As more people work and learn from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to stay connected online is more important than ever. Unfortunately, sometimes power outages can happen because of weather conditions, unforeseen circumstances, public safety and critical work. Staying prepared for power outages and unexpected emergencies can help relieve some of the stress when it happens.
Here are ways to stay connected online when the power goes out:
For more information on preparing for outages, check out the SCE website here.
Last week, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Governor Newsom advocating for the safe, efficient reopening of industries in our County. The letter urged the Governor to reexamine the metrics that determine where a county sits on the County Risk Level tier system, and specifically mentioned the number of positive cases being inflated by the cases from individuals who are in prison.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Governor Newsom:
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, representing over 600 businesses and thousands of employees, fights to protect and promote business in Simi Valley. More than 80% of the businesses represented employ fewer than 10 employees, and 95% of these businesses have been forced to alter their business practices, reduce their operations, or forced to close entirely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate your efforts to protect the health and safety of Californians to slow the spread of the COVID-19. However, the related shutdowns and the dimmer switch approach have many small businesses hanging by a thread, if they have not already permanently shut their doors.
We were hopeful that the Blueprint for a Safe Economy and the four tiers announced in late August would provide some relief to these businesses, but the reality is that many of these businesses are struggling even more and feel as though there is no possibility of reopening their doors any time soon.
The metrics that are being assessed to determine a county’s risk level are inconsistent, at best. In Ventura County, our positivity rate has consistently been in the Moderate (Orange) level since the new evaluation metrics were released. However, our county continues to sit in the Widespread (purple) tier due to our adjusted cases sitting slightly above 7. One major factor adding to this higher number of adjusted cases is the number of positive cases among prisoners.
We don’t believe that positive cases among prisoners should be counted toward the adjusted positive cases that factor into the county risk level metrics. As we understand many of these individuals are not from Ventura County. Additionally, these individuals are isolated and not out in our communities spreading the virus. If this group could be removed from the numbers, we believe our County would be able to move closer towards safely reopening our businesses.
To add insult to injury, the smoke from the wildfires that have overwhelmed much of California combined with the extreme heat we have been experiencing has had an even more devastating impact on these business trying to survive and run their indoor business outdoors. It would be a healthier environment for individuals to exercise or enjoy a meal indoors while distanced than by sitting outside surrounded by excessive heat or wildfire smoke.
The affected businesses in Simi Valley have worked diligently to refit their indoor operations to meet California Department of Public Health (CDPH) industry guidance. Over these past seven months they have shown remarkable resilience and have complied with the countless regulations which comes with a huge financial and emotional price tag. Many of these small business owners have already lost or significantly reduced their revenue stream, while their expenses remain the same or higher in many cases.
The struggles that our businesses are experiencing are not a result of anything they have done. This is of no fault of their own; in fact, many of these businesses were thriving prior to the pandemic. They need assistance to keep their doors open, and they need their government to work for them.
In closing, we urge you to reevaluate the adjusted positive cases less the positive cases from prisoners when assessing the county’s risk level. Our small businesses have worked hard to provide a safe, clean indoor environment for customers. They are the backbone of our state and local economies and they deserve to reopen their doors as they strictly comply with state guidelines.
Kathi Van Etten
President & CEO
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, the City of Simi Valley, and the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce have joined together to partner with Ventura County District 4 Supervisor Bob Huber's office in the Business Recovery Task Force. The Task Force was formed in late May 2020 and meets weekly to discuss areas of greatest need for business, and to determine the best course of action to help these businesses. Since its inception, the Task Force has made thousands of outreach calls to businesses in Simi Valley and Moorpark to hear the concerns and challenges they are facing and to collect information that can be provided to elected officials.
At the August 5 meeting, members of the State Delegation including Assembly Member Christy Smith, a district representative for Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin, and a district representative for Senator Henry Stern joined in the meeting to learn about issues facing businesses in their districts. The Task Force shared stories about local businesses who have been forced to close or move outdoors, the impact that these closures have had on the local economy, and discussed the state metrics for a County to be on the watch list. The Task Force members pushed to reopen businesses by asking the state delegation to approach the Governor regarding the metrics that place a county on the "watch list," which has required additional industries to either close their business or move outdoors.
At the August 12 meeting, representatives from the Federal Government, including staff members from the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, and Congressman Mike Garcia, as well as staff from the United States Chamber of Commerce, attended the Task Force meeting to learn more about local business struggles. The Task Force shared examples of our local businesses, and stressed the importance of additional federal funding desperately needed to keep our businesses open. With legislation being proposed in Congress regarding additional relief, the Task Force further emphasized the need to expand and re-fund the PPP and SBA programs.
The Task Force will continue to meet, outreach to local businesses, and fight to provide businesses with the resources and funds they need to reopen and stay open.
City Allows for Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion for Businesses No Longer Allowed to Operate Indoor by State or County Directive
The City is offering a Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Permit (TUP - COVID19-B) to assist businesses that have been impacted by Governor Newsom’s July 13, 2020 order, which mandates the closure of indoor operations of many businesses. This permit will allow businesses to move outdoors into public spaces and other areas to accommodate business operations at pre-COVID-19 levels effective July 23, 2020. The following business sectors are eligible to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Permit:
• Gyms and Fitness Centers
• Places of Worship
• Indoor Protests
• Personal Care Services (including nail salons, and massage parlors
• Hair Salons and Barbershops
• Restaurants (allowed under previous order)
Outdoor areas may include sidewalks, parking lots, and unused patio areas. The allowable number of parking spaces to be utilized for outdoor areas will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Businesses that apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion Permit must be registered at www.vcreopens.com, in compliance with the County of Ventura Health Officer’s Order, the State’s Industry Sector guidelines, the County of Ventura Environmental Health regulations if applicable, and California’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) guidelines if applicable. The permit application can be downloaded from the City’s website at www.simivalley.org/covid19. Businesses can also call the Planning Division for assistance at (805) 583-6769.
For more information regarding COVID-19, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/.
Update from Dr. Jason Peplinski, Superintendent of the Simi Valley Unified School District to Kick-Of Chamber’s Community Connections Virtual Speaker Series
July 20, 2020, Simi Valley, CA – The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce is excited to launch the Community Connections
2020 Speaker Series on Thursday, July 30th with an update from Dr. Jason Peplinski, Superintendent of Simi Valley Unified School District.
Dr. Peplinski will provide an update to students, parents and community members on the Simi Valley Unified School District’s plan for the 2020 School Year in light of COVID-19.
“With all of the changes that have happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want the community to hear decision makers first hand on how they are moving forward,” said Kathi Van Etten, President/CEO of the Simi Valley Chamber. “An update from Dr. Peplinski about the upcoming Simi Valley school year is incredibly relevant as it impacts a sizeable part of our population.”
This update is the first in a series designed to connect community leaders with community members to provide the most up to date information on areas and topics that impact Simi Valley.
This virtual event will be on Thursday, July 30th from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Registration is required to attend this free event. Interested individuals can register HERE
In a press conference on Monday July 13th, Governor Newsom issued an order mandating additional industry closures throughout the State.
Effective July 13, 2020, ALL counties must close indoor operations in these sectors:
Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide.
Counties that have remained on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days are required to shut down the following industries unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up. This order applies to Ventura County.
The Ventura County Public Health Officer may release guidance related to this order with additional restrictions. The most restrictive order issued must be followed by businesses.
Contact the Chamber if you have any questions at 805-526-3900.
Starting June 18, Californians must wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible.
The California Department of Public Health issued updated guidance regarding this order from the State of California. The guidance outlines situations when people in California must wear face coverings, including:
The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:
For the full guidance, click here
Business Builders, a program of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, is a business mastermind group open to all members of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce. The group meets twice monthly, on the first and third Thursday, at 8:00 AM. For more information, contact Amy Corneau.
There are many reasons to join a business mastermind group like Business Builders, but here are our top 5:
1. Advice: There is nothing like good advice from people who share your struggles and experiences. Whether you're new to entrepreneurship, or have been running your own show for many years, sometimes you just need advice on managing stress, prioritizing tasks, balancing work and family life, how to clear up a misunderstanding with a client or how to drive new sales.
2. Motivation: What gets you going? Seeing and hearing about creative new approaches and the success of other people who are also entreprenrus be a huge motivator. Support and encouragement from people who know what you are going through can help you get in gear to move on to the next challenge.
3. Direction: Where do you see yourself in one, three or five years from now? Your mastermind community can help you set a goal and map your path to get there. As entrepreneurs, we set our own priorities and schedule. That can be, as they say, a blessing and a curse. Having accountability to your mastermind group can unlock, unblock and unstick you.
4. Coaching: It can be really hard for an entrepreneur to ask for help and coaching. After all, we are supposed to have all the answers, right? Masterminds can be a wonderfully sneaky way for entrepreneurs to get the coaching they need in the form of brainstorming. Like-minded individuals who have gone through similar struggles can offer sold answers to help you navigate the challenges more effectively, and get through the tough times strategically.
5. Support: It's lonely at the top, and as an entrepreneur, you may have begun to feel that more keenly than most. Dionne Warwick may have said it best in her song: "That's What Friends Are For." Masterminds are designed to develop strong support teams for you during the tough times, and often they develop into lifetime friendships.
If any of these reasons speak to you and your business, please join us for a meeting to learn more and see what Business Builders has to offer!
The California Chamber of Commerce has named the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce as one of the recipients of the 2020 President’s Circle Award.
The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws. The Simi Valley Chamber has received this award every year since 2012.
Normally, the chambers would have been honored and the awards presented during the CalChamber Capitol Summit in Sacramento. With the cancellation of the Summit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award recipients were announced during the weekly local chamber legislative conference call.
President’s Circle Award recipients published vote records of their state legislators on key business issues, generated letters to state elected officials on issues of interest to members and participated in the CalChamber compliance product resale program at an exemplary level.
“We are grateful to be awarded the 2020 President’s Circle Award from the California Chamber of Commerce,” said Kathi Van Etten, President & CEO. “It’s truly a testament to the work we do each day to advocate for businesses in Simi Valley.”
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce is a business organization with a mission to promote a strong business community. For more information, call 805-526-3900.
The United States Chamber of Commerce, at its board meeting in March 2020, awarded the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.
“Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit its local economy and positively influence its community,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise.”
Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6 – 9 months to complete.
“We are so proud to receive this 5-star distinction for the third time,” said Kathi Van Etten, President & CEO of the Simi Valley Chamber. “This truly is a testament to the hard work of our Board of Directors and staff to move business forward in Simi Valley.”
Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. The final determination is made by the Accrditing Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce represents over 600 businesses in Simi Valley and the surrounding areas. The mission of the Simi Valley Chamber is to promote a strong business community. For more information on the Simi Valley Chamber, contact their office at 805-526-3900.