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  • 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

    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


    During its March 1, 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.


    On March 1, 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

  • March 03, 2022 6:40 PM | Anonymous

    At the Chamber’s urging, The Alhambra City Council has directed staff to create a local business grant program that would help local small businesses adversely affected by the pandemic. 

    During its February 28 meeting, the Council advanced the project, authorizing staff to reprogram $150,000 of unused funds from its Emergency Housing Assistance Program to fund the grant project. City staff has indicated that the Emergency Housing Assistance Program has become obsolete since the State and County have created other assistance programs that are more valuable to applicants. Residents can only apply to the City program if they have not received assistance from other agencies. 

    The $150,000 surplus from the Housing Assistance will be repurposed to help businesses with less than 25 employees, and have not received COVID financial assistance from other Federal sources, including PPP or SBA funds. Franchises, landlords, investment firms, hotels, and auto sales businesses will not be eligible. The maximum award for each applicant is currently targeted to be $5000.

    The Chamber has been and will continue to work with City staff and the council to help roll out this important program after the final council hearing on March 14, 2022.

  • March 01, 2022 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier this month, the CA Senate passed SB-114, and the governor signed it into law. The bill applies to employers with 26 or more employees and creates a new bank of up to 80 hours of paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The law went into effect on February 19, 2022, and is retroactively applicable from January 1, 2022, until September 30, 2022. We wanted to make sure you were aware.

    For employers with more than 25 employees, an employee qualifies for up to 40 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) if they’re unable to work or telework due to the following:

    • The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19.

    • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

    • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

    • The employee is caring for a family member who’s subject to a government-mandated quarantine; or who has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine.

    • The covered employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

    • The employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.

    • The employee is experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevents the employee from working or teleworking.

    An employee may then qualify for up to another 40 hours if the employee tested positive for COVID-19 or is caring for a family member who tested positive. If the employee requests this second 40-hour bank, an employer may require testing on day 5 after the initial positive test. If an employee is caring for a family member and requests this second 40-hour bank, an employer may also require the employee to produce the family member’s positive test. If the employee refuses to test or disclose tests, they are not entitled to this second bank.

    For more information, please consult your human resource and/or legal professionals for how to best manage this new law for your company. 

    The Alhambra Chamber is currently tracking and supporting legislation that would provide additional funds to businesses at the state and local level. We continue to track dozens of business-related bills at the state and local level that can benefit (or harm businesses), and we fight on your behalf accordingly. Please reach out if there is an issue you’d like the Chamber to address on your behalf. Simply call us at (626) 282-8481.

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