During a year when the economy was devastated by the pandemic, San Diego Gas & Electric sustained small and diverse suppliers by buying more than 40 percent in goods and services from them, according to the company’s newly released 2020 supplier diversity annual report.

“As one of the largest employers in the region, we recognize our supplier diversity program can be leveraged to help create a more inclusive economy and more equitable economic recovery,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “Small and diverse businesses are job creation engines. When they flourish, our entire region flourishes.”

Overall, SDG&E injected more than $2 billion into the economy last year, the highest level of expenditures on goods and services in the company’s 140-year history. The company invested $872 million on small and diverse suppliers, representing 41.6% of the total expenditures – far exceeding the 21.5% goal set by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC). Last year also marks the eighth consecutive year that SDG&E’s supplier diversity spending surpassed 40%. (Videos of some of SDG&E’s diverse suppliers: A.M. Ortega Construction , Patriot General Engineering)

Year after year, SDG&E’s supplier diversity program has grown, paving the way for many subcontractors to become prime contractors and add jobs to the local economy.

To encourage large local employers to follow suit, SDG&E recently partnered with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. (EDC) on a new study that analyzes the impact of increased local procurement on quality job creation, and includes recommendations for large employers to support small businesses by buying local. Along with the study, SDG&E also sponsored the EDC’s “Right Recovery Town Halls.”

Here is a breakdown of SDG&E’s 2020 spending by diverse business categories:

  • Minority Business Enterprise: $455.4 million or 21.7%
  • Women Business Enterprise: $285.9 million or 13.6%
  • Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise: $120.5 million or 5.7%
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Business Enterprise: $10.4 million or 0.5%


Diverse suppliers support many of SDG&E’s key functions including electric engineering and construction, gas operations, clean transportation, sustainability/environmental services and wildfire mitigation/vegetation management. Early in the pandemic, SDG&E even partnered with a Vista-based whiskey distillery to refocus production on hand sanitizers for its field crews.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.   

California Relief Grant – Assistance Events

California Relief Grant – Assistance Events

COVID SB Relief Grant

As a partner of the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network, we are here to help make sure you can complete your application for the California Relief Grant. There are recorded webinars and live webinars, available in English, Spanish, and other languages too. Visit [] to learn more and to sign up for a live or recorded webinar!


These are all the webinars that are coming up, including recorded webinars as well.


English, Live – Jan 4 at 1 pm []

Arabic, Live – Jan 5 at 10 am []

Spanish, Live – Jan 5 at 11 am []

Spanish, Live – Jan 5 at 1 pm []

Swahili, Live – Jan 5 at 3 pm []

English, Live – Jan 6 at 1 pm []

Spanish, Live – Jan 7 at 1 pm []


We also have recorded webinars (on-demand)

English, on demand []

Spanish, on demand []

Arabic, on demand []

Also, as a specialty, we have with the San Diego Foundation, have California Relief Grant for Nonprofits [] on January 5 at 11 am.


If you would like more information on any of the individual events, please go to our calendar.

$500 Million Grant Relief Program Available on Wednesday 12/30

$500 Million Grant Relief Program Available on Wednesday 12/30

Covid 19 - Relief for Black Business Owners

Grant Relief Program Available

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) is administering the $500 million grant program. On November 30th, the Governor and the Legislature approved assistance for grants ranging from $5,0000 up to $25,000 for eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

Please be advised: Applications are only open from Wednesday December 30th – Friday January 8th. Visit now to begin preparing your documents needed to apply.

Mayor Faulconer’s ‘Streateries’ and ‘Streetail’ Wins Council Approval

Mayor Faulconer’s ‘Streateries’ and ‘Streetail’ Wins Council Approval


SAN DIEGO – Continuing to deliver relief to San Diego restaurants and retail businesses impacted by COVID-19, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer won unanimous City Council approval Tuesday to expand outdoor dining and retail options for local businesses as they recovery amid a global pandemic.

The vote follows Mayor Faulconer’s July 7 Executive Order which waived permitting and parking requirements for the temporary use of sidewalks and private parking lots as outdoor dining and retail venues to increase space for physical distancing by patrons and employees. This vote not only cements protocols enacted under the Executive Order but also allows businesses to utilize adjacent on-street parking to operate while also waiving a majority of permitting fees, allowing businesses to transition faster and recover sooner.

“Our local restaurant and retail owners have shown incredible resolve and resilience throughout this pandemic. Many of those small businesses have been among the hardest hit and San Diegans are ready to support them safely and responsibly,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The response we’ve seen to outdoor dining has been overwhelmingly positive, and this ordinance opens up so many more options for our small businesses as they work hard to rebound and recover.”

Recent state directives have further limited indoor activities, placing additional burdens on businesses that have already made significant investments to follow reopening health requirements, including staff training and additional protective equipment. This directive is expected to affect up to 4,000 restaurants in San Diego, which employ more than 55,000 individuals in the City.

The ordinance will encourage eateries and retail to recover lost revenue by transforming into “streateries” and “streetail” by allowing businesses to expand onto on-street parking spaces, sidewalks and parking lots. There is no Development Services Department application or fee for a business to expand operations into a private parking lot.

Previously, securing an outdoor Sidewalk Café permit could cost businesses more than $1,000 and take several months to process. This ordinance will help reduce applicant costs and streamline the review process to deliver relief faster, expediting San Diego’s economic recovery while prioritizing San Diegans’ health.

“Small businesses account for 98 percent of San Diego companies. Needless to say, the impact COVID-19 is having on our small, independent, and family-owned businesses is monumental. Outdoor dining gives businesses a fighting chance to make it another day, and I applaud Mayor Faulconer for his innovative efforts,” said City Councilmember Chris Cate, Chair of the Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.


Additionally, Mayor Faulconer’s ordinance allocates $300,000 to further assist businesses by absorbing permitting costs for the first 500 businesses that apply with remaining applicants paying significantly reduced fees. Part of the funding allocation is specifically for outreach and education on the program for small and disadvantaged businesses to help them successfully participate in this temporary program.

The City will enter into a nonprofit agreement with the Strategic Alliance of San Diego Ethnic Chambers of Commerce – a team comprised of the Asian Business Association of San Diego, the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – to provide informational materials in multiple languages, target hard-to-reach communities and disadvantaged businesses, and coordinate the distribution of information with community partners.


“The Strategic Alliance of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce is proud to support Mayor Faulconer’s expansion of outdoor dining,” said Donna DeBerry, who represents the Strategic Alliance of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce. “Working together to support communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 will help restaurants in these communities recover and continue to contribute to this vibrant economic and cultural landscape in San Diego.”


Upon implementation the Mayor’s ordinance will:

  • Allow outdoor business operations for dining and retail in parking lots, on-street parking spaces, and sidewalks as well as neighboring business frontage with written permission of neighboring business owner
    • Waive parking requirements so businesses can make use of private parking lots to place dining furniture and displays, among other retail operations
    • Streamline and cut red tape for sidewalk cafés
    • Allow “Pedestrian Plazas” to take over on-street parking for expanded outdoor dining and retail
    • Allow business improvement districts to issue Sidewalk Café permits for an expanded area of the sidewalk
  • Waive special event permit fees to allow nonprofit applicants to close streets and conduct business outdoors faster and cheaper
    • Waive special event application processing fees, late fees, and fire inspection fees for street closures
    • Retroactive fee waivers for applicants that were previously approved for an outdoor dining special event permit after May 1, 2020
  • Broaden allowances and reduce required permit for temporary signs so that small businesses can place banners, A-frame signage in the right of way, public health reminders, and other informational signs outdoors on sidewalks while maintaining ADA access
  • Allow for expanded wholesale distribution of food, beverages, and groceries directly to consumers while allowing for social distancing
  • Preserve mobility, safety and emergency access for pedestrians, and preserve requirements that ADA access and path of travel be maintained at all times
  • Require full compliance with all State and County Health Orders and guidance

More information on outdoor dining and retail requirements and how to apply for a permit can be found on the Development Services Department website.