The City's Small Business Advisory Board is charged with advising the Mayor and City Council on any matter that will enhance the capability of small businesses in San Diego to succeed, such as the formulation of laws, policies or procedures that may affect the management, operation or financial stability of small businesses. There are 11 board members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
The Small Business Advisory Board was established in July 1982 to develop a cooperative and supportive atmosphere between the independent business community and the City of San Diego. The board was established at a time when small businesses were considered to have a minor impact in the overall scheme of economic development. By supporting the advisory board's creation, city leaders made a strong statement about the unique role of small businesses in the development of jobs. This decision is now considered extremely proactive, especially bearing in mind the significant role small businesses have played in San Diego's economic recovery. The foresight of the San Diego City Council has prompted other cities in the United States to attempt to duplicate the program.
The Small Business Advisory Board, comprised of an eleven-member, unpaid board appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, represents key small business organizations, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce, as well as leaders in the small business community. The staff of the City's Economic Development Department, in addition to their department responsibilities, serve as staff to the board, carrying out specific projects initiated by the board. Current board members are:
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Attorney at Law
Vice President | Business Center Manager
California Bank & Trust
Small Business Owner
Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Tellient
Shane Beard (Vice Chair)
Small Business Owner
Owner, FASTSIGNS® San Diego / Mira Mesa
Life Law Partners, LLP
Ruben R. Garcia, Ph.D.
U.S. Small Business Administration
Michelle Gray (Chair)
Small Business Owner | Education
President, Gray Sourcing | Dean, Business and Information Technology, San Diego Community College District
College Area Business District
Advocating regulatory relief and policy reform is high on the list of issues that the Small Business Advisory Board addresses. The board works with the City to reduce regulations, streamline the permit process and reduce taxes for small businesses. Recent highlights of issues and accomplishments include:
The Small Business Advisory Board typically meets the third Friday of every month and any member of the public is invited to attend. Meetings convene at 9 a.m. at the Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego. See posted Board Meeting Agenda for specific location. Individuals and representatives of community groups may appear before the board to address challenges impacting small businesses.
Effective immediately, all City Board and Commission meetings are suspended through the end of March, consistent with the Governor’s order on March 12. During that time, the City will evaluate how to reconvene essential meetings using social distancing guidelines and/or using remote conferencing should the Governor’s order remain in effect past the end of March.