Gilroy Chamber Business Focus November 2023

November 20, 2023

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.

40 Years & Over
Go Kids, Inc.

30 Years & Over
Abbott’s Pro-Power
Allstate Insurance, Arline & Jason Silva
Bozzo’s Union 76
Cleaning Services
Cottage Floors/Flooring America
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park
Gilroy Garlic Festival Association
Guglielmo Winery
Intero Real Estate Services, Patricia Filice
Kevin P. Courtney, Attorney
Martin Electric
Mission Controls Company
Morgan Stanley
Pacific Oak Properties
Saint Louise Regional Hospital
Starritt Construction
Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics

20 Years & Over
Cintas Corporation
Gilroy Rotary Club
International Paper

10 Years & Over
Container Consulting Service

5 Years and Over
Farmers Insurance, Pinheiro Insurance Agency
Hampton Inn & Suites
Skylake Tree Company
WorkLight Gilroy/Morgan Hill Chapter

Small Business Saturday Proclamation

At last night’s Gilroy City Council Meeting, Saturday, November 25, 2023, was proclaimed Small Business Saturday. Help celebrate our local small businesses and their contributions to our local economy and community by supporting local businesses this weekend and throughout the year. See the proclamation document (pictured above) and Gilroy Chamber Interim President/CEO, Jane Howard, accepting the proclamation from Gilroy Mayor, Marie Blankley.

North Pole Nights
  • Event Overview:

    • “North Pole Nights” at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park offers an immersive holiday experience.
    • Dates: November 24 through December 31, 2023.
    • Visitors enjoy favorite traditions, new adventures, and festive food and drinks.
  • Main Attractions:

    • New live musical show: “The Magic of Santa” at the Lakeside Amphitheater.
    • Meet characters like Rudy the Polar Bear, Skitter the Mouse, and Tinsel the Christmas Tree.
    • Santa’s Workshop features crafts, activities, and a chance to see the reindeer barn and sleigh.
    • Additional experiences include the “Wish for Santa” special, ice skating, and themed rides.
  • Interactive Experiences:

    • Mrs. Claus Cookie Jam and “North Pole Tonight” talk show on the Red and White Stage.
    • Rudy’s Road Trip to check if guests are on Santa’s list.
    • Tinsel’s Groove Train for festive dancing in redwood forests.
  • Light Displays and Decorations:

    • 100-foot-long North Pole Light Tunnel with synchronized holiday music.
    • Tinsel’s Tree Trail: A tropical greenhouse with whimsically decorated Christmas trees.
  • Snowflake Square Celebration:

    • Central gathering place offering a buffet-style holiday feast.
    • Menu includes hand-carved roast turkey, honey-baked ham, mashed potato bar, stuffing, gravy, and more.
    • Kids’ options like hot dogs, unlimited soft drinks, hot chocolate, and pumpkin pie for dessert.
  • Festive Food and Drinks:

    • Various offerings around the park, including decorate-your-own holiday cookies and hot cocoa bombs.
    • Specialty mocktails and cocktails like Candy Cane Martinis and White Christmas Margaritas.
  • Event Details:

    • Open on select dates from November 24 through December 31, 2023.
    • Hours vary, with a special New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31.
    • Admission is free for 2023 and 2024 Premium Members, with single-visit tickets available online.
    • Exclusive benefits for Premium Members, including unlimited free admission and free parking.
  • Ticket Information:

    • Tickets and memberships available at
    • Limited-time offer: 2024 Premium Memberships include a special gift voucher.

Enjoy the holiday magic at “North Pole Nights” with exciting attractions, delicious food, and exclusive benefits for Premium Members!

Shop Small Business Saturday

Shop Small initially started when Amex created Small Business Saturday® to encourage support for small businesses back in 2010.

Shop Small has grown to be a year-round movement that supports small businesses across the globe, and Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Find neighborhood gems here.

Get more with an American Express Card. Explore cards now.

Small Business Resource Hub.

November 13, 2023

Gilroy - A Destination for Business Retreats and Team Building

Article Contributed By: Mary Gurries, Tourism and Community Engagement Coordinator at Visit Gilroy

Now, more than ever, working people need a place to come together. At-home offices and video and tele-meetings have made remote work efficient—but the importance of human connection and interpersonal communication remains undeniable. The essential need for teams to evolve and connect in person is creating a new demand for corporate retreats and team-building exercises. Gilroy, located a short distance from Silicon Valley at the historic crossroads of Highways 101 and 152, offers a great place to “get away” for productive team bonding activities.

Places to Stay and Gather
Choose Gilroy for its affordable and accommodating hotels to make your work-related stay a seamless blend of comfort and functionality. Several accommodations, like the the Hilton Garden Inn and Best Western Plus Forest Park Inn, feature state-of-the-art meeting facilities for conferences and discussions. For a less conventional space, discover The Neon Exchange in downtown Gilroy, where your group can gather in a historic building surrounded with works of art and whimsical splashes of color, adding a touch of creativity to your business sessions.

Places to Play and Connect
There are also many unique places to get your group together for fun and bonding. Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park has majestic gardens, a tropical greenhouse, and traditional theme park rides—an ideal environment for a day of wholesome enjoyment and relaxation. Downtown Gilroy has many artistic murals that capture the history and vision of Gilroy from local artist perspectives. The Gilroy Museum chronicles the town’s growth from a tiny agricultural settlement to its present state. You can even engage your own team’s artistic vision with a guided painting class by artist Ignacio “Nacho” Moya Rodriguez in his downtown art studio.

Places to Explore and Restore
Nature-based team building opportunities abound in the hills around Gilroy.

  • Mt. Madonna offers yurt camping, horseback riding, archery, trail hiking, and a serene amphitheater amidst the redwoods for group meetings.
  • Chitactac-Adams features an interpretive trail that documents the Native American culture of Santa Clara County.
  • Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch in Gilroy offers outdoor adventures with off-road biking and hiking trails.
  • Pinnacles National Park is just an hour south of Gilroy and provides an other-worldly hiking opportunity with cave systems, ancient rock formations, and endangered wildlife like the California Condor.
  • You may also consider agriculture tours at Terra Amico Farms, Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery, and Moose Mountain Vineyards to explore sustainable farming practices and vineyard lifestyles.

Places to Dine and WIne
Explore the Gilroy Taco Trail and the Road to Garlic maps for unique culinary experiences in Gilroy. Be sure to visit Old City Hall Restaurant, Station 55 Seafood and Mexican Cocina, and Tempo Kitchen and Bar to enjoy some local history along with delicious food. (Old City Hall Restaurant also has an upstairs event space which is perfect for meetings, speeches, and group work.) Café 152 Bread Company is a charming downtown eatery that can also prepare box lunches for you to take to your off-site meeting destination. You can also discover over 30 beautiful wineries in and around Gilroy, which is one of California’s oldest wine country regions. Many venues also have scenic meeting spaces, providing the perfect backdrop for team bonding.

Plan Your Group Getaway to Gilroy
Gilroy is a multifaceted destination, inviting businesses to not only invest in professional development but also to immerse their teams in an environment where work and leisure seamlessly intertwine. With a blend of natural beauty, cultural wealth, and culinary experiences, Gilroy provides a compelling proposition for businesses looking to enhance team collaboration and morale.

To learn more and start planning your great Gilroy group getaway, go to or stop by the California Welcome Center Gilroy (located in Gilroy Premium Outlets).  

SVMS Grand Opening

Members of the Gilroy community are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of South Valley Middle School on Monday, November 27, from 4-6 pm.

Join us for opening remarks and ribbon cutting, followed by self-guided tours of the campus, refreshments, and concluding with a special recognition.

Community Clean Up Day

Join us on November 18, 2023, as we work to clean up the Ranch Site at Christmas Hill Park

✅ What: Ranch Site at Christmas Hill Park Clean Up

✅ When: November 18, 2023, at 9 AM

✅ Where: Meet by the shed near the first baseball diamond at the Ranch Site at Christmas Hill Park located at 7049 Miller Avenue.

✅ Details: All volunteers will be required to sign a waiver. Students can receive volunteer hours for participating; please bring your paperwork to the event. The City will provide trash bags and grabbers.

Ready to lend a helping hand? Sign up online.

Curbside Collections

Did you know that Recology customers can schedule a FREE Recology pick-up of up to twelve 32-gallon garbage bags?

You can take advantage of this FREE curbside collection option only twice in each calendar year, whether you choose the garbage bag option or a bulky item.

Remember, if you schedule a garbage bag curbside collection, all items must be bagged or bundled, as no loose items will be accepted.

Some of the items NOT allowed, include:

  • liquids
  • dirt
  • rock
  • tires
  • hazardous waste

Refer to the Recology website for a more detailed list.

If you have any questions about this service, you can contact Recology at 408-842-3358 or visit the website.

November 6, 2023

Fight Dirty: Mattress Recycling
Do you have an old mattress taking up space in your home or that you no longer need? Disposing of a mattress is not fun and can be a hassle, but fortunately, there are options for you.
Recology South Valley offers Gilroy residents a convenient curbside pickup service. You can schedule a FREE pick-up by calling 408-842-3358. For additional information, visit the Recology website.
In addition,  Goodwill Silicon Valley (Gilroy location) accepts mattresses for recycling at a minimal fee. For more information on mattress recycling, call your local Goodwill store at  408-842-9941 or visit the Goodwill website.
Residents of Gilroy can also recycle mattresses through the ByeByeMattress program. The closest recycling location through this program is Rosso Furniture Warehouse in Morgan Hill.
Please note that these locations have certain drop-off restrictions. 
Rosso Furniture Warehouse
212 Tennant Ave.
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Every Wednesday and Friday from noon- 4:00pm 
Free of charge. No appointment needed.
work2future Offers Three Ways to Offset Your Costs

On-The-Job Training [OJT]

Wage reimbursement – up to $6,000 – for newly hired employees

Reduce your training costs, while providing your new employee with the necessary skill sets required for the job. Your business can be reimbursed for the cost of onboarding and training newly hired employees – up to 50% of their wages for the duration of the contract (typically 2-4 months). Work with our career specialists to select from a pool of qualified candidates – or refer someone already in your hiring pipeline.


• Qualified applicants, available to interview
• Reimbursement of wages, up to 50%, throughout the length of the contract
• Career coaches to provide extra support for new employees throughout the onboarding period
• Possible tax credits available through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program


• Participating employees must meet work2future eligibility requirements
• Employer agrees to retain participating employees for at least 90 days after completion of OJT
• A signed agreement must be in place before the employee’s start date

Work Experience [WEX]

100% of wages paid by work2future – up to $6,000 – for full or part-time internships

Provide temporary employment experiences that give young adults (ages 18-24) with little/no work experience the opportunity to gain meaningful work skills. work2future will pay 100% of the worker’s wages and associated costs – your business provides structured supervision and resume-building workplace experience.


• Pre-screened candidates, available to interview
• 100% subsidized wages paid directly to the young adult
• Career coaches to provide extra support for participants throughout the internship
• Create career and industry awareness for young adults entering the workplace


• Participating interns must meet work2future eligibility requirements
• Employers are not expected or obligated to hire an intern at the end of the WEX, but may make an offer of employment if desired
• Employers may be asked to supply workplace insurance documentation

Incumbent Worker Training [IWT]

Reimbursement funds – up to $9,000 per person – for training provided to current staff

Utilize IWT funding to help your team build and develop the skills necessary to stay competitive – or increase their skill level to advance and add value within your company. work2future will reimburse 50-90% of the total training cost, depending on the size of your company, so you can expand the overall impact of your training budget. You’re in control of the training plan – select the courses and methods that work best for your team.


• Offset costs can extend the investments you’re already making in training and upskilling
• Workers learn new competencies to upgrade their current performance, advance within their role, and deliver productive business results
• Boost your competitiveness in the marketplace by building and maintaining a highly skilled roster of workers


• Employer agrees to provide requested documentation for all expenses related to the training plan
• Participating employees will be required to create an account on the State CalJOBS website
• A signed agreement must be in place before the training start date
• Employers will need to supply workplace insurance documentation

For more information, go to

2024 Social Security, CA SDI Taxable Wage Base, Withholding Rates

Mike McCluskey, Senior Technical Editor, CalChamber

Employers should know about two new taxable wage base updates for 2024. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that, for 2024, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax — also known as the Social Security taxable wage base — will increase to $168,600 from $160,200 (a 5.2 percent increase).

Some things will stay the same though in 2024; the Social Security withholding rate is unchanged, remaining at 6.2 percent, up to the maximum taxable amount. Similarly, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax rate — which is the combined total of the Social Security tax rate and the 1.45 percent Medicare tax rate — remains unchanged at 7.65 percent.

Additionally, individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes. The tax rates above do not include the 0.9 percent. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to the Medicare tax.

In California, a law signed in 2022 takes effect on January 1, 2024, which eliminates the taxable wage limit on employee wages subject to California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) withholding rate. California’s SDI program pays for the state’s paid family leave (PFL) and disability insurance.

In 2023, the maximum taxable wage base for SDI was $153,164 and the SDI tax rate was 0.9 percent. For 2024, the SDI withholding rate increases to 1.1 percent with no taxable wage limit and maximum withholding for each employee subject to SDI contributions.

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