A coalition of greater than 55 San Jose companies is pushing native and state coverage suggestions to assist the once-thriving downtown core survive the pandemic.
Lawmakers on the metropolis’s Guidelines and Open Authorities Committee voted unanimously Dec. 2 to carry 15 new policy recommendations to the San Jose Metropolis Council for dialogue and approval.
“As we contemplate options for financial restoration, it is important that we leverage the experience of our native enterprise neighborhood and elevate their voices — these suggestions do precisely that,” mentioned Councilmember Raul Peralez, who spearheaded the group often called the Higher Downtown San Jose Financial Restoration Activity Drive.
Companies starting from small eating places to artwork organizations and tech giants resembling Adobe, known as for city-backed grants and tax aid packages for companies that had been compelled to spend further on security and out of doors tools as a result of COVID-19. They’re additionally championing an ordinance on the metropolis degree to cap third-party supply service charges at 15%.
“We consider third get together firms like Doordash, who’re presently valued at $16 billion and just lately contributed to passing a $204 million poll measure, can afford to cut back their charges to help our mom-and-pop companies,” the duty pressure wrote.
Nate LeBlanc with the San Jose Downtown Affiliation mentioned serving to companies get grants for tents and canopies to outlive the winter helps briefly, however capping charges will assist companies salvage their revenue in the long term.
The coalition can also be urging the town to help to-go gross sales of alcohol to assist meals institutions make up for misplaced bar income. If the state permits for to-go gross sales, the duty pressure suggests a pilot program that may permit monitored open container consumption.
The duty pressure mentioned free parking has been significantly useful in Japantown and the East Santa Clara enterprise hall. It advisable increasing free parking to areas that encompass the downtown core the place parking garages should not as prevalent and making current parking on the Conference Heart free. These steps would assist promote visitors downtown, it mentioned.
Companies additionally agreed the town wanted to strengthen its public security messaging and spotlight native artwork in the course of the pandemic.
As of Nov. 9, small-business income in San Jose has decreased by 39.2% from January, based on a memo by Peralez. However client spending has dropped solely by 4.1%. This implies individuals are nonetheless spending— simply not within the downtown space.
That is the second spherical of coverage suggestions by the duty pressure. The first set of suggestions, adopted by lawmakers in June, requested officers to increase free parking downtown, convert public areas into out of doors retail area and reopen private care companies resembling hair salons, nail salons and gymnasiums. The duty pressure requested that the town observe up on these suggestions and proceed providing free parking downtown.
“I’m pleased with the work completed by the Activity Drive and consider that we did what we may to verify San Jose companies and organizations from all sectors had been heard,” mentioned Dalia Rawson, govt director of New Ballet SJ and job pressure co-chair.
Wisa Uemura, govt director of San José Taiko and co-chair of the duty pressure, mentioned the second section will concentrate on areas which might be underneath inflexible restrictions and can’t reopen, particularly now that Santa Clara County regressed into the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan.
As COVID-19 circumstances spike to historic ranges in Santa Clara County, well being officers two weeks in the past closed indoor eating and limited nonessential retail indoors to 10% capability.
Many companies have been ready keep afloat due to packages resembling San Jose Al Fresco, which paved the way in which for out of doors eating and operations. However these packages, based on the duty pressure, should not sustainable. One of many job pressure’s first suggestions is to beef up the town’s out of doors eating capabilities.
“The town goes to live on, the civic construction goes to live on,” LeBlanc mentioned. “However there’s no assure that these companies — particularly these linchpin companies that all of us consider once we consider our downtown — simply would possibly exit of enterprise if we don’t take lively steps to save lots of them.”
Contact Carly Wipf at [email protected] or observe @CarlyChristineW on Twitter.