The VOICE Issue 54

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Chairman’s Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Kathleen Barnes

Naseem Salem

History is made by those who vote.

Public PublicOfficial Official ofofthe theYear Year

Senator SenatorBen BenHueso Hueso

Retailer of the Year

Firas “Russ” Soro

Issue 54

Executive Board Of Directors

Samir Salem Executive Chairman

Mark Kassab Vice Chairman

Nashat Damman Treasurer


Steve Mattia Secretary & Chairman: Education & Compliance


Executive Chairman’s Message: The Spirit of Our Community


President’s Message: Vote, Be Counted and Write History


Business Trends & Legal Needs by General Counsel, David Jarvis


Congratulation New Director of The Department of ABC Eric Hirata


Personalized Employee Handbook


RMI Dismissed Its Complaint and Abandoned Its Claims Against NMA


Public Officials Meet NMA Executive Board

Naseem Salem Past Chairman

Sam Attisha Chairman: Events & Networking Committee

Firas “Russ” Soro Chairman: Programs Endorsement Committee

Rony Georges Chairman: Community & Government Relations

Salam Moshe Chairman: Membership & Marketing Committee

Molly Sylvester Chairwoman: Communities For Safer Vaping

Ghassan Namou Executive Board Member

12 NMA Leadership Interviews Candidates 12 Family‐Owned Businesses PAC 13 Proposition Voter Guide 2020 14 NMA Annual Banquet

Saeed Somo Executive Board Member

22 Tobacco Flavor Ban Referendum Initiative Senate Bill 793

Ayad Zaitona Executive Board Member

23 NMA Attended NACS Luncheon

Remon Mansour Executive Supplier Member

Robert Wolf Executive Supplier Member

24 Free Seminar on Sexual Harassment Prevention 25 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training 26 Labor Compliance

Neil Sorensen Executive Supplier Member

Jason Rowe Executive Supplier Member

President Arkan Somo

28 Legislative Update 31 NMA Supports Liability Relief for Essential Businesses 32 How to Provide Outstanding Customer Service in The COVID Age?

35 Supplier Membership Application

General Counsel David C. Jarvis

The Voice is the official publication of Neighborhood Market Association.

To advertise contact Aysel Bakhtiyarova at 619‐313‐4400 or

36 Retailer Membership Application 37 Supplier Directory

THE SPIRIT OF OUR COMMUNITY Dear NMA Members and Supporters, We live in challenging and uncertain times. As we continue to adapt to living in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the Neighborhood Market Association has been open for business and has taken on the challenging task of helping its members with many resources to maintain their safety, adapting to State and County social distancing protocols and keeping their employees and customers safe. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud of the spirit of our members and the community. We have been on the front lines keeping our businesses open, providing our communities many basic daily necessities and finally helping the neighborhoods we serve in to adapt to the new norms. We have been informing our members with the latest updates on COVID-19. A couple of weeks before the pandemic hit us, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary - I would like to thank all the attendees who made the NMA Annual Banquet incredibly successful. Because of you, the 2020 Banquet was one of the most successful banquets since our inception in 1995. To protect each NMA member we are creating personalized Employee Handbooks. Using an advanced customized Employee Handbook that complies with state and federal laws will help your business avoid lawsuits. The NMA Executive Board and staff have been working tirelessly rebuilding the organization with an aggressive plan to increase members’ engagement. Our membership continues to grow as we provide more services and resources to ensure the success and prosperity of our members. We are one community. We stand strong together. We are resilient in these difficult times. We are here with and for you.

Samir Salem Executive Chairman | 2 |

VOTE, BE COUNTED AND WRITE HISTORY On July 27, 1982, I landed at the San Diego International Airport as a new immigrant blessed with the chance to make this great country my new home. I remember President Ronald Reagan running for reelection against Walter Mondale and very often heard people say “this will be the most important election in our lifetime.” A phrase I've been hearing every four years since 1984. Sadly, I could not vote in that election because I was not yet a US citizen. Nevertheless, I was fascinated with politics and wanted to know the level of impact these elections had on our daily lives. As an enthusiastic spectator, I realized very early the importance of voting. Voting determines the future of our city, state and country. Decisions, whether made locally or in Washington DC, will have undisputable effect in some aspect of our lives. We must pay closer attention to what these candidates say and do so we can choose the one that best reflects our values. Also, we must not be fooled by propositions with misleading titles. I am yet to see one proposition title that actually matches what the proposition will essentially do. Every vote matters in every election and we make history every time we cast our votes. We made history when we gave Ronald Reagan a second term, resulting in a better off country than four years earlier. We rejected to reelect George Bush Senior for a second term because he broke his promise of no new taxes. In 2008, we elected the first ever African-American to be president of the United States. And finally, 2016 we elected a businessman who never before held political office. 2020 will also go down in history. Beginning with an impeachment of the president to the global spread of Covid-19 shutting down our economy to Black Lives Matter protests polarizing our communities, this year has been the most turbulent and divisive in our recent history. It is a year that questions whether we could overcome all the rhetoric. Yes, we can because America is a great country. It is up to you. History is made by those who show up and cast their vote.

Arkan Somo President | 3 |

BUSINESS TRENDS AND LEGAL NEEDS BY DAVE JARVIS, NMA GENERAL COUNSEL Our San Diego firm has catered to the business, real estate, and estate planning legal needs of our business clients for over 40 years, and for the last 22 years I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of our firm’s growth and success. In that time, I have seen many business trends and legal needs. This article is hopefully the first of many for The Voice outlining the current trends and legal needs relevant to the closely-held business needs of our clients. Unfortunately, the topic of this article is something people generally don’t like to discuss or even think about: death. However, my goal is to emphasize the need, value, and importance of planning for this inevitability. People that own businesses, real estate, and other assets need estate planning. Good estate planning provides for certain outcomes and performance of testamentary wishes and desires, can save families a lot of money, and is a prudent action to take for people that own businesses, real estate, and other assets. Clients often confide to me a big concern is the government getting involved in the event of their passing. However, it’s the attorneys you really need to keep an eye on when it comes to distribution of estates after the death of a parent. With many of our business clients, however, good estate planning is only part of the planning process. The other component is proper succession planning outlining proper protections for surviving spouses, while also creating a clear path and opportunity for the kids and future generations to see continued business success following the death of their parents. I have seen many family disputes and conflicts due to the absence of clear directions from parents regarding future operations and ownership of businesses. Worse, the financial success of the businesses often suffers during these conflicts and disputes.

Business succession planning is frequently an independent component of estate planning. Buy-sell agreements, granting children options to purchase an ownership interest in the business, and many other planning options exist. For many years, our firm has emphasized incorporating many of these business concepts directly into our clients’ estate planning documentation to provide clarity regarding future business operations. There are many benefits in doing so, ranging from: 1) Tax planning considerations; 2) Spousal protection and sheltering inheritances; 3) Maximizing the continued success of business operations; 4) Avoiding disputes between the kids down the road; 5) Equitably addressing the role of each child in your estate plan; and 6) Avoiding litigation and in general avoiding unnecessary attorney’s fees. There is a downside to this type of succession planning: it costs money to create, implement, and maintain. This cost, combined with people’s natural hesitation in confronting their inevitable demise, results in this planning being frequently overlooked or unprepared. And while there are times the family amicably works through these business succession issues, this is a common area of family disputes, litigation, and tremendous cost and expense down the road. And sadly, these types of disputes often result in the kids no longer having Thanksgiving dinner together after their parents’ death. _____________________________ In his 20-year career, Dave Jarvis has formed many nonprofit organizations, including charitable organizations, churches, educational nonprofits, homeowners’ associations, and trade organizations. He also serves as a board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego.

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NMA CONGRATULATES THE NEW ABC DIRECTOR Mr. ERIC HIRATA The Neighborhood Market Associations leadership and the entire membership congratulates Mr. Eric Hirata for his appointment to be the new Director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

in Charge in the San Francisco District Office and was later called to serve in two different administrative assignments in Headquarters. He served as the Department’s Legislative Director where he collaborated with stakeholders on policy and legislative matters and acted as the Department liaison to the California State Legislature.

Mr. Hirata was appointed to the position of Director of ABC by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 15, 2020. He previously served as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control since August 18, 2017. Eric Hirata began his career as an Agent in the Inglewood District Office in 1996. He was later assigned to the Department’s Special Operations Unit in both Southern and Northern California. He was promoted to Supervising Agent and Supervising Agent

Mr. Hirata also served as the Program Manager for the Department’s Grant Unit where he was responsible for allocating grants to local law enforcement agencies under the Grant Assistance Program and worked in partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on federal grants. In 2009, he was promoted to Deputy Division Chief in the Northern Division Office where he assumed responsibility for the Department’s district offices throughout Northern California. The NMA’s leadership is looking forward to working with Mr. Hirata and department staff to help educate NMA members on the latest changes in legislation and department rules. The NMA has a 25-year partnership history with the ABC working proactively to keep retailers in compliance and protect their livelihood. We recognize the department for providing the highest level of service and commitment to public safety through licensing and enforcement.

Samir Salem, Director Eric Hirata and Arkan Somo

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RMI DISMISSED ITS COMPLAINT AND ABANDONED ITS CLAIMS AGAINST NMA In 2018 Refined Management Inc. (“RMI”) filed a lawsuit against the Neighborhood Market Association (“NMA”) seeking to recover damages for breach of a 9-year management contract that commenced in 2015. As you may recall, RMI was formed and controlled by Mark Arabo to take over the management functions he was responsible to perform as president of the NMA, following the emergence of allegations in an earlier lawsuit of his personal mismanagement and misconduct as President. Faced with those allegations, and supported by an interested and complicit Board of Directors, Mark Arabo outsourced NMA management functions to his company under a long-term contract for a sum of $40,000 per month increasing annually to a projected amount in excess of $60,000 per month for 2023. When the court removed Mark Arabo from his position as President of the NMA, the contract with his company was terminated and recommended for rescission by the appointed interim Receiver. The trial court in the first action declined to terminate the contract of RMI as it was not a party to the underlying litigation. This emboldened RMI to sue to recover the contract value over the remaining years of its term. RMI continued pursuit of these allegations, even though RMI had no continuing involvement with NMA and Mark Arabo, in fact, had formed and was promoting a new organization to compete against NMA. The NMA was prepared to defend the claims at trial and prove the RMI contract was tainted and unenforceable due to the improper self-dealing which led to its formation. However, shortly before trial was to commence, RMI dismissed its complaint and abandoned its claims to reimbursement. The NMA thanks its attorneys at STratege Law, Robin Traylor and Scott Scheper, for their steadfast support, efficient and business-conscious approach to litigation, and NMA-first guidance and legal counsel.

Scott Scheper is a trial lawyer and counselor who has spent his entire career in San Diego. Scott earned his law degree, cum laude, in 1991 from Harvard Law School. After 25+ years with a local mid-sized firm, Scott started his own law practice in 2017, where he continues to apply a deeply strategic and aggressive, yet intelligent approach to representing his clients in litigation and other matters. Scott is AV-rated (5.0 of 5.0) and has received frequent recognition as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in his practice areas. Scott Scheper

Robert (“Robin”) M. Traylor is a founding partner of STratege Law. Robin has substantial experience representing, counseling and litigating on behalf of clients in various complex business and insurance disputes, in both federal and state courts. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Insurance Law practice group, and has represented insurance carriers in insurance coverage matters. Robert (“Robin”) M. Traylor

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San Diego Council President, Georgette Gomez Georgette Gómez is running for the 53rd Congressional District. Ms. Gomez serves as a member of the San Diego City Council representing City Council District 9. and was elected San Diego City Council President. Georgette’s legislative accomplishments include expanding affordable housing, strengthening protections for low-income renters, leading implementation of the city’s landmark Climate Action Plan.

Ms. Gomez attended the NMA Executive board meeting and enjoyed meeting with the NMA leadership. Ms. Gomez is running for congress because she wants to help working families in need and to build a better, more prosperous community. Council President Gomez is committed to helping NMA members and all familyowned businesses with the challenges they face.

Georgette’s priorities include: Medicare for all, expanding affordable housing, reducing homelessness, investing in public transit and infrastructure, championing clean air and water, defending immigrants’ rights and fighting for more federal funding for San Diego communities. L to R: Saeed Somo, Saad Hirmez, Basil Zeitona, Arkan Somo, Ayad Zaitona, Georgette Gómez, Samir Salem, Molly Sylvester and Steve Mattia.

Councilmember, Chris Ward Assembly. Mr. Ward promised that he will meet San Diegans expectation by promising independent leadership that delivers. On the San Diego City Council, he has pushed hard for change to find solutions regarding: homelessness, equal pay for equal work, environmental protection, and childcare. Chris has made substantial progress on issues that reflect the values and needs of our community.

Councilmember Chris Ward was elected to represent San Diego’s Third City Council District in December of 2016. He serves as Chair of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Vice Chair of the Committee on Active Transportation and Infrastructure, Vice Chair of the Committee on Land Use and Housing, as a member of the Rules Committees, as well as serving as the Chair of the San Diego County Regional Task Force for the Homeless and an alternate member to the California Coastal Commission. Councilmember Ward was invited by the Neighborhood Market Association’s Executive Board of Directors to their board meeting. Mr. Ward shared with the board why he is running for the California State

L to R: R. Mansour, S. Salem, S. Attisha, A. Somo, V. Najor, C. Ward, M, Kassab, S. Mattia, F. Soro, S. Somo, S. Moshe and R. Georges

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Congratulations! Deputy District Attorney CJ Mody

Deputy District Attorney CJ Mody won his race for San Diego Superior Court Office 18 in the primary election. The Neighborhood Market Association congratulates Mr. Mody on his decisive win and is gratified to have endorsed Mr. Mody. CJ Mody has been a deputy district attorney for 17 years, spending his first 2 years with the Riverside District Attorney’s Office and the last 15 years with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. He has spent the last 13 years with the Family Protection Division, prosecuting homicide, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and child pornography cases, and has been a supervisor for the last 5 years.

As children, we are often unaware of our parents’ hardships and struggles, but in hindsight the fortitude, dignity, and dedication with which CJ’s parents persevered formed the basis for his unyielding sense of ethics, integrity, and dedication to work and family. Deputy District Attorney CJ Mody attended the NMA executive board meeting and shared his ideas and his values that will guide him if he wins his race and become a superior judge. Mr. Mody has brought justice to hundreds of vulnerable victims. He holds public safety, adherence to the constitution and the law, and respect for all as his top priorities.

CJ’s parents, small business owners in San Diego, moved because they wanted better educational opportunities for their children. L to R: A. Zaitona, F. Soro, S. Mattia, N. Damman, V. Najor, S. Salem, CJ Mody, M. Sylvester, A. Somo, S. Attisha R. Mansour, R. Georges

Congratulations! Deputy District Attorney Michelle Laleggio Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio won her race for San Diego Superior Court Office 36 in the primary election. The Neighborhood Market Association congratulates Mrs. Ialeggio on her landslide victory as she received 75.7% of the vote. The NMA is proud to have endorsed Mrs. Ialeggio on the primary and wishes her the very best as San Diego Superior Judge.

Mrs. Ialeggio is a 15-year San Diego Deputy District Attorney who has dedicated her career to standing up for the most vulnerable in our society, children. In 2015 Michelle was awarded the outstanding achievement award from the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association for her trial accomplishments and for bringing justice to victims in San Diego. In 2018, Michelle was appointed the San Diego District Attorneys Ethics Advisor, where she leads over 300 Deputy District Attorney’s in the area of office-wide ethics. Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio attend the NMA executive Board meeting. As a judge Michelle Ialeggio will make sure everyone’s voice is heard. She believes that a judge needs to be a good listener, open-minded, firm, and not afraid to do the right thing.

L to R: A. Zaitona, F. Soro, S. Mattia, N. Damman, V. Najor, A. Somo, S. Salem, M. Ialeggio M. Sylvester, S. Attisha, R. Georges, R. Mansour

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Mayor of Coronado, Richard Bailey Born and raised in San Diego, Richard graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Business Finance, and University of North Dakota to pursue a Master of Science in Applied Economics. He was elected to the Coronado City Council in 2012, and, in 2016 at the age of 30, Richard was elected the 51st Mayor of Coronado, becoming the youngest mayor in the city’s history.

ago. Mayor Baily shared his excitement to run for one more term as Mayor of Coronado so he can continue to maintain a results-oriented and disciplined approach by reinvesting funds back into city’s infrastructure, paying down future pension obligations, and enhancing the community’s character. Mayor Baily is committed for help small businesses in Coronado to succeed by providing resources regarding zoning or license issues. Richard believes the purpose of government is to protect individual freedoms so each of us can live the life we choose.

Mayor Bailey was invited by NMA Executive board of directors to its board meeting. He gave a brief summary of how he helped Coronado became more financially sound, environmentally friendly with greater local control and an overall better, more inclusive community than it was four years L to R: A. Zaitona, S. Mattia, F. Soro, V. Najor, N. Damman, S. Salem, M. Sylvester, R. Baily, A. Somo, S. Attisha, R. Georges, R. Mansour and S. Moshe

Former State Assembly member, Joel Anderson Former Senator Joel Anderson is running for San Diego County Supervisor District 2 against the Mayor of Poway Steve Vaus. The NMA have interviewed both candidates and endorsed both of them. Senator Anderson and Mayor Vaus are big advocates for small family-owned businesses. They understand the challenges these businesses face every day especially this year with COVID-19 and the huge impact of the pentomic on every aspect of our lives.

Assembly, he promised his constituents, "I am not going to Sacramento to be a potted plant." True to his word, Senator Anderson authored a landmark piece of legislation in his first year. Mr. Anderson met the NMA leadership at its board meeting. He shared his views about many issues in East County that need to be solved: homeless, being at the top of the list, roads and infrastructure are very important.

When Mr. Anderson was first elected to the L to R: Ayad Zaitona, Firas Soro, Steve Mattia, Vince Najor, Nashat Damman, Samir Salem, Joel Anderson, Arkan Somo, Molly Sylvester, Sam Attisha, Remon Mansour, Salam Moshe, Rony Gerges

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NMA LEADERSHIP INTERVIEWS CANDIDATES The NMA Executive board interviewed the two major candidates for the 50th Congressional District, Former Congressman Darrell Issa and Amar Campa-Najjar. Both candidates laid out their vision for the district and what is their plan if they are elected in November. The goal of the NMA endorsement process is to assess candidates’ platforms and to make recommendation to NMA members. In the endorsement interviews, the NMA board asks the candidates the tough questions that most members would like to ask but can’t take off from their businesses to attend these meetings. After interviewing both candidates the board discussed both candidates’ views on many issues that are important to NMA members and the community in the 50th Congressional District. Business regulations, tax cuts, law enforcement, immigration and district’s needs were just few the issues discussed. Amar Campa-Najjar is a good candidate, young and has a lot of potential. However, the

NMA board voted to endorse former congressman Darrell Issa because of the good working relationship the association has over the past two decades and the congressmen’s Issa’s pro-business views and long history of voting to help family-owned businesses grow. Congressman Issa has earned the endorsement of the East County and San Diego Reginal Chambers of Commerce. He earned the endorsement of law enforcement such as the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Congressman Issa has endorsements from very respected elected officials in the 50th Congressional District; Senator Brian Jones, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Santee Mayor John Mento, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones and dozens of other elected officials. For more information visit:

EMPOWERING FAMILY‐OWNED BUSINESS – PAC “Empowering Family-Owned Business” is the Neighborhood Market Association’s Political Action Committee. NMA’s new PAC accept contributions from retail and supplier members and from those who support our mission to promote the interest of Family-Owned Businesses and help them grow and succeed.

The PAC will have an annual fundraising event to raise the necessary resource to engage and influence the political process representing NMA’s member’s interests. For those who like to join the PAC and contribute to contact the NMA office for more information.

Empowering Family-Owned Business PAC will focus its resources on candidates for state and local offices, who understand and promote the interests of NMA members. The PAC’s Treasure is Bill Baber, who helped us create the association’s first Political Action Committee 25 years ago.

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Proposition 15 ‐ NO Vote NO on prop 15 to prevent a massive increase in annual property taxes resulting in higher cost of living. Prop 15 will repeal Prop 13 which keeps property taxes affordable by capping property taxes and limiting increases annually. Amid an unprecedented economic crisis, special interests are pushing Prop 15 that will destroy Prop 13’s property tax protections and will be the largest property tax increase in California history. Prop 15 will raise taxes on business property, leading to higher rents for small businesses. Ultimately, Prop 15 will make income inequality worse by driving up the cost of living for just about everything we need and use, like food, utilities, daycare and healthcare. We must oppose the Prop 15. Now is not the time to raise taxes and bring more uncertainty to businesses and all Californians. Proposition 15 is all around unfair for business and homeowners and is very misleading.

Proposition 16 ‐ NO ALLOWS DIVERSITY AS A FACTOR IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, AND CONTRACTING DECISIONS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Vote NO on Prop. 16 which will allow for discrimination to take place in the hiring or acceptance process of an individual. This could cause possible law suits or complaints by person(s) of interest.

Proposition19 ‐ NO Changes certain property tax rules. Vote NO on Prop. 19 to prevent a Billion-dollar tax increase on families. Prop. 19 will limit taxes on Seniors, severely disabled homeowners, and wildfire victims. However, this will cause a major increase in taxes on families.

Proposition 22 ‐ YES Allows App-Based drivers to be considered independent contractors. Vote YES on Prop. 22 in support of Independent contractor drivers to given the choice to be independent contractors. Drivers will also be able to decide amount of work, hours, and location they want to work.

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NMA’S ANNUAL BANQUET CELEBRATING 25‐YEAR JOURNEY OF EMPOWERING FAMILY‐OWNED BUSINESSES Earlier this year, the NMA held its 25th Annual Awards Banquet at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego. The theme of the event was “Celebrating 25-Year Journey of Empowering Family-Owned Businesses”. This year’s anniversary marked a significant milestone of a quarter of century accomplishments for the organization. NMA was honored to host over 400 attendees that included elected officials, government agencies, community leaders, retailers and suppliers. Live music and entertainment made the event magnificent and a night to remember. Attendees enjoyed a five-course dinner, open bar, fantastic Cigars & Cocktails After-Party. The event started with Pledge of Allegiance. Leading the pledge was Former Council Member and News Radio Host, Mr. Carl DeMaio.

Senator and Pastor Bryan Jones lead the invocation prayer and blessing of the gathering.

The National Anthem of the United States of America was performed by guitarist Victor Krvaric. Victor is a San Diego native, who enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age 17 and has been playing guitar for 7 years. His powerful performance on rock's signature instrument, the electric guitar, just got everyone all patriotic.

The NMA Executive Chairman Mr. Samir Salem made his welcoming remarks by thanking all attendees. Mr. Salem expressed his gratitude to NMA retail and supplier members as well as all dignitaries and community leaders. His heart felt remarks of recognizing those retailers who stood up and fought with us to save the NMA and for those retailers who believe in us. Mr. Salem thanked the NMA executive board, NMA president Arkan Somo and staff. Mr. Salem then presented NMA 25-year history video.

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NMA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NASEEM SALEM The NMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mr. Naseem Salem by the first recipient of the NMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, NMA President Arkan Somo. In recognition of his Leadership, Vision, Commitment and Dedication to the NMA’s goals and objectives for 22 years, and for being a strong pillar to build a great future for the NMA. Naseem Salem arrived to San Diego in 1990. Over the past 30 years Mr. Naseem Salem has owned and managed some of the best businesses in San Diego County such as Carnival Supermarkets and Vine Ripe to name a few, offering job opportunities to 100s of people from different walks of life. Mr. Naseem Salem has been an important part of the NMA for the past 25 years, having served as a chairman for two consecutive terms. His key to success is hard work, based on great business ethics.

NMA RETAILER OF THE YEAR FIRAS “RUSS” SORO The NMA’s Retailer of the Year award was presented to Mr. Firas “Russ” Soro by the 2008 Retailer of the year award recipient Mr. Saad Hirmez. “I am honored to present this award to gentleman whose journey has been very challenging, who continuous to work every day very hard, to my hero Mr. Firas Soro.” Said Mr. Hirmez. The Retailer of the year award was given to Mr. Soro for setting an outstanding example as NMA member and in appreciation of his dedication, commitment and service to our industry and the community. Mr. Soro currently owns three stores, two gas stations and some real-estate in San Diego County.

NMA SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR The NMA’s Supplier of the Year award was presented by the 2001 Supplier of the year award recipient Mr. Al Paulus from Trepco West to Bank of America’s Senior Vice President Mr. Ali Arman. Over the past year Bank of America helped NMA members with their credit card processing and banking needs that resulted in enhancing their bottom line. Bank of America received this award in recognition of its continued support, commitment and dedication to NMA members, our industry, and the community.

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PUBLIC OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR SENATOR BEN HUESO The Public Official of the Year award was presented to Senator Ben Hueso by Congressman Darrell Issa, the 2003 Public Official of the Year recipient, in recognition

of his dedication to California residents and for his outstanding vision and leadership to protect FamilyOwned Businesses! Ben Hueso was elected as California State Senator for the 40th District in March of 2013. Prior to being elected as Senator, Mr. Hueso served in the California State Assembly from 2010-2013, where he championed legislation helping small businesses, protecting victims of domestic violence, and stimulating the economy. Senator Hueso has held several elected positions from 2006-2010 due to his strong leadership and consensus building skills, namely San Diego City Council member for the 8th District and Council President. He also served as Commissioner for the California Coastal Commission, protecting California’s beautiful coastlines, and as board member for San Diego’s Association of Governments and the California League of Cities.

EXCELLENCE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARD DISTRICT ATTORNEY SUMMER STEPHAN The Excellence in Law Enforcement Award was presented to District Attorney Summer Stephan by Sheriff Bill Gore, the 2011 Excellence in Law Enforcement recipient, for her outstanding leadership in the fight against human trafficking and advancing public safety with fairness through equal criminal justice.

by Crime Victims United. This year the NMA is honoring her with the NMA Excellence in Law Enforcement Award. For her outstanding leadership in the fight against human trafficking and advancing public safety with fairness through equal criminal justice.

District Attorney Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting children and families and providing justice to the voiceless and most vulnerable. She is a national leader in the fight against sexual exploitation and human trafficking, who has served as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County for 29 years. On June 5, 2018, the voters overwhelmingly elected Summer as District Attorney. She has been named the 2017 Southern California District Attorney of the Year

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NMA Executive Chairman, Mr. Samer Salem Presented Two Chairman’s Awards. The first Chairman’s Award was presented to Ms. Kathleen Barnes. In recognition of her exceptional dedication to protect the public, and for proactively working with all licensees to comply with California ABC rules and regulations. Division Chief, Kathleen Barnes has served 24 years with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Ms. Barnes began her ABC law enforcement career as an Agent in eastern Los Angeles County. Ms. Barnes has had a distinguished career with vast experience serving as a department Equal Employment Opportunity, Backgrounds, and Internal Affairs Investigator.

Second Chairman’s Award was presented to Trustee Richard Kipperman - In recognition of his leadership and professionalism with his exceptional dedication and support of the NMA when it needed the most. A former Captain U. S. Marine Corps and Vietnam Veteran, a panel trustee for the Southern District of California from 1986 - 2018, during which he was assigned as chapter 7 trustee in approximately 45,000 cases, involving an excess of 100-chapter 11 bankruptcy cases! Three of the bankruptcy cases in which he served as trustee, were Ponzi schemes with claims in excess of $300 million dollars! Mr. Kipperman has been appointed in over 150 receiverships for various areas and issues. These receiverships have included actions by the SEC, Attorney General State of California, and the San Diego

District Attorney. We could go on and on about the breadth and range of his honorable service and duties, yet knowing that he has spent over 3,000 hours in court gives us a very good idea and a great deal of respect.

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NMA President, Mr. Arkan Somo Presented Three President’s Awards. Three companies stepped up to the plate in so many ways and supported the NMA and its members over the past year; Trepco West, Southern Wine and Spirits, and Young’s Market Company. They received the NMA President’s Awards in recognition of their leadership, continued support, commitment and dedication to NMA members, our industry, and the community.

Arkan Somo, John Martinico & Samir Salem


Arkan Somo, Samir Salem & Al Pauls

Trepco West

Arkan Somo, Samir Salem & Scott Blackburn

Young’s Market Company

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NMA ENDORSED CANDIDATES ATTEND BANQUET San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez Council President Gomez expressed her gratitude for NMA’s incredible work and congratulated the work NMA has done over the years. “I’m proud to be your friend and continue serving our communities. I’m here to support and ensure that all businesses in our region continue to succeed. Thank you for being partner and I’m looking forward to continue this partnership.”- Georgette Gomez

San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar Supervisor Gaspar shared her experience of owning her family business and the big disconnect and push back from government that supposed to help these businesses. Mrs. Gaspar recognizes the NMA as a powerful force representing family-owned business in our community. “Thank you so much NMA for getting behind me always supporting me. We going to do incredible things together. I can’t wait to crawl myself back to the chair and represent you proudly.” -Kristin Gaspar

Assembly Member Todd Gloria Mr. Gloria is the lead mayoral candidate for the City of San Diego. His vision for San Diego is to stop thinking that we a small town. We are the eighth largest city in the nation and second largest in the California. Mayor Todd Gloria will make sure that the city is responsive in issuing permits and taking care of the businesses quickly. Mayor Todd Gloria will make sure we have affordable housing in our community. Todd wants to resolve the homelessness issue in your community so business owners can focus on managing their businesses. “I'm happy to see the NMA is back! I’m proud to be your endorsed candidate.”- Todd Gloria.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot NMA members and the community have been well served by City Attorney Mara Elliott since 2016. Mrs. Elliott is focused on addressing the issues of our communities: domestic violence, preventing sex trafficking, and ensuring the older populace is being protected. As the first woman, the first Latina, and the first mother elected to her position, Mara has been fearless in standing up to special interests, safeguarding taxpayer dollars, and advancing programs that keep our most vulnerable citizens safe “I’m pleased to be here and see NMA is back and in full force” Mara Elliott. Congratulations for the No on Measure A that was approved by the voter. Big thanks to the bipartisan coalition that included the San Diego County Democratic and Republican parties, business groups and other union locals. Republican Chairman Tony Krvaric and Democratic Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy attend the banquet and made their case against the measure. NMA were very delighted to see the spirit of corporation between the two parties.

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Chapter 20, 2015, Fight for what you believe.

“The Neighborhood Market Association’s history book has 25 chapters so far. One chapter for every year since its inception in 1995. The 25-year journey has been filled with challenges that we have overcome and wonderful milestones that we are continuing to achieve.” Stated NMA president Arkan Somo.

When the NMA leadership refused to produce financial documents to its members after inappropriate NMA President Arkan Somo disbursement of funds, NMA members stood up and fought to hold the leadership accountable. Just like what Rosa Parks did when she refused to sit in the back of the bus and challenged the status quo and change history. The members who fought for what they believe won and a new leadership emerged.

Mr. Somo took the banquet’s distinguish guests and dignitaries down memory lanes and share some of the lessons learned from few chapters of the NMA’s history book. Chapter 1, 1995, How and why was NMA established? In 1994, the California legislators passed a law that gave the power to local municipalities through their zoning authority to decide if a business can have the privilege of selling alcoholic beverages. In 1995, dozens of cities and counties passed ordinances with restrictions on businesses that sell alcoholic beverages. The major associations representing the big box chains were able to get exemptions for their members. Only the small mom and pop retailers were the ones affected by these new restrictions. These family-owned businesses had no one to advocate for them and protect their interests. These small businesses were already at disadvantage when buying products and services in comparison to the big box chains. Family-owned businesses couldn’t afford the big law firms fees to help them comply with the massive legislations passed by the legislators every year. Thus, the NMA was born.

Chapter 26, 2020, Continue the journey of empowering Family-Owned Businesses. The NMA will continue its journey to advocate, protect and empower Family-Owned Businesses to succeed. There are still many challenges facing our members. Nevertheless, there are also great opportunities. This chapter begins tonight and it will be written by the people who joined our celebration of this 25-year journey. Thank you for being a part of NMA history.

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TOBACCO FLAVOR BAN REFERENDUM INITIATIVE SENATE BILL 793 Senate Bill 793 (“SB 793”) which bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, including traditional products and vapor products, has been enacted by the California legislature and signed by Governor Newsom. The bill expressly prohibits the sale of menthol, mint, and wintergreen products, and excludes only premium cigars, pipe tobacco, and certain shisha products. The law is currently scheduled to go into effect ton January 1, 2021. The California Coalition for Fairness (CCFF), an organized effort funded by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA, is currently collecting signatures from CA registered voters to refer SB 793 to a vote of the people on the 2022 general election ballot. If the signature gathering efforts are successful, the implementation of the flavored tobacco ban likely would be delayed until November 2022, when voters would decide whether to repeal the law. In order to qualify for the ballot, the referendum will need to gather 5 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election (2018), which equates to 623,212 signatures from registered voters in California. The deadline to submit the required signatures is November 30, 2020. This is a major undertaking and signature gatherers will be crisscrossing the state. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? 1. Do NOT try to gather signatures yourself and please dissuade others from trying to gather their own signatures. Valid signatures must be collected on the official petition and be witnessed by a circulator. Any individual efforts will be counterproductive to our shared goal! 2. Sign the petition when you encounter a CCFF circulator. 3. Tell your employees, friends and family to sign the CCFF petition. 4. Urge your customers to sign the CCFF petition when asked by CCFF circulator. CCFF is currently arranging for opportunities to sign the petition around the state. We will be back in touch with information on signing locations near you!

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NMA ATTENDED NACS LUNCHEON We’re proud to announce that the Neighborhood Market Association was cohosting the National Association of Convenience (NACS) Stores’ Industry Update Luncheon that was held in Anaheim, CA earlier this year presented by Hank Armour, NACS President & CEO. NACS has been holding a series of Industry Update Luncheons across the country that brings together regional convenience and fuel retail and supplier leaders for a unique experience where they connect, exchange ideas and hear industry performance trends and metrics in a casual setting. NACS President and CEO Henry Armour shared and discussed insights, issues and opportunities that are relevant to convenience and fuel industry retailers and suppliers at six Industry Update Luncheons around the country.

L to R: NACS Members: Dee Dhaliwal Immediate Past President of CFCA, Nishant Chudasama PFCS Representative, Elizabeth Graham CFCA Representative Marla Carlson CFCA President & Arkan Somo NMA President

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FREE SEMINAR ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION The NMA provided a free seminar on sexual harassment for all members on at the NMA office. The seminar was conducted by Mr. Stephen Zolezzi, president & CEO of the Food & Beverage Association of San Diego. Attendees received Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Completion Certificate. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends these additional preventive measures: 

Make an organizational commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respect— and establish policies and procedures to hold people accountable to that commitment. Empower those who are responsible for responding to allegations of harassment and preventing harassment from occurring. Establish a sense of urgency and seriousness about prevention by spending appropriate amounts of time and money on training or other prevention and response activities.

GREAT TRAINING RESOURCE The Food and Beverage Association is a nonprofit trade organization representing restaurants, bars, clubs, and suppliers of goods and services. Mr. Steve Zolezzi has been the president since 1995 and has a great working relationship with Neighborhood Market Association that is mutually beneficial to our prospective members. We urge you to contact the Food and Beverage Association for all of your training needs such as:  Food Handlers Card (FHC)  Manager’s Food Safety Certification  Responsible Alcohol Beverage Server (RABS)  Sexual Harassment Training  Door Host Training Phone: (619) 228-2291

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     

Survey employees on whether they’re currently being harassed or know of harassment taking place. Protect people from retaliation. Assess risk factors. Assess preventative measures already in place to ensure they are effective. Clarify what behavior is prohibited. Use discipline proportional to the offense (sexual assault and an offhand remark shouldn’t necessarily have the same consequence.



We’ve heard that some employees aren’t sanitizing their workstations and wearing masks when required. Do we need to investigate safety violations even if no one has made an official complaint?

Unless an employee was out on job-protected leave, such as FMLA or EFMLA, you are not required to return them to their original position or to an equivalent one (or bring them back at all). Given the impact of COVID-19 on business operations across the country, it’s not surprising that organizations may need to restructure their teams to stay afloat or remain competitive. That said, if employees who were furloughed or laid off are asked to come back to a job that feels to them like a demotion, they may be less inclined to accept the offer or may be less engaged in the new role than they were in their previous job.

It is recommended to investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement or disciplinary action. As an employer, you have an obligation under the OSHA general duty clause to provide a workplace free from hazards. Under the circumstances, this may mean requiring that employees wear face coverings in the workplace and complete additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols to prevent spread of COVID-19.

If you need to restructure their position, it will be helpful to explain why that was necessary. People are generally much more accepting of change if they understand it, and less likely to claim discrimination if you’ve given them your business-related reason for the decision.

If you don’t already have a written policy in place regarding safety and PPE requirements, it’s suggested issuing one now and having all employees sign an acknowledgment of receipt of the policy and notifying employees that they will be held accountable to the policy and can be disciplined regardless of whether they sign it.

WHAT DO WE DO IF AN EMPLOYEE IS DIAGNOSED WITH COVID‐19? First, notify other employees of potential exposure, if any, in the workplace. You should tell them that someone was diagnosed with the illness, but you should not identify which employee is sick. Medical information, such as a diagnosis, must be kept confidential.

IS IT OKAY TO WISH OUR EMPLOYEES A HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON OUR COMPANY SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE? There’s no law against it, but some employees may feel that announcing their birthday violates their privacy. While it’s great that you want to recognize your employees and celebrate with them, I recommend not announcing an employee’s birthday without first getting their permission.

Exposed employees probably don’t need to quarantine unless they had close contact for a prolonged period of time (this isn’t precisely defined, but 15 minutes at less than 6 feet apart would qualify, even with masks). Next, you should follow CDC and local health department guidance on cleaning and quarantining. Areas of the worksite where the infected person worked or visited should be closed for 24 hours, or as long as possible, then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

In the case of announcements on public social media, I would get a signed acknowledgement that the employee has given you permission to share their birthday and that their doing so is completely voluntary. Announcing birthdays on public social media pages is a little riskier because these posts can be seen by everyone. You could instead make the announcements internally (still with permission). Many offices have a birthday celebration each month and announce the employees who have birthdays during that month without mention of their exact birthday. This is a way to celebrate employees and increase morale without putting any given employee in the spotlight.

The sick employee should talk to their healthcare provider to determine when to return. For those who have a presumptive case of COVID-19 (meaning they didn’t get a test), their provider will probably let them return when: At least 72 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms and, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

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DON’T FORGET TO DOCUMENT Promotions and Pay Documentation here should show that pay and promotion practices are systemized and based only on bona fide job-related reasons. The federal Equal Pay Act requires men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires that employers not discriminate based on someone’s inclusion in a protected class. If you lack documentation explaining why one employee is paid more than another in the same position, your risk of being sued goes up substantially.

Documenting decisions, you make as an employer can feel like an extra, unnecessary step. Nevertheless, documentation is an important part of risk management, and the price of not documenting your actions can far outweigh the costs of doing so, especially if an employee were to ever allege discrimination. Below are a few areas where documentation is especially important. Discipline and Termination Documenting all the actions you take to warn an employee about poor performance or unacceptable behavior before terminating their employment demonstrates that you made a good faith effort to help the employee meet expectations and avoid termination.

Harassment Prevention Considerations Handbook Policies: Review your company harassment and discrimination handbook policies and ensure they’re inclusive of, and applicable to, remote work and interactions.

Investigations Make sure that you document every step of an investigation as well as the resulting actions taken so you can show that you fulfilled your legal obligations.

National Origin and Race: An April 2020 Ipsos survey found that more than 30 percent of Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic. Employers reduce harassment risk by clearly informing employees that fear of COVID-19 cannot be “misdirected against individuals” based on any protected characteristic, including national origin or race.

Hiring Employers sometimes get into trouble with the law by asking questions of job candidates that reveal their membership in a protected class. Asking about church attendance, for example, may be intended to ascertain weekend availability, but it gives the applicant an opportunity to claim they were discriminated against. Hiring decisions should be based on job-related factors. Proper documentation shows that they were.

Age: Keep an ear out for jokes about employees’ age. A seemingly harmless barb about an older employee’s unfamiliarity with technology could result in a discrimination claim.

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The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that employers may not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment. This decision affects all employers with 15 or more employees.

On January 28, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance (Ordinance No. 10647) to reduce the impacts of tobacco in the unincorporated area of San Diego County. Effective July 1, 2020:

The decision was a response to three separate cases, all of which were about employment discrimination based on “sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. There has been debate for years about the definition of sex under Title VII. Originally, many assumed that it meant only that men and women could not be treated differently, but over the years the Supreme Court has interpreted the definition to include certain characteristics or expectations related to sex. Previous decisions, however, had not yet provided a definitive answer as to whether sexual orientation and gender identity were protected—we now know the answer is “yes.”

 

Several circuit courts of appeal had already ruled that sex included sexual orientation, gender identity, or both, and many states have their own civil rights laws to protect these characteristics in the context of employment (often at a lower employee count). Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, has for years held the position that sex includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and has sued employers for discrimination based on that interpretation.

The sale or distribution of flavored smoking products is prohibited. The sale or distribution of electronic smoking devices is prohibited until February 28, 2021, or an earlier date, dependent on the results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ongoing vaping illness investigation. Smoking is prohibited in all outdoor dining areas, and within 25 feet from the perimeter of such areas. Additionally, smoking is prohibited within 40 feet from a permitted food facility that is a mobile food or temporary food facility, such as a food truck or food cart.


Assembly Bill 5 ("AB 5"), signed by Governor Newsom last year, takes effect for workers' compensation on July 1, 2020. Among other things, AB 5 changes the criteria used to determine whether, by law, a person who performs work for you is an employee or an independent contractor for insurance, tax, and all legal purposes.

Because of the rulings, laws, and interpretations already in play, most employers have been operating under the assumption that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is or could be found illegal. As a result, today’s rulings should not require most employers to change their behavior. The Equal Employment Opportunity policy provided by the HR Support Center has included sexual orientation and gender identity as protected for many years, so employers who are using our policy do not need to update their policy or handbooks.

Potential Impact If you believe your workers are independent contractors rather than employees, and it is later determined they are employees based on the new Labor Code created by AB 5 (Labor Code section 2750.3), State Fund will include their compensation when calculating your final premium beginning July 1, 2020, as required to do so by this new law. This may result in an increase in the final cost of your policy.

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SENATE BILL 1159 (“SB 1159”)


Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159) codifies the Governor’s executive action stating if an employee before July 6th contracted COVID it would be presumed to have occurred at work. For situations after July 6th the bill narrows the Governor’s executive action to say for certain front-line health care workers such as firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, physicians and nurses in certain health facilities (general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, hospice facilities) who tested positive the presumption would continue to be they contracted COVID at work.

On July 1, 2020, the minimum hourly wage in certain California cities increased as follows: Alameda: $15.00 Berkeley: $16.07 Emeryville: $16.84 Fremont, 25 or fewer employees: $13.50 Fremont, 26 or more employees: $15.00 Los Angeles City and unincorporated Los Angeles County, 25 or fewer employees: $14.25 Los Angeles City and unincorporated Los Angeles County, 26 or more employees: $15.00 Malibu, 25 or fewer employees: $14.25 Malibu, 26 or more employees: $15.00 Milpitas: $15.40 Novato, 1-25 employees: $13.00 Novato, 26 – 99 employees: $14.00 Novato, 100+ employees: $15.00 Pasadena, 25 or fewer employees: $14.25 Pasadena, 26 or more employees: $15.00 San Leandro: $15.00 San Francisco City and County: $16.07 Santa Monica, 25 or fewer employees: $14.25 Santa Rosa, 25 or fewer employees: $14.00

For employees who are not covered by the above, the presumption would apply if there was an “outbreak” at the employer. Outbreak is defined as: 5% of the workforce tested positive for employers with 100 or more employees, or More than 5 employees test positive for employers with less than 100 employees.

On January 1, 2021, California minimum hourly wage will go up to $13.00 for 25 or fewer employees and $14.00 for 26 or more employees.


The following California localities enacted leave laws related to COVID-19:

ASSEMBLY BILL 685 ("AB 685")

Assembly Bill 685 (“AB 685”) requires employers to take the following actions within one business day upon notification of an employee testing positive including: Provide written notice to all employees; Provide all employees who have been exposed with information regarding all COVID-19 related benefits the employee may be entitled; Notify all employees on disinfection and safety plan the employer plans to implement per CDC guidelines

 

 

The bill also requires, if three workers test positive within 14 days, which is the Public Health definition of an outbreak, the employer must report to local public health department. I have attached a copy of the bill which provides the specifics.

City of Los Angeles Supplemental Paid Leave (issued April 7 and updated May 19) and rules. Emeryville (city’s paid sick leave law as applied to COVID-19). Long Beach COVID-19 Paid Supplemental Sick Leave (adopted May 19, immediately effective, no expiration date but revisited every 90 days to determine if still necessary). Oakland Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (adopted May 12 and expires December 31, 2020, unless extended). San Jose Urgency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (employers subject to the Ordinance must provide the required paid sick leave benefits starting April 8, 2020 through December 31, 2020). Of note, Los Angeles County enacted an emergency paid sick leave ordinance in April.

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UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR STATE PAID LEAVE On October 4, 2019, the Nevada Labor Commissioner released an advisory opinion (A.O. 2019-02) to provide guidance on the following topics under the state’s paid leave law enacted by Senate Bill 312:  Key highlights of S.B. 312, effective January 1, 2020.  50-employee threshold.  Exemptions.  Part-time employees.  Front loading or accrual of leave, carryover, separation, and reinstatement.  Tracking accrual and taking paid leave, recordkeeping, and exemptions.  Leave use, notice requirements, and leave increments.  Calculating rate of pay for paid leave.



On May 12, 2020, Arizona Governor Douglas Ducey signed an executive order (No. 2020-36) recapping the state’s response to COVID-19 along with its reopening:  On May 16, 2020, the state will institute a “Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger” policy that allows businesses to gradually reopen in compliance with state and federal guidelines. Additionally, all businesses must establish and implement policies that include the following: o Promoting healthy hygiene practices; o Intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation practices; o Monitoring for sickness; o Ensuring physical distancing; o Providing necessary protective equipment; o Allowing for and encouraging telework where feasible; o Providing plans, when possible, to return to work in phases; o Limiting group congregation to groups of no more than 10 persons when feasible and in relation to the location size.  The state’s stay-at-home order will end on May 15.  Dine-in services reopened on May 11, 2020.  Retailer, cosmetologists, and barbers reopened on May 8, 2020.  Retailers could resume operations at a limited capacity on April 29, 2020.

The state’s paid leave law is effective January 1, 2020 and requires every private employer with 50 or more employees to provide paid leave that accrues at a minimum of 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour of work performed.

Best Wishes from EXCALIBUR Cigar on NMA’s 25 th Anniversary


On January 1, 2020, Flagstaff’s minimum hourly wage increases as follows:  $13 per hour for all individuals who worked or are expected to work 25 hours or more in any given calendar year within the Flagstaff city limits.  $10 per hour for tipped employees who regularly or customarily receive $30 or more in tips per month. 

Employers must also conspicuously post the city’s minimum wage law notice where employees may easily read it.

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NMA along with NACS has been a voice for liability relief for family-owned businesses who have taken safe measures to protect their employees and customers from the spread of the virus. On behalf of the Neighborhood Market Association’s leadership and its members, we asked Senators and Representatives for support of reasonable liability protection for family-owned businesses in the upcoming COVID-19 relief stimulus package. Early in the pandemic, convenience stores were designated as essential by the Department of Homeland Security. NMA members were asked to stay open to provide first responders, front line workers and our communities with valuable access to fuel, food, water and other necessities. These family-owned businesses face the threat of lawsuits

alleging that someone contracted COVID-19 on their premises, the costs of which would be crippling to fight. For this reason, NACS organized a coalition of essential industry associations this spring to advocate for legislation that would protect businesses who have acted in good faith from legal claims related to COVID-19

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HOW TO PROVIDE OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE COVID AGE In a year of twists and turns, there’s nothing more important than caring for your customers and helping them feel safe so they keep coming back and the lights stay on. Thankfully, tough times bring opportunities as well, and the pandemic has given us new insight into customer service and how we show up for the people who keep our businesses going.

• Try out new technology applications to help customers online quickly and automatically. • Think about new customer needs and adjust how you meet them in person and online. • Keep human connection in the picture. At the end of the day, we all want a little connection with other people. Show your customers you care. 2. Showing empathy for your customers is crucial More than anything, the customer experience is about emotion and this pandemic has created a lot of it. If you can tap into your customers’ emotions, you can craft high-quality customer service. The key is to shift your customer service mindset, by attempting to understand the other person’s perspective, their journey and most importantly, their feelings. Top takeaways for your business: • Beware of implicit and confirmation bias. Instead of automatically responding to customers, be open to their explanations and where they’re coming from. • Understand where your own beliefs are coming from so you can shift your lens when talking to customers. • Ask non-judgmental questions to show your customers that you care about how they're doing and what they need.

Customer Service is the New Marketing The most successful companies are reorienting their customer experience efforts to meet their customer’s primary needs: • Safety • Security • Everyday convenience The more your customers feel safe and happy with their experience, the more likely they are to think highly of your brand, come back often, and provide those word of mouth referrals for new business. Here are the stats on a few trending service-channels to deliver those needs to your customers: Messaging platforms • WhatsApp use has increased 148% since late February • Texting is up 26% • Direct messaging on Facebook and Twitter is up 21% Self-service support • Self-service customer support is growing five-times faster than any other type of customer support (up 206%) No matter how you communicate with your customers, the idea is to demonstrate goodwill and build long-lasting emotional connections.

3. Agile and responsive customer experiences will win out Customer experience leaders say that success means being “proactive rather than reactive." But the crisis has pushed a lot of us into “reactive mode” just to get by. To handle the new reality, try to adapt and move forward. Customer experience is “a long play, not a short-term response.” Top takeaways for your business: • Think through your decisions, instead of making knee-jerk calls due to coronavirus. Take thoughtful action based on what you know and customer feedback. • "Proactively monitor the pulse of your customers’ sentiments” and use them to find opportunities to make their lives easier and better. • The best customer experiences are intentionally designed based on your values, vision and authenticity.

Six Emerging Trends in Customer Service for 2020 1. Coronavirus is setting higher expectations for customer service Customer service may be on the verge of a historic improvement. Now that many businesses are offering limited services, quality customer service is even more critical—it can separate your small business from the rest. Experts say companies that figure out how to adapt, incorporate new technology and develop deeper human connections will come out on top. Top takeaways for your business: • Be a customer advocate: Work with and for your customers to build trust and loyalty. Help your employees, if you have them, to do the same.

4. Customer trust is even more important than customer satisfaction While satisfaction changes quickly, trust is harder to influence because it involves a choice. But that also means it can also be recovered when it’s lost. Top takeaways for your business:

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• Adjust your response to meet changing customer needs. For example, during Covid, many stores eased up on their return policies, recognizing that helping was more important than penalizing. • Decrease friction and stress. Just as many airlines allowed customers to cancel and change flights without fees due to coronavirus, you can decrease friction to increase trust. • Be transparent. Tell your customers that you understand their needs and are doing something new to meet them.

• Teach new skills. Consumers are embracing businesses that connect them with experts and mentors to help them learn something new. 6. Customer effort and customer anxiety are growing Hold times for customer service lines have gone up as much as 34% and escalations have skyrocketed 68%, suggests the Harvard Business Review article. In other words, customers are anxious. So how do you decrease those feelings of anxiety and increase customer satisfaction? Top takeaways for your business • Update your policies to reduce customer frustration. Don't rely on your previous policies or hide behind them. Make changes to keep your customers less stressed in the world we live in now. • If you have a customer service team, take advantage of collaboration tools to help them learn from each other in real-time. • If you're on your own, make notes the next time you successfully handle customer issues so you can pull from those experiences in the future if needed.

5. It's critical to keep up with changes in consumer behavior There’s been a huge cultural shift since the start of the pandemic. The key is to shift with your consumers and embrace new ways of doing business. In total, there are ten emerging consumer trends. Here are the top four that can help your small business, depending on your industry: • Offer virtual experiences. Consumers are looking for ways to connect now that they can't attend in-person events. How can your business create virtual experiences for them? • Look into Shop streaming, which is all about creating online shopping experiences that combine shopping and chatting. • Make it easy for your customers to feel healthy and safe in your store.

Happy customers can help your business rebound Great customer experiences create happy customers who want to spend money on your business. As long as you shift your service to match your customers' needs, you'll be in good shape.

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“Empowering Family-Owned Businesses”

SUPPLIER MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Three Levels of Annual Membership Fees* Memberships are based on Twelve Months (12) from this date _____/_____/________ BUSINESS INFORMATION






___Other (specify)



Business Name: Business Address: Street:___________________________________________________ City:


Business #


Zip Code:

Fax #

Billing Address: Street:____________________________________________________ City:



Zip Code:

Contact Person #1:

___________________ (Last)

___________________ (First)

________________ Title


Mobile # (_____)_____-___________

Contact Person #2:

___________________ (Last)


___________________ (First)

________________ Title

Mobile # (_____)_____-___________ PAYMENT INFORMATION

_____$500 Annual Membership for companies with 1-10 employees _____$1000 Annual Membership for companies with 11-25 employees _____$1500 Annual Membership for companies with 26 or more employees _____ Check here if you do not want $50 of your membership fee to go towards the NMA Political Action Committee

□ Please check the appropriate box(s) if you are interested in participating in the following: □ NMA Annual Banquet □ NMA Annual Golf Tournament □ NMA Annual Buying Trade Show □ Advertising in the NMA Publications Donation Type

NMA Political Action Committee Law Enforcement Reward Fund Membership Legal Defense Fund






____ ____ ____

____ ____ ____

_____ _____ _____

______ ______ ______

______ ______ ______

Please make check payable to Neighborhood Market Association or NMA Office Use Only: _____/___________QB

___/_______________PKT ___/_____________

Mail Application and Dues Payment to: Neighborhood Market Association 6367 Alvarado Court Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92120 For additional information call NMA staff at 619-313-4400 Or email at

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NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSOCIATION “Empowering Family-Owned Businesses”

RETAILER MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Reduced Annual Membership Fee* $250 per location Memberships are based on Twelve Months (12) from this date _____/_____/________ BUSINESS INFORMATION

Business Name_____________________________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________________________________ City_________________


Business # (____)_____________ Corporation:

□ Yes

□ No


Mobile # (____)______________

Zip Code____________

Fax # (____)_______________

Corp. Name _____________________________________________________

Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________ City_____________________ County __________________State __________________Zip________________ Contact Person _________________________________ Title (owner, mgr., etc.) ______________________________ (Last) (First) Email: _____________________________________________________ How many other retail businesses you own directly or indirectly? _____________________________ REFERRED BY: _______________________________________________________________ PAYMENT INFORMATION Annual Membership ____

*$250 per location (separate applications must be submitted for each location)

Check box if you do not want $50 of your membership fee to go towards the NMA Political Action Committee.

Please, check box if you are interested in joining the NEW NMA Buying Group so we can send you additional information. Donation Type






NMA Political Action Committee Law Enforcement Reward Fund

____ ____

____ ____

_____ _____

______ ______

______ ______

Membership Legal Defense Fund






Please make check payable to Neighborhood Market Association or NMA

Office Use Only: _____/___________QB

___/_______________PKT ___/_____________

Mail Application and Dues Payment to: Neighborhood Market Association 6367 Alvarado Court Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92120 For additional information call NMA staff at 619-313-4400 Or email at

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Supplier Directory

BANKING Bank of America Merchant Services Hanmi Bank Neighborhood National Bank

Evian Anguis Nizar Dahdouh Nora Seiba

(619) 241‐3583 (858) 467‐4815 (619) 592‐6268

BOOKKEEPING/ACCOUNTING SERVICES Sontera Group San Diego Business Advisors

Irina Tatarenko Steven Leibold

(760) 672‐7416 (619) 294‐4286


Kelly Garner

(559) 417‐0082

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Coyote Press Graphics

Victoria Vinton

(520) 818‐6495 HOUSING SERVICES Rita Brandin (858) 875‐8219

Newland Co

ICE CREAM & ICE SUPPLIERS Blue Bunny San Diego ICE Company

Thomas Kazemeini Anthony Toma

(619) 919‐3920 (619) 688‐1999

INSURANCE SERVICES Falcon West Insurance Brokers Nickie Heath Insurance Agency Paul Diaz Insurance Agency

Matthew Portillo Nickie Heath Paul Diaz

(619) 890‐3220 (858) 487‐3737 (310) 213‐2217 LEGAL SERVICES

Law Offices of Gloria, Weber & Jarvis STratege Law

David Jarvis Scott Scheper

Continental Express Money Order Co

Mark Gorney

(619) 322‐3144 (619) 677‐5800

MONEY ORDERS (714) 667‐8440

RESTAURANTS & RESORTS Royal Palace Sycuan Casino Town & Country

(619) 442‐9900 (619) 445‐6002 (858) 877‐1409

Namir Mattia Lauren Morrow Alex Nath


(619) 528‐8000

Jay Levine


Robert Wolf

USA Towing & Recovery

Basil Raffo

(949) 279‐7924

TOWING SERVICES (619) 444‐1800


Jesse Dagget

(800) 225‐3364

WHOLESALERS FOR GROCERIES, MERCHANDISE & TOBACCO PRODUCTS Altria Hempacco Packaging San Diego Cash & Carry Trepco West West Coast Hookah & Glass

Miguel Lopez‐Vergara Sandro Piancone Jeff Mansour Al Paulus Remon Mansour

(804) 484‐8394 (775) 473‐1201 (619) 441‐9842 (619) 690‐7999 (619) 444‐1053


WINE & SPIRITS SUPPLIERS Anheuser‐Busch BuZZ Box Sazerac Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits Young’s Market Company

Jason Rowe Bob Lienhard Sherri Haupt Neil Sorensen Scott Blackburn

(619)392‐3596 (760) 578‐4111 (619) 922‐2326 (714) 724‐7929 (858) 537‐2808


We are very grateful to our Suppliers for their Sponsorship and Participation in the NMA and its Events.

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