On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), I am writing to convey our significant reservations with regards to the proposed updates by Councilmember Jimenez’s memorandum on San Jose’s Abandoned Shopping Cart Program. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

The abandoned cart ordinance, San Jose Municipal Code 9.60, requires each business with more than 26 carts to submit a site specific Abandoned Cart Prevention Plan to the City. One main reservation we have with the proposed modification of full cost recovery for all businesses in the program, regardless of the amounts of shopping carts retained, is that smaller businesses may not be able to bare the cost of full recovery services and may currently depend on the Department of Transportation’s street dispatch service. The city’s efforts in helping businesses to recover stolen or misplaced property is critical to support our small business retention strategy.

We agree that making an analysis of the abandoned shopping cart program could be insightful in identifying strategies to curb blight in San Jose. However, any modification to the program should have a robust business outreach process to provide feedback on their experiences with the program, as well as come back before the Council for consideration prior to any implementation. Without any significant business outreach, we may never truly identify the root cause of the shopping cart blight issue and would unfairly punish businesses in the process.

We urge the Council to consider our reservations and city staff should conduct significant business outreach before any policy implementation.

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