their jobs or saw their hours severely cut during the pandemic. Half of the grant funds are reserved for displaced workers with children under 18.

Officials expect to reach 190,000 people with this money, called the Golden State Education and Training Grant Program.

Among the few stipulations to receive the grant, applicants must fill out a short application that takes about 10 minutes to complete and attest that they lost a job or hours after March 4 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. Applicants also must affirm that they weren’t enrolled in an educational or job-training program when they lost their jobs. There’s an income threshold as well.

Part of what makes the application quick to complete is how little it asks. Unlike other grant applications for college, this one is self-reported and self-certified, wrote Judith Gutierrez, spokesperson for the state financial aid agency running the grant, in an email. “We are not requesting any documentation,” she added.

McLaughlin wasted no time once she received her grant in June, 2022. After taking courses part-time at American River College, a community college in Sacramento, since October of 2020, she decided to go full-time to pursue her first ever-degree this fall and chose accounting as her major. 

The $2,500 is paying for her textbooks, software required for schoolwork and other supplies — anything remaining she’s putting in a personal education account. Though she receives tuition waivers as part of a state financial aid program and additional dollars through the Cal Grant, the Golden State grant gives her extra confidence that she can afford an education while earning around $38,000 a year.

“I spend my lunch break doing schoolwork,” she said. After returning from the office, she takes her associate degree courses online. McLaughlin’s younger son is a virtual charter school student, so the two complete their homework side by side.

“I feel that it’s showing him how important an education is and to never give up because here I am, 47, and in college,” she said.

Expanding financial aid in California

At first blush the Golden State Education and Training grant, which will last through 2024 and is funded mostly through one-time federal stimulus funds, is yet another example of the state’s growing effort to lower the cost of college for adults and bring more Californians into college classrooms.

In the past two years, public funding grew by nearly 50% for the California Student Aid Commission, which oversees most of the higher-education grant aid to students, to nearly $3.6 billion. That growth includes more tuition and cash support for community college students, middle-class students at the University of California and California State University, students formerly in foster care, students raising children and the Golden State training grant, among others.

But the Golden State grant’s eligibility rules start where other state and federal grants drop off, extending cash assistance to would-be students who otherwise wouldn’t be eligible for traditional college financial aid.

The Golden State grant can cover education programs that are shorter than about four months — something the federal Pell and state Cal Grant do not. Students receiving the Golden State grant may also use the money for extension and so-called noncredit programs, such as English-as-a-second-language courses, bicycle repair and various landscaping certificates. There’s no minimum program length for this grant — and because state dollars cover some of the grant costs — undocumented students are also eligible for the $2,500. Anyone getting the grant needs to already know which training program they plan to pursue.

Getting the word out

So that displaced workers with no ties to a college also apply, the Student Aid Commission is working with regional workforce boards, The California Workforce Development Board and other agencies to get the word out about the grant, said Jake Brymner, director of governmental relations for the Student Aid Commission.

Grant recipients can also use the funds if they enroll in certain workforce training and apprenticeship programs unaffiliated with colleges or universities. The Student Aid Commission is reviewing which workforce training programs are eligible and will soon add those to the approved list on the grant application. Students will only be able to use their grants at California public colleges, universities and these approved workforce training programs.

During the pilot when only public colleges and universities were eligible, 84% of the grant applicants sought educations at community colleges, data from the Student Aid Commission shows.

“This specific grant has great potential,” said Daisy Gonzales, interim chancellor of the California Community Colleges. “What it does is it provides an entry point to our colleges for students that may not know about us.” Students with no exposure to community colleges can gain access to food pantries and coordinators who are familiar with other state and local social services for which students could qualify.

She’s also hopeful the grant may help to recover some of the colossal enrollment loss the system suffered in the past two years.

Grant can combine with other student aid

Even if grant recipients qualify for free tuition, especially at community colleges where nearly half of learners attend for free, they can use the money to cover gas, housing, food and other expenses. It’s an added perk for learners who had no spare dollars to afford an internet connection or other expenses associated with attaining a degree.

Muideen Olawoyin was one class away from earning an associate degree in human services, a stepping stone toward social work. But a series of bad breaks and a long-term injury left him cash-dry.

“I (couldn’t) even afford internet then, it was so hard,” he said. When he picked up the Golden State check from his school, Cosumnes River College, he was able to get back online, enroll in that final course and earn his degree this summer.

The average income of the roughly 3,000 grant recipients was about $22,000 when they first applied, according to California Student Aid Commission data provided to CalMatters.

Some degrees don’t boost wages

Not all training and education programs are made equal, however. Some research shows that shorter-term college certificates — like the kind in which students with this grant can enroll — have a mixed record of boosting the earning power of graduates.

Overall, these certificates lead to higher wages, but noncredit programs are less remunerative than traditional for-credit certificates. Still, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees lead to even higher wage gains for graduates, according to a 2020 Urban Institute study. Meanwhile, a fifth of certificate programs at public colleges and universities lead to lower wages than what workers with high school diplomas earn, a Hechinger Report analysis of national data showed.

California’s foray into funding short-term credentials could inform the national conversation on whether to permit federal grant aid to pay for educations that are shorter than four months. For a few years now advocates have been trying to introduce “short-term” Pell grants, but the idea hasn’t won over enough lawmakers yet.

None of the four Golden State training grant recipients CalMatters spoke with were pursuing short-term credentials — all wanted an associate degree. McLaughlin, who now works as an accountant for a fencing company, is dreaming bigger.

Her goal is to transfer to Sacramento State to earn a bachelor’s — something her current employer encouraged her to pursue.

“I want people to know you’re never too old for school,” McLaughlin said. “And to never stop trying to reach your goals.”

Small Business Majority Presents its Second Annual #SupportSmallBiz Grants

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Small Business Majority, Support Latino Business and Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial are kicking off the second annual #SupportSmallBiz Grant, honoring and celebrating diverse small businesses across the nation.   

The 2022 #SupportSmallBiz Grant program includes:

  • (1) $2,000 winner
  • (2) $5,000 winners

To be eligible to apply, a business must:

  • Have at least one Latino/x founder with at least 50% ownership
  • Have a legally registered U.S. for-profit business
  • Have been in business for at least one year (prior to September of 2021)
  • Be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the U.S. (including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories)
  • Be a part of the SLB Directory Network. Sign up and add your business here.

Eligible grant entries will be judged by Small Business Majority, Support Latino Business and Modern Woodmen Fraternal Finance directors based on the following initial judging criteria:

  • Quality and substantiveness of entrant’s answers 
  • Clarity of finalist’s “pitch” for grant funding
  • Context and specificity of finalist’s business journey and future goals  

All entries must be received by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on October 5, 2022 to be eligible. Limit: One entry per entrant and officer. Multiple entries received for any entrant or officer after the first entry is received will be void. Terms and conditions apply.

Eye-popping Health Costs

The article below indicates health care costs are on the rise.

As health costs continue to increase, Gilroy companies and individuals have an option through the Gilroy Chamber’s partnership with the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We offer health benefits through Apogee. The health benefit opportunity being offered is ACA compliant and provides three minimum essential coverage plans which have all the preventative services included as well as dental and vision for children. See the link below. We can connect you with an advisor who can go over all the details with you.

https://gilroy.org/garlic-city-healthcare/

Eye-popping Health Costs

Article by Ana B. Ibara, CalMatters Health Reporter

Health care advocates took to Thursday’s Covered California board meeting to express their discontent with Gov. Newsom’s veto of a bill aimed at expanding financial assistance for people who buy health insurance from the state’s marketplace. 

On Tuesday, Newsom rejected a bill by state Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento that would have required the state to use about $304 million to reduce cost-sharing, such as deductibles and copays, for people enrolled in a Covered California plan. 

Some Californians who buy a standard plan could see their annual deductibles rise by $1,000 for a total of $4,750 in 2023. Pan’s bill would have helped reduce that cost, said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a sponsor of the bill. 

  • Wright: “That is an eye-popping number…What that means is someone who needs a hospital stay has to pay nearly $5,000 before their coverage kicks in.”

On Covered California plans, deductibles only apply to hospital and skilled nursing facilities admissions, and not to primary care or specialists visits, said James Scullary, a spokesperson for Covered California.

Pan’s bill would have directed the state to draw on the $304 million currently sitting in a reserve fund created in case that the federal government did not renew its enhanced premium subsidies. But with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, those federal subsidies were locked in for another three years. 

That also means that the state’s subsidy reserves will go unused. In his veto message, Newsom said the purpose was “laudatory,” but said this new use of funds would be unsustainable in the long-term. 

  • Newsom: “Rather, the funds should be reserved to ensure that state-only premium subsidies are available again when they are most needed.”

Still, advocates say that because California requires people to be insured — or face a tax penalty — the state should be taking all available opportunities to make coverage more affordable.

Job Skills Critical as California Faces Employment Slowdown

Opinion By David Smith, Professor of Economic at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School

I believe Californians would be wise to develop new job skills before the economy slows further and competition for jobs becomes more acute.

On Friday, July 22, the California Economic Development Department (EDD) released the state’s monthly employment figures. The news release trumpeted a 4.2% unemployment rate. California has now regained 93.6 percent (2,582,900) of the 2,758,900 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. June 2022 also marked the ninth consecutive month-over-month gain for nonfarm jobs, with 561,300 such jobs gained over that period. A cursory read of the news release suggests that the job market in California is healthy and holding up.

It would seem a job market reckoning may be upon us. If we are smart (and I think we are), Californians should be ready.

Hidden behind the headline are some facts suggesting the state is headed toward a recession-like slowdown in the economy and job market.

First, job growth was not evenly distributed across the state  — roughly 74% of the June job growth was in the Bay Area and Los Angeles unemployment increased by 7,000 claims.

Second, the revised unemployment rate in the state’s most populous city, Los Angeles, was 5.3%, more than a full percentage point above the state average.  Los Angeles County is ranked 47th among California’s 58 counties in unemployment (upstate rival San Francisco came in at No. 2).

Third, year-over-year job growth statewide is weighted to low-wage industries like leisure and hospitality, which has gained 232,900 jobs in the past year (nearly 100,000 more jobs than the next closest industry Trade, Transportation, and Utilities).

 As an economist who has witnessed many ups and downs, I believe the surest way to recession-proof careers is to enhance skills. Here are three ways Californians can enhance their skills to safeguard their jobs now to head off pain down the road:

Build soft skills. According to Monster’s 2022 Future of Work Study, when employers were asked to name the top skills they want in employees, they cited soft skills leading with teamwork/collaboration, communication and problem-solving. At Pepperdine Graziadio we regularly see professionals with highly technical skills enter an MBA environment to learn how to interact more effectively and harmoniously with superiors, peers, and subordinates. This training — online, reading books, in the classroom — can help close gaps and make work roles indispensable.

Enhance technology skills. The Monster survey also found IT skills were the No. 1 hard skills needed by employers.

There are many no-cost and low-cost ways to improve skills. For example, Google offers no-cost training and tools to learn digital skills to grow a career and qualify for in-demand jobs. The Grow with Google platform recently added training in high-growth fields of digital marketing and e-commerce with a professional certificate. MBA programs including Pepperdine Graziadio Business School also offer highly refined accredited technology training in which professionals earn graduate-level technology and business degrees. It is a fact, that people who feel more confident in using technology become faster in finishing tasks, learning new tools, and teaching others.

Leverage transferable skills. Transferable skills are qualities that can shift from one job to another. These skills include those relevant to a specific industry such as accounting or medical fields. Transferable skills also include expertise in organizing and leading a team, being agile, and meeting deadlines. Many current and past members of the armed forces in particular possess these skills that only require translation for civilian employers to understand.

To be certain, a prolonged recession is not a foregone conclusion. The most recent 4.2% statewide unemployment rate is well below the rate of 7.9% a year ago. Los Angeles is adding jobs – nonfarm payrolls were up 9,500 over the month and up 237,300 year over year. What’s more, many of California’s largest industries include workers employed in professions that may be less affected by a recession (for example, healthcare and transportation which are woefully understaffed). Regardless, Californians who learn or refine skills will be better prepared to endure a downturn and enjoy an upturn.

Enhancing skills and other actions to safeguard against a recession like updating resumes, reducing expenses, and paying down debt, is prudent. In the meantime, it is wise not to let procrastination steal away time to prepare. In the words of Pepperdine business school’s benefactor George Graziadio “today, not tomorrow.”

September 12, 2022

Nominate a Small Business

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2023 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, September 30, 2022.

Categories include:

  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.
  • 2023 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.
  • 2023 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – designed to honor a high school senior who has gone “above and beyond” in the area of volunteerism. Their volunteer contribution will have exceeded that which was required of them either by way of exceeding 80 volunteer hours or through a project that leaves a lasting impact on their community or school.
Success! 3 Tons of E-waste Recycled

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce hosted an e-waste recycling event on August 27th and the event was deemed quite successful by Zero Waste Silicon Valley, the company that collected all the materials. More than 130 people from Gilroy and other locations brought e-waste products to the Chamber of Commerce parking lot where crews helped unload car trunks and back seats filled with various e-waste materials. A total of 3.5 tons of products were dropped off for recycling.

Where they came from:

  • 121 clients from Gilroy
  • 9 clients from Morgan Hill
  • 1 client from SF
  • 1 client from San Martin
  • 5 clients from San Jose

Electronic Waste:  6,500 pounds total

  • 25 flatscreens= 1000 pounds
  • 109 monitors=  1090 pounds
  • 61 CRTs=  2745 pounds
  • 62 laptops=  372 pounds
  • 1293 pounds of mixed electronics
State Amps Up Climate Goals – Again

Article by CalMatters

As California struggles with a climate conundrum — it’s relied heavily on natural gas to keep the lights on during this week’s record-breaking heat wave, even as it doubles down on its commitment to phase out fossil fuels — more ambitious goals have been added to the state’s climate change draft roadmap at the behest of Newsom and environmental advocates. California’s powerful Air Resources Board, which had been set to formally adopt the plan later this month, has now delayed taking action until the end of the year, CalMatters’ Nadia Lopez reports. She breaks down the significance of some of the blueprint’s key changes, which include:

  • Deleting a provision that would allow for the construction of an additional 10 gigawatts of natural gas capacity to support California’s power grid and replacing it with a goal of developing at least 20 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2045. No offshore wind projects currently exist off California’s coast.
  • Achieving 3 million climate-friendly homes by 2030 and 7 million by 2035.
  • Accelerating reductions to the amount of miles Californians drive in their cars from 46.8% below 1990 levels by 2030 to 50% in the same timeframe.
  • Increasing a clean aviation fuel target from 10% to 20% by 2045.
  • Eliminating 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2045 through nature-based methods as well as a controversial method called carbon capture.

“The new targets are quite aggressive and the question now is, will the Air Resources Board have the authority and the resources to follow through to accomplish that?” Michael Wara, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment’s climate and energy policy program, asked Nadia.

In other climate news: Amplify Energy, one of the largest producers of oil in Southern California, pled no contest to six misdemeanor charges filed Thursday by Attorney General Rob Bonta and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer for its role in the October 2021 oil spill off Huntington Beach, which slicked a recently restored trio of marshes that serve as rare feeding and resting grounds for at least 90 species of shorebirds. Amplify will also pay $4.9 million in fines and penalties to the state and Orange County and $7.1 million to the federal government and reimburse federal agencies for expenses incurred in cleaning up the spill, according to Bonta’s office.

 

Defeated Bills

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce partners with CalChamber throughout the legislative session to oppose bills that negatively impact the business community while supporting bills that help to create a strong local economy.

In the closing days of the legislative session, strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and allied groups, including many local chambers of commerce, prevented the passage of a number of harmful proposals.

The CalChamber-opposed bills stopped include the following:

  • SB 260 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Increased Regulatory Burden. Imposes a mandatory climate tracking, auditing, and cap on climate emissions that will fall heavily on all California businesses, impacting competitiveness and increasing costs. The unworkable, dangerous and costly mandate will do nothing to stop the climate crisis while hurting California businesses and leading to increased costs of goods and services for Californians. Fell short of the votes needed in the Assembly on August 31, 37-25.
  • SB 1149 (Leyva; D-Chino) Disclosure of Trade Secrets, Increased Litigation, and Outlawing Settlement Practices. Re-writes longstanding use of protective orders in lawsuits, as well as outlawing non-disclosure agreements as part of settlements based on vague terminology. Will force companies to settle early so as to avoid public release of broad documents south in discovery, as well as overwhelm California courts with unprecedented discovery fights as companies seek to protect their trade secrets. Fell short of votes needed to pass the Assembly on August 29, 31-18.
  • AB 2201 (Bennett; D-Ventura) Groundwater.Adds a new regulatory layer to groundwater well permitting processes, even in sustainable basins. Increases costs and liability risks associated with well permitting. Inconsistent with the Governor’s March 2022 executive order and the goals outlined in the Governor’s August 11, 2022 Water Supply Strategy, which emphasizes the need for local agencies to have flexibility in managing groundwater resources. The strategy also emphasizes the need for more groundwater storage, and the bill’s definition of “well interference” threatens the viability of water banking projects. Assembly concurrence in Senate amendments still pending when the Assembly adjourned on September 1.
  • AB 437 (Kalra; D-San Jose)Exclusivity Options. Prohibits the use of exclusivity clauses in acting contracts, which undermines collective bargaining in the film industry and will result in lower value contracts and job loss. Placed on Senate Inactive File, August 22.

Opposed Bills Passed

The following are among the CalChamber-opposed bills that passed the Legislature in the final days of the session:

  • AB 2188 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Workplace Marijuana Testing. Before amendments, risked workplace safety by promoting marijuana use to a protected class under California’s discrimination law, on par with national origin or religion. Also effectively prohibited pre-employment drug testing, harming employers’ ability to keep their workplace safe and drug fee. Now requires saliva (or other non-metabolite) testing when conducting marijuana testing in pre-employment or workplace settings, along with prohibiting discrimination based on marijuana usage. Job killer status removed due to June 30, 2022 amendments which, among other provisions, protected pre-employment testing and handled federal/state conformity issues surrounding marijuana’s legality. CalChamber still opposes. Passed Legislature on August 30. To Governor.
  • AB 257 (Holden; D-Pasadena)Fast Food Industry. Creates unelected Fast Food Council with power to set sweeping standards for fast food industry’s wages, hours, and working conditions that prevail over existing laws. The council also will have the power to repeal or amend laws and regulations created by the Legislature or a regulatory agency. Earlier versions of the bill also would have established statutory, mandatory joint liability within the franchise industry. AB 257 specifically allows any minimum wage increase to go up to $23 per hour in 2023, $6.50 above the minimum wage in other industries. Passed Legislature on August 29. Signed on September 5.
  • AB 2273 (Wicks; D-Oakland) Age-Appropriate Design Code.Creates overinclusive and difficult to interpret/implement standard for designing online services, products or features for young people by importing requirements used in United Kingdom without the guidance UK regulators make available to companies. Provides fewer opportunities to fix mistakes and a more aggressive approach to fines and penalties than the UK model. Uses subjective standard for the children to be protected rather than a well-established federal standard under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Oppose Unless Amended. Passed Legislature on August 30. To Governor.
  • AB 2106 (R. Rivas; D-Hollister) New Water Quality Permit Requirement. Imposes new permitting requirements on stormwater discharges from commercial and institutional facilities that may expose permittees to citizen lawsuits. Constrains State Water Board discretion in addressing stormwater that may have unintended consequences on regulated entities. Passed Legislature on August 30. To Governor.
Time to Start Thinking About Healthcare

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 (CHCC), and Apogee Direct Health, 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.

Key Highlights:

  • Sign up any time! No open enrollment period.
  • No minimum employee requirements! Small businesses and employers are encouraged to participate. Individual employees can enroll.
  • The Garlic City Healthcare Program does meet the ACA/California required guidelines and is a Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) plan.
  • Employer or Employee, if you have questions, feel free to call us at 866-402-4243 and use number 127, or Gilroy. Para Español  833-651-1103

To learn more, or to sign up, click here.

September 5, 2022

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is Hiring!

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce President/C.E.O. Mark Turner announced on August 26 that he will step down from his position at the end of the year after nearly a decade at the helm. The Chamber Board of Directors has begun the search for our new President/C.E.O.

The President/C.E.O. is the chief paid executive and administrative officer of the organization. Works under policy direction of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to execute and coordinate the management and administrative policies and directives of the Board including budgetary and financial oversight; coordination of the program of work; organizational development; personnel management; maintenance of membership; motivation of volunteers; training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy; and long-range planning.

To view the full job description, please click here.

To apply, email your resume to mturner@gilroy.org.

View the full press release here.

Nominate an Emerging Leader for Young Professional of the Year

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites the community to nominate individuals and businesses for the 2023 Spice of Life awards. Applications are available online at gilroy.org and at the Gilroy Chamber office with the deadline to submit Friday, September 30, 2022.

Categories include:

  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Gilroy Educator of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution within the educational community of Gilroy.
  • 2023 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding Gilroy Chamber of Commerce volunteer.
  • 2023 Non-Profit of the Year – designed to recognize an outstanding non-profit organization in Gilroy.
  • 2023 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.
  • 2023 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award – designed to honor a high school senior who has gone “above and beyond” in the area of volunteerism. Their volunteer contribution will have exceeded that which was required of them either by way of exceeding 80 volunteer hours or through a project that leaves a lasting impact on their community or school.
Celebrating California Wine Month

Visit Gilroy is celebrating California Wine Month this September by recognizing our wonderful local wineries. We are fortunate to be in the fertile Santa Clara Valley, which became officially recognized as an AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 1989, even though grapes have been growing in the region as far back in time as the late 1770s.

By the late 1880s, the Spanish, French, and Italians all planted many more grapes, with over 100 wineries recorded producing over 5 million gallons of wine being shipped around the world. Many vineyards and wineries were lost, however, in the following years due to an insect invasion, the 1906 earthquake, Prohibition, and the Great Depression.

Wineries slowly began to return in mid-20th century, with more vineyards being planted over the years. The Santa Clara Valley now has over 30 wineries, with over 15 located in Gilroy.

Visit Gilroy shows support for our local wineries in many ways. This September, we will be sharing social media posts that highlight unique features of our Gilroy wineries. Follow Visit Gilroy’s social media to learn where you can reserve a picnic table for the whole family—and the dogs!—next to the vineyard; wine taste by a creek, a pond, or with views of the valley; buy a growler of wine (equal to 2.5 bottles) for $50 and refill for $40; try the area’s only traditional Italian Chianti or the delicious coffee and chocolate Vino de Mocca; or be greeted by Noelani, a friendly winery dog.

We are also promoting our local wineries on our webpage through our Calendar, a Wine Trail image on our home page for September, and in our blogs. Our more recent blogs feature the newest wineries added to the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail. We are pleased to see more wineries opening in our area and are happy to introduce our visitors to them. We supply our Welcome Center guests with the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley map and brochures to local wineries, along with coupons and recommendations based on their interests.

Visit Gilroy is a proud supporter of the wonderful wineries in our local area, which are one of the many great places for our visitors (and locals) to enjoy what Gilroy has to offer. Celebrate California Wine Month this September by visiting the incredible wineries in our very own backyard.

What’s New with Business

Welcome to Gilroy, Johnstone Supply

Join us on Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 am to welcome Johnstone Supply to Gilroy(8871 Muraoka Dr, Gilroy). Johnstone Supply is a leading wholesale distributor, providing a large selection of HVAC and refrigeration parts, supplies, and equipment. The morning will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will be followed by a vendor trade show. This event is free to attend.

Health Net Small Business Group

Founded in California more than 40 years ago, we’re dedicated to transforming the health of our community, one person at a time. Health Net’s 2,600 employees and 85,000 network providers serve 3 million members, nearly 1 in 12 Californians.  We offer strength, stability, and local expertise, and amplify it with the financial strength of our parent company Centene Corporation.

At Health Net, we offer an array of small business benefit solutions.  We’re committed to offering the plans, networks and choice employers need at a competitive price.  We offer five HMO and one PPO network solution and allow you to mix and match ALL of our networks.  And with concierge-style service, 24/7 virtual care, behavioral health, wellness programs, and other extras, we believe our plans offer value beyond benefits.

International Paper is Hiring! 

International Paper offers an attractive and competitive benefits package that includes health care coverage, dental insurance, life insurance, holiday pay, and paid vacation. International Paper employees are eligible for retirement benefits including 401k plan with company matching funds. International Paper also offers tuition reimbursement for approved courses.

Click here to apply.

Company BBQ: Factors to Consider Before Sending Invites to Employees

By Sarah Woolston, Cal Chamber

We are having an offsite company barbecue this summer. What should I consider before hosting this event?

Employer-sponsored social events are a great way to boost morale and help employees bond. Before firing up the grill, however, you should consider some important legal concepts.

Wage & Hour

You should first decide whether this barbecue will be mandatory or voluntary. If you are holding the event during regular work hours, or if the event includes work-related meetings, the barbecue will likely be viewed as mandatory.

For mandatory events, you must not only pay employees for their time attending the event, but you also must provide uninterrupted and compliant breaks. These meal and rest breaks must allow employees to leave the event premises if they so wish. Failure to provide meal and rest breaks could expose you to penalties.

Consider setting a schedule for the day if your event is during working hours. Let employees know the event will only be for a certain timeframe so that you can track their hours worked and whether any breaks are owed. It is also a good idea to have a sign-in sheet at the barbecue, so you know an employee’s arrival and departure times, and to document any breaks. You also can consider having a short event that might not trigger meal or rest breaks.

If the event is completely voluntary and outside working hours, communicate this clearly to all employees. Make sure your invitation to employees is in writing and clearly states it is a voluntary extracurricular event. If the event is voluntary, you will not have to pay employees for the time attending the event or for any meal or rest breaks.

Travel Time

If you hold the barbecue offsite and during work hours, you will have to pay employees for the time it took them to travel to and from the barbecue. Travel time, however, may be at a rate of pay that is less than the employee’s normal rate of pay if it is communicated clearly in your policies and is at least the applicable state or local minimum wage.

Even if employees carpool together, you will have to pay each employee for their time traveling to the event if it is during regular working hours.

Business Expenses

In addition to paying employees for the time it took them to travel to and from the event if the barbecue is held during work hours, you will also have to reimburse them for gas mileage.

Sexual Harassment

Employees may forget about your zero-tolerance harassment policy at an offsite barbecue. Nonalcoholic beverages are a safe choice because alcohol lowers inhibitions and can lead to inappropriate activity.

If you plan to serve alcohol, consider using drink tickets and setting a two-drink maximum. You should also consider the location of your event. If you hold it at a bar or club, this could alter how employees act versus if you held it at a park or an outside communal area at your office.

You also should consider providing shuttles or safe rides home if you provide alcohol. Even if you do not plan to serve alcohol, it is a good idea to have employees re-sign an acknowledgment of your anti-harassment policy in anticipation of this event.

Workers’ Compensation

It also is important to keep in mind that if any employee is injured during your event during work hours, this would likely be considered a work-related injury.

Keep this in mind if you plan to provide any bounce houses, games or activities. A liability waiver will not avoid this responsibility.

A Snapshot of Bills on the Governor’s Desk

Article by CalMatters

Now that we’ve gone over some of the key bills that failed, let’s take a look at some noteworthy ones that passed — in addition to the other 26 on which CalMatters is keeping tabs in our handy bill tracker. If signed into law by Newsom, the proposals would:

  • Offer a $1,000 tax credit to low-income Californians who don’t have cars. Single filers earning up to $40,000 and joint filers making up to $60,000 would be eligible. “As the impacts of climate change are felt across our state, it’s time we more aggressively commit to implementing modes of sustainable transportation,” said Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino of Glendale, the bill’s author.
  • Create the nation’s first advance warning and ranking system for extreme heat wavessuch as those used to classify hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
  • Pinpoint why Californians pay so much for gas at the pump by forcing oil refineries to disclose each month to state regulators how much crude oil they refined into gas, how much they paid for each barrel and how much money they made.
  • Reform California’s conservatorship system, a legal arrangement in which a court-appointed conservator manages the living situation, medical choices and mental health treatment of someone deemed too disabled or mentally ill to make their own decisions. The controversial system was thrust in the spotlight last year following Britney Spears’ high-profile battle to get out of her conservatorship, prompting a bill that makes it more difficult to establish a conservatorship, easier to emerge from one and promotes alternatives to court.
  • Allow people convicted of crimes prior to Jan. 1, 2021 to petition courts to determine if their sentence was influenced by bias against their race, ethnicity or national origin. If yes, those defendants would then be eligible for relief.
  • Require California K-12 schools, community colleges and California State University campuses to buy mostly U.S.-grown food for school meals. The bill is opposed by the California School Boards Association and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, among others.
  • Block foreign governments from purchasing California agricultural land“Food can, and is, being used as a weapon like we are seeing in Ukraine,” said Democratic state Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Hanford, the bill’s author. “Recent reports discuss how a nation could gain leverage by acquiring agricultural land, and creating bioweapons that impact our food supply chain. (This bill) seeks to protect California’s water and food supply, especially as water availability across Western States decreases.”

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Recology Recycling

"Joining the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is one of the best business decisions I have made."

Anita Bedoya, Owner, Lapels Dry Cleaning

"While facing some delays opening our taphouse the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce intervened. Their creative approach to problem solving saved the day. The Chamber’s connections made a difference for us."

Ryan and Larissa Dickerson, Owners of Bitter Taphouse

"The Chamber has done a great job keeping me informed."

James Gargiulo, Spectrum Small Business Advisor

"We have been able to rely on the Chamber whenever we needed to be connected to people, resources and information."

Jaime Rosso, CEO, Rosso’s Furniture

"We have been actively involved in the Chamber for 20 years. We continue to stay involved because of the critical information they provide."

Bruce & Audrey Haller, Cafe 152 Bread Co.

"As a Gilroy Chamber of Commerce member, I’ve met more people, been able to give back to the community and be involved in decisions that affect our local economy."

Maria Cid, Farmers Insurance