San Diego’s Changing Business Landscape: Companies struggle to keep up with resurgent growth

Welcome to the fourth edition in EDC’s Changing Business Landscape Series, which will be published bi-monthly in the San Diego Business Journal and here on our blog. If you missed them, check out the March, May, and July editions.

Surveying the changing business landscape in San Diego

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every facet of life, including how businesses operate. Companies in every industry are rapidly re-evaluating how they do business, changing the way they interact with customers, manage supply chains and where their employees are physically located. This has massive immediate and long-term implications for San Diego’s workforce and job composition, as well as regional land use decisions and infrastructure investment.

To identify evolving trends in local business needs and operations, ensuring their ability to grow and thrive in the region, San Diego Regional EDC is surveying nearly 200 companies in the region’s key industries on a rolling basis throughout 2021 to monitor and report shifts in their priorities and strategies. In addition, EDC constructed the San Diego Business Recovery Index (BRI)—a sentiment index to measure companies’ perceptions of current conditions, as well as expectations for the future across several factors such as business development, employment, and commercial real estate needs. (An index value >50 reflects expansion, and a value <50 reflects contraction. More information on the index and how it is calculated is available here.)

These insights will help inform long-term economic development priorities around talent recruitment and retention, quality job creation and infrastructure development. Companies are surveyed on several topics, with varying emphases in each wave.

Here are three key findings from the fourth wave of surveying conducted in August 2021:

  1. Life Sciences companies struggle to keep pace. Employers reported higher earnings and headcount but also increased difficulty attracting and retaining talent
  1. Supply chain disruptions hurt business development. The more profound impact of prolonged supply chain issues may be on San Diego business operations not local consumers.
  1. Remote work is driving companies to scale down office space. Life Sciences and Manufacturing are the exception, where rising sales and increased staffing will require companies to add space.

The BRI slid 8.4 points in August to settle at 55.3 after coming in at a solid 63.7 in June. August’s read suggests that the recovery could be slowing and reflects deteriorating views of present business conditions and slightly less upbeat expectations for the next six to 12 months.

All but two subindex values declined in August. The renewed challenges faced by businesses led many to temper their future expectations somewhat, though the expectations subindex remained comfortably in expansionary territory at 61.8. While companies still anticipate an improving local economy over the next six to 12 months, the economic expectations subindex for six months out fell 16.4 points from 83.2 in June to 66.8 in August. Meanwhile, the subindex for economic conditions 12 months out fell 15.3 points from an exuberant 92.0 to a more measured but still optimistic value of 76.7.

Life Sciences companies struggle to keep pace

Employers surveyed reported an acceleration in hiring; the first time the employment subindex moved into expansionary territory. While this is welcome news, employers also reported increased difficulty hiring new workers. Though much attention has been given to the suggestion that extended unemployment benefits are keeping the unemployed from returning to work, the data doesn’t seem to support it. In fact, many of the pre-pandemic hiring trends have persisted and the industries having the hardest time filling jobs are those that are high-skill and high-paying. There were more than 118,000 unique job postings across the region during the month of August. The top job posting industries fall into the Tech and Life Sciences clusters and the most posted occupation was Software Developer (yet again).

San Diego Life Sciences companies have been struggling to add talent fast enough. These companies have been at the forefront of developing treatments and producing medical devices aimed at combatting COVID-19. As such, they have grown rapidly, drawing more than $9 billion in venture capital funding since the pandemic began. While Life Sciences companies reported higher revenues, earnings and employment relative to before the pandemic began, they also report the greatest difficulties filling new positions, keeping their highly in-demand talent from competitors, and dealing with suppliers and vendors. Despite these challenges, most have great expectations for the year ahead, with plans for increasing staff, their physical footprint and remote work capabilities.

Supply chain disruptions hurt business development

One of the longest lasting impacts of the pandemic has been on global supply chains. Companies across the country remain light on inventory even as demand for goods from furniture and clothing to recreational goods and electric bicycles has jumped. In San Diego, consumer spending is now up 11 percent compared to February 2020 before any COVID-related shutdowns began. Many consumer goods are manufactured overseas, and as the Delta variant has spread in many parts of Asia, production has slowed or even halted. While supply chain disruptions may be affecting what San Diegans can buy and the prices they will pay, the more profound impact may be in what San Diego companies can sell and to whom.

Across all industries, San Diego companies noted continuing difficulties with managing suppliers and vendors. From Aerospace and Manufacturing to Software and Life Sciences, supply chain struggles have become more disruptive throughout the summer months. Upstream labor shortages have reduced production, port and travel delays led to late or canceled shipments, and the unavailability of microchips and plastics prevented companies from delivering finished goods and even services. This may help explain that while revenues and earnings are up, new business development is becoming increasingly difficult for companies surveyed, with the subsegment BRI falling sharply into contractionary territory of 36.1 in August from 51.7 in June.

These delays and disruptions not only hurt the companies that depend on raw materials and intermediate goods, they also directly impact the more than 54,000 people employed in San Diego’s Transportation and Logistics value chain. Furthermore, supply chain disruptions to San Diego companies hinders their ability to serve customers across the world. San Diego is a top 10 services-exporting metro, specializing in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services like Research and Development (R&D), Cybersecurity, Engineering, and Software. These industries have massive impacts on the local economy with each 100 direct jobs supporting 200 more elsewhere in the region.

Remote work is driving companies to scale down office space

After more than 18 months of remote work, with multiple fits and starts to get back into the office, many companies are coming to terms with some form of permanent remote work for their staff. The high levels of efficiency gains reported in the June survey has since subsided but remain net positive and strongly so. Employers are not necessarily looking to further expand their remote work capabilities or adopt new technologies for remote work, but many report a high desire among their workforce to maintain remote work options. Several reports from across the country and industry show that workers are primarily interested in flexible work arrangements that allow them to go into the office as needed while being able to manage their personal lives and avoid unnecessary commutes when possible. This flexibility is especially important to working parents facing unpredictable school and daycare disruptions as the Delta variant causes classrooms to temporarily shut down, sending their children back home.

With fewer workers in the office full time, more companies are making the decision to reduce their physical footprint. Many Technology and Software companies report difficulty justifying large, empty offices and thus plan to scale down significantly over the next year. Even companies in Education and Healthcare, that serve customers in-person, are moving back-office workers to either hybrid or fully remote work environments.

However, there are still companies looking to add space. These are mostly concentrated in Life Sciences and Manufacturing, where strong sales and increased hiring require more room to accommodate this growth. While many of these companies indicated plans to add office space, even more need industrial and lab space for R&D. Currently, there is almost 7.7 million square feet of industrial and flex space available and nearly 19 million square feet of office available across the region. The growing needs of companies suggests the balance may need to shift in the other direction.

Whether pharmaceuticals or beer, San Diego companies have long produced the things that make life more comfortable and more enjoyable. These companies also drive economic growth in our region. It is important that they have the assets they need, both in terms of physical infrastructure and skilled talent, to grow and thrive in San Diego.

Stay tuned for more on San Diego’s changing business landscape. EDC will be back every other month with more trends and insights. For more data and analysis visit our research page.

Take the next survey here

This research is made possible by:

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – September 24, 2021

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of September 24, 2021, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

Advancing San Diego: Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent

EDC has announced its Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent, the local programs providing the most effective training to medical assistants, as identified by industry leaders. As part of this Advancing San Diego cohortsmall clinics, doctor’s offices, or healthcare providers can now apply to host Healthcare interns at no cost.

Apply by October 4

WTCSD accepting applications for sixth round of MetroConnect

World Trade Center San Diego is accepting applications for 15 SBA-designated small businesses to participate in year six of its flagship export assistance program, MetroConnect. Presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio, the program provides businesses with a $5,000 export assistance grant, access to SystranPRO machine translation software, the chance to win a $25,000 grand prize, and more.

Apply by November 15

Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

Looking to export to China? Here’s what you need to know

World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) partnered with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai and San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI) to host a business roundtable centered on the opportunities and challenges of exporting to China. Whether a small to mid-sized San Diego business or a more experienced San Diego corporation, all businesses can leverage the opportunity to export to a growing Chinese market, even amid COVID-19 challenges.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. You’ll need to locally register your business

Local officials in China have enormous say in terms of registration, policies, and enforcement. Be proactive in reaching out to the local U.S Commercial Service and AmCham teams—these experts support businesses like yours every day and can help keep you from running in circles.

2. Find the right international partner to minimize challenges and delays

It’s crucial for your business to identify suitable business partners in China or in the international space to help you understand and overcome non-tariff barriers. COVID-19 restrictions have made this process extremely difficult and global partners anticipate that pandemic-related delays and challenges will persist for the next 12-24 months. Especially now, companies should make sure to lean on partners like AmCham to increase the possibility of successfully breaking into the Chinese market.

3. Leverage target demographics and trends

China’s Gen Z consumers are increasingly driving consumer purchases, thanks to their increasing disposable income and eagerness to follow social trends and pop culture. While much of their focus remains on domestic Chinese brands, their digital savvy opens up opportunities for your company to get in front of a growing market. Strategizing opportunities to promote your brand on popular digital platforms like WeChat or leveraging the right polarizing figures can help drive your successful marketing.

4. Do the work to understand consumers and cultural differences

Understanding consumer demand at the tactical level (on the ground) is critical to your company’s success. To be seen as an attractive option for your customer base, keep in mind cultural and social norms outside the U.S. For example: Understanding and leveraging Chinese holidays and special events can mean success for your company, with the opportunity for high interest and ability to reach a large demographic…if you do your research.

With some preparation, San Diego companies can succeed in the current business climate

Business that have had success in exporting to China tend to do the following four things:

  • Work with in-country partners like AmCham that can help your company navigate COVID-19 and understand local restrictions.
  • Leverage local networks to provide guidance on legal issues, and introductions to vetted service providers,
  • Identify and connect companies with distributors and industry consortiums
  • Obtain market intelligence that helps gain perspective on overall market climate for example, understanding China’s digital landscape

Interested in growing your business internationally?

WTCSD is now accepting applications for its flagship export assistance program, MetroConnect. 15 companies will be selected to receive a $5,000 export grant, 7 curated export workshops, access to mentors, complimentary translation software, international flight discounts, PR and marketing support from WTCSD staff, and the chance to win a $25,000 grand prize. For questions, please reach out to Lucas Coleman ( Apply by November 15


AmCham Shanghai
The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, known as the “Voice of American Business” in China, was founded in 1915. AmCham Shanghai was the third American Chamber established outside the United States, and now has 3,000 members from 1,300+ companies. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, AmCham Shanghai is committed to the principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise and the unrestricted flow of information.

SDSI is a Non Profit focused on the Sport and Active Lifestyle industries. Working with Executive Chairman and NBA great Bill Walton, its 100 company membership represents the “Southern California Lifestyle” and includes leading sports and technology brands, Nutrition and Yoga, Surf, Skate, Cycling, Golf and Retail, as well as some of San Diego’s best Service Companies. It focuses on relevant and actionable C-level content that benefits its member companies. SDSI’s award winning Accelerator program features a 20 week Mentoring curriculum whose graduates have raised $86 Million and have a 82% success record. For more info go to

Founded in 1994 by the City of San Diego, Port of San Diego, and San Diego International Airport, World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC. WTCSD works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad.



Meet our Advancing San Diego Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent

Meet the Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent.

Fueled by Tech, Defense, and Life Science industries, San Diego’s innovation economy relies on a pipeline of diverse talent. However, local companies continue to cite access to quality talent as a persistent challenge–98 percent of firms in San Diego are small companies (<100 employees) that often lack time and resources to effectively compete for talent with their larger counterparts. Meanwhile, many San Diegans are disconnected from high-demand job opportunities in Healthcare, largely due to education requirements.

Made possible by JPMorgan Chase, Advancing San Diego is a demand-driven strategy to address talent shortages and remove barriers for small companies to access qualified workers. It is a collaborative effort between EDC, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, San Diego Workforce Partnership, City of San Diego, and United Way of San Diego.

Over the last six months, Advancing San Diego partners worked with a group of seven employers to develop a skills-based criteria for medical assistants. We asked that any education provider meeting that criteria apply for the Preferred Provider designation. An employer-led review panel then evaluated these applicants against the skills criteria to determine which programs should be designated as ‘Preferred Providers,’ recognized as those most effectively preparing individuals for jobs and internships as medical assistants.

EDC is excited to announce Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent:

How small companies can get involved:

Advancing San Diego will cover the cost of internships for 30 students, sourced from the above Preferred Provider, at small clinics, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities in the region. Selected interns will be paid and have access to additional funds to support their success in the workplace. All students from Preferred Provider programs will be invited to participate in industry engagement opportunities such as career fairs and networking events. Healthcare internships will begin in early 2022.

If you are a small medical office or healthcare provider interested in hosting Medical Assistant interns and meet this eligibility criteria, apply now by October 4, 2021!

How education programs can get involved:

Advancing San Diego will continue to designate Preferred Providers in a variety of high-demand fields. Preferred Provider criteria and applications are updated and reviewed on an annual basis. The Preferred Provider application schedule is as follows:

  • SOFTWARE: Revisited Spring 2021
  • ENGINEERING: Closed Summer 2020
  • BUSINESS: Closed Winter 2020
  • MANUFACTURING: Closed Spring 2021
  • HEALTHCARE: Closed Summer 2021 (announcement above)
  • LIFE SCIENCES: Upcoming Winter 2021

For more information, visit

San Diego’s Data Bites: September 2021

Presented by Meyers Nave, this edition of San Diego’s Data Bites covers August 2021, with data on employment and more insights about the region’s economy at this moment in time. Check out EDC’s Research Bureau for even more data and stats about San Diego.


  1. San Diego establishments added a less-than-stellar 5,300 jobs in August, undoing July’s seasonal loss. Gains were concentrated in Construction and Government as teachers and school staff were brought back onto payrolls in preparation for kids’ return to the classroom.
  1. The unemployment rate dipped to 6.6 percent in August from July’s 6.9 percent. However, this was due to 11,800 people leaving the workforce, not job gains.
  1. August’s employment report provides more evidence that emergency federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are not sidelining workers, contrary to popular belief. Yet the data do point to another potential reason: workers are refusing to return because of the risk of exposure to COVID amid low pay and no healthcare benefits.

The data

San Diego companies added an underwhelming 5,300 jobs in August, while the exit of 11,800 workers lowered the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent from July’s 6.9 percent. August’s jobs build erases July’s loss, but the region still lags behind the national jobs recovery. Just over half of the jobs shed during the pandemic have been recovered locally, compared with about 80 percent nationwide.

Public agencies led the charge in August, adding 3,500 positions as teachers and school staff were brought back onto payrolls as kids prepared to return to the classroom. Construction came in at a close second, adding 3,400 jobs last month. However, Leisure and Hospitality, which has led job gains for nearly all of the recovery, added just 2,000 payrolls, potentially reflecting a change in preferences and attitudes among workers (more on that below). Transportation, Warehousing, and Professional and Business Services added another 600 jobs combined.

Gains in those industries were partially offset by losses in Other Services (gyms, salons, building and grounds maintenance, etc.), Finance, Wholesale Trade, Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, and private Educational Services.

Exposure, health insurance, and the jobs recovery

August’s employment report provides more evidence that UI benefits are not sidelining workers, contrary to popular belief. The line of thinking has been that an extra $300 per week in federal UI benefits is substantial enough for lower-paid workers in service industries to not return to the workforce. However, those emergency UI benefits terminate in early September, so the expectation would be for thousands of idle workers to return as the UI windfall is rolled off ahead of that.

To be sure, $300 per week amounts to just less than half of the gross pay received by workers in San Diego’s Leisure and Hospitality sector. Yet, Leisure and Hospitality establishments added a mere 2,000 net positions last month with another 33,200 jobs yet to be recovered.

The data may not support the notion that UI benefits are keeping workers home, but they do point to another potential reason: workers are refusing to return because of the risk of exposure to COVID amid low pay and no healthcare benefits. San Diego COVID cases, including the Delta and Mu variants, have fallen since peaking in mid-August, thanks to the County’s high vaccination rate, but they nonetheless remain higher than levels seen in May and June of this year. Many workers in lower-paying, public-facing positions may have therefore concluded that going back to work at $15 per hour isn’t worth the risk of exposure, even if it means forfeiting an extra $1,200 per month in federal UI benefits.

The San Diego region is yet to recoup 107,900 jobs lost during the pandemic, 60 percent of which are in industries that are either public-facing or have limited capacity for social distancing, such as Leisure and Hospitality, Retail, Education, and Manufacturing. However, most of these industries are closing in on pre-pandemic employment levels, while Leisure and Hospitality is not.

A combination of steady job growth and the rollout of health insurance mandates through the Affordable Care Act significantly reduced the number of uninsured San Diegans during the 2010s. Even with the expansion of insurance coverage, however, EDC estimates that anywhere from 11,000 to 17,000 people have been left without any health benefits since February 2020 as their jobs evaporated or they left the labor force.

Worse, many can’t even rely on getting jobs for health coverage. Nearly 10 percent of employed people in San Diego still lack any sort of health insurance; that number jumps to 16 percent for food preparation and serving-related positions at restaurants and bars and climbs as high as 29 percent for building and grounds maintenance positions. But those figures also include public insurance. Excluding public insurance options, some 54 percent of food prep workers and servers and 60 percent of building and grounds workers receive no health insurance through their employer or union.

Estimates for average hospital costs associated with COVID-19 treatment range from $30,000 to $50,000. A Kaiser Family Foundation study also found that 72 percent of major health insurance plans across the U.S. have already stopped full coverage of COVID-related treatments, and that will increase to 93 percent by year-end. Meanwhile, the average annual salary for food prep workers and servers in San Diego is $29,500. Hence, being infected by COVID or one of its variants could easily spell financial ruin for these workers even if they already have health coverage. Faced with those statistics, it would be more financially irresponsible to return to work than to stay home and wait out the recent spate of COVID infections.

Taken together, it’s safe to assume that many lower-paid service workers in public-facing jobs may not return anytime soon until the benefits clearly outweigh the risk. This puts low-margin local businesses in service industries in a precarious position: either lure workers back with higher pay and/or benefits and pass on the additional costs to customers, or run the risk of operating at less than 100 percent capacity, which would crimp revenues and also hurt bottom lines.

Regardless of the answer to that question, these data underscore the desperate need for more quality jobs in the area, particularly at smaller companies, if we ever hope to restore a sense of normalcy in the job market going forward. Humans may be creatures of habit, but large-scale economic displacement has a way of fundamentally altering our preferences and routines. The pandemic-fueled recession last year has almost certainly led workers to place greater importance on their personal safety and health than before, and employers will need to adapt in order to attract and retain talent.

Interested in more? You may also like to read:

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – September 17, 2021

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of September 17, 2021, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

San Diego: Life. Changing. turns four!

Join us in celebrating four years of #SDlifechanging! Enter our Instagram contest by Sunday, September 19 for the chance to win one of four life-changing San Diego experiences. Prizes include:

  • Two San Diego Loyal tickets
  • Two San Diego Safari Park tickets
  • $125 Stone Brewing gift card
  • Two Balboa Park explorer passes

Enter to Win by Sunday

Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

EDC appoints Lisette Islas as Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth

New role to align EDC programmatic and governance decisions; ensure progress toward 2030 regional goals

Today, San Diego Regional EDC announces the appointment of its new Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth, Lisette Islas. As San Diego begins to recover from a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted small businesses and people of color, the region must double down on its inclusive growth goals by creating skilled talent, economically-stabilizing jobs and thriving households.

“Unanimously approved by the board of directors, EDC is proud to welcome Lisette as our first-ever Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth. With a career grounded in inclusion and community, she is the perfect person for the job—prioritizing programs that ensure an economic recovery that affords all San Diegans opportunities,” said Julian Parra, Region Executive at Bank of America and EDC Board Chair.

A board member of EDC since May 2018, Islas is the EVP and Chief Impact Officer at MAAC, a non-profit providing programs and advocacy in the areas of health, education, workforce development, and housing throughout San Diego County. With more than twenty years of experience working in community development and philanthropy at leading, local organizations including the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and San Diego Grantmakers (now Catalyst), Islas is passionate about helping underserved communities be more prosperous and civically engaged. In her new role as Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth at EDC, Islas will ensure alignment between EDC programmatic and governance decisions, and track progress toward the Inclusive Growth goals reported annually at a community event.

“Everything we do as an economic development organization ties back to our Inclusive Growth priorities. Our time, resources, and programs are devoted to building a strong local talent pipeline; equipping small businesses to compete; and addressing the affordability crisis. I can think of no one better to guide us on this path than Lisette. We are honored to see her fill the role in this critical time,” said Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC.


Launched in 2018 and informed by a partnership with the Brookings Institution, EDC’s Inclusive Growth Initiative outlines the region’s economic priorities and makes the business case for economic inclusion—putting the onus not on the philanthropy or government but instead on the region’s major corporations, employers, and anchors.

The innovation economy has made San Diego more prosperous than many of its peers—leading the region out the COVID-spurred economic recession as it has in downturn’s past—but it is not accessible by the fastest-growing segment of the region’s population.

“Every crisis and recovery that the U.S. economy has endured has increased systemic poverty and widened inequalities in Black and Brown communities. As I take on this new role with EDC, I’m committed to working together with the region’s leading employers to get this recovery right. San Diego’s economic competitiveness depends on it,” said Lisette Islas, Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth, San Diego Regional EDC.

To fuel San Diego’s recovery and growth, it’s pertinent that a regional coalition of diverse stakeholders committed to programs that are demand-driven, employer-led, and outcomes-based commit to the following goals:

  1. Build a strong local talent pipeline: To meet the demands of San Diego’s future economy, the region must double the local production of skilled workers to 20,000 annual degree or credential completions by 2030. This means ensuring Black and Latino young people have the opportunity to achieve at the same rate as their white peers.
  2. Equip small businesses to compete: Small businesses make up the majority of firms and employment in San Diego. To ensure opportunity exists for a skilled workforce, the region must create 50,000 quality jobs* within small business by 2030. This means better connecting small businesses to big customers to drive resiliency.
  3. Address the affordability crisis: Ensuring San Diego is an attractive and affordable place for talent and business is critical to maintaining its regional competitiveness. For the region to recover and thrive, 75,000 new thriving households** must be created by 2030. This means prioritizing access to and affordability of the essential infrastructure that working families rely upon—like housing, childcare, and broadband—so that 55 percent of households meet San Diego’s true cost of living.

Islas is supported by five officers as part of EDC’s Governance Committee: Chair, Julian Parra, Region Executive, Bank of America; Vice Chair, Rob Douglas, President and COO, ResMed; Vice Chair, Jennie Brooks, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton; Treasurer, Phil Blair, President and CEO at Manpower San Diego; and Secretary, Tom Seidler, SVP Community and Military Affairs, San Diego Padres.

Hear more from Lisette here

WTC San Diego’s Global Brief: September 2021

Each month, World Trade Center San Diego delivers the latest global news and updates straight to your inbox. In September 2021, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement:

WTCSD launches MetroConnect VI

Take your company global or grow your existing international sales with MetroConnect VI, the sixth iteration of World Trade Center San Diego’s flagship export assistance program presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio. Apply now to become one of 15 companies selected to receive a $5,000 export assistance grant, attend private executive export workshops, get complimentary access to SystranPRO translation software, and more.
➝ Read More 

MetroConnect helps local company create $5M+ in international sales

When Ben Weinrib took over as EDDY Pump’s CEO in early 2019, he committed to elevating his father’s technology and getting it into as many hands as possible. From a $2M contract with the world’s second largest mining company to a deal with the Chilean Navy, learn how MetroConnect helped EDDY Pump take its business global.
➝ Read More

Looking to go global? Take advice from 10 San Diego companies

Entering any global market requires patience, persistence, and expertise. Learn how MetroConnect helped regional companies like Dr. Bonner’s, Coronado Brewing,, and Urban Translations go global—and the advice they have for your company.
➝ Read More

san diego news



World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies—free of charge—to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego.

  • Export Specialty Center: For small companies interested in learning about exporting and international growth.
  • MetroConnect: For small and medium sized companies ready to export and grow internationally.

Plus: Get WTCSD’s Global Brief, monthly global news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

You might also like:

For COVID-19 recovery resources and information: Visit this page, or see how we can help your company free of charge.

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – September 10, 2021

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of September 10, 2021, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

WTCSD launches applications for sixth round of MetroConnect

World Trade Center San Diego is accepting applications for 15 SBA-designated small businesses to participate in year six of its flagship export assistance program, MetroConnect. Presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio, the program provides businesses with a $5,000 private-sector funded export assistance grant, access to SystranPRO machine translation software, the chance to win a $25,000 grand prize, and more.

Apply by November 15

Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Misadventure & Co.

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers with fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students close out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this edition, we sat down with Romi Rossel, Content Marketing Manager at Misadventure & Co., a leading provider of vodka production and sustainability.

Read on for more about ASD intern host Misadventure & Co.

Romi Rossel, with Advancing San Diego interns, Andreapaola Loda (right) and Michelle Bodi (left).

Tell us about your company.

Misadventure & Co. is the world’s first carbon negative distillery, and the first and only to upcycle excess baked goods into an award winning spirit. Our vodka is smooth and upcycled certified. The best part? Consumers get to help save the world just by having a drink! Our tasting room and production facility are located in Vista, and we are known for our delicious craft cocktails, sustainable vodka, and wonderful atmosphere.

Why was your company founded?  

It all started in 2013 with a chance meeting at a North County San Diego bar between the two founders. Whit Rigali, the bartender, wanted to create local craft spirits as tools for other bartenders. Sam Chereskin, the Agricultural Economist, wanted to find ways to improve food systems and show that doing good can also be viable. Their conversation over a glass of whiskey led to the creation of Misadventure & Co. Our vodka is not just a product of four years of R&D, but lessons learned through the San Diego brewing and distilling communities, and our wonderful friends and family. We desire to make quality spirits and create them sustainably. With food waste prevention being the number one solution to climate change, we are focusing on educating our community on finding creative ways to help the environment, and choosing products that can help make the world a better place.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

We are excited to further develop both our hospitality and distribution channels. Increasing our production would allow us to make a bigger positive impact on the environment.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

As a result of the pandemic, we expanded our forecasting capabilities beyond traditional weather variables like temperature and relative humidity, as we were involved in a project in collaboration with NASA scientists to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the upcoming forest fire season. Further, Misadventure pivoted into producing hand sanitizer to support the uptick in sanitation needs amid pandemic. That experience not only allowed us to stay in business through 2020, but also opened up a whole different set of possibilities for us. We realized that we are not only a distillery producing high quality spirits, but also a sustainable ethanol manufacturer that can be used in many other industries from food production to cosmetics.

Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego. 

We have been extremely lucky to work with other amazing organizations and companies that support what we do. San Diego has a very tight sustainable community as well as a great distilling and brewing community that encourages collaboration and assistance. CAL Recycle has been extremely helpful in providing grants to fund pieces of equipment that have helped us increase and improve our production. We also love working with other anti-food waste organizations such as Kitchens for Good and Oceanside Kitchen Collaborative, and we are proud to say we are founding members of the new nonprofit organization Sustainability is Sexy.

The most special thing about the San Diego business community is that is a very collaborative community. There is always a genuine interest from people to help each other and grow together, especially when it comes to making positive changes in the world.

How did you find out ASD and how has your experience been? Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

We found out about ASD through a contact at California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) who shared the internship opportunity with us. Our interns provided strong support for our marketing campaigns by doing market research that allowed us to grow our social media presence and bring more foot traffic to our tasting room.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

  • Website:
  • Social Media: @misadventureco
  • Email:

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