Gilroy Chamber April 2022 Business Focus

April 25, 2022

Elected Officials Converge on Gilroy

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce hosted its 9th Annual Legislative Summit last Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn. With more than 80 people in attendance elected officials presented information ranging from recreation initiatives to the widening of 101. Anderson Dam was discussed along with the existing drought California is dealing with. Other topics included Prop 57, PG&E delays, gas prices, inflation, and more. 

The elected officials included Mayor Marie Blankley (Gilroy); Mayor Rich Constantine (Morgan Hill); Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren; Congressman Jimmy Panetta; Supervisor Mike Wasserman; and Water District Board Member, John Varela. Senator John Laird was unable to attend, and Assemblymember Robert Rivas was a last-minute cancellation, but both had staff present and available to answer questions. 

The Chamber would like to thank the sponsors of the event which included:

  • Premier Sponsor – Kaiser Permanente
  • Bracco’s Towing
  • Pinnacle Bank
  • Heritage Bank
  • State Farm – Gina Lopez Agency
  • Valley Water
  • Health Net
  • RJA
  • Allstate – Mi Ocampo Financials, LLC
  • GilPAC
Avoid Surprises by Checking in with Employee During Family Leave

By Ellen Savage, CalChamber

Is there any requirement to notify an employee in writing when their federal and/or state family leave is ending?

Employers are not required to provide written notification under either the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) at the end of an employee’s family leave.

There are, however, several important reasons an employer should communicate with an employee periodically throughout the family leave, preferably in writing, and especially as the expected end date of the leave approaches.

Too often an employee fails to return to work on the date the employer expects them back due to a lack of clear communication between employer and employee.

Clarity About Return Date

At the start of an employee’s family leave, an employer is required under both the FMLA and CFRA to provide a written designation notice, but the family leave regulations don’t require the designation to provide a specific end date of the leave or a specific return-to-work date.

This often leads to confusion about what date an employee needs to be back and means that clear ongoing documented communication between employer and employee about the exact expected return date is critical.

Leave Extensions

Employees who originally provided medical certification for a leave shorter than the full 12 weeks allowed under the law often will need to extend their leave beyond the original expected return date.

It’s not uncommon for employees to believe that a promise by their health care provider to send a note to their employer automatically extends their leave and protects their job, without any action on their part. All too often, the health care provider fails to send the medical certification to the employer, and the employer has no idea what has happened to the employee when they fail to return on the originally anticipated date.

Instead, for an extension of leave, the employee should contact the employer to request the extension, which would then need to be supported by another medical certification.

If an employer does unexpectedly receive a new certification supporting the need for extending a leave, the employer should reach out to the employee to confirm that the employee wants to take more leave, and then properly designate the additional leave time in writing.

Privacy Concerns

Many employers are afraid to reach out to their employees during a family leave, citing concerns about an employee’s privacy or believing that the law somehow prohibits an employer from “bothering” an employee while they’re off work.

The good news is the law specifically allows an employer to require an employee on family leave to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to return to work.

If the employee fails to report in, there is nothing wrong with an employer reaching out to check in on the employee and reconfirm the expected return date.

This check-in also is an opportunity to discuss whether a leave may need to be extended past the original planned return date, and what certifications the employee may need to provide for an extension.

Ending Leave Early

Checking in periodically on an employee can allow the employer an opportunity to find out if an employee is in fact planning to return to work at all.

An employee might tell the employer they are not planning to come back, frequently either because their medical condition has worsened, they have decided not to return to work after bonding with a new baby, or they’ve found another job.

If, during the leave, an employee gives unequivocal notice of their intent not to return, the leave ends at that point and the employee has no right to return to their job, in effect ending the employment relationship. This also ends the employer’s obligation to maintain health benefits (subject to COBRA requirements).

Conversation and Coffee with Mayor Marie Blankley

The community is invited to join Mayor Marie Blankley and South County Regional Wastewater Authority Programs Manager Saied Vaziry for Conversation and Coffee on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at 9:30 AM in Council Chambers located at 7351 Rosanna Street. The topic will be wastewater treatment and water recycling in our community. All are welcome to attend.

To request Spanish language interpretation services for this meeting, please contact communications@cityofgilroy.org a minimum of 72 hours prior to the meeting.

To learn more about the South County Regional Wastewater Authority Award-Winning Facility prior to the meeting, read the April Spotlight with the Mayor.

Conversation and Coffee | South County Regional Wastewater Authority Award-Winning Facility

Date: May 7, 2022

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Council Chambers at Gilroy City Hall located at 7351 Rosanna Avenue

COVID Workplace Rules Extended

By CalMatters

Even as California winds down key components of its emergency COVID response, Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety agency, voted Thursday to extend mandatory pay for workers sent home for coronavirus-related reasons, the Associated Press reports. This so-called “exclusion pay” is on top of the COVID-related sick leave program Newsom and state lawmakers recently extended through Sept. 30 (but which exempts at least 1 in 4 California workers). Some business groups pushed back against the Cal/OSHA regulation, citing a provision that says exposed employees should receive exclusion pay until they test negative, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rob Moutrie, policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce: “This incentivizes employees to refuse testing after (they’re) exposed because they will receive more exclusion pay.”

In other COVID economy news:

California’s Housing for the Harvest program, which offers cash assistance and hotel rooms for COVID-exposed farmworkers, is slated to end on April 30, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The state Department of Public Health announced Thursday a first-in-the-nation partnership with Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to launch WhatsApp chatbot tools aimed at combating COVID misinformation — “especially focused on the Spanish-speaking community.”

And although California’s jobless rate is improving, new federal data reveals some warning signs: The Golden State accounted for more than 25% of the nation’s ongoing unemployment claims for the week ending April 16. And it had nearly 1.3 million job openings at the end of February, up 158,000 from the previous month.

April 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

Alpine Landscapes

C & N Tractor

Gavilan College

Gilroy Library

Gilroy Premium Outlets

Golden One Credit Union

International Paper Gilroy

Mission Linen Supply

The Printing Spot

St. Joseph’s Family Center

20 Years & over

Black Bear Diner

Ernie’s Plumbing & Repair Service

Informed Choices

South Pacific Orchids

Valley Water

Visual Edge Optometric Group

Wings of History

10 Years & over

Betabel RV Park

El Grullense Jal

Meineke Car Care Center

Michele Campbell Insurance Services

Santa Clara County Assoc. of Realtors

Service Master

Visiting Angels

5 Years and over

Gilroy Life

R Titus Waterproofing

Gilroy Chamber Takes Action Against Organized Retail Crime

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, California Retailers’ Association, Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, and other business organizations fully support AB 2390, which allows individuals to be charged with a felony for repeated incidences of theft or shoplifting where the total amount of goods, money, or property stolen exceeds the grand theft threshold of $950. The bill also establishes a diversion program for individuals charged with felony theft and directs them to appropriate mental health, addiction, or other treatment, or job training and education opportunities.

The rising tide of retail theft and organized retail crime (ORC) is affecting not only our businesses large and small but our employees, customers, neighboring businesses, and the neighborhoods we serve. Stemming this tide requires that we address all of the contributing factors to this problem in a comprehensive way, including: 1) dismantling criminal networks driving the ORC problem, through enhanced investigative and prosecutorial resources; 2) disrupting online “fencing” operations used by ORC networks and others via improved transparency measures; 3) deterring professional thieves through improved enforcement of theft offenses at our stores; 4) offering meaningful diversion opportunities for individuals charged with theft to avoid jail sentences and make positive changes in their lives. 

Combating theft requires a team effort between the community, businesses, law enforcement, and prosecutors. One of the unintended consequences of Proposition 47 has been an erosion of confidence between each of these entities resulting in decreased enforcement virtually any type of theft. Where law enforcement does intervene with suspects and the amount stolen is less than $950, their primary tool is oftentimes a misdemeanor citation in which the suspect is likely to be released immediately and ultimately face few consequences. Over time this discourages many businesses and citizens from reporting shoplifting incidences, further reducing the likelihood that thefts will be addressed. For the professional thief or the organized criminal network, this situation creates an impression that theft is a low-risk/high-reward crime. 

We need to reverse this perception. AB 2390 proposes a narrow revision to Proposition 47 that targets repeat or serial theft where the sum of goods, money, or property stolen exceeds the grand theft threshold of $950. It is balanced by the establishment of a felony theft diversion program that will allow any felony charges to be dropped if the defendant agrees to and completes an appropriate diversion program for mental health, addiction, job training, or other specific needs as determined by the court. 

We do NOT desire to see more individuals serving long-term jail sentences. Rather, our goal with AB 2390 is to deter serial theft at the outset through improved enforcement and where those efforts are unsuccessful, to provide individuals an offramp from the criminal justice system through effective diversion programs. We believe that a balanced approach such as AB 2390 can be a path forward to improving the safety of our stores as well as the lives of individuals in need of intervention. 

AB 2390 is a critical part of a multi-pronged effort to reverse trends in retail theft.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren Confirms Attendance at Gilroy Chamber Event

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has confirmed her participation in the Gilroy Chamber’s 9th Annual Legislative Summit scheduled for Friday, April 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Lofgren joins 6 other elected officials for the event including Mayor Marie Blankly of Gilroy, Mayor Rich Constantine of Morgan Hill, Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, Valley Water Board Member John Varela, and Congressman Jimmy Panetta. Due to a prior commitment, State Senator John Laird is unable to participate but has agreed to do a recorded interview with Mark Turner, President/CEO of the Gilroy Chamber. The recorded interview will air at a later date. 

The cost of the Legislative Summit is $45 per person and includes a 3-course meal. For the last two years, the Summit has been virtual due to the pandemic’s restrictions. The in-person event allows attendees the opportunity to ask questions of their representatives at the end of the event.

Click here to register for the event. 

Memorial Day Parade Honoring Veterans Moves to Veterans Day

Article by the Gilroy Dispatch 

Due to uncertainties coming out of the pandemic, the annual Veterans Parade on Memorial Day will instead march through downtown Gilroy on Veterans Day in November. 

But the Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at St. Mary’s Cemetery will still take place, organizers said. 

“We know the Memorial Day parade is a Gilroy tradition,” said Parade Committee member and veteran Jesse Sanchez. “But with the additional time to plan, we hope the parade will properly honor our local veterans.” 

The Veterans of Foreign War Post 6309 will still host a Remembrance Ceremony at St. Mary’s Cemetery at 1000 First St. in Gilroy on May 30 at 9am. 

“We are honored to host such an important event for our community,” said Fred Villarreal, VFW Commander and event organizer. “Please join us in remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces to preserve our freedom, liberty and way of life.” 

The highlight will be the reading of the 80 names of Gilroy veterans, from World War I to Afghanistan, who died serving the country. 

“While the day starts with a solemn event, we hope it will give Gilroyans a chance to spend time with their families and reflect on the freedoms they enjoy thanks to Americans who have served our country,” Sanchez said.

Gilroy Downtown Business Association

By Michele Campbell

I’m excited to share with you about the Gilroy Downtown Business Association (GDBA) and what we do.  We are a non-profit organization that has been around over 25 years and our mission is to re-establish Downtown as the Heart & Soul of Gilroy.  We are an actively working board of 10 members, one part time staff person, Nancy Maciel, and about six advisors from other community partners, including the Gilroy Welcome Center, City of Gilroy and Gilroy Police. We all have full time businesses downtown or close to it and we volunteer countless hours for the betterment of our community, from creating and putting on events to working with the City of Gilroy and local business owners with their needs.

We put on 22 events throughout the year!  As you can imagine, that is a lot of work for one part time person, so us board members pitch in A LOT!  Personally, I am chairing the South County Health Fair which is an event downtown on April 30th from 10am to 2pm on the grass area next to the Arts Alliance building, between 6th and 7th Street on Monterey Road.  This has everything to do with Health & Wellness.  Bring the family out for some fun and learn about some new local businesses.

Our annual Wine Stroll is back on June 4th from 1pm to 5pm.  (We are looking for wine pouring volunteers.) We plan to have 15 wineries lined up and some fun to be had by all.  We also have our Downtown Live Music Series coming up from June through August, where we block off Monterey Road between 5th and 6th Streets.  We have a children’s area, food and merchandise vendors and of course, live music and dancing. As you can probably tell by now, there is a slew of activity coming up and we can always use a helping hand, so PLEASE reach out and help us out.  (We can also use high schooler volunteers and they can get their community service hours.)  I guarantee you will make new friends and have fun in the process. We can be reached at 408-842-0005 or nancy@downtowngilroy.com.

Santa Cruz County Small Business Summit April 29

Save the date! Santa Cruz County Small Business Summit April 29

Open to 200 local small businesses, the daylong conference features Krista Snelling, President and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank as the keynote speaker. More than 20 professionals will share their expert tips, tools, and resources. The line-up includes speakers from well-known businesses, including Humble Sea Brewery, Jane Technologies, Fybr Bamboo, Yoso Wellness Spa, and Botanic and Luxe.

The Summit contains two dozen interactive sessions to help small business owners navigate the marketplace to increase their exposure, grow their business, and boost profitability! Network & learn from business owners and experts in finance, marketing, business strategy, and more!

Purchase Early Bird Tickets before April 15th!

The Small Business Summit is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Santa Cruz County Bank.

When:

Fri, April 29, 2022

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT

Location

Where: 

Museum of Art & History (MAH)

705 Front Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Register here! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-cruz-county-small-business-summit-tickets-310690693227

32-Hour Work Week?

For years, employees have expressed their desire for the kind of workplace flexibility that would allow them to set a flexible daily schedule or alternative workweek. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the California Chamber of Commerce found that 91% of polled voters agree that the state’s labor laws should be changed to allow for more flexibility.

Yet rather than proposing a real solution that will meet workers’ and employers’ needs, California legislators are proposing a law that will dramatically raise labor costs, expose employers to litigation, and has the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs — all under the false promise of giving employees more flexibility.

The bill, AB 2932 (Low; D-Campbell), redefines a workweek from 40 hours to 32 for employers with 500 or more employees, and lowers the weekly overtime threshold to 32 hours.

Of particular concern is that the bill’s language provides that “[t]he compensation rate of pay at 32 hours shall reflect the previous compensation rate of pay at 40 hours.” This language may be interpreted as requiring the employer to pay the employee the same total compensation that they are presently earning at 40 hours for 32 hours of work.

By way of example, an employee making $20 per hour presently makes $800 after 40 hours of work. Under AB 2932, they would be required to make $800 after just 32 hours of work, meaning their hourly rate would become $25 per hour, a 25% increase. If the employer needs the employee to work overtime, the pay rate (1.5 times $25 per hour) becomes $37.50 per hour. A business would be paying $37.50 for every hour worked on the fifth day, an 87.5% increase from $20 per hour.

This bill hits employers with a devastating Catch-22: employers must either find replacement workers to cover a fifth day of work to maintain operations in the midst of the Great Resignation shortage crisis or sustain large, across-the-board pay increases for existing workers after enduring more than two years of COVID-19-related closures.

Moreover, the bill’s requirement that employers not adjust an employee’s regular rate of pay is impossible to comply with and would expose employers to penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

AB 2932 provides that “an employer shall not reduce an employee’s regular rate of pay as a result of this reduced hourly workweek requirement.” This is impossible to comply with because the regular rate of pay is not the base rate of pay set by the employer. It is a complex calculation that, for many employees, fluctuates from pay period to pay period. To calculate the regular rate of pay, an employer must include a number of different kinds of compensation, such as hourly earnings, commissions, and non-discretionary bonuses. If an employee earns a bonus for work performed in the prior month or quarter, the employer has to retroactively adjust the employee’s regular rate of pay for those prior pay periods.

The regular rate therefore fluctuates significantly depending on how much overtime an employee works and the performance or attendance bonuses or commissions they receive, much of which depends on the employee or general performance of the business in any given week, not factors solely under the employer’s control. That rate will inevitably be reduced in some pay periods compared to others. This bill in effect imposes steep PAGA penalties for violations that employers have no ability to correct.

In the pre-pandemic era, AB 2932 would have crippled employers, but in our current economic and shortage crisis, AB 2932 would decimate California’s businesses. A jobs impact analysis by Encina Advisors, LLC found that in a best case scenario, AB 2932 would result in more than 340,000 job losses—enough to raise California’s unemployment rate from 5.4% to 7.1%.

In the event that employers will have to pay overtime to employees working on their fifth day on top of increasing hourly rates, the research firm projects more than a million jobs will be lost.

The Legislature repeatedly fails to realize that businesses—even those with more than 500 employees—often operate on thin profit margins and the number of employees a business has does not dictate financial success. Many businesses have already scaled back their hours and operations as a result of increased costs and labor shortages. Undoubtedly, AB 2932 will result in reduced hours for workers in some instances, and in hundreds of thousands of other instances, workers will be left without a job.

April 11, 2022

California Chamber of Commerce Identifies Job Killer Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce this week added four bills to its job killer list, bringing the total number of bills on the list to 15.

  • AB 2183 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley)Forced Unionization Process for Agricultural Employees. Limits an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by essentially eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50% of the employees, which leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations. Also, unfairly limits an employer’s ability to challenge the cards submitted by forcing employers to post an unreasonable bond, and then limits an employee’s ability to decertify a union, by forcing them to go through the ballot election process instead of submission of representation cards. Also includes an unnecessary presumption of retaliation that is effectively unlimited in scope because it would apply for the duration of an election campaign, which could last for a year or more.
  • AB 2188 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Limits Employers’ Ability to Keep Workplace Drug-Free. Risks workplace safety by promoting marijuana use to a protected class under California’s discrimination law, on par with national origin or religion. Also effectively prohibits pre-employment drug testing, harming employers’ ability to keep their workplace safe and drug free. In addition, would prohibit use of traditional marijuana tests, such as urine and hair testing, and compel employers to utilize saliva-based testing.
  • AB 2840 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino)Warehouse and Logistics Project Ban. Circumvents the California Environmental Quality Act, creates an unprecedented ban on warehouses and logistics use projects irrespective of whether there are any project impacts, usurps local authority over land use decisions, exacerbates supply chain problems, and forces union labor for proposed private projects that are not banned.
  • AB 2932 (Low; D-Campbell) Increased Overtime Requirement. Significantly increases labor costs by imposing an overtime pay requirement after 32 hours and other requirements that are impossible to comply with, exposing employers to litigation under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
Gilroy Chamber to Host Regional Legislative Summit

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 9th Annual Legislative Summit scheduled for Friday, April 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 6070 Monterey Rd. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

This is a regional event for South County and the Summit allows Chamber members, local businesses owners and operators as well as residents the opportunity to hear from their elected officials about issues that affect them most. Topics of discussion may include immigration, inflation, drought impacts, Covid recovery and small business grants, housing, $3.9 million dollar grant for Gilroy, and Sharks Ice, to name a few. Below is the list of elected officials attending.

  • Gilroy Mayor Marie Blankley
  • Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine
  • Congressman Jimmy Panetta
  • State Assemblymember Robert Rivas
  • County Supervisor Mike Wasserman
  • Valley Water Director John Varela
  • *Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
  • **California State Senator John Laird

* not yet confirmed

** unable to attend 

The cost to attend the Legislative Summit is $45 per person which includes a plated lunch. For more information or to register for the event, click here or contact the Chamber office at 408-842-6437.

Mental Health and CARE Court

By CalMatters

As state leaders zero in on mental health reform, lawmakers unveiled a pair of bills Thursday that seek to codify Governor Newsom’s plan to develop a framework for courts to force people with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders into treatment. The bill language as of Thursday was no more concrete than Newsom’s proposal, but lawmakers said it would be updated within 24 hours.

Governor Newsom said in a Thursday press release: “I thank the Legislature for moving with urgency to introduce this legislation. … Passing this legislation in a timely manner is incredibly important to help those in desperate need of services receive the support they deserve.”

The governor wants lawmakers to approve CARE Court as part of the state budget, which means it could take effect as early as July. This has alarmed some longtime Capitol observers, including CalMatters columnist Dan Walters, who argued the idea “needs to be fully fleshed out” and “fully vetted before enactment.”

Run for Fitness is Back in GUSD!

Article submitted by Melanie Corona, Public Information Officer, Gilroy Unified School District

The Gilroy Unified School District is thrilled to welcome our staff and students back to the track at Gilroy High School for the annual Run for Fitness on April 23.  This is the 15th year for this annual event, which was sidelined in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The event welcomes participants from all 14 GUSD schools, Pac Point, St. Mary, and Gilroy Prep School.  Participation is free, and all runners receive a Run for Fitness t-shirt and snack bag at the conclusion of the run.  Runners participate in a course based on grade level, and staff members will often run alongside our students.

Students participate in a six-week training session leading up to the Run with their PE teachers in order to prepare.  The event usually draws between 500-700 runners, and this year, we are so happy to have the Gilroy Foundation sponsor the t-shirts for the runners.  Following the Run, students and families visit vendor booths promoting healthy choices and lifestyle.

To participate in the Run for Fitness as a health and wellness vendor, please contact Melanie Corona, Public Information Officer: Melanie.corona@gilroyunified.org.

For more information about the Run, visit: gilroyunified.org.

New England 2022

New England trip details. Visit Gilroy.org/boston/ for more infomration.

April 4, 2022

Conversation and Coffee

The community is invited to join Mayor Marie Blankley and Finance Director Harjot Sangha for Conversation and Coffee on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 9:30 AM in Council Chambers located at 7351 Rosanna Street. The topic will be the Finance Department and will include further discussion of items found in the March Spotlight with the Mayor. All are welcome to attend.

If you need Spanish language interpretation services to participate in this meeting, please email communications@cityofgilroy.org a minimum of 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Conversation and Coffee | Finance Department

Date: April 9, 2022  

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Council Chambers at Gilroy City Hall located at 7351 Rosanna Avenue

Annual Legislative Summit Returns to South County

Join the Chamber for our 9th Annual Legislative Summit. This event brings together almost all of the elected officials who represent South County. Attendees will hear from each of the elected officials regarding important issues affecting residents in Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill. There will be a 30-minute question-and-answer period at the end for attendees to ask more pressing questions of their representatives.

The ticket price is $45 and includes a three-course meal. Register here.

Flyer for 9th Annual Legislative Summit featuring elected officials.

The Gilroy Dream Wedding Expo is Back!

The Gilroy Dream Wedding Expo returned on March 27, 2022, at the Gilroy Lodge on the Hill after a two-year hiatus. The event showcased over forty vendors and two hundred attendees. Brides and their guests explored all the wonderful wedding venues, services, and goods that Gilroy and the surrounding area have to offer.

A showstopping limo and party bus with a red carpet through the center welcomed brides and their guests into the Gilroy Dream Wedding Expo. Inside, they found all they needed to make Gilroy their first choice as a wedding destination! They discovered perfect venues to hold their ceremony and reception, whether at one of Gilroy’s beautiful wineries or the charming downtown venue, The Neon Exchange. They also learned about the local lodging available for out-ot-town guests.

Attendees sampled delicious catered foods and decadent cakes and sipped sparkling wine from local vendors while listening to live music from talented bands. Their senses were also filled with the pleasant aromas and beautiful colors of gorgeous bouquets from Gilroy’s floral exhibitors. To assist in wedding planning, there was a wedding planner, wedding officiant, and a party rental company.

Image of local vendors

Brides also had their choice of services for beauty, hair, make-up, spa, and tanning services, including a mobile beauty trailer, to add glamour to their special occasion. The jewelry and gift vendors offered gorgeous accessories and unique gifts for attendants on the big day. The grooms and groomsmen also had some vendors just for them—a mobile barber studio and a tuxedo and suit company.

To capture memories of their special day for the wedding party and their guests, the Gilroy Dream Wedding Expo had a wide variety of photographers and photo booths. Guests viewed their work and enjoyed taking fun photo booth pictures.

Brides received a complimentary wedding tote bag, filled with goodies from Visit Gilroy, the Best Western Plus Forest Park Inn, the Gilroy Lodge on the Hill, Chloe Bowtique, and many other giveaways from the vendors.

One lucky bride won the Grand Prize raffle drawing of the event, which was a one-night stay plus dinner for two at the luxurious CordeValle resort! Future brides also left with other amazing raffle prizes from vendors, including wine, bouquets, a charcuterie package, apparel, and spa services.

The Gilroy Dream Wedding Expo was a wonderful opportunity to promote Gilroy as a perfect wedding destination!

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