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  • August 24, 2022 7:11 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to this year's Alhambra Beautiful 2022 award-winners! Each year, the Alhambra Beautiful Awards recognize the City’s most beautiful residential and commercial properties, with one residential winner from each of the five council districts and one at-large business. Submissions were accepted throughout the early part of the summer, with submissions sent in from all over the city. This program highlights the care and work that Alhambra home- and business owners take in making Alhambra beautiful. Special consideration was given to those with native and drought-friendly landscaping, and evaluation was made based on nominees descriptions and submitted photos.

    Earlier this year, Governor Newsom issued an executive order which called on local water suppliers to move up to Level 2 as it pertained to their drought contingency plans. The public has been asked to take water conservation measures over the past few months and members of our community have found water saving and drought tolerant solutions to up-keep their yards. This year’s winners have won their spot as some of the most beautiful yards in the City because they have demonstrated that, despite the fact that the state is in a drought, there are creative solutions to maintaining one’s outdoor landscaping.

    Alhambra Beautiful Awards are co-sponsored by the City of Alhambra and the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce as a civic program to highlight contributions to the city and to inspire all residents to find ways to keep the properties looking welcoming and well-maintained. While there were only six winners this year, all the nominees had worked to demonstrate this commitment to their community.

    431 N Hidalgo Ave (District 1)

    1153 S 3rd St (District 2)

    204 S Marguerita Ave (District 3)

    2200 S Campbell Ave (District 4)

    416 Westminster Ave (District 5)

    Alcole Properties, 606 S 6th Street (at large, business winner)


  • May 25, 2022 8:24 PM | Anonymous

    On May 18, the Alhambra Chamber convened an elite group of Asian-American business leaders in recognition of the significance of AAPI Heritage month in Alhambra and to launch the Asian Business Leadership Council. At this inaugural gathering of the Asian Business Leadership Council, attendees included Angela Chang, Jeffrey Chao, Paul Chen, Sophia Chou, Raymond Ho, Winn Hong, Kent Hsieh, Rayna Ku, Ken Lee, Daniel Lin, Nicolas Lin, Lorraine Sun, Min Thian, William Wei, Carl Wong, Thomas Wong, and more than two dozen others.

    “I’m glad we were able to kick off this important initiative during AAPI Heritage month, since so many of our businesses in Alhambra are Asian-owned and we want to provide these respected leaders with a place to connect and together raise their collective voices,” said Chamber President-elect Christopher Teng Balmaseda.

    Future meetings of Asian Business Leadership Council will continue to connect these leaders with one another, as well as elevate the voices of the Asian business community with city officials and other policy makers. As the membership of this venerable group expands, it will form an alliance with other esteemed Asian entrepreneurs and organizations in Alhambra, developing the mission and vision of the Council with their insights.

    “It’s an honor to be able to focus the Chamber on serving such an important group of entrepreneurs and business leaders in Alhambra. The insights of this group will provide a stronger foundation for our community’s economic future,” noted Chamber CEO John Bwarie.

    Initial programming ideas include the participation of local financial institutions and experts to discuss generational wealth planning, capital management, and organizational development. In addition, members will contribute their insights on programs to help smaller, emerging businesses. They will provide guidance on how business leaders can build greater visibility and economic development in Alhambra. This effort will revitalize the interpersonal connections that have waned over the last two years and build new, fruitful connections.

    Special acknowledgment goes to Big Catch Seafood House for hosting this event and providing a delectable array of their signature appetizers and other refreshments.

    Leaders looking to engage with this esteemed group should contact Cindy Lee at the Alhambra Chamber at clee@alhambrachamber.org


  • May 25, 2022 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    Starting in June, Alhambrans have a new way to support local family businesses while at the same time creating fun new experiences in your own community. The Alhambra Restaurant of the Week highlights the flavors of your neighborhood with a new restaurant each week. Created and coordinated by the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, the Restaurant of the Week will showcase the diverse culinary offerings that represent the best of local dining in the City of Alhambra!

    To discover the featured eateries in the program, you can visit the new, food-centric Alhambra website: AlhambraEats.com

    As Alhambra continues to be a celebrated dining destination for culinary adventurers from across the region and beyond, this weekly program will highlight the diversity of cuisines that can only be found here. From mainstay classics like Bun N Burger and The Hat to new destinations like Ipoh Kopitiam and Kogane, Alhambra is one of the best eating cities in greater Los Angeles.

    Residents and visitors can participate by simply patronizing the designated restaurant during their week, ordering a familiar standby or trying one of the Restaurant of the Week recommendations, and getting to know the business owners, staff, and manager.

    You’ll be able to identify featured restaurants with a new designated decal as well as social media posts on Facebook and Instagram throughout their designated week. Then, the information will be accessed in perpetuity on alhambraeats.com, which will also feature a map, an evolving dining guide, and food and restaurant news.

    “This program is as much about the people behind the food, as it is about the food itself,” explained Alhambra Chamber CEO John Bwarie, who created the program to connect community members to the unique people cooking across the city. When a restaurant is featured, the chefs and owners will also be highlighted so you know the creators behind your food.

    The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce strives to create a vibrant local economy and build a community where people want to live, work, shop, and dine. AlhambraEats.com and Restaurant of the Week are part of this effort by providing resources, connecting businesses to customers, and creating a resilient community.

    “People who eat together are more connected and invested in each other, creating a stronger community,” explained Bwarie, who is committed to curating the list of over 175 restaurants for possible consideration of this weekly designation.

  • April 27, 2022 9:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce voted to oppose  AB-1771 because it would result in further forced property value escalation, as owners would be forced to pass the tax cost onto the consumer. In a flawed attempt to prevent developers' speculation and stop the astronomic property values rise in California, Assembly Member Ward (D-San Diego) introduced AB-1771, which would impose a sliding scale net capital gain tax of up to 25% from the sale or exchange of a property sold within 7 years from the date of acquisition. The bill would reduce those taxes depending on how many years have passed since the initial purchase, as follows:

    • Reduction of 20% if the sale or exchange of the qualified asset occurred 3.01 to 4 years

    • Reduction of 40% if the sale or exchange of the qualified asset occurred 4.01 to 5 years.

    • Reduction of 60% if the sale or exchange of the qualified asset occurred 5.01 to 6 years.

    • Reduction of 80% if the sale or exchange of the qualified asset occurred 6.01 to 7 years.

    • No additional tax if the sale or exchange of the qualified asset occurred more than seven years after the initial purchase.

    The bill's additional tax revenues would be deposited in a proposed Speculation Recapture Community Reinvestment Fund. The tax dollars in this fund would be distributed as follows:

    • At least 30% shall be allocated to counties to be used to create affordable housing in the county.

    • 20% shall be allocated to school districts to be used for general purposes.

    • 40% shall be allocated to cities, or counties if the qualified asset is located in an unincorporated area, to be used for general infrastructure, transit or active transportation projects, or community facilities.

    • Up to 10% shall be allocated to the Franchise Tax Board to administer this article.

    The Alhambra Chamber joined a coalition across the state to oppose this bill, as one of the other unintended consequences of the bill is that fewer people would be able to afford homes and small developers would be driven out of business. While the Chamber does support creation of more affordable and market-rate housing, this bill does not help the State achieve that goal.



  • April 27, 2022 9:37 PM | Anonymous

    On April 25, the Alhambra City Council reviewed the recently released West Valley Blvd Economic Study. You can find the full study here. Natelson Dale Group was contracted by the City to perform the study, and the expert consultants echoed the recommendations many businesses in the area have been asking for. The study called for the City to implement measures that encourage mixed-use development, increase density from one-story buildings to  4-6 stories, and reduce parking requirements on West Valley Blvd.

    The consultants also highlighted the difference in areas on West Valley Boulevard between east and west of Fremont Ave. Because parcels are smaller east of Fremont, the study recommends that parking requirements be reduced and that policies that encourage assembly of multiple properties be adopted. They recommended allowing for higher density on larger, assembled parcels, and that the City build multiple public garages along the corridor to reduce the developer's costs associated with building parking for individual properties.

    Community Development Director, Andrew Ho, said this study is the first step in the process of overhauling the building code governing the area. The next step will include public input from property owners and code changes through the formal Zoning Code Update, which will update the 1986 zoning (set to be completed by October 2022).


  • April 13, 2022 10:02 PM | Anonymous

    On April 12, 2022, the Chamber hosted Alhambra Mayor Jeffrey Maloney to deliver the 2022 State of the City address. A crowd of nearly 100 leaders from the region gathered in the historic Granada on 1st Street to hear the update of what the city has done in the past year and where its headed. The event welcomed dignitaries like members of the City Council and senior city staff, as well as state leaders like Senator Susan Rubio and newly elected Assemblyman Mike Fong. 

    For his address, the Mayor presented the accomplishments of the City, asserting that the state of Alhambra is strong, and growing stronger. According to Mayor Maloney, Alhambra has maintained relatively the same population level since the 1960s, seeing a moderate growth of 28,000 new residents. 52% of its population are of Asian descent and 35% are Latino. 60% of residents are renters, and the median home value is slightly higher than the County's average at $630,200. Alhambra's median age is also higher than both the County and State average, at 41.4 compared to 36.7. These demographics help inform the work of the city as it plans for what’s next.

    In terms of finances, the City's budget is almost balanced. For 2021-2022 it has collected a little over $138 million dollars and plans on spending closer to $146 million. Most of the city's revenues come from sales taxes, derived from private businesses activity, while the majority of its expenditures is dedicated to public safety. The police department receives the majority of these dollars, followed by the fire department.

    The Mayor also highlighted some of the City's strategic priorities, such as creating affordable housing, historic preservation, and addressing the homelessness issue. Mayor Maloney highlighted the work of the city to address sustainability, with recent funding being secured by Congresswoman Judy Chu for a comprehensive sustainability plan and efforts being made to create an active transportation plan. This work, along with efforts to address the 710 “stub” north of the 10 that dumps cut-through cars into the city, is being undertaken by city staff and the council to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities. 

    Mayor Maloney also touted the city’s work to support commercial corridors through economic and design studies, its efforts to help fill vacant storefronts in partnership with the Chamber, and its general support for businesses. While the mayor and council are supportive, we must work together to streamline city processes so businesses that are ready to open can do so faster, ensuring vacancies are filled and tax revenue can be collected to support city priorities.

    The Alhambra Chamber hosts the annual State of the City to offer an opportunity for businesses and civic leaders to connect with the city, learn how the city is supporting business, and find ways to work together to address key priorities for all residents, businesses, employees, and visitors alike.

  • March 30, 2022 3:22 PM | Anonymous

    During a special meeting held on March 24, 2022, the Alhambra City Council discussed its Strategic Plan. The City has made progress towards most of its goals, including approving the construction of new affordable housing.

    Mayor Maloney spoke against any proposed tax raises, as these would require ballot measures costing the City upwards of $250,000 per initiative. This includes the controversial vacancy tax that had been under consideration. The Mayor directed staff to think of alternative ways to fill vacancies. Community Development Director, Andrew Ho, proposed a vacancy registry, where commercial property owners would have to register with the City and pay a fee when their properties become vacant. This would allow the City to have a complete list of all vacant properties, along with the owners' contact information. It is expected that a formal proposal will be introduced to the City Council this summer, although no dates were agreed upon.


    Councilwoman Perez commented that the City's permitting process is lengthy and contributes to the vacancy problem. She directed staff to work with the Chamber of Commerce to streamline permit applications. Mayor Maloney echoed her comments and acknowledged the need for property and business owners to participate in the process. Andrew Ho said that his team has already prepared a plan, which will be presented to the Council in May.

    On the same note, Council has directed staff to evaluate the creation of a vacant storefront window covering program. Staff said a proposed ordinance will be presented in July. No further details were provided to the public. Staff also announced that the Economic Study for West Valley is ready to be reviewed by the Council, and they will present it during the April 25 meeting.

    Other noteworthy items discussed were a pilot program the City has launched to inspect rental properties with two or more rentals in the market and a potential new tax on Airbnbs. No details were disclosed to the public about the pilot program, and Mayor Maloney once again cautioned against an expensive ballot initiative to create a tax. Councilwoman Lee expressed that it is more important to cap the number of days hosts can offer their space for short-term rentals, which can be achieved through an ordinance. Andrew Ho informed the council that his department is working on creating Airbnb regulations. However, Councilwoman Perez expressed that she is still interested in creating a Transient Occupancy Tax on Airbnbs to boost the City's revenues. No action was taken, but it is expected that the Council will discuss a more specific plan this summer.

    You can watch a full recording of the meeting here.


  • March 29, 2022 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce is once again providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors from high schools in Alhambra. The $1000 scholarships will be provided to graduating seniors who will be attending a community college or four year institution and who are currently working. The deadline to apply is April 30 at 5pm.

    In partnering with local businesses, the Chamber is working to support local students in pursuit of higher education as they face the challenge of significantly rising costs of obtaining a post-secondary degree. In service to its mission to foster  a community where all businesses can thrive, these awards will support those who are already working to support our local economy by choice or by necessity. With the responsibility and time it takes to hold down a job while going to school, these working students have less time for other activities that might normally help attract scholarships or aid to support their pursuit of higher education. The Chamber’s scholarship program recognizes that and seeks to fill in some of the financial gap. 

    With a focus on students who are already in the workforce, this scholarship will be given to students who have been employed since at least January 1, 2022 for at least 4 hours per week (on average). Students working in Alhambra will get additional consideration, but any student at Alhambra High, Mark Keppel, San Gabriel, and Ramona Convent who is working and also seeking higher education is encouraged to apply.

    Applicants will need to provide a letter from their employer indicating their employment timeframe as well a letter of recommendation from their counselor. These documents will be submitted online, as well as the answer to a question about what they’ve learned from their work experience and their future goals because of the experience. The $1,000 checks will be awarded to the recipients of this scholarship contingent upon proof of acceptance and enrollment in the academic program specified on their application.  

    The Chamber scholarships are coordinated through the Alhambra Foundation, which has a mission to improve the Alhambra community. For more information on the scholarship and to apply, interested applicants can visit the Alhambra Chamber website at https://www.alhambrachamber.org/Scholarships. Those wishing to contribute to this year’s scholarship fund can contact the Chamber office at (626) 282-8481.

  • March 03, 2022 7:22 PM | Anonymous

    FLEXIBLE WORKWEEKS

    During its March 1st, 2022 meeting, the Chamber voted to support AB-1761, which would permit an individual, non-exempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek. 

    The proposed legislation authored by Assembly Member Voepel (R-San Diego) would allow an employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional 2 hours in a workday. Employers would be obligated to pay overtime past the 10 hours mark, and double overtime past the 12 hours mark.

    The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce is joining a coalition led by the CalChamber to support this proposal. The coalition believes this bill would allow more flexibility in the workplace to meet increasingly flexible work demands. Existing law requires employers to pay overtime to employees who work over 8 hours in a day. However, there are many circumstances in which employees may need to work extra hours on a particular day and fewer hours on another (e.g.: meeting schedules, unforeseen deadlines, etc.).

    This bill would allow for employees to request a daily work schedule, amounting to 40 hours a week, that better matches their needs. Employers would not have to pay overtime based on an 8-hour work day, as long as the employee fulfills their 40 hour-per-week time requirement.

    SALE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TO-GO

    On March 1st, 2022, the Alhambra Chamber announced its support for SB-846, a State bill that would authorize a licensee with onsite alcohol sales privileges to deliver alcoholic beverages to consumers away from the licensed premises until December 31, 2026.

    This bill allows the customer to pick up an order directly from the restaurant or bar, or the beverages may be delivered to the customer directly. The proposed legislation also would eliminate the requirement that the sale of alcohol to be picked-up/delivered include the purchase of food.

    The Chamber supports this proposed law because restaurants, bars, and pubs have been severely affected by the pandemic, and experienced above-average revenues decline compared to other industries.

    Having the ability to sell to-go alcoholic beverages helps these businesses generate more revenue and continue to provide jobs in our community. Additionally, bars and pubs that do not sell food had been excluded from the existing pandemic-related exception that allows customers to purchase to-go drinks with a meal. This bill would fix this problem and help these establishments in our city.

  • March 03, 2022 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce voted to support state legislation that creates the California Emergency Relief Fund to provide emergency resources and financial relief to businesses that experienced hardship during the pandemic. 

    The bill was approved into law on February 8, 2022, and will provide over $150 million in funds to the California Emergency Relief Fund and the Office of Small Business Advocate. The law also determines that the following financial aids given to businesses shall not count as income for tax purposes:

    • CAPP funds - which are funds utility companies received to offset their customers' unpaid bills between January 1, 2021, and January 1, 2026.

    • Credits received for the production of a qualified motion picture between January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2022.

    • Restaurant revitalization grants received on or after January 1, 2020.

    • Federal shuttered venue operator grants received on or after January 1, 2019.

    • This law also reinstates the net operating loss deduction above $5 million on or after January 1, 2022.

    Businesses can access these funds by visiting:

    Funding Programs

    California Dream Fund Program


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To learn more about the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce please give us a call or visit us at:

tel. (626) 282-8481  

104 South First Street, Alhambra Ca. 91801


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