City of San Diego Launches Small Business Support Service to Boost Economic Recovery
PROGRAM PROVIDES DEDICATED PROJECT MANAGERS TO GUIDE BUSINESS OWNERS THROUGH COMPREHENSIVE PERMITTING AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESS
SAN DIEGO – To support the economic recovery of small businesses and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of San Diego this week launched the new Small Business and Restaurant Assistance (SBRA) Program. Through SBRA, qualified local businesses can access support to easily navigate the City’s planning requirements and permitting process, expediting construction projects and improvements that can give businesses a boost and help grow their operations.
Mayor Todd Gloria’s “Back to Work SD” budget plan, unanimously approved by City Council last month, provides funding to establish the first-of-its-kind program, operated through the City’s Development Services Department.
“This small business concierge service, provided by the SBRA Program, will help equitably jumpstart the City’s economy by targeting those that need assistance the most,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Our permitting process is complex and it can be difficult to navigate, especially for new or small businesses. This service will give those business owners a direct line of support and make it easier for them to complete upgrades and improvements to help their businesses thrive in our great city.”
Many small businesses and restaurants with 25 or fewer employees – including restaurants, retail shops, home offices and businesses, gyms, catering facilities, and hair and nail salons – qualify for the SBRA program. For a complete list of program qualifications and exclusions, visit sandiego.gov/SBRA.
To get started, business owners are encouraged to search the City’s Open Counter Business Portal to identify requirements and fee estimates for their project. Then, applicants can schedule a virtual counter appointment to go over their application and make sure that it is complete, and then apply for the building permit. Once a permit application is submitted, the project will be placed into review and a DSD project manager will work directly with the applicant to resolve any conflicts or questions.
“COVID-19 was devastating to our local small businesses and restaurants. As small business owners research online what is needed to remodel, repair or undertake a new construction project, DSD reviewers and planners will be available to guide them through the ins and outs of the process,” said DSD Director Elyse W. Lowe. “We want to provide immediate assistance to help our economy recover and get our small businesses back to work again.”
The new SBRA program is an integral part of #DigitalDSD, an initiative to modernize all DSD workplace systems and cost-effectively leverage technology to increase productivity and improve service delivery. Other #DigitalDSD services include all new permits being processed online, virtual over-the-counter appointments, the launch of an online portal to assist local businesses with outdoor expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual inspections for construction projects.
CONTACT: Scott Robinson