Page 1

Chamber Advocates to Combat Homelessness

MARB Selected as Candidate to Host Aircraft

ATHENA Celebrates Women’s Achievements

See page 3

See page 4

See page 8

J U N E 2021

‘The Chamber…building a stronger local economy’

Volume 40, Number 6

Chamber Members Count!

The CA State Legislature is considering a bill, AB 995, which would change the current sick leave law from businesses being required to offer 3 days (24 hours) of paid sick time to 5 days (40 hours). Here are the results of surveying the membership regarding this matter: How many employees does your company have? 0-5: 39% 6-10: 5% 11-20: 17%

21-50: 7% 51-100: 5% 101+: 27%

Do you support or oppose the State Legislature mandating 5 paid sick days per year? Oppose: 59% Support: 41% Each month, the Chamber helps build a stronger local economy through surveying its membership.

GRB Inside Highlights Chair’s Column.......................... 2 Governmental Affairs............... 3 New Members............................ 9


Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce 3985 University Avenue Riverside, CA 92501 Change Service Requested

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CA Unveils June 15 Re-Opening Plans, Helps Businesses Plan Ahead CDPH announced plans to fully lift capacity and distancing requirements

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced new plans to fully lift capacity and physical distancing requirements regardless of setting effective June 15. This means restaurants and bars, concert venues, grocery stores, and a variety of other businesses can operate at full capacity at their discretion. The Chamber encourages businesses to plan ahead, put necessary policies in place, and keep employees well-informed of changes. All sectors listed in the current Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may return to usual operations with the limited exceptions noted for “Mega Events”. However, employers are subject to the Cal/ OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable to them. Also as of June 15, California will fully align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding masking requirements and traveling. At present, the CDC states that fully-vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask in any setting, except where required by local governments and businesses.

For “Mega Events”, CDPH recommends that venues hosting outdoor live events with 10,000+ people to have a verification of vaccination/ negative test in place. Those who are not vaccinated or who do not show a negative test result can still enter if they wear a mask. Indoor venues with 5,000+ more people require that all Starting June 15, restaurants and bars, concert venues, grocery stores, and a variety of other businesses can operate at full capacity and lift attendees provide ver- physical distancing requirements. ification of either full with any changes the CDPH puts in place. vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test Visit bit.ly/CDPHjune15 for more detailed result within 72 hours prior to the event. information about Mega Events and guidelines for venues. In addition, the requirements and recommendations for negative tests and vaccine verification will be in place effective June 15 through October 1. The state will assess conditions by September 1 to determine whether updated requirements or recommendations are needed beyond October 1.

Business Community Stands Against Bills

The Chamber is enthusiastic about the news to re-open the economy with limited restrictions and will keep the community updated

Proposed legislation increases leave, healthcare costs

In continuing its role as the champion for business advocacy, the Chamber has opposed two pieces of legislation that impose considerable new costs onto employers and limits their ability to maintain a strong workforce. AB 995 (Gonzalez) would require every business in California to increase the number of paid sick days provided to employees from three to five days. The bill increases the cap on the number of sick days that can be accrued and rolled over into a future year. This bill will disproportionately impact smaller businesses, who continue to recover from COVID-19 and are already required to provide several different leaves to employees. In addition to up to six months of required unpaid leave, there are a host of overlapping paid leaves employers must provide, including those that allow leave to be taken for care of family members and a variety of reasons related to COVID-19. More than 59% of Chamber members are opposed to increase the number of paid sick days, as shown in the survey on page one of this newspaper. The Chamber opposes another costly mandate in AB 570 (Santiago), which increases healthcare costs for businesses. The bill requires employer-sponsored healthcare plans to cover an employee’s qualified dependent parent or step-parent. While well-intentioned, the bill is largely unnecessary, as there are several healthcare plans to provide coverage to these individuals. See Bills on page 7





We are committed to building a stronger local economy by actively promoting and supporting our community, by fostering the growth and strength of our member organizations, and by engaging federal, state and local officials on behalf of business interests.

Executive Committee for 2021–2022 Chair of the Board Tom Nightingale - Fifth Third Bank Vice Chair - Chair-Elect Julio Figueroa - AT&T Vice Chair - Governmental Affairs Bob Mendez - RLM Wealth Group Vice Chair - Economic Development Rich Erickson - Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services Vice Chair - Membership Kathy Michalak - Habitat for Humanity, Riverside Vice Chair - Community Development Jennifer Binkley-Heiting - Altura Credit Union Vice Chair - Business Councils Scott Ditfurth - Best Best & Krieger Vice Chair - Business Councils Michael Lewin - Mirau Edwards Cannon Lewin & Tooke Law Offices Vice Chair - Business Councils Ana Miramontes - Bank of America Vice Chair - Finance/Treasurer Ernie Hwang - Pacific Premier Bank Legal Counsel/Past Chair of the Board/Chair - GRCCPAC Gary Montgomery - Thompson & Colegate, LLP

Board of Directors 2021–2022 David Batista - Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center Brent Bechtel - Keller Williams Realty David Bristow - The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Dr. Victoria Brodie - California Baptist University Judy Carpenter - Riverside Medical Clinic Brigadier General Melissa Coburn 452nd Air Mobility Wing Dave Crain - Dutton Cadillac – GMC/Buick Jamil Dada - Provident Bank Carl Dameron - Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce Jackie DeSouza Van Blaricum Riverside Community Hospital Dr. Prabha Dhalla - Dhalla Orthopedic Center, Inc. Dr. Ronald Ellis - California Baptist University Dr. Joy Fehr - La Sierra University Jim Fuson - Galleria at Tyler Dr. David Hansen - Riverside Unified School District Ron Hasse - The Press-Enterprise Company Brian Hawley - Luminex Software, Inc. Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac - Riverside Community College District Pepi Jackson - Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce Brian Johsz - Athens Services Carmen Lainez - Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gary Leach - Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful Craig Marshall - Thompson & Colegate, LLP Rose Mayes - Fair Housing Council of Riverside Scott Megna - Riverside Convention Center Patty Moorman - Bourns, Inc. Eric Oliver - Beyond Elva Padilla - Lexus of Riverside Cathy Paredes - Bank of America Norm Pelzer - RLM Company Lea Petersen - Southern California Gas Company Michelle Rubin - Regional Properties Howard Saner - Riverside Physician Network Zareh Sarrafian - Riverside University Health System Robert Schwandt - Alvord Unified School District Philip Small - Energport, Inc. Rob Starr - The Toro Company Ron Thompson - Collins Aerospace Andrew Walcker - Overland Development Company Dr. Elizabeth Watkins University of California, Riverside Matt Webb - Albert A. Webb Associates Vita Willett - Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Riverside Andrew Woodard - Woodard Group Joseph Zichichi - Spectrum Business

Chamber Staff Cindy Roth, President/CEO Nicholas Adcock, Vice President Bethany Wiekamp, Communications Manager La Wanda Roy, Accounting/Human Resources Manager Christina McDonald, Special Events Coordinator Andrew Sall, Governmental Affairs Manager Janet Doan, Business Project Coordinator Jesse Jimenez, Community Development Coordinator Quirina Arana, Office Operations Coordinator Carole Slagle, Membership & Advertising Sales Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful Connie Librenjak, Executive Director Alex Rendon, Senior Project Coordinator Stephanie Silva, Project Coordinator

Publisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greater Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chambers of Commerce

Policy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cindy Roth Managing Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . Bethany Wiekamp Production. . . . . . . . . . . . Printing Connection, Inc. Printer. . . . . . . . . Southern California News Group Greater Riverside Business is the official monthly publication of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. Circulation: 3,100. Distributed free to all Chamber members. Subscriptions for non-members available for $30 per year. To advertise, subscribe or submit articles, contact: Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce 3985 University Avenue Riverside, California 92501 Phone (951) 683-7100 Fax (951) 683-2670 Website:www.riverside-chamber.com

Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

Chamber Celebrates the Region’s Successes and Continues to Fight for Local Businesses It is incredible how much we have already accomplished halfway into 2021. This is an exciting time for the region and we have a lot to celebrate in with how the Chamber is representing our local businesses in government. Ensuring Riverside remains business-friendly, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Political Action Committee (GRCCPAC) endorsed three business-friendly candidates for election this month. The GRCCPAC has endorsed candidates running for Riverside City Council, including Joe Paredes for Ward 2, Chuck Conder for Ward 4, and Jim Perry for Ward 6. All three of these candidates have your business in mind when voting in City Council and will continue to advocate for business-friendly policies. The election is conducted via mail-in ballots, Riverside voters should have received their ballots in mid-May. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by county election offices no later than 8 PM on Election Day. The Chamber and local business leaders are meeting virtually for the Chamber’s Capitol Connection, an annual advocacy meeting

engaging state policy leaders about the critical business issues in Inland Southern California. In multiple meetings with state legislators and officials, members are discussing healthcare,

“You are all a vital part of this community and the Chamber will keep you informed of anything that could impact your business.”

To help new startups, the Chamber conducts the Emerging Entrepreneur Award. In its eighth year, an applicant will be awarded $3,000, resources, and mentorship to bring their business to the next level. If you know a business that would benefit, visit eea.rivbizweek.com or contact the Chamber for a nomination form. None of these accomplishments or opportunities would have been possible without our members. You are all a vital part of this community and the Chamber will keep you informed of anything that could impact your business. I look forward to working together to continue creating a stronger local economy for everyone in the region.

COVID-19 pandemic recovery, K-14 education, and homelessness in order to sustain economic growth in the area and address any challenges. Sustaining the local economy is also important to attract new businesses to Riverside.

Tom Nightingale Chair of the Board

Vaccine Administrations on the Rise, CA Inches Closer to Pending Re-Opening Dr. Geoffrey Leung, the County of Riverside’s new Public Health Officer, gave a COVID-19 vaccine update to several business leaders at a recent Good Morning Riverside. The Chamber convenes leaders in public health to offer members an insider’s update into what they can expect next in regards to pandemic response and recovery. As uncertain as the last year has been, it is critical for the Chamber to offer opportunities for members to stay informed and have access to this critical expertise.

As of the meeting, over 1.7 million vaccines had been administered within Riverside County. Most importantly, Riverside County is doing its part to equitably vaccinate individuals according to the Healthy Places Index (HPI) Quartile. These metrics for the HPI are closely monitored to help vaccinate those most at risk for serious outcomes and those who have been most exposed at work or in their daily lives. By targeting vaccine implementation to those who most need them, the County and the State of California can also begin to safely reopen activities across the economy. This will protect not just those who are vaccinated, but reduce additional community transmission. It will also help reduce potential new variants that might emerge. Additionally, there are over 239 stateapproved providers with the vaccine that are ready to help. This has helped over 35% of Riverside County’s residents ages 16 and older get fully vaccinated. Dr. Leung expanded on the guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated which allows for individuals to spend time with other fully-vaccinated people, even indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing. These individuals can also spend time indoors without masks or physical distancing with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

The County of Riverside’s new Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung gave a COVID-19 vaccine update to over 150 members and community leaders during a recent Good Morning Riverside.

California’s residents and business owners are anxiously awaiting instructions from Governor Gavin Newsom regarding re-opening the economy on June 15. Until then, California will keep its existing mask guidance in place despite the Center for Disease Control and Prevention changing their guidance.

The Chamber thanks Dr. Leung for his expertise and leadership as he aims to keep the County of Riverside safe while navigating state and federal guidance. Visit www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine or myturn. ca.gov/ to schedule an appointment to get a vaccine.

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G O V E R N M E N T A F F A I R S   www.riverside-chamber.com Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

J U N E 2021

Chamber Advocates to Utilize Every Tool to Combat Homelessness

direct tax rebates to low-income individuals. The plan adds an additional $8.1 billion towards the program to provide $600 rebates to those earning under $75,000 annually and an additional $500 to families with dependents.

Homelessness continues to be a major challenge for members and the Chamber is constantly working with local officials to make a difference. Most recently, the Chamber urged the County of Riverside’s Board of Supervisors not to opt out of Laura’s Law. Laura’s Law is a proven system of mental health services to assist homeless individuals needing this type of care and rehabilitation.

Governor Newsom has also prioritized making significant investments to address homelessness and housing insecurity. To do this, the plan calls for $12 billion in investments, $9 billion of which will be used to expand Project Homekey to access more than 46,000 homeless housing and apartment units. Additionally, the plan doubles previous investments to help low-income tenants pay 100% of back due rent as well as another $2 billion for past-due utilities.

Riverside County is in dire need for additional mental health services. There is a direct link between severe mental illness and homelessness, which has become all the more concerning for residents and businesses during COVID-19. Laura’s Law is an assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) that provides those with a severe mental illness and a history of violence and frequent hospitalization with the support and services needed for rehabilitation.

California’s schools play an integral role in educating the state’s future leaders. In recognizing the importance of childhood education, the plan dedicates $20 billion to transform public schools to bolster before- and after-school instruction, sports and arts, tutoring, counselors and nurses, nutrition,

Since the law took effect in 2003, numerous counties across the state have successfully implemented Laura’s Law and subsequently experienced lower hospitalization rates in individuals that receive treatment. In 2020, Nevada County reported reduced homelessness, cost savings, fewer hospital and jail days, and higher employment rates among individuals that have gone through AOT programs.

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled $100 billion in proposed investments across several priority areas to spur the state’s comeback from COVID-19.

California Roars Back with $100 Billion Comeback Plan Governor Gavin Newsom recently unveiled his $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the largest economic recovery package in state history. The historic investments in the package include a number of priorities such as small business relief, tax rebates, education, infrastructure, and the environment were made possible due to a $75 billion budget surplus for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan invests an additional $1.5 billion in the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant program to help California’s businesses recover. This investment follows a $6.2 billion tax cut enacted for those that received Paycheck Protection Program loans. COVID-19 also changed the landscape for California’s workforce. The plan invests $1 billion in new grants to workers who lost their jobs during COVID-19 in order to help them start a new business, go back to school, and learn the skills needed to obtain employment in the evolving economy. During COVID-19, the State established the Golden State Stimulus Fund to provide

See Comeback on page 7

The Chamber is constantly working with elected officials to ensure the region has every tool needed to combat homelessness on behalf of businesses and residents to enhance quality of life.

While this program is not designed to be a cure-all, it can serve as an important tool aimed at addressing mental illness and homelessness. For these reasons, the Chamber encouraged the County of Riverside not to opt out of implementing Laura’s Law. While mental health is just a single piece of a complicated puzzle that encompasses homelessness, the Chamber recognizes the need to keep all the tools ready and available to combat the challenge. Business leaders are constantly advocating for more funding targeting Inland Southern California as many services require state or federal funding. This is one of the reasons the Chamber builds and maintains relationships with local, state, and federal elected officials to keep communication open for the region’s opportunities and challenges.


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J U N E 2021


Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

Proposed Technical Trade Center Earns Business Support Riverside Community College District (RCCD) has submitted a Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations request for plans to develop an Inland Empire Technical Trade Center (IETTC) in The Chamber supports Riverside Community College District’s concept the Jurupa Valley area. and request to develop an Inland Empire Technical Trade Center. The IETTC would help build partnerships for equity, access, and preparation program. This partnership of success in the region. As a partner that supports education and workforce support will help local businesses, community, government, build a pipeline for students to find a job and education, the Chamber’s Board of upon completing their program. Directors voted in support of this concept. The IETTC is a response to the urgent A technical trade center would provide need for high-paying jobs, diversification students with access to programs to obtain of the regional economy, and a strong worka local, high-wage, high-demand job. The force for the region’s employers. An educated programs offered focus on high growth in and skilled workforce is critical for competibusiness and industry sectors. This would tiveness in the global economy. This will encompass industries such as advanced allow for more of the region’s workforce to manufacturing, sustainable logistics and receive formal training and earn sufficient supply chain management, cyber-security, pay and benefits in career pathways. information technology, and green technology. The Riverside Community College District Along with offering technical training, the IETTC will be an asset to the community center will also provide academic courses and help improve prosperity in the region. following an “earn and learn model”. Through the IETTC, students will be able to For more information, contact Jesse Jimenez engage in paid apprenticeships and other at jjimenez@riverside-chamber.com or 951683-7100 Ext. 218. work-based learning while attending a related

Keep Up on Governmental Affairs Visit the Chamber at www.riverside-chamber.com

The Chamber applauds elected officials on a major win for March Air Reserve Base to potentially host new aircraft, helping to elevate the base’s strategic importance in the nation’s defense.

MARB Makes Reserve Candidate List to Potentially Host KC-46A Tankers The Chamber applauds the advocacy efforts of Congressman Mark Takano and Congressman Ken Calvert to help March Air Reserve Base (MARB) potentially host KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. This is a major accomplishment as this would elevate MARB’s strategic importance, playing a critical role in the nation’s defense and in the local economy. Local officials, community organizations, and the Chamber constantly work with MARB to safeguard the base and its economic impact of over $600 million to the local economy. Special assignments and candidacies for specialized aircraft, and more, are ways to increase MARB’s visibility and relevance to the Department of Defense. The United States Air Force selected the candidate locations to host the next Reserve and active duty main operating bases for KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. The candidate locations to host the next KC-46A Reserve component are Beale Air Force Base (AFB),

California; Grissom Air Reserve Base (ARB), Indiana; Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Field Washington, Maryland; March ARB, California; Niagara Falls ARB, New York; and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. A total of 12 KC-46As will replace Air Force Reserve Command KC-135 Stratotankers at one of the six candidate locations and 24 KC-46As will replace active-duty KC-135s at one of the two candidate locations. The KC-46A Pegasus tanker is a widebody aircraft that is capable of refueling all U.S. and allied military aircraft as well as transporting passengers, cargo, and patients around the world.

Site surveys at each candidate main operating base will be conducted this summer and assessed against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure, and manpower. The preferred locations are expected to be selected in the fall.

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N E W S  www.riverside-chamber.com Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

J U N E 2021

Chamber Represents Businesses, Engages City on Sustainability Policies

Local leaders make a difference in Riverside by participating in the Leadership Riverside program and go on to serve the community through boards and commissions.

Join the Ranks of over 600 Leaders, Make a Difference in Riverside Leadership Riverside, the Chamber’s premier program for engaging local leaders on regional issues, seeks decision-makers in business, service, government, and education to apply for the incoming Class of 2022. Leadership Riverside looks for individuals with strong leadership in professional and civic endeavors who aspire to serve on boards and/or commissions, and have strong community connections. Applications are due by 5 PM, June 21. Since 1986, Leadership Riverside has strengthened the community by developing and empowering today’s local leaders. The program includes 10 monthly, full-day sessions devoted to key community issues at locations throughout Riverside. The program equips participants with the knowledge and awareness of issues that shape Riverside’s future; they get an in-depth knowledge of the region, and build strong, lasting relationships with the participants and their organizations.


The Chamber will actively engage with City of Riverside staff on the soon-tobe-created Ad-Hoc Decarbonization Technical Advisory Committee to consider the impact carbon reduction ordinances may have on the local economy. It is important to incentivize local businesses to create and promote a collaborative enviThe Chamber will continue to engage the City to keep members informed about steps being taken towards reducing carbon emissions. ronment that will both enhance private enterprise and quality of life. This foundation other municipalities to follow. The effort to is essential to maintaining a vibrant marketmandate limited sources of energy would not based economy. benefit the City and would likely be detrimental to residents and small business owners. The Riverside City Council’s Economic Development, Placemaking & Branding The Chamber is encouraged that the Committee recently directed City Staff to Committee will have the representation and explore potential ordinances for reducing active participation of the Riverside business carbon emissions in the region. This continucommunity. The balancing of various perspecing conversation is a collective effort between tives is essential to ensure that decisions made utility companies, businesses, policymakers, will reflect the community at large. and City officials as part of a long term goal to achieve citywide carbon neutrality by 2040. The Chamber looks forward to participating in the committee to achieve It is prudent to discuss a broad range of sustainability without hindering the region’s policies that considers other energy options, economic competitiveness. rather than focusing on one answer. A number For more information, contact Janet Doan of ways exist to reduce carbon emissions and at jdoan@riverside-chamber.com or the City of Riverside has an opportunity to 951-683-7100 Ext. 210. demonstrate leadership and set a path for

The program gives decision-makers the knowledge to address critical regional issues. Classes consist of approximately 20-25 dynamic individuals who are drawn from different backgrounds and philosophical perspectives, who upon graduating, go on to contribute to Riverside’s economic and cultural vitality.

Graduates will join the ranks of more than 600 alumni who have gone on to serve on boards and commissions representing the voice of the greater Riverside region. Upon graduation and beyond the class project, each class member is expected to utilize the skills and information gained in this program to work and advocate for the betterment of the region. For more information regarding the application, contact Jesse Jimenez at jjimenez@riversidechamber.com or 951-683-7100 Ext. 218.

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J U N E 2021


Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

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N E W S  www.riverside-chamber.com Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

J U N E 2021

Chamber Business Briefs Center Releases Local Intelligence Report The University of California, Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development just released the latest edition of the Regional Intelligence Report. The report traces the local economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report examines the bounce back in employment, including the uneven recovery among industries, and looks at parts of the economy that have boomed during the crisis. The Inland Southern California labor market has continued to steadily recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding 145,100 jobs since April 2020. Employment growth in Inland Southern California is outpacing the state (-8.6% below its pre-pandemic peak) yet has trailed the nation (-5.5%). While the local economy has experienced a fallout within various industries in the labor market, the declines are not as severe as headlines lead residents to believe. More importantly, the declines are likely to be temporary in nature and have been driven by the response to COVID-19, including public health mandates or changes in consumer behavior to help mitigate the pandemic’s impact.

The fundamentals of what will drive long-run growth remain strong, with households experiencing minimal losses in income. As a result, there is significant pent-up demand for consumer consumption. Once businesses start to fully open and COVID-19 health concerns begin to wane, the economy and the labor market should recover rapidly in 2021. Visit ucreconomicforecast.org/ for more information.

Chamber Recognizes James Joseph as Ambassador of the Month The Chamber congratulates James Joseph, Business Advocate for Co Card West, on being named Ambassador of the Month.

RUSD STEM Academy Earns State, National Rankings The Chamber congratulates Riverside Unified School District’s (RUSD) Riverside STEM Academy on their national and state rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Celebrating 10 years in Riverside, the STEM academy ranked fourth within California.

Joseph has been an Ambassador since 2018 and strives to find ways to increase his participation in the community. Joseph joined the Ambassador Committee as he saw it was a great opportunity to become more involved in the Chamber and the community as a whole. Since becoming an Ambassador, he has gained a better understanding of what the Chamber does and how it impacts the City of Riverside and region in general.

Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and exams and the AP participation rate at Riverside STEM Academy is 100%. The total minority enrollment is 66%, and 32% of students are economically disadvantaged. Riverside STEM Academy is one of 11 high schools in RUSD.

Joseph was named the 2020 Ambassador of the Year for his involvement at Chamber and community events, continuous outreach to businesses, and commitment to connecting individuals with quality referrals to help improve their organization.

The Chamber and its Business Education Partnership Council has actively advocated for the STEM Academy in many cases as tying education to the local workforce is important to filling jobs and ensuring students are prepared to start working in Riverside once they graduate.

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The Ambassadors are a vital liaison between the Chamber and its membership. They strive to encourage members to use the benefits available to them and to make a difference in the community. For more information about the Ambassador Committee, contact Christina McDonald at cmcdonald@riversidechamber.com or 951-683-7100 Ext. 211.


Continued from page 1 Covered California recently received over $3 billion in new federal funding in order to provide coverage for approximately 2.5 million low and middle-income individuals. Furthermore, parents and step-parents that qualify can already receive coverage from MediCal as well as Medicare if they are older than 65. Overall, AB 570 is expected to increase premiums by several hundreds of millions of dollars annually, driving up premiums that employers must pay. The Chamber will continue to oppose these bills and encourage members of the Legislature to vote in opposition. For more information, contact Andrew Sall at asall@riversidechamber.com or 951-683-7100 Ext. 220.

Comeback… Continued from page 3

and behavioral health services. Furthermore, the plan will provide universal pre-K while also adding approximately 100,000 in much-needed childcare slots. Notably, the plan also creates child savings accounts for 3.7 million low-income students that can be later used to pay for higher education or to start a business. Lastly, the plan recognizes the need to update critical infrastructure across the state and dedicates $7 billion for broadband infrastructure, $11 billion for road, bridge, and transit improvements, and $5.1 billion for water infrastructure and drought response. For more information, contact Andrew Sall at asall@riverside-chamber.com or 951-683-7100 Ext. 220.



J U N E 2021


Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

GRCC Recognized for Continued Excellence in Business Advocacy

ATHENA of Riverside Celebrates Women’s Achievements Kathy Michalak, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Riverside, was honored as the recipient of the 2021 ATHENA Award for her lifetime commitment and energy devoted to community service, dedication to housing development in the region, and encouragement to young women to achieve their full potential. One of the purposes of the ATHENA Award Ceremony is to honor women in Riverside and award scholarships each year as a way to continue the mission of opening doors of leadership opportunities for women through inspiration, education, cultivation, and mentoring. Scholarships totaling $12,000 were presented to six young women, selected by the ATHENA Committee, attending California Baptist University, La Sierra University, Riverside Community College District, and University of California, Riverside. Each year the program raises funds to provide scholarships to young women in the Riverside region. A $2,000 award was also presented to the Inspire Her Mind program. The Inspire Her Mind program was founded with a mission to support local high school girls to become creative, self-directed lifelong learners capable of creating and implementing fresh, innovative ideas. Inspire Her Mind is a program in which STEM education is promoted to young girls throughout Riverside Unified School District. Michalak, a licensed contractor, oversees new construction, rehabilitation, and critical home repair programs. The home repair pro-

Kathy Michalak (right) was honored as the 2021 ATHENA of Riverside Award recipient and is well-known by the community for advocating for fair housing and equal opportunities for all.

grams have been especially critical to Habitat Riverside’s ability to reach and assist more than 90 families each year with repairs ranging from exterior code violations to addressing health and safety issues for low-income homeowners, primarily seniors and the disabled. Michalak currently serves on the Grants Committee for The Inland Empire Community Foundation, the Erlangen Sister City Committee for the City of Riverside International Relations Council, and is a board member of Habitat California. She served on the Board of Directors of Friends of My Family; a foundation of the Riverside-based non-profit MFI Recovery Center, and Feeding America Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

In recognition of its efforts to continually defend businesses and help keep members compliant with state employment laws, the Chamber was awarded the 2021 President’s Circle Award by the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber). The Chamber is one of only five chambers of commerce statewide that has received the award each of the 13 years it has been presented. Andrew Sall, the Chamber’s

a bill. A final component of the award is publishing and distributing a vote record for how Riverside’s state representatives voted on critical issues.

One of the key requirements to qualify for the award is exemplary participation in CalChamber’s compliance product resale program. The Chamber strives to keep members up-to-date on all Governmental Affairs Manager, state and federal labor laws virtually accepted the 2021 The award is presented by offering compliance President’s Circle Award for to chambers who maintain posters and products at maintaining an active presence an active presence in discounted rates. Not only in governmental affairs on governmental affairs. does this provide employers behalf of members. To accomplish this, the with the information they Chamber attends weekly conference calls need to run their business effectively, but it with CalChamber to highlight the status also helps them avoid up to $17,000 in fines of critical legislation impacting the business for alleged violations. community. In 2020, the GRCC tracked 90 bills and took positions on more than 30. The Chamber is honored to receive the 2021 President’s Circle Award and will continue Furthermore, the Chamber continually to provide members with critical labor law generates advocacy letters to state elected information and serve as the advocate for leaders encouraging them to keep the interests businesses. For more information, contact of business, which represent the backbone Andrew Sall at asall@riverside-chamber.com of the economy, in mind when voting on or 951-683-7100 Ext. 220.

Get the Chamber 24/7 on the Chamber Website

As part of ATHENA of Riverside, the Chamber is proud to be part of an inspiring organization to honor women who excel in serving our community, in addition to paving the way for young women to have opportunities and connecting them with professionals in Riverside.


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M E M B E R S H I P  www.riverside-chamber.com Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

J U N E 2021

Welcome to the Chamber

Riverside Local Thrive—Tamara Paige

“When it comes to launching a business, investing in membership in the Chamber is the best way to go. We could not be more proud to join the GRCC members to kick start our screen printing business.” Robin, Eric, & Frankie Rios Founders Dipping Cat Print Studio Chevron—Greg Hardy

47603 Halyard Dr. • Plymouth, MI 48170 (734) 354-3736 • www.avl.com Emissions Equipment Manufacturing

P.O. Box 10397 • Fullerton, CA 92838 (925) 819-2775 • www.chevron.com Petroleum/Products

Accident Network Law Group, APC

Fire Up Grill—Ruben Barragan

Damoun A. Yazdi 2900 Bristol St. #A-104 • Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (951) 554-1010 • accidentnetwork.com Attorneys

3750 University Ave., #190 • Riverside, CA 92501 (951) 289-9071 • www.fireupgrillca.com/ Restaurants

Atlas Real Estate Group—Carlos Dominguez 6180 Windermere Way • Riverside, CA 92506 (951) 468-3917 • atlasgrouphomes.com Real Estate/Residential

22440 Van Buren Blvd. • Riverside, CA 92518 (951) 653-0081 Hotels/Motels/Resorts

Innovative Care Medicine Sameer Ohri 8366 Dew Drop Ct. Eastvale, CA 92880 (951) 356-9992 www.innovativecaremed.com Medical Groups/Clinics

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

AVL Test Systems, Inc.—Jimmy Williamson

Hampton Inn & Home 2 Suites March Air Reserve Base—Maritza Mejia

19889 Lonestar Ln. • Riverside, CA 92508 (310) 606-1663 • riversidelocalthrive.com Advertising/Directories

Ariana Whitehouse 515 N. Cabrillo Park Dr., #102 Santa Ana, CA 92530 (714) 481-5600 • www.lls.org/socal Community Organizations

Northwestern Mutual Tracy Walker-Gaspard 3633 Inland Empire Blvd. Ontario, CA 91753 (213) 243-7192 https://www.northwesternmutual.com/ temp/new-office/ontario Financial Services

Seritage Growth Properties John Reischl 11601 Wilshire Blvd., #400 Los Angeles, CA 90025 (424) 901-7632 www.seritage.com Real Estate/Developers

Tacos La Bufadora Riverside, LLC Rigo Espinoza 2111 Atlanta Ave., #C102 Riverside, CA 92507 (951) 222-2290 www.labufadorabajagrill.com Restaurants

TriCord Advisors, Inc. Jeremiah Lee 6772 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, CA 92506 (951) 684-7011 www.tricordadvisors.com Financial Services

West Coast University

Edlyn Delano 150 Innovation Dr. Irvine, CA 91761 (909) 496-8484 www.westcoastuniversity.edu Universities & Colleges

Member Highlights

At Good Morning Riverside, Councilmember Jim Perry introduced new City Clerk, Donesia Gause, to members and community leaders.

Grand openings are back and the Chamber is partnering with members such as Mamma Mia Restaurant & Bar to get the word out about their business offerings.

Updates on projects close to businesses are at the forefront of INSIDE meetings, such as the Mulberry Street Cottages being built by Habitat for Humanity, Riverside.

Member Anniversaries “Since joining the Chamber in 1946, Thompson & Colegate LLP has benefited from years of collaboration, partnership, community, and business growth. Being part of the Chamber is a worthy investment of our time and efforts, as the Chamber continues to work tirelessly on behalf of the community to improve and strengthen the region, and make it an even a better place to do business.” Gary Montgomery Partner Thompson & Colegate LLP 75 Years

30 to 36 Years

California Baptist University Provident Bank - 3756 Central Ave.

Citizens Business Bank Geographics Magnolia Grand Senior Living Mission Grove Shopping Center   Regional Properties

53 to 56 Years

24 to 28 Years

Thompson & Colegate, LLP

62 to 64 Years

JJ Roofing Candace Spiel

42 to 49 Years Altura Credit Union   2847 Campus Pkwy. American Cancer Society Castle Park Champion Lumber Co. Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. Fair Price Carpets Macher & Clark Riverside Community Hospital WKM Realty

All Saints’ Episcopal Church Capree Escrow, Inc. Inland Empire Community Foundation Integrated Care Communities March Field Air Museum Porter’s Garage, Inc. Provident Bank - 4001 Main St. Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center Senator Richard D. Roth Teaman Ramirez & Smith, Inc.

11 to 20 Years

Altura Credit Union - 6403 Riverside Ave. Alvord Educational Foundation Arlington Business Partnership

Barry’s Security Services, Inc. Canyon Crest Dental Compass Pest Management Geoffrey H. Hopper & Associates, APC HRBC Insurance Jazzercise O’Gorman Pacific Realty, Inc. Path of Life Ministries Provident Bank - 5225 Canyon Crest Dr., #86 Provident Bank - 19348 Van Buren Blvd., #119 Salute to Veterans Parade Committee San Joaquin Valley College - Ontario Campus Southern California Edison Co. UEI College

6 to 10 Years

Allegra Marketing Print Mail/Image 360 Backstreet Restaurant Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire Biztek Solutions, Inc. Michael Blakely James Dudley Edge Plastics, Inc. Exclusive Towing Nancy Hart Health Markets Lifesigns, Inc.

Linda Lawyer Insurance Riverside Life Services Susan G. Komen Inland Empire World Affairs Council   of Inland Southern California

1 to 5 Years A Right Place for Seniors Alzheimer’s Association Avila’s Historic 1929 California Tool and Welding Supply CDL Landscape Comfort Keepers Darling Law Offices Del Taco - 4407 Brockton Ave. Empire Independent Insurance Agency Foster Army Animal Rescue Freedom Mortgage General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay  Foundation Griffin Structures Habitat For Humanity,   San Bernardino Area, Inc. Mark Hawkins Connie Irish Latino Network - Riverside Living Shield Ministries Loomis Insurance Services MS Northgate, LLC Purodyne Corporation Real Estate Group SMS Fabrications, Inc. SystemGo IT t3 Fitness Riverside, Inc. TriNet



J U N E 2021


Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

Get Back In Business, Interact with Community Members

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to soon announce California’s full re-opening as COVID-19 positivity rates decrease and vaccine rollouts continue. To help members promote their businesses, the Chamber has The Chamber partners with local businesses to host anniversaries, special re-launched the occasions, or grand openings to promote members in the community. Back In Business program offering grand openings, anniversary the post and take advantage of the additional celebrations, and ribbon cutting options. reach the grand opening may achieve digitally. Chamber staff will coordinate the event and marketing process, all while maintaining Communicating business value is critical proper health and safety protocols to align as the region begins to return to normal with current COVID-19 regulations. operations. The Chamber looks forward to celebrating with businesses, members, and Grand openings build excitement around local public officials. The Chamber’s staff a new or existing business in the community. will work with each business to meet its Between local elected officials, members, unique needs and ensure the event is a success. Area Business Council representatives, and The Chamber provides the ribbon, large friends and family of the business owner, the scissors, and other materials for each event. occasion is a great way to build publicity and gain attention from the community at large. Grand openings are available to Chamber members in good standing for $150. For The Chamber ensures the excitement keeps more information or to schedule a celebration, going after the event concludes by posting contact Christina McDonald at cmcdonald a recap of the event on social media. This @riverside-chamber.com or 951-683-7100 gives access for the hosting business to share Ext. 211.

FREE Chamber Office Depot purchasing card! Email Bethany Wiekamp at bwiekamp@riverside-chamber.com

The Waterwise Landscape Makeover raffle gives homeowners in the City of Riverside the opportunity to reduce their water bill while also being mindful of water conservation efforts.

Riverside Homeowners Given Opportunity to Save Water, Win Landscape Makeover Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB) is gearing up for an enthusiastic summer season. With multiple programs headlining the schedule, the Waterwise Landscape Makeover (WLM) raffle is a community favorite returning for its 13th season. One homeowner in the City of Riverside can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a makeover for their front or backyard.

The landscape makeover is valued at $15,000 and the winner will have the opportunity to reduce their water bill, contribute to the overall aesthetic of their neighborhood, and do their part with water conservation efforts. The drawing will take place Tuesday, August 3 where the KRCB staff will announce the winner during the KRCB board meeting. As a sponsor and consultant to the WLM design, Western Municipal Water District supports the program as the design reduces water usage by an average of 38% for the renovated landscape. The annual savings supports a yard averaging approximately

2,100 square feet with a well-functioning irrigation system free of leaks and using 50% or less turf in the new landscape design. Homeowners can purchase tickets or find out more information about WLM online by visiting https://bit.ly/KRCBWLM or referencing the insert in this newspaper. KRCB’s impact in the community expands beyond the WLM. Since re-opening KRCB’s volunteer program in March, the Love Your Neighborhood program has yielded tremendous results. To date, nearly 700 volunteers collected an estimated 20,000 pounds of litter at over 200 locations citywide. This month, KRCB will focus on Victoria Avenue, Fairmount Park and its surrounding area, the Santa Ana River Trail, Downtown Riverside, and residential neighborhoods throughout Ward 1. For more information about the Love Your Neighborhood Program or WLM, contact KRCB at Ssilva@riverside-chamber.com or 951-683-7100 Ext. 204.

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C A L E N D A R  www.riverside-chamber.com Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s

J U N E 2021


Stay connected with the Chamber and create your next business opportunity at one of our signature events. Visit www.riverside-chamber.com or call 951-683-7100 for more information on any of the Chamber’s events. THU | JUNE 3 INSIDE La Sierra 7:30 AM • ZOOM Stay up to date with the top priorities facing the La Sierra area and connect with speakers Hafsa Kaka, Director of the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions and Cheryl Witt, Director and Human Resources Business Partner at Kaiser Permanente.

FRI | JUNE 11 Leadership Riverside Virtual Commencement Ceremony 12:00 PM • ZOOM Graduates of Leadership Riverside will join more than 600 alumni who have gone to serve on boards, commissions, or elected offices representing the greater Riverside region. Be there to support the Class of 2021 and Alumni of the Year, Judy Carpenter.

TUE | JUNE 8 Business Education Partnership Council (BEP)

TUE | JUNE 15 INSIDE Magnolia Center

7:30 AM • ZOOM BEP is comprised of K-12, higher education, and business leaders in the community who are committed to Riverside’s future. High-quality education will enable Riverside to produce a skilled workforce for businesses. Learn more about how the region’s educational landscape impacts your business.

7:30 AM • ZOOM Connect with Councilmembers, City officials, and fellow business leaders while staying informed on the top projects and issues relevant to the Magnolia Center area during the next virtual INSIDE meeting.

WED | JUNE 9 & 23 Business In Action

FRI | JUNE 18 Governmental Affairs Council (GAC)

7:15 AM • ZOOM The bi-weekly virtual meeting provides an opportunity for Chamber members and local businesses to make connections. Meetings feature a keynote speaker and multiple Zoom breakout rooms for networking. June 9 is a Connection Session about “The Power of Referrals”.

12:00 PM • ZOOM GAC members review and take positions on a range of business-related issues and vote to approve any legislative positions that align with the Board-approved policy platform. This council defends members by advocating for business-friendly legislation.

TUE | JUNE 22 Economic Development Council

THU | JUNE 10 Good Morning Riverside 7:15 AM • ZOOM Good Morning Riverside will feature Dr. David Hansen, Superintendent of Riverside Unified School District, as he gives his farewell address. Thank you to our sponsor, California Baptist University. Zoom breakout rooms will be held at the end for networking.

7:30 AM • ZOOM Be a catalyst for business growth by engaging economic development issues throughout the Inland Southern California region on a local, state, and federal level. Stay informed and be a voice on behalf of the business community regarding development opportunities and challenges.

Your health care, your way.


PROVIDING TELEMEDICINE To help curtail the spread of the COVID19 Coronavirus, and to ensure our patients can continue to receive the health care they need, we offer Telemedicine for our Patients. How Does It Work? • Patients who currently have an appointment may be contacted. If you agree to Telemedicine, a link to Telemedicine will be sent to you. Just follow the instructions. • For future appointments, when the appointment is made, depending on purpose of visit, you may be offered Telemedicine. If you accept, our staff will guide you on the process. • These are options. If you prefer, you may still visit our clinics and see your provider.

What You Need • Email access • Good internet access • Computer with camera, speaker and a microphone OR • Smart phone with camera/video and a microphone What If You Are Not A Riverside Medical Clinic Patient? Great News! We are accepting new patients. Just reach out by contacting our patient relations team at 951-782-3602.




J U N E 2021

Gr e a t e r R i v e r s i d e B u s i n e s s


SAFETY From Riverside Public Utilities (RPU)





Call 911 immediately

Stay at least 25 feet away

DO NOT TOUCH with any object or part of your body


Call 811 before digging


Pay attention to power lines when trimming trees

Keep mylar balloons, kites, and other objects away from power lines

RPU is pleased to report our water met or surpassed all state and federal drinking water quality standards in 2020.

RPU tests for over


contaminants in our water system. Enclosed in this month’s bill, you’ll find Riverside Public Utilities’ most recent annual report. To view the report online, visit


Visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com for more information From Riverside Public Works Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA) is a national safety campaign that reminds motorists to drive with extra caution near waste and recycling collection vehicles.

Profile for Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

Greater Riverside Business - June 2021  


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