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 deliver 15 new policy recommendations to the San Jose Metropolis Council for dialogue and approval.
“As we take into account options for financial restoration, it’s 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 known as the Larger Downtown San Jose Financial Restoration Process Drive.
Companies starting from small eating places to artwork organizations and tech giants comparable to Adobe, known as for city-backed grants and tax aid packages for companies that have been pressured to spend additional on security and outside tools on account of COVID-19. They’re additionally championing an ordinance on the metropolis degree to cap third-party supply service charges at 15%.
“We imagine third occasion corporations like Doordash, who’re at present valued at $16 billion and not too long ago contributed to passing a $204 million poll measure, can afford to scale back their charges to assist our mom-and-pop companies,” the duty drive 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 town to assist 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 drive suggests a pilot program that may permit monitored open container consumption.
The duty drive mentioned free parking has been significantly useful in Japantown and the East Santa Clara enterprise hall. It really useful increasing free parking to areas that encompass the downtown core the place parking garages usually are not as prevalent and making present parking on the Conference Middle free. These steps would assist promote visitors downtown, it mentioned.
Companies additionally agreed 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, in keeping with a memo by Peralez. However client spending has dropped solely by 4.1%. This implies persons are nonetheless spending— simply not within the downtown space.
That is the second spherical of coverage suggestions by the duty drive. The first set of suggestions, adopted by lawmakers in June, requested officers to increase free parking downtown, convert public areas into outside retail area and reopen private care companies comparable to hair salons, nail salons and gymnasiums. The duty drive requested that town observe up on these suggestions and proceed providing free parking downtown.
“I’m pleased with the work completed by the Process Drive and imagine that we did what we might to verify San Jose companies and organizations from all sectors have been heard,” mentioned Dalia Rawson, government director of New Ballet SJ and process drive co-chair.
Wisa Uemura, government director of San José Taiko and co-chair of the duty drive, mentioned the second section will deal with areas which might be beneath 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 because of packages comparable to San Jose Al Fresco, which paved the way in which for outside eating and operations. However these packages, in keeping with the duty drive, usually are not sustainable. One of many process drive’s first suggestions is to beef up town’s outside 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 after we consider our downtown — simply would possibly exit of enterprise if we don’t take energetic steps to save lots of them.”
Contact Carly Wipf at [email protected] or observe @CarlyChristineW on Twitter.