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Economic Development

Services for Businesses and Business Districts

The Economic Development Department has compiled frequently requested services often used by businesses and nonprofits serving business districts throughout the city. If you have any questions navigating the below services, please contact us at sdbusiness@sandiego.gov or (619) 236-6700 for assistance.

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Top Resources

  • Get It Done

    Get It Done App

    Get It Done can be used to report a variety of non-emergency problems related to City assets. It can also be used to track the status of public reports citywide. Some of its most utilized services include: parking issues, illegal dumping, and graffiti. As always, if you are reporting an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

  • Homeless services center

    Homelessness Support

    The County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services department launched the Mobile Crisis Response Team. This is a new program designed to help people experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. For assistance, call the Access & Crisis Line (888) 724-7240. See below for additional resources including support from the San Diego Police Department.

  • worker painting over graffiti

    Graffiti Control Program

    The Street Division provides many services to maintain the public right-of-way, including graffiti abatement. Existing graffiti can be reported to the Graffiti Hotline at  619-527-7500.

  • photo of street sweeper

    Street Sweeping

    Street Sweeping keeps our streets free from trash and debris while helping to keep waterways clean. The City maintains a regular schedule for street sweeping by Council District. An interactive map that includes the street sweeping routes and schedules can be found here. Business managers and residents can make Street Sweeping requests through the Get It Done App. Requests can also be made by calling the Sweeping Hotline at (619) 527-3482 or by email at swppp@sandiego.gov.

  • photo of tree trimmer

    Tree Trimming

    The City provides maintenance services for trees related to public safety issues and to keep the right-of-way clear. The Street Division maintains a schedule for regular tree maintenance across the city and also has specific criteria for evaluating requests. 

    In the event of an emergency call 911. The Urban Forestry Emergency Tree Services can provide assistance. All other tree maintenance requests should be submitted through the Get it Done App.

  • Trash Collection

    Trash Collection

    The Environmental Services Department (ESD) collects refuse from City containers in commercial districts on varying schedules. ESD strives to address any overflowing container within 24-hours. Overflowing container reports can be made by contacting Environmental Services at (858) 694-7000 or trash@sandiego.gov.

 


Additional Resources

Homelessness Outreach and Encampments

Visit the Safety Resources for Businesses webpage and find a downloadable toolkit. Having a copy accessible, near a cashier or front desk, is highly recommended. The toolkit was developed by the Small Business Advisory Board and City staff. These resources can equip businesses to help keep their employees and customers safe and offer guidance on how one can approach quality-of-life issues. 

 

How to Help an Individual Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

If you witness an individual in need of mental health services, you can contact the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) for licensed mental health clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists who can respond to behavioral health crisis calls that do not involve known threats of violence or medical emergencies. Call (888) 724-7240.

For potentially dangerous situations in which an individual poses an immediate threat to themselves or others, you are encouraged to contact 9-1-1. They have the capability of dispatching the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT). This program consists of licensed behavioral health clinicians, law enforcement officers, and paramedics.

Get It Done

The Get It Done App can be used for non-emergency reports only. For EMERGENCIES DIAL 9-1-1. For other Police-related non-emergency issues, call (619) 531-2000. Use this to report to submit a service request for Homeless Outreach or to report an Encampment. Reports are forwarded to Homeless Outreach Specialists, the Environmental Services Department and/or the Neighborhood Policing Division as appropriate. Please allow time for outreach and associated activities to occur. Business managers should avoid confrontation and keep a safe distance if they feel threatened in any way. If a business manager feels threatened or the individual becomes disruptive, call 911.

Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness

The Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department provides resources and information on services for people experiencing homelessness.

PATH San Diego has partnered with the City of San Diego to provide services to people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. PATH provides supportive services that include housing navigation, outreach, and employment services. They can be contacted by business managers or directly by people experiencing homelessness by phone at (619) 810-8600 or email at path@epath.org.

Business managers can suggest people experiencing homelessness to call 2-1-1 for resources and emergency support. 211 San Diego is a local nonprofit that provides assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by connecting people to community, health, and disaster resources. 

Letter of Agency (Trespass Arrest Authorization)

A Letter of Agency (Trespass Arrest Authorization) allows the San Diego Police Department to enforce against anyone found on a property without the owner's consent or without lawful purpose. Recommended for vacant properties, vacant lots, businesses or any properties upon which public nuisance activity or crimes, including littering, defecating, drinking, drug activity, prostitution, graffiti or general trespass are occurring. Apply here for a Letter of Agency.

Infrastructure and Traffic Requests

Signs, Sidewalks, or Other Structures

Business managers can make a number of street or transportation-related requests through the Get It Done App and the Transportation Department webpage. These include issues with signs or structures in need of repairs such as an existing sidewalk or guardrail.

Curb Color

Businesses can also request to change the color of the curbs in front of their storefronts to improve access for loading or to increase parking turnover. This is a common list of curb colors allowed by the City. If a business falls within a Community Parking District, the business owner should reach out to the nonprofit entity managing the district. These districts include Downtown*, Mid-City, Pacific Beach, University Heights, and Uptown. If your business does not fall within a Community Parking District, you can email Traffic Engineer Operations at TrafficOps@sandiego.gov.

The Street Division can be contacted directly at (619) 527-7500 or Street_Service@sandiego.gov.

*For businesses in the Downtown Community Parking District, contact City staff in the Sustainability & Mobility Department. 

Bike Rack Installation

The City of San Diego Bike Program installs bike racks in the public right-of-way for businesses to encourage bicycling to daily activities such as shopping, riding to school and commuting. Business owners can request the installation of a bike rack in front of their business by completing a request form or by contacting their Business Improvement District to request a bike corral.

City Regulations and More Information

Business Tax Certificate

  • Any business that operates within San Diego city limits is required to register for a Business Tax Certificate. 

    Commercial Food Scraps Composting

    • California Senate Bill 1383 requires all residents and businesses to reduce organic waste sent to the landfill. Businesses are required to sign up for services with a private waste hauler.

    Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

    Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs)

    • A program administered by the County of San Diego that authorizes a new type of retail food facility permitting residents to operate a business from their private kitchen. Any MEHKO operating with San Diego city limits is required to have a Business Tax Certificate.

    Police Regulated Business Activities

    • Certain types of business activities are regulated by the San Diego Police Department and require a Police Permit. The Office of the City Treasurer administers the application and photo ID process for these business activities.

    San Diego Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance

    • The City of San Diego's ban on polystyrene foam containers and single use plastic utensils goes into effect April 1, 2023. Waivers are available for feasibility-based hardships, financial hardships and contractual requirements. There is an automatic waiver through March 31, 2024 for entities with gross income less than $500,000 on most recent federal income tax filing.

    Safe Place Program

    • San Diego Police Department launched the Safe Place Program to help businesses identify their establishments as a safe place for victims experiencing harassment or a hate crime. This program currently focuses on anti-LGBTQ and anti-Asian hate crimes.

    Sidewalk Vending

    • This new ordinance outlines the rules and regulations for operating as a sidewalk vendor within San Diego city limits. 

    Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) Program

    • The City encourages small local businesses to work with us by bidding on City contracts. SLBE Certification gives access to restricted bidding, bid discounts, and preference points when submitting bids for City projects. Learn more about the certification process and opportunities by clicking the link above.

    Spaces as Places

    • Spaces as Places is the new program that allows for permanent outdoor dining in right-of-way spaces.

    Find Your Network

    The following organizations promote and support small businesses and business districts of all sizes. These organizations provide a variety of services to help entrepreneurs at any stage. They may also publicize cultural, educational, social, and geographical opportunities that serve specific business needs. Many of these organizations have partnered with or been funded by the Economic Development Department to advance economic inclusion across San Diego neighborhoods and commercial districts. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of organizations. Additional organizations can be found on the Other Resources page on the Economic Development Department website. Please note that these are independent nonprofit organizations and not official representatives of the City. 

    Asian Business Association of San Diego County (ABASD)

    • ABASD represents over 30,000 Asian-owned businesses across San Diego County and provides a variety of small business support services.

    Business Districts 

    • Business districts across the city are supported by nonprofit business associations that provide services and promote community identity. 

    City Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC)

    • City Heights CDC is a community-based organization that provides services and assistance to business owners in the neighborhood.

    CONNECT ALL @ The Jacobs Center 

    • A business accelerator based in Southeastern San Diego. CONNECT ALL also has a Business Resource Center that provides technical assistance to small business owners.

    The Chicano Federation

    • Hosts a Women's Small Business Development Program that provides childcare training for women interested in starting a home-based childcare business.

    City of San Diego Childcare Resources

    County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce

    • Supports Black business owners across the San Diego region.

    County of San Diego Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    • A regional network that serves our Spanish-speaking communities.

    International Rescue Committee San Diego

    Logan Heights Community Development Corporation CDC

    • Community-based organization in Logan Heights providing technical assistance and business growth support.

    Promise Zone Economic Activity Working Group

    • A monthly meeting attended by nonprofit service providers who support small businesses in the San Diego Promise Zone.

    San Diego Equality Business Association

    • An LGBTQ-supportive business chamber that provides networking, resources, and opportunities for growth.

    San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

    • The leading business association in San Diego with an expansive network of members.

    SCORE San Diego 

    • Experienced entrepreneurs and executives volunteer with SCORE to provide free mentoring to new business owners who are starting and/or growing a small business.

    Small Business Advisory Board

    • The City's appointed board that advises the Mayor and City Council on matters that impact small businesses including policies, City programs, and laws.

    Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Imperial and San Diego Counties

    • A network of SBDCs that provide free or low-cost technical assistance and advising to new and seasoned business owners. 

    Women's Business Center San Diego & Imperial 

    • An SBDC that specifically supports women entrepreneurs through one-on-one advising, training events, and mentorship.

    Questions? Reach out to us at sdbusiness@sandiego.gov.