Throughout the country, May is recognized as Small Business Month. More than ever before, we are all-in for celebrating the passion and resilience of San Diego’s small businesses, the backbone of our local economy. Over the last 14 months, the COVID-19 pandemic turned our economy upside down, impacting small businesses in ways we could never have imagined. And yet against all odds, many are surviving.
Those with less than 100 employees make up 98 percent of firms in the region, employing the majority of San Diegans—nearly twice the national average. They are the folks who design, build, and decorate our offices, the PR firms that amplify our brands and messages, the manufacturers who make parts and products—all who have spent years building their dreams.
Federal, state, and local officials have made a significant effort to help businesses stay afloat. Just last month California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation taking action toward a $6.2 billion tax cut for small businesses over the next six years. The state of California is on its sixth round of California Relief Grants, allocating $2.5 billion across the state. As of May 2, through two rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the federal government granted more than $780 billion in loans to small businesses across America.
There is work to do
While these resources are effective and important—and EDC has helped connect more than 1,400 businesses to such aid programs—there is more work to be done. According to a recent KBPS article referencing research from Reveal Reporting Networks, “Lenders [in San Diego County] gave 61 percent of loans to businesses in majority-white census tracts and just under 12 percent to businesses in majority-Latinx census tracts.” This disparity can be attributed to the lasting effects of segregation and discrimination—here’s what we mean.
EDC is committed to addressing the systemic inequities that exist in this region and across the country. EDC continues to work toward building a more resilient economy through programs like MetroConnect and the Export Specialty Center; eliminating barriers to opportunity through programs like Advancing San Diego and the Anchor Collaborative; and creating pathways to growth and greater customer access, especially for economically disadvantaged business owners, through San Diego Business Hub in partnership with GoSite.
EDC could not do this work without the ongoing support of our nearly 200 investors, organizations that have also faced a tumultuous year. Together we can ensure San Diego’s economic recovery reaches all who call this place home. We cannot thank you enough.
This month and beyond, shop small and procure local to support San Diego’s resilient recovery. Learn more about how we’ll get this recovery right.
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COO, San Diego Regional EDC