Learn how to get the most out of your listing on our website. See what complimentary promotional opportunities are available to both new and veteran members. Can participation on a Chamber committee help your business?
It's all available tonight at the New Member Mingle. "Seasoned" members are also welcome.
The Chamber's Director of Communications, Janet Pozos, will be on hand to demonstrate how easy it is to link your social media accounts to your Chamber web listing. Members can also offer discounts or coupons to fellow Chamber members or the general public.
Meet some Chamber Board members, the Chamber staff, and your fellow newbies!
The New Member Mingle is free to attend. It will be in the Chamber office (400 E. Esplanade Drive, Suite 302) on February 27 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. Refreshments, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Click here to let us know you are coming!
The Economic Development Collaborative–Ventura County’s special services coordinator, Clare Briglio, has announced additional resources now available for businesses recovering from the impact of the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods and mudslides.
“New federal declarations have secured additional resources for those who have suffered personal and/or business injury as a result of the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides and floods,” explained Briglio. “To take full advantage of these new federal resources, business owners are encouraged to follow this three-step process. For direct in-person assistance in filing with FEMA or the SBA, please visit a Disaster Recovery Center in your area. In addition, EDC-VC has compiled an online list of resources at http://edc-vc.com/disaster-recovery-services/.”
To access available federal fire and flood relief resources, people should follow this three-step process:
Step 1: Registration with FEMA- Clients who have been impacted by the Thomas Fire and subsequent flood and are interested in government assistance should apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
NOTE: The filing deadline to return FEMA applications for property damage is March 16, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 15, 2018.
Applicants should have the following information at hand:
· Social Security number.
· Address of the damaged primary residence.
· Description of the damage.
· Information about insurance coverage.
· A current contact telephone number.
· An address where they can receive mail.
· Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
Step 2: Registration with the SBA for low-interest loans- Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries. This includes Economic Injury Disaster loans for businesses that may or may not have sustained any damage, but have experienced a downturn in business because of the disaster. The SBA customer service center is also available to answer questions at 1-800-659-2955. Applicants may also come in to a Local Recovery Center (LRC) for person-to-person assistance in completing their applications. For further information, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Step 3: Registration with EDD for unemployment benefits- Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers, business owners and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the wildfires and associated flooding, mudslides and debris flows in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Those affected are encourages to apply online at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/, by calling 1-800-300-5616 (English) 1-800-326-8937 (Spanish) or by visiting a Local Recovery Center (see locations below).
Local Recovery Centers (LRC) - Two Disaster Recovery Centers are now open locally for personal and business assistance. Representatives from FEMA, SBA, OES and other agencies will be present to provide information and resources for economic and personal injury due to the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods. Locations are as follows:
1 N Calle Cesar Chavez #21
Santa Barbara, Ca 93103
Saturday 10-2 pm
Ventura County Credit Union
6026 Telephone Rd
Ventura, CA 93003
Saturday 9-1 pm
RESOURCES FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has opened a temporary satellite office this week in Ventura County to help farmers and ranchers who suffered losses in the Thomas Fire apply for federal disaster recovery assistance.
Agricultural Commissioner's Office
815 E. Santa Barbara St.
Santa Paula, CA 93060
Hours of operation
Thursday, January 18, 8 a.m. to noon
Thursday, January 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 22, 10 a.m. -2 p.m.
Applicants are asked to call the Santa Barbara FSA office at 805-928-9269 to schedule an appointment, but drop-ins are also welcome.
The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, jobs retained and businesses started.
EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center, loan programs, manufacturing outreach and international trade program, or other services available to small businesses through EDC-VC, contact Bruce Stenslie at 805-384-1800 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.edc-vc.com.
Wm. Rick Gill is a native of California and has been a resident of Ventura County for over 30 years. Rick and his wife, Nancy Covarrubias Gill, believe in supporting the community by serving in various charities and events. Rick has coached youth sports and served on their board of directors. The Gills are the proud parents of their son who graduated from St. Bonaventure High School and currently attends Cal State Fullerton.
As a full time Realtor who was licensed in 2002, Rick has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the entire process of buying or selling Real Estate in Ventura County. He has an extensive background in outstanding customer service and his interpersonal skills will provide you with the best service in today’s real estate market. As a realtor, Rick’s motto is to always place his client’s interests first to provide them with the best possible service and outcomes. Rick’s favorite part of the process is handing over the keys to his first-time home buyers.
Rick was immediately impressed by Comfort Real Estate Services and their demonstrated level of professionalism and service. He is confident that his clients will enjoy and benefit by working with his team and everyone at the Comfort Real Estate Services office. Rick looks forward to getting involved with Oxnard Chamber functions, networking, serving on chamber committees and community events.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home or investment property, please contact Rick at 805-218-1259 or email@example.com.
As of January 1, California employers must comply with strict rules passed under the new Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450), which protects workers in the state from immigration enforcement while they’re on the job.
Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and must follow new notice obligations.
The Labor Commissioner and the Attorney General have authority to enforce the act’s provisions and employer missteps can result in fines of $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
California employers can no longer consent voluntarily to allow ICE to enter nonpublic work areas or to access company records. Instead, ICE must present legal documentation in the form of a warrant or subpoena before employers can allow access.
The employer can take a federal immigration enforcement agent to a nonpublic area to verify the warrant, as long as no employees are present and the employer doesn’t provide consent to search nonpublic business areas in the process.
Employers cannot voluntarily allow ICE agents to gain access to, review or obtain employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant.
The prohibition does not apply to Form I-9 or other documents for which a Notice of Inspection (NOI) was provided to the employer.
Employers must follow specific requirements related to Form I-9 inspections. For example, within 72 hours of receiving a Notice of Inspection, California employers must post a notice to all current employees informing them of any federal immigration agency’s inspections of Forms I-9 or other employment records.
Employers also have obligations once the inspection is over. Within 72 hours of receiving the inspection results, employers must provide each “affected employee” a copy of the results and a written notice of the employer’s and employee’s obligations arising from the inspection. The written notice must contain specific information and must be hand-delivered in the workplace, if possible. An “affected employee” is one identified by the inspection results as potentially lacking work authorization or having document deficiencies.
Unions also have the right to receive notices.
An employer that fails to follow any of these notice requirements can be fined between $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
At the same time, federal penalties for Form I-9 violations can range from a couple hundred dollars to more than $20,000.
California employers need to ensure that supervisors and any employees who are likely to interact with authorities arriving at the worksite are aware of the limitations on ICE access and the prohibition against voluntarily granting access without particular documentation.
Consider designating a trained point-person(s) for front-line staff to contact if immigration agents arrive at the worksite. These individuals should be trained to ask for a warrant or subpoena.
California employers also need to create and document processes to meet all pre- and post-inspection notice requirements. Since the 72-hour timeframes are short, standardized posting and notice processes will help employers meet their compliance obligations.
The Labor Commissioner has until July 1, 2018, to create a model posting template. The California Chamber of Commerce has developed a template for CalChamber members to use to meet the posting requirement until the Labor Commissioner develops an official template.
The CalChamber Notice to Employees: Government Inspection of Employment Eligibility Records is available for members in English and in Spanish in the Forms & Tools section on HRCalifornia.com.
The act also makes it unlawful for employers to reverify the employment eligibility of current employees in a time or manner not allowed by federal employment eligibility verification laws.
Federal law already prohibits unlawful reverification practices, such as reverifying unexpired documentation. The new state law adds an additional state civil penalty of up to $10,000.
Compliance in this area is going to be tough and only time will tell what legal challenges this new law may bring. In the interim, however, employers will need to comply.
Given the potential conflicts or confusion between an employer’s obligations under federal law and these new California requirements—as well as the federal administration’s statements that it intends to increase worksite enforcement actions in 2018—employers should consult a labor or immigration attorney with any questions or concerns.
More detailed guidance is available on HRCalifornia.
One of the Chamber’s signature publications is its annual Business and Community Guide. Advertising sales are now open for the 2018 edition.
As with past editions, the 2018 Guide will be distributed all over town. Most of the hotels in Oxnard make it available to their guests. With its eye-catching cover and beautiful photography, the Guide is something people hold onto and use as a buying reference.
The Business and Community Guide is completely compiled and produced by the Chamber, so in addition to promoting members’ goods and services, it’s a great way to support the organization as well.
Ad sales will be open until February 28. Prime advertising locations will go fast, so don’t delay. Contact the Chamber today to reserve your space. There are options to fit every budget.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released income tax withholding information for 2018 (Notice 1036) that shows new rates for employers to use. The 2018 withholding tables reflect changes due to the tax reform legislation enacted last month. A withholding table shows payroll service providers and employers how much tax to withhold from employee paychecks, given each employee’s wages, marital status and number of claimed withholding allowances.
The IRS instructs employers to begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible but no later than Feb. 15, 2018. Employers should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until they implement the 2018 withholding tables.
Once employers implement the new tables, many employees will begin to see changes in their paychecks reflecting the tax reform.
The new tax law makes a number of changes for 2018 that affect individual taxpayers. The new tables reflect the:
More information on the updated withholding tables is available in the IRS’s Withholding Tables Frequently Asked Questions.
W-4 Update Coming Soon
The IRS is currently working on revising the Form W-4 to reflect additional changes in the new law, such as changes in available itemized deductions, increases in the child tax credit, the new dependent credit and the repeal of dependent exemptions.
Until a new Form W-4 is issued, employees and employers should continue to use the 2017 Form W-4.
Employees do not need to fill out a new W-4 right now — the new withholding tables are designed to work with the Forms W-4 that workers have already filed with their employers to claim withholding allowances. This, according to the IRS, will minimize the burden on taxpayers and employers.
The IRS is also revising the tax withholding calculator on their website to help employees update their withholding in response to the new law or other changes in personal circumstances in 2018. The IRS anticipates this calculator should be available by the end of February. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the calculator to adjust their withholding once it is released.
On the Horizon
The IRS plans to help educate taxpayers about the new withholding guidelines and calculator. The effort will be designed to help workers ensure that they are not having too much or too little withholding taken out of their pay.
Check out the IRS’s Resources for Tax Law Changes for more information.
For 2019, the IRS anticipates making further changes involving withholding. The IRS will work with the business and payroll community to encourage workers to file new Forms W-4 next year and share information on changes in the new tax law that impact withholding.
“The IRS appreciates the help from the payroll community working with us on these important changes,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, in a statement. “Payroll withholding can be complicated, and the needs of taxpayers vary based on their personal financial situation. In the weeks ahead, the IRS will be providing more information to help people understand and review these changes.”
Want to know more about deductions from wages? CalChamber members can find forms and Q&Asin the HR Library. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.
The City of Oxnard is overseeing a project to construct an overpass on Rice Avenue over Fifth Street and the UPRR tracks. The purpose of the infrastructure enhancement is to improve safety at the busy intersection and to streamline traffic and goods movement on Rice Avenue. The overpass will eliminate the need for drivers to navigate the railroad tracks, where numerous accidents have occurred.
Justin Link, Transportation Services Manager for the City of Oxnard, and Chris Hooke, Deputy Director for the County of Ventura Transportation Department, will make the presentation. Mr. Link recently joined the city and oversees the development of transportation improvements for the City. He has over 12 years of experience in the private sector in traffic and transportation project development. Mr. Hooke has been with the County’s Transportation Department for 18 years and has overseen the construction of improvements to the County road system.
Please join us on February 8 at the Knowledge & Networking Lunch to find out all the details of the project. The lunch will be at River Ridge Golf Club, 2401 W. Vineyard Avenue. Check-in and networking start at 11:30. Lunch is at noon, with the program to follow.
Advance reservations are requested and are discounted if made by February 5. Click here to sign up.