A Message From Our CEO Nancy Lindholm
Over the 100+ years the Oxnard Chamber has been serving the business community, we have addressed countless challenges for our members. Many times, these are run-of-the-mill issues such as business license fees, water rates and code compliance, but sometimes major issues surface.
One that comes to mind is the 2008 Oxnard Traffic Initiative ballot measure that would have stymied economic development for decades. This particular measure would have prohibited development of more than 10,000 square feet that was located within a five-mile radius of an intersection that performed poorly at peak traffic flow times. The Chamber realized the long-term impact of such restriction, partnered with real estate and labor interests, and waged a strong campaign to successfully defeat the measure. Problem solved!
Businesses approach the Chamber all the time with challenges they are experiencing.
We are currently working with a handful of companies that are being asked to eliminate boron from their wastewater, and we understand there will also be new limits for TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in wastewater. The new mandates are coming from the California State Water Quality Control Board. There is currently no restriction on the amount of boron that can be discharged into the ocean, but since Oxnard recycles its wastewater, new rules come into play. This is an ongoing issue we hope to have resolved soon.
The Chamber started working with a couple of craft breweries in Oxnard about six months ago. We discovered that Oxnard restricted anyone under age 21 from being in a brewery that did not have its own kitchen to serve food. We checked with other cities in Ventura County and no one else had that provision (maybe that's why Oxnard only has two breweries!). Chamber staff worked with the Community Development department of the city and found that ABC regulations do not allow cities to impose an age restriction for this alcohol license type. City staff reached out to both breweries and have administratively modified their permits and removed the condition with the age restriction. Problem solved!
Over the 15+ years I have worked for the Oxnard Chamber, we have addressed scores of problems challenging the business community. Some of them just take a bit of common sense; others require a coalition to fight. This is what we are here for and why we exist.
If you run across a problem, please don't hesitate to let us know about it. We just might be able to resolve it!
Sexual harassment in the workplace can be very expensive!
A Message From Our CEO Nancy Lindholm
Sexual harassment prevention training is not an option – it's the law. Employers must take reasonable steps to prevent harassment. Every California employer with five or more employees is required to provide every worker with prevention training.
A work culture that tolerates harassment not only incurs legal risks (along with legal fees and costs), but also creates other problems including:
Take this quick quiz (from the California Chamber of Commerce) to test your understanding of your responsibilities for providing sexual harassment prevention training.
How did you do?
Harassment prevention training for all supervisors and employees is required in California (for companies with five or more employees). Training is an essential component of any harassment prevention program – especially when combined with company leadership on these issues. Those at the top level of company management must not only set the proper tone, but also dedicate the necessary time and resources to meet their prevention obligation and ensure their efforts are effective.
Training must be completed by January 1, 2020 or within six months of hiring a new employee. However, there is no need to wait! Harassment prevention training now can help avoid a potential claim.
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the California Chamber to provide easy, affordable training for workers and supervisors.
Order your online training today! You will receive a 20% discount when you purchase through this link.
You will have to create a CalChamber store account, but you are not required to become a preferred member. The Oxnard Chamber 20% discount will be applied during checkout.
A Message From Our CEO Nancy Lindholm
Could you carve one hour per month out of your schedule to positively impact an Oxnard student's future? If so, Channel Islands High School has the perfect program for you. It's called Upward Bound.
Upward Bound Channel Islands (UBCI) is a year-round comprehensive pre-college preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program is designed to assist students from Channel Islands High School with college readiness and planning, career exploration, social and cultural enrichment and motivation necessary to complete high school and pursue a college education. Program services and activities are free to qualifying students. Students can even earn a monthly stipend for their active participation. The majority of the students in UBCI will be first generation college attendees in their families.
Employers are consistently experiencing challenges finding qualified workers, so this is a great opportunity to be part of a solution. Mentors are needed for the UBCI students. The commitment is as little as one hour per month, and that one hour can have a remarkable impact on a student's future.
Upward Bound students are exploring careers in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields, healthcare, computer science, and agriculture. Mentors are not limited to those fields, though. Any professional willing to mentor a student is welcome to volunteer. Mentors are asked to invest one hour per month – a very small price to pay for a student's future and the future of our workforce!
To sign up, contact Upward Bound Director Dr. Maria Elena Cruz or her assistant, Diana Magana.
Along with the U.S. Department of Education, UBCI is an initiative of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) National Educational Service Centers. There are 16 centers in the United States and Puerto Rico. Two of those are in California – San Diego and Oxnard.
"CRC employees took a special interest in this mentoring program to be a catalyst for increasing workforce opportunities for students, and also to show how the oil and natural gas industry has improved the lives of people from their communities. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor to three Channel Islands High School students. We discuss core academic subject areas, college preparation, STEM career exploration, and cultural events. I have seen enormous increases in their levels of confidence and leadership development and hope that sharing my work and school experiences have helped them navigate some of the roads to higher education."
- Amy Fonzo, California Resources Corporation and past chair of the Oxnard Chamber
These are wise words from the US Chamber of Commerce. Remember the foundation of our country – the Free Enterprise system. Recent threats from President Trump to impose tariffs on our neighbor and leading trade partner were not in the best interest of commerce. I, along with countless others, breathed a huge sigh of relief when Trump indefinitely postponed the 5% tariff slated to be imposed on Mexican imports June 10.
I followed research the US Chamber complied on the proposed Mexican tariffs. Assuming the lowest rate of 5%, California alone would experience a $2.2 trillion impact. Those costs would be passed on to consumers. With the price of goods escalated, sales taxes would also increase sharply. For instance, if you assume that $1 trillion of the $2.2 trillion in tariffs was on taxable goods (such as autos) and you apply a modest average sales tax rate of 8%, that would generate an additional $800 million in tax revenue paid by consumers!! Since most of us won't be getting pay increases to cover the cost of tariffs, the end result would be consumers purchasing fewer goods.
Even though we have currently averted the tariffs on Mexico's goods, the trade wars with China and the EU are ongoing. The US Chamber has gathered the impact numbers for those trading "partners" as well. These numbers are projected impacts to California only, not the entire US.
Total Exports to China Threatened by New Tariffs: $13,088,228,667
Total Exports to EU Threatened by New Tariffs: $383,406,339
In addition, California has 4,869,200 jobs supported by trade.
The Great Recession a decade ago clearly defined our world being globally connected and intertwined. We should be supporting the prosperity of our trading partners, not trying conquer them.
By Nancy Lindholm, President & CEO of the Oxnard Chamber
Governor Gavin Newsom addressed California's business leaders on May 23 at the 94th annual Sacramento Host Breakfast. It is a tradition that the governor is the keynote speaker for the long-standing event. This year was no different.
Governor Newsom began his remarks by explaining his entrepreneurial background. When he was fresh out of college, he lined up some investors and started a small business - a wine store in San Francisco. With its success, he turned that into 23 businesses and, at its peak, employed 1,000 people.
Newsom went on to outline his top state issues for 2019 and the coming decade:
Debt and Demographics
California is poised to pay down $34.7 million in debt that Jerry Brown inherited. This is thanks to a bustling economy and growth in the state's GDP. However, we have an aging population and that comes with many challenges to our workforce and medical services.
Energy and Climate Change
California had 16,600 wildfires in the past two years. Those fires caused the bankruptcy of PG&E. However, Newsom outlined what he called progressive and aggressive goals. "We are radically changing the way we produce and consume energy," he said. Goals include achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045 and increasing the number of electric vehicles to 4.5 million by 2030.
Governor Newsom said we are no longer an interconnected world, but an interdependent world. The future of "work" will be very different.
Newsom also commented on California's fiscal health. We have a $21.5 billion surplus this year. Unfunded pensions of $9 billion will be paid off from the general fund this year. Regarding the threat of a coming recession, the Governor remarked, "This sate is in much better fiscal shape that it has ever been."
He admitted that California is not the cheapest place to do business, but said it is the best place to do business. In the last five years, California has seen a 3.8% growth in GDP, 109 consecutive months of net job growth, and a $3 trillion annual economy.
However, Governor Newsom expressed his concern about the fact that we have become a society of "haves" and "have nots." There are more people living in poverty in California that any other state. Housing is one of the state's greatest challenges. The homeless population in California exceeds 130,000. Newsom stressed, "Homelessness happened on our watch. We own it. It can be solved. I don't think that, I know it!" He also said we have the political will to address housing affordability.
I certainly wish Governor Newsom well in accomplishing his goals. And I hope we still have a surplus when he's done!