Santa Clara Hotel Occupancy Continues to Rise

The eight full service hotels near the Santa Clara Convention Center, California’s Great America theme park, and future San Francisco 49ers Stadium continue to see occupancy rise. In June, 2012, these South Bay hotels averaged 86% occupancy, up six percent compared to June, 2011.

Average Daily Rate (ADR) also increased in June, 2012 to $147 per night, up $9.00 from June, 2011. According to Steve Van Dorn, President and CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau, “Santa Clara continues to see visitors traveling for business, conventions, and leisure.”  Van Dorn credits a combination of increased business travel, conventions and meetings, and leisure travel to California’s Great America for the strong hotel occupancy.
The occupancy averages were compiled by the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau and include the Avatar Hotel, Biltmore Hotel & Suites, Embassy Suites, Hilton Santa Clara, Hyatt House, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Marriott Santa Clara, and the Plaza Suites.  For more information, visit www.santaclara.org.

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Member of the month G.I.S. Business Services

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G. Irene Stowell started her bookkeeping service in January 1981. Irene doesn’t prepare income taxes, but gets all the numbers in the proper place for the tax preparer.

She is currently a Sage Certified Consultant for Sage 50 (Formally Sage Peachtree) and Sage Timeslips SoftwarePrograms.  Irene offers free software    demos at her office and has a 24/7 answering service, so she is never closed for business:  408-986-1114 or 800-727-3770.

Irene also offers phone support, on-site bookkeeping, and consulting.  Some of her other services are: bank reconciliations, payroll services, accounts receivable and accounts payable, sales tax returns & various financial reports.  She has an office in Santa Clara near the airport at 2005 De La Cruz Blvd., Suite 155.  She may also be reached by email at gisbs@aol.com or on the internet at www.gisbs.com.

Hyatt Regency Santa Clara Launches Children’s Menu “For Kids By Kids”

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Hyatt Regency Santa Clara recently announced the launch of a new, innovative menu, “For Kids By Kids,” which provides more nutritious, fresh and interactive offerings for children. The menu is grounded in Hyatt’s industry-leading philosophy Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. – promoting healthy people, a healthy planet and healthy communities – and has been developed in association with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). As part of the roll out, separate from the PHA commitment, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara will also offer a three- course organic menu for children developed exclusively by renowned food pioneer and chef, Alice Waters.

Sample items from the new Hyatt Regency Santa Clara “For Kids By Kids,” menu include:

•   Breakfast: Top Your Own Taco, a whole
wheat tortilla filled with scrambled eggs,
cheese and fun toppings; Waffle Dipping
Sticks with peanut butter, maple syrup
and fruit sauces.

•   Lunch: Shaken Chopped Salad with roasted
chicken, vegetables, brown rice and yogurt
basil dressing; Build Your Own Whole
Wheat Sub Sandwich with turkey, lettuce,
tomato, cheese on a whole wheat mini-sub.
(These offerings are also available during
dinner hours).

•   Dinner: Natural Beef grilled and served
with potatoes, roasted vegetables and
garden salad; Vegetable and Sesame Rice
Noodles with marinated tofu, corn, green
beans, basil and cherry tomatoes.

With their new “For Kids By Kids” menu, Hyatt is making children’s health a priority and strives to make the healthy choice, the easy choice for guests.

Business Experience Day 2012

The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the Santa Clara Unified School District, invites you to be a positive factor in our equation to build future business leaders.  On October 26th, we are presenting the 13th Annual Business Experience Day program.
       
Business Experience Day 2012 brings students into businesses so that they may learn from business owners and representatives the various facets of business and gain practical knowledge from the businessperson’s personal experiences.  Each year we have a keynote speaker talking about their experiences and how they have become successful.  Last year’s speaker was Dr. Laurel Jones, President of Mission College.  Additionally, all proceeds from the event are put into a scholarship fund that is awarded at the end of the school year to graduating seniors that participated in the program (the individual schools determine the scholarship awardees).  This past year, we were able to award two scholarships in the amount of $2500 each to Krizzia Salas and Melvin Faulks of Santa Clara High School.  Over the past twelve years of the program, we have been able to award over $19,000 in scholarships to deserving students.
 
The Chamber encourages you to speak with your respective companies/organizations about hosting a student for Business Experience Day 2012.  Each year we make every effort to assign students to businesses according to the young person’s interest, and hope that through your participation we will meet those requests.  In addition to having a student in your place of business, we ask that you (or another representative from your company) attend the luncheon with the student.

What if you can’t be part of the equation?  Then we encourage you to consider donating to the scholarship fund.  Please take a few minutes to complete the registration form included in this mailing-become part of the equation!  If you have any questions, please call our offices directly at (408) 380-1237.

Santa Clara Chamber Opposes San Jose Minimum Wage Ordinance

Seeing the title above you may be curious as to why the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is opposing a San Jose minimum wage ordinance.  Simply put, what happens in San Jose does not stay in San Jose and will eventually impact Santa Clara businesses and the entire region.

On November 6, 2012 San Jose will be voting on a Measure that will dramatically impact the economic future of our region: creating a new city bureaucracy to enforce a government mandated wage that is 25% higher than any community in the region.

Summary of the Measure
The San Jose Minimum wage ordinance started off as a college student class project, but eventually was taken over by labor leaders intent on trying to rehabilitate their image and punish the business community for supporting pension reform. Far more than just a wage hike, the measure would:
• Increase the minimum wage by 25% to $10 per hour starting January 1, 2013.
• The minimum wage will continually increase each year based on CPI.
• The wage mandate will apply to anyone who works more than two (2) hours per week.
• There are no exemptions for non-profits or tipped employees – not even babysitters or students in work-study programs or internships.
• There are no exemptions for existing contracts.
• Auditors will investigate payroll records over 4-year periods as well as anonymous complaints.

Critical issues
Not only will the measure create new burdens on businesses in San Jose, it will likely create a domino effect with cities across the state creating city-based government mandated wages.

The campaign
A broad coalition has come together to oppose this measure – including non-profit groups, chambers of commerce, restaurants, small family businesses, service providers, the National Federation of Independent Business and new technology start-ups.

To ensure an effective effort, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce has retained TAB communications and Eagle Communications, two of the most successful consultants in recent San Jose history. Between them, they have directed winning campaigns and independent efforts to win ballot measures for pension reform and education improvements, as well as candidates for Mayor, City Council and County Supervisor.

Polling shows that it’s a tough, but winnable fight. A goal of raising $1.5 million to fund multi-language television, direct mail and outreach to businesses to ensure voters understand the critical issues. We are working with the San Jose Chamber to mobilize an unprecedented grassroots effort working with award winning consultants that will be delivering messages via television, direct mail and cutting edge electronic communication.

We need your help to fight this measure.  Please consider contributing to the campaign by contacting Ben Roth who is the Campaign Treasurer.  He can be reached at broth@crosshairs.com or at 408-687-7617.  Checks can be mailed to 1804 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA 95628 ID #1348733.

Celebrate Santa Clara Rocks Franklin Square

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This year’s Celebrate Santa Clara took a step back in time to the ‘80’s, with the nerdy band The Spazmatics leading the way.  The band (dressed and playing the part of nerdy ‘80’s guys, pocket protectors & all!) engaged the crowd by not only playing favorite ‘80’s songs but by also interacting with them by dancing through the crowd and giving high fives along the way.  In addition to the fun provided by The Spazmatics, the evening opened with Koruscant Weekend, a jazz band of Mission College students.
 
Celebrants enjoyed the food & beverages provided by our vendors as well as the many restaurants in the Franklin Square area.  They were also able to visit with our vendors in the business expo area, giving our members the opportunity to reach out to members of the greater Santa Clara area.  The Chamber would not have been able to put on this event without our many sponsors and volunteers.   We thank them all and would once again like to acknowledge our sponsors:  Kaiser Permanente (Presenting Sponsor); Institute for Business & Technology (Headline Band Sponsor); The Mlnarik Law Group (Stage Sponsor); Lexus of Stevens Creek (Student Band Sponsor); KeyPoint Credit Union and Santa Clara Vanguard (Expo Area Sponsors); J. Lohr Winery & Vineyards, Owens Corning, Santa Clara Convention Center and Western Dental (Business Contributors); and B-Robin Networking, City of Santa Clara, Franklin Square Merchants Association, Granada Inn Silicon Valley, Nurse Builders Academy, and M.E. Fox & Company, Inc. (Community Sponsors).

Welcome Ruth Shikada

Ruth Shikada has been appointed as the new Economic Development Officer for the City of Santa Clara.  Ruth has more than 20 years local government experience in the areas of economic development and public private partnerships.  She also has many years of experience working in the unique atmosphere of Silicon Valley.
 
Most recently, Ruth has held the position of Asset Development Manager for the County of Santa Clara in the County Executive’s office.  Prior to working for the County, Ruth worked for the City of San Jose Redevelopment Agency for six years, including serving as Director of Transportation and Strategic Planning; Director of Transactions Division and Manager of Downtown Development.  She developed tenant attraction programs, and represented the Agency on numerous large and small scale projects in Downtown San Jose.
 
Ruth also was Manager of Property Services Bureau for 10 years for the City of Long Beach and Redevelopment Project Manager for the City of Santa Ana.  Ruth has a B.A. in Economics and is a member of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance and Urban Land Institute.
 
As the newest member of the City’s Economic Development Team (made up of key senior staff), the City of Santa Clara is confident that Ruth will bring exceptional and varied professional skills, adding value to the City’s economic development efforts.