Tom York on Business: 170-Strong San Diego Chamber Mission … – Times of San Diego

Times of San Diego
Local News and Opinion for San Diego
More than 170 local business and civic leaders are gathered for three days this week on the East Coast for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce‘s 15th annual Mission to Washington. The chamber-led group is knocking on multiple doors to press for help on local issues such as business growth, job creation, and the economy.
The delegation, which includes San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and County Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas, is meeting with various federal government officials and department agency representatives.
According to the release, key regional issues, such as the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program, are on the agenda for discussion during meetings with the San Diego’s Congressional delegation, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, and other high-level officials.
In addition, delegates will also have the opportunity to tour the Pentagon and meet with the EPA, Justice Department, and Health and Human Services Department.
“San Diego is about as far as you can get from Washington, “so it’s important that our representatives and federal leaders hear directly from us about the projects and policies that uniquely affect business and the people living and working in the Cali-Baja region,” said Jerry Sanders. who heads the chamber. “These meetings make an impact, especially when we have more than 170 delegates from both sides of the border sharing San Diego’s priorities.”  
“Federal funding is critical for the port to keep goods and supplies moving efficiently, bolster tourism and hospitality, and help ensure our nation’s military readiness,” said Rafael Castellanos, who chairs the port leadership. “We have critical cargo and cruise terminal electrification and major maintenance projects. However, few federal funding programs are targeted for ports.” 
The chamber is the largest on the West Coast, representing more than 2,000 businesses.
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Yet another residential real estate report. New listings of San Diego area homes for sale dropped a surprising 41% from a year ago during the four-week period ending April 9. This drop continues an eight-month streak of double-digit declines, according to a new report from residential real estate web site
The huge drop here reflects a national trend — new listings fell from a year earlier in all 50 of the most populous U.S. metros, with the biggest declines in California. San Diego was in fifth place in the state, with listings dropping the most in Sacramento and Oakland at -47%, San Francisco at -43% and San Jose at -42.9%.
Redfin said the scarcity of homes hitting the market, along with elevated mortgage rates, is holding back sales. Owners are reluctant to sell because they don’t want to give up their low mortgage rate and it’s hard to find another home to buy, the new report found.
Redfin said the bright side for homeowners who list now is that desirable, well-priced homes are snapped up in bidding wars where demand outpaces supply.
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Meanwhile, the Millennial generation in San Diego appears to be gaining ground in terms of becoming homeowners, but they still have a way to go. According to a recent study conducted by the residential rental website RentCafe, only 32% of Millennials own their homes, far below the national average of 52%. But over the past five years 37% have been buyers of the total number of home sales.
Millennials make up the largest segment of renters in the region, with twice the number as Gen X and three times more than Baby Boomer generation. Gen X is the second-largest group of homeowners in San Diego, with nearly 200,000 households, despite a 13% decrease in ownership in the last five years.
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Boomers still have the highest share of homeowners at 75%, although ownership has decreased 24% in the last five years. However, they remain the largest generation of owners, with more than 220,000 households in San Diego.
The study said despite the progress made by Millennials in the San Diego housing market, their path to homeownership may take longer than expected.
Click here for the full report with a complete generational overview of the largest metros in the U.S.
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The San Diego-based Frantz Law Group said it has filed suit against Meta, TikTok, Snap, YouTube and other social media outlets on behalf of 16 school districts nationwide, including the Coronado and Oceanside school districts. The law firm said the lawsuit was filed against the companies “for knowingly causing harm to children who use their products through their manipulative algorithms that cause addiction.”
The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, was announced April 13.
“We allege that … social media companies have engaged in reckless and negligent misconduct that has caused a mental health crisis among our youth,” said spokesman James Frantz. “Social media companies are and have been well aware of the harm they cause. It must stop, and we will fight to hold these social media companies accountable for choosing profit over the mental health and safety of children and their families.”
Earlier this month, Frantz was among the legal firms that filed suit on behalf of Benjamin Brennan against Kappa Sigma Fraternity and nine fraternity members for a hazing incident that almost resulted in Brennan ‘s death, according to a news release.
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The U.S. Treasury Department awarded $10 million to three San Diego community development banks to help with pandemic recovery and small business lending.
The grant was part of $1.73 billion going to 600 similar institutions nationwide. The institutions include loan funds, credit unions, banks and venture capital funds that serve “underbanked” communities, which according to a news release includes borrowers that may not have the credit or collateral to get financial backing from traditional lenders.
Scott Andrews, CEO of National City’s Neighborhood National Bank, which received $3.7 million the fund, said the award was a “big deal.” The money will help the bank — the only community development financial institution in the county — make more loans to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Bank clients include minority-owned businesses like restaurants, gas stations and markets in Southeast San Diego and Imperial counties.
Accessity, a San Diego nonprofit lender, received $5.8 million — the second largest award in the state. Suzanne Carlson, a spokeswoman for the lender said most of the funds will provide direct access to capital for eligible minority-owned or controlled businesses in Southern California.
Andrew Phillips, CEO of Civic Communities, a third recipient, said his institution received $500,000.which will be used for lending to small businesses and affordable housing.
Phillips said some of the funds might be lent to developers “tackling San Diego’s housing needs by building low-income and middle-income homes.”
“We are excited by the opportunities these new funds provide us and our neighborhoods,” Phillips was quoted as saying in a news release.
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Finally, this item: executive chef Carlos Anthony, who leads the kitchen crew at Herb & Wood in Little Italy, is becoming something of a media star, thanks to his appearances on various Food Network programs, including Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Grocery Games and Super Chef Grudge Match.
He’s also been active in the community. Anthony recently partnered with Joe Sasto at Herb & Wood for a chef match, which raised funds for CJ’s Smile and Ronald McDonald House. Anthony says he wants to be more involved, so he is partnering with nonprofit Berry Good Food to support the local and regenerative food system in the San Diego area. Anthony is donating monies from a dish sold on the menu to help fund his efforts.
Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to
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