As a key stakeholder in the City of San Jose it is our duty
to fight against any policies that may impact the economic
health and future of our city. When we speak up, the City of San Jose listens. elected. We believe that when business succeed, communities thrive
“The SVO partnered with Google after learning about our approach and perspective, and was ultimately able to effectively provide advocacy support. The SVO advocated at various community and city meetings, gathered letters supporting Google’s presence in San Jose, and rallied support from San Jose-based small businesses and community organizations."
"The SVO is a critical resource for our business when it comes to fostering an environment that continues to attract and retain the best and brightest in Silicon Valley. The cost of housing is just one of the many issues we face in maintaining our global advantage. Educating policy makers, City staff and neighbors on the issues has never been more important. We appreciate the SVO's advocacy and leadership on issues that directly impact our residents’ ability to afford a home like development impact fees, workforce standards and land use policies. The SVO was instrumental in moving forward the City of San Jose’s recently adopted co-living ordinance at the speed of business and we couldn’t have done it without the SVO’s support.
"In 2015, The SVO was integral in advocating in support of state funding being allocated to the East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) through the California Careet Pathways Trust (CCPT) program. Since then, The SVO has partnered with the school district through its STRIVE San Jose initiative and the San Jose Works program to provide paid summer internships to local high school students, thus preparing them for college and career. California currently faces a crisis of an estimated 1.1 million college-educated worker shortage by 2030, and this partnership helps to address this issue through a comprehensive and strategic education and workforce development initiative."
Leading economic regions are vibrant economic regions. That is why, on behalf of our members, we supported increased funding in Mayor Liccardo’s budget for downtown foot patrols, and enhanced hours at Levi’s Stadium to provide world class entertainment. The Chamber will continue to promote initiatives that bring families to our region’s economic centers to improve the quality of life for our residents and the bottom line of our small businesses.
The shortage of housing and commercial space in San Jose is a problem that impacts all of our region’s small businesses and residents. Which is why the Chamber supported the successful approval of numerous developments to increase the stock of both, including the Almaden Office Project, the El Paseo Project, and the Cambrian Park Plaza Project.
When Chamber members told us that frivolous and abusive ADA lawsuits were a problem, the Chamber went to work for them. Working with Assemblymember Alex Lee, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce supported and promoted AB 2164, legislation to bring long-term relief to small business owners facing ADA lawsuits. Securing passage in the Assembly, we anticipate this bill being signed into law this year.
As a direct result of our small business advocacy, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to establish a low-interest loan program to support our local, small businesses. As the first county in the state to take bold leadership on an initiative of this kind, Santa Clara County invested $25 million into a partnership with the California Rebuilding Fund, which leveraged private matching dollars to eventually invest up to $100 million to support small businesses in Silicon Valley.
The SVO organized a roundtable of 60+ employers and commercial developers to discuss how to craft an impact fee structure that did not penalize job creation opportunities in the City of San Jose. Commercial real estate is vital for bringing good-paying, middle class jobs that would benefit our residents and would increase the city's fiscal resiliency during COVID-19. We delivered on a fee structure that would increase affordable housing dollars and would still allow for local job creation.
The SVO participated in a press conference and successfully advocated for the implementation of the San Jose Al Fresco program, which expanded businesses outdoors while the county’s public health orders continued to restrict indoor operations. This policy win allowed numerous businesses to survive by increasing revenue opportunities and driving their customer foot traffic.
The SVO spearheaded a coalition of 16 Chambers of Commerce, small business owners, and numerous faith leaders throughout Silicon Valley. We organized a media advocacy campaign to call upon Santa Clara County to safely reopen shuttered small, minority-owned businesses and to allow workers, who are on the cusp of poverty and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to get back to work. Our coalition pressed the county to find a responsible balance between life with COVID-19 and small business survival. We successfully advocated to allow a safe reopening of the economy that permitted: indoor dining (at 25% capacity), indoor gatherings for worship (at 25% capacity) and a broad and safe reopening of the regional economy.
The SVO partnered with DoorDash to provide $5,000 grants for restaurants in select cities, including San Jose, as part of their Main Street Strong Initiative to help restaurants survive during the pandemic.
We successfully advocated for a pragmatic paid sick leave urgency ordinance that protected both workers and small businesses from COVID-19. Allowing workers to quarantine without having to worry about choosing between their job or their health. The pragmatic policy permitted exemptions for employers who provided a combination of paid personal leave, instead of simply mandating an additional 80 hours of COVID-19 specific paid leave.
A program dedicated to housing homeless individuals by constructing 80 emergency sleeping cabins with the intent to provide an immediate housing solution. The SVO recognized the importance of ensuring homeless individuals with basic necessities such as shelter, hygiene services, and case management as a way to combat homelessness. The SVO advocated and partnered with city staff to engage in policy exchange and advocated for this short term solution with hopes that it will translate to a permanent housing policy.
The SVO promoted the arrival of Google and their investment in the City of San Jose as an incredible opportunity to add thousands of new good paying jobs that will grow incremental tax revenue, in turn supporting essential city services for all local residents. The SVO advocated for this by urging the Mayor and Council to approve council items regarding Google’s arrival to San Jose, as well as supported city staff recommendations regarding Google.
Federal tax reform lowers the corporate interest rate with the intention to support job creation and encourage further corporate investments in the American economy. The SVO advocated for this, and other principles through advocacy letters, highlighting the importance of a nuanced tax structure that also supports small business and property owners.
Under scoring the urgency of the issue facing the community, Matt Mahood, executive director of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Ben Field, Chief Officer of the South Bay Labor Council, were appointed leads in a new Task Force that finds immediate solutions to help our growing homeless population find housing. The Task Force worked to find opportunities to expand the region’s emergency shelters, provide transitional housing, and create permanent housing.
A fee reduction program that works to waive certain fees associated with building to promote and streamline the construction of High-Rises in the downtown core. The SVO is committed to the implementation of the program through active advocacy that showcases the tangible benefits of creating housing stock in the downtown core.
A grant that funds programs which blend academic and career technical education, connect employers with schools, and train students for jobs in high-demand fields, such as health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and software development. The SVO is committed to helping offer work-based learning experiences to students by; sharing contacts among our growing network of partners and serving on the MetroED Consortium business partner advisory council to give input on all issues related to education, jobs and training.
The U.S. Patent Office is an organization that processes and formalizes patents. The SVO advocated for the establishment of the office in the Silicon Valley by emphasizing the competitive advantages of the valley as a top producer of patents along with the unique concentration of engineers, multinational corporations, and technological sectors that drive innovation.
The SVO testified and coalesced support for Signature Flight Support, a global leader in FBO and flight support services, to be awarded a 50-year lease on the Airport’s West Side to develop and operate a 29-acre, $82 million facility. This support rains from the resources that Signature Flight Support can offer to further business and general aviation needs as Silicon Valley continues to expand.
Apple proposed to create Apple Campus 2 - an integrated, unified and secure 21st Century campus surrounded by green space where innovation and creativity come together. The SVO supported Apple’s endeavors through advocacy letters, and highlighted the importance of companies like Apple in local economies.