Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Business Focus-November 2021

November 29, 2021

The Gift of Warmth

Are you looking to make a difference to those in need this holiday season?  Look no further!

For their winter community service project, the Rotary Club of Gilroy is assisting Gilroy Unified School District’s efforts to provide winter clothing for their school age children, kindergarten – 12th grade.  Many of the families in need are part of their Mckinney Vento, Migrant and Foster Youth programs.

What are they in need of?  Mostly warmer clothing items, such as warm jackets/rain jackets, beanies, scarves, and gloves for these children.  With donations from Rotarians and members of our community, these items will be purchased and donated to Gilroy Unified School District.

How can you support this effort?

  1. Donate a Target gift card – mail to Rotary Club of Gilroy, PO Box 1912, Gilroy, CA  95021 or,
  2. Make a tax-deductible online donation at:

For more information, contact Kelly Ramirez at

Boy or Girl?

La Nina: Is California Headed for Another Dry Winter?

Article by Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, Bay Area News Group

You may have seen it on social media or heard it while talking to a friend: This is a La Niña year, so California won’t get any rain this winter and the severe drought is only going to get worse. Right?

Maybe not. Although that’s a common belief, it’s not supported by past history. The reality is that a lot depends on where you live.

“The message most people get about La Niña seems to be biased by Southern California,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Half Moon Bay. “There is a really good connection between La Niña and drier-than-normal weather in Southern California. But in Northern California, it’s a coin flip.”

La Niña conditions occur when Pacific Ocean waters off South America are cooler than normal. They are the opposite of El Niño, the atmospheric trend when waters there are warmer than average.

Null, a former lead forecaster with the National Weather Service, has spent years tracking the amount of rainfall California receives every winter and looking for trends.

Since 1950, there have been 23 winters with La Niña conditions, his records show. Although some were dry, like last year or 1976-77, some also were very wet, such as the winter of 2016-17, when relentless atmospheric river storms caused the near-failure of Oroville Dam. Rainfall that winter ended the state’s previous drought and prompted widespread flooding in downtown San Jose.

The average rainfall over those 23 years was 93% of normal.

Similarly, the region farther north, where California’s largest reservoirs are located, including Shasta, Oroville, Trinity and Folsom, has received 97% of normal rainfall, on average, in La Niña years. And the rugged coast near the California-Oregon border has received an average of 103% of normal rainfall during La Niña years.

So why does the stubborn belief persist that La Niña guarantees dry weather? The farther south one goes, the drier it has been in La Niña years.

Null’s data shows that La Niña years have brought only 79% of normal rainfall, on average, to the Los Angeles-San Diego area.

“Fortunately the state’s biggest reservoirs are not in Southern California,” he said.

The engineers who built California’s largest reservoirs in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s didn’t have 70 years of precise climate data, precise satellite images and computer weather models. They had slide rules and hand-drawn blueprints. But they did know from previous generations which watersheds of the state tended to deliver the most rain or melting snow, and that’s where they built many of the big dams to catch the water for cities and farms.

Many of those reservoirs have fallen to very low levels as Northern California has received less rain in the past two years than any two-year period since 1976-77.

On Friday, Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, was just 24% full. Oroville Lake, the second-largest, was 29% full. The third-largest, Trinity Lake, in Trinity County, was 29% full.

Several rare, heavy storms in October got this winter season off to a very promising start, water experts say. But because of the extremely dry conditions, due in part to hotter-than-normal weather exacerbated by climate change, much of the rain soaked into the ground and didn’t run into reservoirs.

“We had fantastic amounts of rain hitting the landscape but a relatively modest response,” said Mike Anderson, the state climatologist and a supervising engineer with the California Department of Water Resources.

“The rivers came up a little bit, and some water got into Oroville and Folsom. Drought buster? Not so much. But it got the soils wet.”

Anderson said that in many areas of the state, at least 10 inches of rainfall are needed to saturate the soils before there is significant runoff that can quickly raise the levels of reservoirs. In Sierra Nevada watersheds that have lots of granite, 3 or 4 inches of rain can begin substantial runoff to Hetch Hetchy and other reservoirs.

The trouble is if a big storm arrives, but then it is dry for weeks and weeks, the ground begins to dry out again, he noted.

“Typically in November, we want to see storm regularity pick up, and maybe get one every couple of weeks,” he said. “Then in the middle of the winter season get a really stormy two-week period. We’re not seeing that yet.”

No significant rain is forecast for the next 10 days through Thanksgiving weekend in the Bay Area or Los Angeles.

But long-range computer models show that there may be another storm system setting up around Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

“It looks like a pair of pretty big storms,” Anderson said. “Something to keep an eye on.”

It’s hard to know if that will happen. Long-range weather forecasting is not particularly accurate. The most recent winter outlook from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts it will be wet in the Pacific Northwest and dry in the Southwest through mid-February

For California, NOAA said continued drought conditions through February are likely. But the agency notes its confidence is only “low to moderate.” That’s because California is in the middle, Anderson noted.

California needs about a half-dozen more major atmospheric river storms between now and April to fill reservoirs and break the drought, he added.

“We’re off to a good start,” Anderson said. “But we need a lot more.”

NOAA’s seasonal outlook from Nov. 18, 2021 predicts continued dry conditions over California through February. But its long-range forecasts have had an uneven record of accuracy in the past. (Source: NOAA)

Lawmaker Smelling Too Many Fumes?

Gardeners call California’s subsidy inadequate

Article by Jesse Bedayn, San Jose Mercury News (Bay Area News Group)

Though Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill banning the sale of most new gas powered tools by 2024, gardeners and landscapers say a $30 million state subsidy isn’t nearly enough to help small operators make the switch to electric. 

The state agency responsible for administering the subsidy estimates it has only enough to give each self-employed gardener a 50% coupon for one tool, far from the truckload of leaf blowers, lawn mowers, small chainsaws, brush cutters and trimmers most haul around.

In fact, local governments have learned they need to offer more. In Southern California, a regional air quality district that has been running a similar incentive program since 2017 saw few takers until it increased rebates to 75% per tool. The district paired that with an outreach program and encouraged landscapers to test electric equipment.

The California Air Resources Board is still figuring out who will qualify for the rebate but Assemblymember Marc Berman, one of the authors of the bill, said he’s open to adding more funding if needed.

“Let’s not make the perfect be the enemy of the good,” said the Menlo Park Democrat.

A chainsaw and gas on the ground during fire mitigation work at a property along Via Floreado road in Orinda on Nov. 16, 2021. Ken’s Rototilling and Landscaping company owns around 50 gas powered tools that could be impacted by a state ban on new small gas motors. Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group

Environmentalists hailed the first-in-the-nation law for advancing California’s clean energy goals, noting the state estimates that smog-forming pollution from small gas-powered engines will surpass emissions from passenger cars this year. But electrifying the landscaping industry creates financial and physical burdens for the estimated 60,000 one-person and often unlicensed landscaping operations, an industry with an average income under $40,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There’s an argument for subsidizing the transition. An electric leaf blower and batteries cost nearly twice as much as a comparable gas version. California estimates that a full transition of nearly 3 million tools used by landscaping professionals will cost  $1.29 billion.

Bryan, a landscaper who asked to be identified by his first name only because he fears losing business, uses a mix of electric and gas equipment. The electric ones fall short.

“I have 10 to 15 houses a day, right now, but with electric (tools), I may do seven or five houses a day,” he said. That’s a loss of $1,000 a week.

Already, Bryan has told his kid he can’t afford books or a new laptop. The cost of a full conversion by purchasing all electric tools, he said, would require him to raise prices 30%. He fears his residential clients will purchase their own tools and do it themselves, pushing him out of a job.

When the bill was signed, Berman and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego called it a win for both the environment and human health. Electric tools have already been widely adopted by California homeowners, but only a fraction of commercial landscaping companies have made the switch, according to a 2018 survey by the air resources board.

Jorge Mijango of Ken’s Rototilling and Landscaping uses a chainsaw to cut trees for fire mitigation at a property along Via Floreado road in Orinda on Nov. 16, 2021. The landscaping company owns around 50 gas powered tools that could be impacted by a state ban on new small gas motors. Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group

An employee with Ken’s Rototilling and Landscaping carries cut branches up hill during fire mitigation work at a property along Via Floreado road on in Orinda on Nov. 16, 2021. Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group

At that time, 8 in 10 landscapers said they planned on buying gas-powered equipment with many prioritizing performance, run-time and cost. But operating a gas-powered leaf blower for one hour, for example, emits the same amount of pollution as driving a Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver, according to the air board.

The lawn equipment conversion will bring the rest of the state in line with cities such as Palo Alto, Los Altos and Menlo Park, which have already banned noisy leaf blowers. The law also directs the air resources board to come up with statewide regulations for other small motor equipment, such as golf carts, small generators and power washers.

But the landscaping industry, the main target of the ban, says the transition has already been costly.

Steven Wood purchased four batteries for his electric leaf blower after a number of communities in the Bay Area banned gas-powered leaf blowers. Woods, who owns a small landscaping business, immediately noticed the batteries don’t go far enough.

“I never spent $200 on something that lasted 45 minutes,” Wood said, “and it doesn’t last for six to eight houses a day.”

Once the batteries drain, Wood’s two employees resort to raking, which takes three times as long to complete a job.

Tests back him up.

Consumer Reports rated gas and electric tools, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers and string trimmers, side by side. The nonprofit consumer organization found that battery-powered tools, with low maintenance and ease of use, were strong candidates for homeowners with less than an acre of land who could wait to recharge their batteries. But when it came to larger plots, more robust weeds to whack, or long hours of use, gas tools excelled.

“As an industry, we want this (battery-powered) equipment to be able to handle what we throw at it,” said Sandra Giarde, executive director of the California Landscape Contractors Association. “But it’s not there yet.”

The air resources board said the technology is close enough. While electric tools may not have the same power, they offer other benefits, such as longer lifespan, better torque for some tools and savings on gas and maintenance, said air pollution specialist Christopher Dilbeck.

“We recognize that, yes, there will be substantial costs associated with what we are proposing,” said Dilbeck. “That is part of why this funding is available.”

The board, which will allocate the state’s $30 million subsidy, has yet to release how it will hand out incentives other than saying it will target small operators, including those without a business license. In one scenario, California could offer 12,000 small landscapers a 50% discount on all their new tools, or every sole-proprietor could receive a 50% discount on one tool.

“You are not going to be able to get the jobs done as fast,” said Ken Tamplen, owner of Ken’s Rototilling, a landscaping company in Contra Costa County. “You’re not going to be able to make as much money.”

Gilroy Holiday Events

Information provided by Erik Chaloub, Gilroy Dispatch, and various members.

The Gilroy Holiday Parade returns to downtown Gilroy on Dec. 4 from 2:30-7 pm. The event features live entertainment and activities throughout the evening, with vendor booths, photo opportunities, and more, including a parade at 5:30 pm. The festivities conclude at 6:30 pm on the corner of Fifth and Monterey streets with a tree lighting.

The Gilroy Center for the Arts will hold its holiday shopping event on Dec. 3 from 10 am to 5 pm and Dec. 4 from 10 am to 7 pm. 

The Neon Exchange’s Holiday Bazaar takes place on Dec. 4 from 10 am to 4 pm at 7365 Monterey St. Admission to the event, which features photos with Santa Claus and live performances, is $10. Children 6 and under are free.

After a one-year hiatus, Gilroy Gardens’ Holiday event returns select nights from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. The gardens will be decked out in festive lights, and attendees can ice skate and settle down to a feast before catching the Charlie Brown Christmas Show. For information, visit

Clos LaChance Winery will be hosting a holiday shopping event on December 4 and 5 from 10 am-4 pm. They will have music, wine by the glass, food for purchase, and lots of vendors ready to help you get that holiday shopping out of the way! Wine Club Members get a sneak peek Friday, Dec 3 from 5-8 pm where you will be able to shop first, get a free glass of wine, and enjoy a Friday evening at the winery. They will also be having their Toys for Tots drive going on, so any unwrapped toys you bring will get you raffle tickets for some fun prizes!

Los Cuates Restaurant is hosting a holiday pop-up shop on December 4 from 10 am-4 pm, featuring various local vendors. Admission to this event is free. 

The District Theater, located at  7430 Monterey St Gilroy, CA 95020, will be hosting a Holiday Sip and Shop event on Sunday, December 5, 11 am-4 pm. There will be over 20 crafters and Santa will be in the house from 1 to 3:30. Bring your family and friends!

2 Weeks until Wreaths Across America!

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

On Saturday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., Wreaths Across America – Team Turner will be at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, St. Mary Cemetery and Mount Hope Memorial Park to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud.

Sponsor a Wreath for just $15

Please donate to a location enabling us to lay wreaths on as many graves as possible in South County.

You can pay online  or sign up to volunteer by clicking here, or you are more than welcome to mail a check to:

Wreaths Across America
c/o Gilroy Chamber of Commerce
7471 Monterey Street
Gilroy, CA 95020

November 22, 2021

Get the Silicon Valley Business Journal

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is working closely with the Silicon Valley Business Journal to offer Chamber members a discounted subscription rate for new subscribers at a rate of $75 for one year which would include the weekly Print, 24-hour Digital access, and the annual Book of Lists.

Chamber members can also have the option to do a Digital-Only annual subscription for $75. Interested parties may contact Asja Fuller at Please use promo code “Gilroy Chamber” to receive your discounted subscription.

Quick Preview of New California Employment Laws

By James Ward, CalChamber

Following is a quick look at some of the new employment laws about which employers should be aware. Unless otherwise stated, the new laws take effect starting January 1, 2022.

California Family Rights Act

AB 1033 cleans up and builds upon last year’s SB 1383, which dramatically expanded the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to cover small employers and expanded the definition of family member for whom leave could be taken. This new bill clarifies that employees can take family and medical leave to care for a parent-in-law with a serious health condition.

AB 1033 also revises and adds more detailed provisions to the small employer (five to 19 employees) mediation program originally created in 2020 by AB 1867, including making participation in the mediation program a prerequisite to the employee filing a civil action. The revisions to the program should help more small businesses become aware of their ability to resolve CFRA disputes through mediation rather than costly civil litigation.

Safety, Wage Enforcement, Penalties

  • SB 606 expands the enforcement authority of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) by creating two new violations categories for which Cal/OSHA can issue citations.

This bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a violation committed by an employer with multiple worksites is “enterprise-wide” if the employer has a written policy or procedure that violates certain safety rules or Cal/OSHA has evidence of a pattern or practice. Cal/OSHA may issue an enterprise-wide citation requiring abatement if the employer fails to rebut the presumption. Enterprise-wide citations will carry the same penalties as citations for repeated or willful violations, up to $134,334 per violation.

Cal/OSHA also must issue a citation for an “egregious violation” if the division believes that an employer has willfully and egregiously violated an occupational safety or health standard, order, special order or regulation based on several factors listed in the statute. The bill requires each instance of an employee exposed to that violation to be considered a separate violation for the issuance of fines and penalties.

  • AB 1003 makes the intentional theft of wages, benefits or compensation in an amount greater than $950 for one employee or more than $2,350 for two or more employees in a consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft under the California Penal Code, which prosecutors may charge as a misdemeanor or felony.
  • SB 572 deals with enforcement of wage liens against employers by adding a provision to the Labor Code allowing the California Labor Commissioner to create, as an alternative to a judgment lien, a lien on real property to secure amounts due to the commissioner under any final citation, findings or decision.

Settlement Agreements

SB 331 significantly expands on laws passed over the past few years limiting the ability to use confidentiality clauses in severance and settlement agreements. Prior to SB 331, any settlement agreement in a case where sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination based on sex has been alleged couldn’t include a confidentiality provision prohibiting disclosure of information regarding the claim.

SB 331 expands the prohibition to include acts of workplace harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, not just those based on sex. While employees cannot be prohibited from discussing underlying facts of the case, employers can still use clauses that prevent the disclosure of the amount paid to settle the claim. SB 331 will apply to agreements entered on or after January 1, 2022.

Industry-Specific Measures

  • AB 701 specifically targets warehouse distribution centers. The new law applies to certain larger employers meeting industry definitions for General Warehousing and Storage, Merchant Wholesalers (Durable and Non-Durable Goods), and Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses. The law requires covered employers to provide each nonexempt employee working at a warehouse distribution center a written description of each quota to which they are subject, including tasks to be performed, materials produced or handled, time periods and any potential adverse employment actions that may result from failure to meet quotas.

Under AB 701, employees cannot be required to meet quotas that prevent compliance with meal or rest periods, use of bathroom facilities, or health and safety laws. If employees feel that quotas are interfering with these things, they can request a copy of applicable quotas and the last 90 days of their personal work speed performance, which the employer must produce within three weeks. The law also creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if the employer takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days of the employee’s request for their quota and personal work speed performance or an employee’s complaint about a quota.

  • SB 62 requires garment manufacturers and “brand guarantors” who contract with another person for the performance of garment manufacturing to be jointly and severally liable with manufacturers or contractors for wage violations of employees in the supply chain. For purposes of expanding the shared liability under this law, the bill expands the definition of garment manufacturing.

SB 62 also prohibits the practice of piece-rate compensation for garment manufacturing, except at worksites covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement. The bill imposes statutory damages of $200 per employee against a garment manufacturer or contractor, payable to the employee, for each pay period in which each employee is paid by piece rate.

  • AB 73 expands on one of last year’s personal protective equipment (PPE) bills, SB 275, which established a state stockpile of PPE in the event of a pandemic. AB 73 broadens the scope of the law to include wildfire smoke events as a health emergency under the law and includes agricultural workers in the definition of essential workers. The bill also requires Cal/OSHA to review and update wildfire smoke training, which employers must follow.


  • AB 654 clarifies and cleans up last year’s COVID-19 notice and reporting bill, AB 685. As previously reported, the bill revises the language AB 685 used to describe COVID-19 notice requirements to make it more consistent throughout. This was an urgency measure that took effect immediately upon being signed on October 5.
  • Under SB 336, when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) or a local health officer issues an order or mandatory COVID-19-related guidance, they must publish the order or guidance on their website along with the date that the order or guidance takes effect. The CDPH or local health officer must also create an opportunity to sign up for an email distribution list to receive updates on the order or guidance. SB 336 also went into effect immediately upon being signed on October 4.
Take Back Local Control

California – In the past several years, Sacramento politicians have passed numerous laws that take away the ability of local communities to make thoughtful planning decisions. These laws are denying Californians the right to speak out in a meaningful way when developers are damaging and gentrifying their neighborhoods.

These new laws allow developers to build large multifamily buildings next door to single-family homes without local approval, without community input, and without any new contributions to fund transit, schools, parks, roads, public safety or other services. The new state laws allow developers to build expensive new housing without requiring any units to be reserved for affordable housing and with zero contributions to affordable housing programs.

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative will restore local planning input and the ability of residents to speak out about what is happening next door to their homes and apartments.

The growing coalition of local leaders and neighborhood groups dedicated to preserving a neighborhood voice in city planning have begun to collect signatures to qualify a statewide ballot measure that restores California residents’ voice in community decisions — versus new state laws that give for-profit developers a blank check to build in single-family neighborhoods without community input or any contributions to fund local services or affordable housing.

The measure will protect a community’s ability to shape local growth, preserve the character of neighborhoods, and require developers to produce more affordable housing and contribute to the costs associated with new housing.

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative seeks to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.

If you are interested in signing the petition, you may stop by the Chamber of Commerce office located at 7471 Monterey Street, Suite B in downtown. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Please note, the Chamber office will be closed 11/24-11/26 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The People’s Voice: What Do Voters Want?

Article by Lorne Kay, President, California Foundation for Commerce and Education

“There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

— Likely apocryphal quote attributed to French Revolutionary.

Voters and their representatives often have clashing sentiments over public policy priorities, especially during times of crisis — whether a pandemic or a tax revolt — when politicians must catch up to the public mood.

The seventh CalChamber poll, The People’s Voice, 2021, found that elected leaders are out of alignment with the voters on several important policy issues.

Californians start with a healthy skepticism of their leaders. Nearly three-quarters of voters believe that “Legislators are out of touch with the issues that are most important to people like me.” This is notable since 56% of voters believe that California is heading in the “right direction,” the most confidence shown in that overall measure in five years.

Issue Importance

The CalChamber poll gauges responsiveness to voter concerns by conducting an Issue Importance Analysis. The poll measures awareness, which is whether voters “have heard quite a bit about this issue from elected officials in Sacramento,” and demand, which is whether voters believe “elected officials in Sacramento are not spending enough time on this issue.” Inquiring about individual policy priorities along these dimensions reveals whether voters believe that elected leaders are devoting their attention to issues of highest priority to voters.

As the chart below shows, voters believe their leaders are spending too much attention on just a couple issues that already have enough attention: addressing COVID-19 and the need for the state to fight global warming. But leaders are not spending enough time on a host of issues of greater immediate concern to voters, including reducing crime, making California more affordable, improving quality of public education, expanding the state’s water supply, addressing high housing costs, encouraging economic development, and fixing roads and bridges.

The biggest disconnect between voters’ appetite for action and what they have heard from state leaders about the issue is on reducing crime, making California more affordable, and expanding the state’s fresh water supply. These issue areas provide political and policy opportunities to fill huge unmet demands.

Budget Spending

Taking a different approach to issue spotting, the CalChamber poll asked voters how they might spend expected budget surpluses over the next year. Voters were not restricted in their choice by constitutional mandates or budgetary norms since this was an exercise to determine priorities.

When asked where they might invest a budget surplus, by a wide margin, voters chose as “very important” water/drought and wildfire prevention, at 74% and 66%, respectively, followed by addressing homelessness. At the bottom of the list for surplus distribution is income inequality, identified as very important by 35% of voters, behind health care expansion, tax cuts and economic development in the bottom tier. Clustered in the middle were traditional issues like education, housing, roads, public safety, and climate change.

Direct Democracy

Voters know that the safety valve of an unresponsive Legislature is direct democracy. Even as politicians and pundits criticized the recall in the wake of Governor Newsom’s successful retention of his job, a plurality of voters supports direct democracy. Asked if “concepts such as recall, initiative and referendum are part of the problem or part of the solution,” 42% of voters agreed with “solution,” 36% agreed with “problem,” and 23% were undecided.

Finally, a ballot measure is being considered to make the independent, nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office responsible for writing the official descriptions for each statewide ballot proposition in California. Under the current process, the official descriptions are drafted by the office of California’s Attorney General. This measure would also require that the official descriptions of ballot propositions be reviewed by a committee to ensure the language is easy to understand. Voters supported this proposal by a 68% to 6% margin.

In previous articles we have reported about California voters’ economic concerns and anxiety about public safety. Subsequent articles will take a deep dive on public policy issues of interest to voters and employers.


The CalChamber poll was conducted by Core Decision Analytics and Pierrepont Consulting and Analytics with online interviews from October 9–12, 2021 with 1,003 online interviews of California 2022 general election voters. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.09% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups. This is the seventh year the CalChamber has published a voter survey.

How do Americans Support Small Businesses?

Information provided by SCORE

Americans still patronize small businesses (companies with fewer than 500 employees)

  • 91% of Americans shop at a small business at least once a week

  • 47% frequent small businesses 2-4 times weekly

  • 17% more than 4 times a week

Local Shoppers’ Favorite Destinations:

  • Independently-owned bakeries (40%)

  • Clothing, accessory and shoe stores (40%)

  • Restaurants, bars and pubs (37%)

  • Bookstores (32%)

  • Gift, novelty and souvenir stores (30%)

Small businesses keep money in the community

  • For every $1 you spend at a small business:

    • 67 cents stays in the local community

      • 44 cents goes to the small business owner and employees wages and benefits

      • 23 cents gets reinvested in other local businesses

  • And that $1 creates an additional 50 cents of local economic impact

    • 30 cents is spent by the small business owner on local vendors

    • 20 cents is spent by the owner and employees locally

Americans love Small Business Saturday

  • 97% of consumers said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community

  • 80% plan to shop at independently-owned retailers or restaurants that day

  • 59% plan to shop from small businesses even online

Support Your Local Small Businesses

  • November: National Entrepreneur Month

  • November 27, 2021: Small Business Saturday

3 Weeks until Wreaths Across America!

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

On Saturday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., Wreaths Across America – Team Turner will be at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, St. Mary Cemetery and Mount Hope Memorial Park to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud.

Sponsor a Wreath for just $15

Please donate to a location enabling us to lay wreaths on as many graves as possible in South County.

You can pay online  or sign up to volunteer by clicking here, or you are more than welcome to mail a check to:

Wreaths Across America
c/o Gilroy Chamber of Commerce
7471 Monterey Street
Gilroy, CA 95020

November 15, 2021

Oppose Yellow “Unity Map”

The Santa Clara County (SCC) Board of Supervisors will be reviewing and voting on new district voting maps on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at 2:00 pm, with a final vote on December 7, 2021 (time TBD).

Currently, there are three maps that the Supervisors are considering:

Yellow Map (Unity Map)
Purple Map
Equal and Equitable 2.0 Map (EE 2.0)

The Mercury News, San Jose Inside, and Opportunity Now SV each voice concerns about the Yellow Map and gerrymandering. Click here to read the pieces.

Of the three maps, we believe – and the Mercury News editorial board agrees – that the Equal and Equitable 2.0 (EE 2.0) Map best follows the criteria set by the state of CA for creating supervisorial districts. In addition:

Map EE 2.0 limits the splits of all cities, with only San José split.
Map EE 2.0 keeps our communities together.
Map EE 2.0 maintains more equally populated districts.
Map EE 2.0 does not create huge splits between formally contiguous communities.

Now is the time for members of the community to voice their support for the Equal and Equitable 2.0 (EE 2.0) Map and voice their concerns about other proposed maps.

You can speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at 2:00 pm.

To access the meeting:
You may also call into the meeting by smartphone at (669)219-2599, meeting ID 920 0971 1587#.

You can quickly send a letter to all the County Supervisors to let your voice be heard, through this link:

We need to make our voices heard! Act now on letting the Supervisors know your choice!

Santa Clara County Should Reject Blatant Gerrymandering Effort

Editorial: San Jose Mercury News

The Yellow map, put forth by labor and civil rights groups, fails to meet the criteria set by the Voting Rights Act. 

The Yellow map being considered by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors would prevent former San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis and Los Gatos Town Council Vice Mayor Rob Rennie from running for the District 1 seat currently held by Supervisor Mike Wasserman.

Every 10 years, Santa Clara County redraws district boundaries so that each district is substantially equal in population. The process also determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together for the purposes of electing county supervisors.

And every 10 years, the Board of Supervisors faces gerrymandering efforts designed to give one party or group an unfair advantage over another party or group.

This year is no different. The board last week, by a 3-2 vote, advanced three maps for further consideration: the Yellow, Purple and EE 2.0 maps.

The Yellow map, put forth by labor and civil rights groups, doesn’t pass the smell test. It not only very likely fails to meet the criteria set by the Voting Rights Act but also excludes two strong candidates — former San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis and Los Gatos Town Council Vice Mayor Rob Rennie — from running for the District 1 seat currently held by termed-out Supervisor Mike Wasserman. That in turn advances the candidacy of the two labor-friendly candidates, Santa Clara County Board of Education President Claudia Rossi and Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine.

The County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday to consider the three maps. It should eliminate the Yellow map from further consideration. The EE 2.0 map may need some tweaks, but it stands as the fairest map for all county residents.

One of the key components of the Voting Rights Act is Section 2, which “prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups.”

We strongly support the provision. It was the key factor, for example, in forcing the city of Santa Clara to move to district voting, leveling the playing field for minority candidates seeking to serve on the City Council. And it has led to fairer elections throughout cities and counties in California.

But a key part of Section 2 requires those who draw maps to “perform a statistical analysis of election results to determine the degree of racially polarized voting” in a district. Maps are then supposed to be drawn based on the statistical analysis.

That analysis needs to perform to determine whether the proponents of the Yellow map are right in maintaining that it would boost representation for lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. But the law requires more than just a sense that it is true.

The Yellow map also violates the California Election Code criteria governing the redistricting process. The criteria says the county should “preserve the integrity of neighborhoods and local communities of interest, which are populations that share common social or economic interests that should be included within a single supervisorial district for purposes of effective and fair representation. Communities of interest do not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.”

Supervisor races are non-partisan. But giving Rossi and Constantine a distinct edge in the District 1 race clearly violates the spirit of the criteria, if not the law itself.

Finally, lumping together nine different cities in District 5, ranging from Palo Alto to Los Gatos, would place an impossible burden on the supervisor representing the district. It’s hard enough for supervisors to represent three or four cities. Meeting the needs of residents in nine cities will inevitably lead to some cities getting unfairly shortchanged.

We understand the temptation for map drawers to achieve political goals in the redistricting process. But in the end, good government and what’s best for Santa Clara County must prevail.

What’s New With Business?

South Valley Flag Football League (SVFFL) opens its winter season at Sobrato High School on January 9th. Chamber members receive 20% off the registration price with discount code CHAMBER20. And it gets better! Until November 29th, SVFFL is running their Early Bird Special. Chamber members can apply their discount to the Early Bird price for a combined discount bringing down their cost to $108.99 from $169.99. Please go to to register. 

Saturday morning, December 18 at 9:00, volunteers will be meeting at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park and St. Mary Cemetery to place Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans buried in both cemeteries. The annual Wreaths Across America event will be in-person this year which marks the 8th year of honoring the more than 1,200 veterans buried in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers will place nearly 1 million memorial wreaths at 2,500 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites at the September 11 tragedies. To donate $15 to help sponsor wreaths go to Please feel free to join us on Saturday morning, December 18. Call the Chamber office for more information. 408-842-6437. 

Want to share what’s new with your business? Send information (written in article format seen above) to What’s New With Business runs in the 3rd Monday’s edition each month of the online Business Focus.


New California Law Requires Health Plans and Insurers to Cover COVID-19 Screening Tests and Preventative Treatments with No Cost Sharing


Article by The National Law Review

On October 8th, 2021, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed into law Senate Bill No. 510, which requires health care service plan contracts and disability insurance policies that provide coverage for hospital, medical, or surgical benefits to cover all COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without cost-sharing or prior authorization requirements. The new law goes beyond COVID-19, setting the stage for coverage for testing and vaccination for future pandemics as well. The law specifically provides coverage for:

  • Any evidence-based item, service, or immunization that is intended to prevent or mitigate a disease, as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force).
  • A health care service or product related to diagnostic and screening testing for a disease that is approved or granted emergency use authorization by the federal Food and Drug Administration, or is recommended by the State Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Both must be covered no later than 15 business days after the date on which the Task Force or CDC makes a recommendation relating to the item, service, or immunization.

These requirements apply regardless of whether they are delivered by an in-network or out-of-network provider. However, for out-of-network providers, the requirements are limited to the duration of the federal public health emergency.

The bill is retroactive to March 4, 2020, the date on which the Governor declared a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is not clear whether plans and providers are expected to refund amounts already paid by patients who received testing. As with most surprise billing laws, the language allows in-network providers to negotiate rates with plans while leaving out-of-network rates more nebulous. Out-of-network providers without specifically negotiated rates must be reimbursed in the “amount that is reasonable, as determined in comparison to prevailing market rates.”

Gavilan College Announces Community Spirit Award Winners

At their October meeting, the Gavilan College Board of Trustees announced the winners of the Community Spirit Awards for 2021. The awards are presented annually, in each of the communities served by Gavilan College, to honor the people and institutions that contribute to improving the quality of life in each community. Each of the three sets of awards includes an individual, a business, and an organization.

 As was done last year due to COVID-19 concerns, the awards will be presented outdoors in a personal visit to each award-winner from Gavilan College Superintendent / President Dr. Kathleen A. Rose and one or more members of the Gavilan College Board of Trustees. The award presentations will be captured on video and then posted online for the community to celebrate and enjoy.

In Gilroy this year’s awards will be presented to Suzanne Bulle for the award to an individual, Gilroy Rodeo for the award to an organization, and Neon Exchange for the award to a business.

Anyone in the community may make a nomination for a community spirit award, and nominations may be submitted any time at:


News & Events in Downtown

The Gilroy Downtown Business Association recently celebrated their second annual Dia de Los Muertos ceremony in Gourmet Alley, thanks to the contribution of our host sponsor RAC Services LLC. In addition, other supporters were Pinnacle Bank, Maria Cid Farmers Insurance Agency, Maxima Realty Group, Los Cuates Restaurant, and Pepsi. This rich Mexican heritage experience was held to honor loved ones who have passed. An altar by the Montes family was displayed for attendees to view and put their offerings to their family members. The celebration consisted of Folkloric dancing by our local group Son De Mi Corazon and Valley neighbor Folkloric Yolotly Los Banos. Mariachi Santa Cruz, in their charro outfits, delivered a fantastic performance that pleased the crowd. Face painting, altar making, shopping vendors, dessert, food, and drinks were also part of the festivities.

Our next community event will be The Holiday Parade, and Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on December 4 from 2:30 pm to 7 pm. The event will consist of performances showcasing local talent, photo opportunities, vendors, food, and drinks. After the parade, hang around to watch Santa Claus work his magic and light the community tree in the heart of downtown.

We are accepting sponsors, parade entries, vendors, and Grand Marshal nominations for the 2021 Holiday Parade. Contact Nancy Maciel at 408-842-0005 or via email at for more information.

Nancy Maciel, Executive Marketing & Event Coordinator, Gilroy Downtown Business Association


High Speed Rail on the Slow Track


Bullet Train Up in the Air
Article by CalMatters 

Another political battle gathering force in Sacramento: the fate of California’s bullet train project. Newsom’s administration and lawmakers are hoping to reach an agreement in January on how to spend the remaining $4.2 billion of the $10 billion California voters approved for the project, but it appears that significant gaps still separate their respective visions. In phone conversations from the United Nations climate change conference in Scotland — which is scheduled to end today — top Democratic lawmakers told me:

  • Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Lakewood Democrat: “The High-Speed Rail Authority has changed their position and is now lying to Californians. They’re … telling them that the high speed rail system is a system that connects northern Kern County to Madera. That’s not what voters voted for. … We promised them Los Angeles County to the Bay Area.”
  • Assemblymember Laura Friedman, a Glendale Democrat and chairperson of the Assembly Transportation Committee: People “need to have an easy connection into the Bay Area. And it wasn’t acceptable to me that the high-speed rail’s business plan made people get on a bus and go a couple of miles to another station. … If they’re going to keep standing by that as their interim business plan, I’m going to keep arguing with them.”

Melissa Figueroa, a spokesperson for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, told me that “the full intent of the project is to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco as voters called for. The project has never been fully funded, and as such we must complete what we have funding for now. … Completing the Merced to Bakersfield section obtains the highest forecast gain in ridership and does so at the lowest increase in cost.”

Further complicating California’s public transit plans, the federal government recently warned that a state pension law could block it from receiving $12 billion in federal funds, including some of its allocation from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill President Joe Biden is set to sign Monday. Some money is earmarked for the bullet train, but less than was anticipated.

Thank you for your continued support!

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
Abbott’s Pro-Power
Bozzo’s Union 76
Cleaning Services
Kevin P. Courtney, Attorney
Flooring America/Cottage Floors
Guglielmo Winery
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park
Gilroy Garlic Festival Association
Go Kids, Inc.
Intero Real Estate Services, Patricia Filice
Martin Electric, Inc.
Mission Controls Company
Pacific Oak Properties, Inc.
Saint Louise Regional Hospital
Starritt Construction, Inc.
Sunshine Bicycles, Inc.
Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics

20 Years & over
Gilroy Rotary Club
Morgan Stanley

10 Years & over
Cintas Corporation
Container Consulting Service
Renee Kunz, Hollister Intero Real Estate
Pure Water Bottling Co.

5 Years and over
Christians in Commerce, Women’s Gil/MH Chapter
Dezign Boutique Graphics
Guaranteed Rate Affinity
Leavitt Central Coast
Bene Gifts Hollister
South County Tail Waggers

4 Weeks until Wreaths Across America!

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

On Saturday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., Wreaths Across America – Team Turner will be at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, St. Mary Cemetery and Mount Hope Memorial Park to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud.

Sponsor a Wreath for just $15

Please donate to a location enabling us to lay wreaths on as many graves as possible in South County.

You can pay online  or sign up to volunteer by clicking here, or you are more than welcome to mail a check to:

Wreaths Across America
c/o Gilroy Chamber of Commerce
7471 Monterey Street
Gilroy, CA 95020

November 8, 2021

Gilroy Business, Silva Sausage, in the News

BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 20, 2021–

Mission Barns, a leader in cultivated fat, completed the first-ever scaled-up manufacturing run of a product containing cultivated meat with its Mission Chorizo Sausage. This Chorizo is a delicious blend of Mission Fat™ and plant-protein that together deliver all the succulence, sizzle and satisfaction you’d expect from a sausage but without the downsides common to conventional animal protein.

Mission Chorizo Sausage from Mission Barns is a delicious blend of cultivated pork fat, called Mission Fat, and plant-protein. The product is a result of the first-ever scaled-up manufacturing run of a product containing cultivated meat.

“We see it as the best of both worlds, where sustainability and deliciousness intersect,” said Eitan Fischer, CEO of Mission Barns. “And, this ground-breaking partnership and production run is an important milestone toward cultivated meat technology becoming a reality.”

Mission Barns cultivates its fat using a patented process to grow real animal cells without the animal. This process allows for the efficient production of meat in a far more sustainable and climate-friendly way than conventional animal agriculture.

This production run was the first in a newly signed partnership between Silva Sausage and Mission Barns. Silva, located in Gilroy, California, is well-known for gourmet products which are widely available at Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway and many other retail and foodservice outlets, including Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

“Adding Mission Fat to plant-protein is a real game-changer,” said Fernando Martins, co-owner of Silva Sausage with his brother Rick Martins. “We’re proud and excited to be on the cutting edge of this sustainable new process.”

As part of the partnership, Mission Barns will utilize Silva Sausage’s 50,000 lbs per day production capacity, distribution network, packaging, and logistics to bring its products to market. The multi-year partnership involves Mission Barns and Silva Sausage conducting continuous scaled-up production runs. Silva Sausage is expanding its capacity to allow for growth in additional alternative protein product manufacturing.

“We were positively surprised to see the Mission Fat™ system scale up so successfully using commercial equipment, delivering top-notch functionality and flavor,” said Vineet Jindal, Head of Food Science at Mission Barns.

About Silva Sausage:

A well-known West Coast brand, Silva Sausage started out in 1967 making high-end traditional products such as Portuguese Sausage, Spanish Chorizo and Smoked Italian Sausage. Silva continues to craft batch made sausages while creating exciting new flavors for the quality conscious customer. They currently employ over 90 team members in a 52,000 square foot facility, with expansion underway for an additional 80,000 square feet. For more information, visit

Shopping Decisions Support Our Local Economy

Retailers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. Sales tax revenue to the city during this time and throughout the year help fund essential city services. As you prepare your holiday gift list, we encourage residents to make a conscious decision to shop locally. The city also benefits by being a retail destination within the region, which brings out of town shoppers to Gilroy. In fact, Gilroy is a sales tax capture community with well over 100 percent capture in major retail sectors.

During this holiday season we encourage you to shop local and support our local businesses. Holiday shopping accounts for a significant portion of a business’ annual revenues. Following are some important reasons to shop locally:

  1. It keeps dollars in Gilroy’s economy, supporting vital community services. For every $10 spent at a Gilroy business, as much as $7 stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Spending locally ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested right here in Gilroy.
  2. It creates and keeps local jobs. Local businesses prefer to hire local. They create jobs in the community for people of all ages. Many local businesses are owned by Gilroy residents ‐ your friends and neighbors.

  3. It nurtures our community. Our local businesses are committed to investing in Gilroy, donating to charitable causes, actively getting involved in the community and helping to support our schools and local events.

  4. It helps to keep us unique. Gilroy’s historic Downtown is comprised of businesses that are diverse and distinctive.

  5. It helps the environment. Buying local reduces your carbon footprint. Rather than driving out of town to shop, think local first. Chances are we have what you need right here in Gilroy.

Be sure to mark November 27 on your calendar for “Small Business Saturday”. This annual shopping day, sponsored by American Express, is dedicated to supporting small independent businesses across the country. In 2020, American consumers spent an estimated $19.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday®, according to data released by American Express, up from $19.6 billion from last year. You can make a difference with every local purchase you make this holiday season. Your patronage positively impacts the local economy, the viability of our shopping centers, the sustainability of our community and our local businesses. Please contact the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development for assistance with any of your business needs at 408‐842-6437 or

Gilroy Unified Brings Mobile Vaccinations to Schools

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

The Gilroy Unified School District continues to collaborate with community partners to offer extensive services to our staff, students, families, and the greater Gilroy community.  

Following the CDC approval of vaccine eligibility for children ages 5-11, in early November, GUSD established a schedule of mobile vaccine clinics at five elementary schools in the District and Gilroy High School for members of those school communities.  These clinics, presented in partnership with the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, have a goal of providing vaccine availability to families, eligible students and staff members in the familiar surroundings of their school campus, according to the following schedule:

  • Tuesday, November 9, Las Animas Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 10, Eliot Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 17, El Roble Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 18, Rucker Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Friday, November 19, Gilroy High School, for members of the Glen View Elementary School community, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 24, Rod Kelley Elementary (for the school communities of Rod Kelley and Luigi Aprea), 12:00-7:00 pm

Vaccines are free for all.  There is no insurance requirement for eligible people to receive the vaccine, and all students and families within the school community are welcome, regardless of immigration status.  Children, ages 5-18 will receive the Pfizer vaccine, but all three options (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) will be available for first and second doses, as well as boosters, for eligible adults.

In addition, the Gilroy Unified School District offered an employee-only vaccination clinic at the District Office Annex building on Tuesday, November 2.  This clinic provided 137 vaccines to GUSD employees, and Superintendent Deborah Flores has publicly announced that the District will provide more opportunities for employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. “Our goal is to provide an easy and accessible way for employees to receive vaccines during the workday, and to provide the same access for families to vaccinate their children, if they so choose.  While vaccines for students are not required, we want to provide the easiest opportunity for families to get vaccinated if they so choose.”  

Farmers Lose Two Skirmishes in California Water War

By Dan Walters, CalMatters

The most important battleground in California’s perpetual war over water is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Dozens of Northern California rivers and streams coalesce in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which join to form the Delta estuary and whose waters then flow into San Francisco Bay.

The state’s massive water infrastructure was constructed on an assumption that water left to flow to the sea was wasted. The web of reservoirs and canals diverts river and Delta water to farms in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and domestic users as far south as San Diego.

However, in recent decades environmental groups and their allies, such as Indian tribes and fishermen, have demanded reductions in diversions, arguing that they severely damage habitat for fish, such as spawning salmon, and other wildlife.

The conflict has been played out in multiple arenas – the Legislature, Congress, federal and state regulatory agencies and the courts. It’s been trench warfare with long periods of stalemate, occasional gains by one side or the other and periodic attempts at armistice.

A few years ago, the state Water Resources Control Board was poised to impose some limits on diversions that the agricultural industry saw as draconian – particularly since the state was also beginning to regulate farmers’ ability to pump groundwater to fill gaps in surface water supplies.

Govs. Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom wanted to head off a full-fledged legal showdown by urging “voluntary agreements” on river flows acceptable to both farm water agencies and the water board and negotiations have been underway for several years.

One such agreement affecting the Sacramento River and its tributaries appears headed for adoption, but this month, the draft of a second affecting the San Joaquin River hit a huge roadblock. In a letter to the river’s major diverters, the Newsom administration rejected their proposal and said it would urge the water board to resume direct regulation of San Joaquin flows.

Environmental Protection Secretary Jared Blumenfeld and Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot told the San Joaquin districts that “at this point it is clear that despite considerable efforts, proposed voluntary actions by water agencies on the San Joaquin River tributaries have fallen short of needed flow and habitat improvements, and viable proposals are not being offered at this time.”

The two administration officials added, “We will ask the State Water Board to resume all activities necessary to implement the flow objectives established by the 2018 Bay-Delta Plan for the Lower San Joaquin River and its three major tributaries, the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers.”

Although Blumenfeld and Crowfoot said the San Joaquin agencies could re-enter the process “if they propose necessary levels of additional water flows and habitat,” their rejection letter sets the stage for political and legal warfare. San Joaquin Valley farmers see the water board’s pending actions as severely damaging their ability to continue operations.

Dave Eggerton, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies called the administration letter “very concerning” because of the potential for all-out legal war.

However, as news of the letter spread in the water community, environmental groups celebrated. They had long viewed the “voluntary agreement” process as a tool to subvert stricter regulation necessary to protect habitat.

They scored another win last week when Fresno Superior Court Judge D. Tyler Tharpe refused to validate a very controversial water supply contract that the huge Westlands Water District obtained from the Trump administration. In his ruling, Tharpe cited procedural irregularities, including violation of state open meeting laws.

Thus, as drought grips California, the battles over the state’s very limited supply of water seem destined to intensify.

Business Resiliency 101: Managing Supply Chain Disruptions for Small Businesses

This is the fourth post in a series on the basics of building a more resilient business to help you navigate unforeseen challenges. Check out our post on marketing your small business in a post-covid landscapebuilding your online presence and protecting your small business from cyberattacks. Stay tuned for future posts in this series!

Small businesses are experiencing disruptions to their supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such disruptions affect small business owners in different ways, resulting in reduced revenues, inflated costs, delayed production and delivery of products, which ultimately affects their ability to serve customers and make profits.

We’ve compiled a list of strategies for entrepreneurs to help mitigate and manage supply chain disruptions in their businesses.

Communicate with existing suppliers

Talk with your existing suppliers to understand what the delays will be, what kind of options you have as a business owner, and when you should expect to receive inventory. Leveraging your relationships with suppliers will allow you to better prepare and strategize in case something goes wrong.

Once you have a clear sense of your suppliers’ inventory levels and purchase fulfillment status, you’ll have an idea of whether they’ll be able to handle your current and/or future orders. This will also help you understand if you need to find additional suppliers in the meantime, re-think your product lines, or incentivize you to partner with another small business or retailer while operations go back to normal. 

Get creative

Avoid relying on one single supplier or vendor, and identify backup suppliers and vendors prior to experiencing any supply chain disruptions. For example, your supplier has told you that there might be some delays on your next order, or perhaps the supplier is no longer able to fulfill your order at all. Now what? 

Seek out your backup suppliers and vendors, some of whom might jump at the chance to work with your business. And of course, be open to exploring and using different products and services in your small business.

Digitize your supply chain

In a digital world, small businesses need to implement digital tools to track, assess, and manage supply chain processes. Tracking suppliers and vendors manually is less efficient, which is why creating spreadsheets or implementing supply chain management tools in your business will allow you to track historical information and let you plan for the future. Digitizing your supply chain will help you manage your supply chain more effectively and save your business time and money.

Get in touch with your customers

A supply chain disruption in 2021 is inevitable at this point, which is why it’s important to communicate with your existing and prospective customers about changes in your business as it relates to the supply chain. Be transparent with your customers and let them know about potential delays and disruptions, and set clear expectations. They will appreciate your honesty, which might help you establish a stronger relationship and ensure repeat business with you. Consider whether offering compensation and/or freebies is appropriate.

Take advantage of gaps in the supply chain

E-commerce giants like Amazon and other major retailers are also experiencing shipping delays and supply chain disruptions, which opens an opportunity for smaller businesses that can fulfill orders more quickly and effectively. If you own a manufacturing business, take this opportunity to reach and engage customers and set yourself apart from the competition.

5 Weeks until Wreaths Across America!

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

On Saturday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., Wreaths Across America – Team Turner will be at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, St. Mary Cemetery and Mount Hope Memorial Park to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud.

Sponsor a Wreath for just $15

Please donate to a location enabling us to lay wreaths on as many graves as possible in South County.

You can pay online  or sign up to volunteer by clicking here, or you are more than welcome to mail a check to:

Wreaths Across America
c/o Gilroy Chamber of Commerce
7471 Monterey Street
Gilroy, CA 95020

November 1, 2021

Gilroy Rotary Announces 2021-2022 Community Grants Program

Contact: Jay Baksa
Gilroy Rotary
Phone: 408-848-2619 Gilroy Rotary
PO Box 1912
Gilroy, CA 95021 Gilroy Rotary
Press Release

Gilroy Rotary Announces 2021-2022 Community Grants Program

Gilroy, CA. On Monday, October 11, 2021 Gilroy Rotary Club formally kicked off its 2021-2022 Community Grants Program.
Gilroy Rotary is a volunteer organization comprised of local, community-minded men and women, dedicated to fulfilling the Rotary motto, “Service above Self.” Gilroy Rotarians are your friends, your neighbors and the people you see and do business with here on a daily basis.

Every year through local fundraising activities, individual contributions and a generous donation from the Gilroy Rotary Club Endowment, the members of Gilroy Rotary provide critical financial support to a wide range of local community needs, especially focusing on education, youth, seniors and projects with local impact.

This year, in response to dire needs across all sectors of our community, Gilroy Rotary is committing $57,500 to its Community Grants Program. Since Gilroy Rotary began its formal giving program in 1991, Gilroy Rotarians have distributed almost $950,000 to address local community needs!

Program guidelines and applications for funding are available on the Gilroy Rotary website ( or by contacting the Club at: Gilroy Rotary Charitable Giving, PO Box 1912, Gilroy, CA 95021. Completed applications (and Compliance Forms if applicable) must be received by Friday, November 12.

Travel & Tourism Highlights from Visit Gilroy & California Welcome Center Gilroy

2021 Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show – Visit Gilroy Booth

Despite pouring rain, gusty winds, and throngs of football fans streaming into Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, thousands of potential travelers attended the 2021 Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd and 24th. Attendees visited the booths of a variety of international destinations, including Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and more, along with states such as Alaska and Oregon. Amid the California section, located near the Savvy Traveler theater, sat a unique, colorful booth—Visit Gilroy!

Attendees were greeted by our friendly, knowledgeable staff. Visitors were drawn in by Gil and Roy (plush from Gilroy Gardens) and the fresh garlic braids on our table from Christopher Ranch. Our colorful backdrops provided a visual representation of some of Gilroy’s best offerings. Our visitors were thrilled again this year with our free giveaways, which included our Visit Gilroy shopping bags and our unique garlic-shaped sticky notepads. We were especially happy to offer a drawing for our prize box valued at $180. Included in the giveaway were four Gilroy Gardens tickets, a bottle of wine, a mug, and some fabulous gift cards donated by Gilroy Premium Outlets.

Visit Gilroy Booth

What Brings Visitors to Gilroy?

Most visitors we encountered were from the Bay Area. The most common reasons for Gilroy visits in the past were the Garlic Festival and Gilroy Premium Outlets. Others also mentioned Gilroy Gardens and wine tasting at our local wineries, along with coming to town to see family or friends. Many guests asked if there would be a Garlic Festival in 2022 and we responded at this time we do not know however keep an eye on our Visit Gilroy website for updates.

What Surprised our Visitors?

Visitors to our Visit Gilroy booth were surprised at how much Gilroy has to offer. Many did not realize the number of wineries we have in the Santa Clara Valley. They were also surprised that we had local wineries located within a few minutes from downtown Gilroy and we shared that several are open on weekdays in addition to weekends and welcome dogs and kids. A fun discovery for many of our guests also was our Gilroy Taco Trail map. They also enjoyed our Road to Garlic maps, Gilroy Ostrich Farms rack cards and Gilroy Restaurant guides.

In summary, the feel of some normalcy returned with our participation in our first travel show in two years. Visit Gilroy plans to attend future shows as the travel industry once again returns.

A reminder – California Welcome Center Gilroy is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm. If you’re looking for a unique holiday gift stop by the Welcome Center or if you’re wondering what’s happening in Gilroy, be sure to check out

The San Jose Sharks and the Gilroy Sports Complex

Excerpt from The Monthly Spotlight with Mayor Marie Blankley

In May of 2019, the San Jose Sharks and the City of Gilroy entered into a one-year exclusivity agreement for the development of ice rinks at the Gilroy Sports Park to be operated by the San Jose Sharks. Exclusivity agreements are necessary to protect private information from becoming public during the negotiating process. In order to negotiate with the Sharks, the City must have access to their private financial data, something they agree to release to the City with a signed exclusivity agreement that protects such information from being shared outside of the intended purpose. With the onset of the pandemic, the Sharks and the City of Gilroy extended the agreement from its original expiration in May 2020 to where we are today.

For discussion purposes, the Sharks have suggested we consider $40 million to be the cost of the ice rink facility they’d like to operate in Gilroy (two sheets of ice under a single roof with about a 100,000 square-foot footprint on the ground), and $20 million as the cost of amenities for city use within the facility such as a gym, indoor pool, lockers and weight room. The City is currently in the process of ascertaining the amount of net revenue (or range of net revenue) that we can expect from an operating agreement with the Sharks to run the facility. Because the City would need to secure the bonds necessary to finance construction, our goal is to limit the bond total to an amount for which the required monthly payments are less than or equal to the amount of net revenue we receive from the Sharks’ operating agreement. Whether the dollars to the City from the operating agreement will be sufficient to cover a $60 million bond, a $40 million bond or a lesser amount is what we’re working on and what will become part of the term sheet to bring before the City Council. If the amount that the City is willing to bond is less than the construction costs, then the negotiating will turn to how to fund the difference, and/or changing the scope of the project.

Your input is invaluable as we continue through this process. If you didn’t attend the virtual public outreach held on 9/27, please attend the Conversation and Coffee event on 11/6. Also, keep your eyes on the remaining 2021 City Council agendas for public hearings on this item where you may send in comments in advance or speak to it in person. Council agendas are posted on the City’s website at You may also contact the City Clerk directly for information:; (408) 846-0204.

SB 1383- What you Need to Know

Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance

A new organic waste disposal reduction ordinance is being proposed within the City of Gilroy, as required by the State of California. A brief description of the ordinance can be found below. Additionally, the draft ordinance and related materials can be viewed by clicking on the following links.

This ordinance will be going to before Gilroy City Council in November and December for consideration for adoption.

Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance

Overview of Ordinances [English] – PowerPoint Presentation

Over of Ordinances [Spanish] – PowerPoint Presentation

Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance

This ordinance enforces SB 1383 which requires residents and businesses to separate their organic wastes from the trash and participate in organic waste recycling programs. It also requires many restaurants and institutions to participate in edible food rescue programs. This ordinance, required by state law, will affect how residents and businesses manage organic wastes.

Community Business Meeting

On October 27, 2021, the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill held a Community Business Meeting to present the proposed ordinance and answer any questions. A recording of the meeting can be viewed online below.

For any additional questions regarding the draft ordinance, please contact Tanya Carothers at

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