COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout – Town Hall

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout – Town Hall

A message from Supervisor Jim Desmond:

Hello and Happy New Year!
My name is Jim Desmond and I’m your representative on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. I’m reaching out ahead of the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout to invite you to a town-hall this Thursday, January 7th at 10:00 a.m.
The health impacts of COVID-19 have been tragic for so many vulnerable people, their families, and loved ones. While our numbers continue to rise in San Diego County, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine has arrived in San Diego County and our front-line healthcare workers are starting to receive it.
I’ve received many questions over the past few weeks regarding the vaccine, which is why I will be hosting a virtual town-hall this Thursday at 10 am with our county health officials as we discuss an overview of the Vaccine Rollout plan for San Diego County and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Space is limited, so make sure to sign up at and secure your spot!
In the meantime, if there’s anything I can do to help, or if you have questions, please contact my office. My email is and my office number is 619-531-5555. I have a wonderful staff that will be able to assist with any of your needs.


San Diego Based Black Founders in the Life Science Industry

Covid 19 - Relief for Black Business Owners


The San Diego region is one of the top locations in the world for the life science industry. The industry serves as a major economic driver in San Diego, totaling $33.6 billion in economic impact. This field of work is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs, employing more than 360,000 individuals in 2016. The San Diego area is home to over 1,225 life sciences companies and more than 80 independent and university-affiliated research facilities in the San Diego area. With endless opportunities and growth, Black employees make up 4% of the industry. Black Executives and Board members make up only 1% of the industry.

A current initiative of the Chamber is fostering more equity and inclusion as well as opportunities for Black professionals and entrepreneurs to succeed in this space. On December 8th, the Chamber sponsored a seed pitch competition hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers. The winning company NewGait took home $2500 in cash, prizes, and complimentary services. The NewGait a medical rehabilitation device, and is responsible for treating individuals with gait abnormalities. It is intended for physical therapy uses, and has transformed the lives of many patients. The product was conceptualized by San Diego resident, Benga Adeeko, in 2014, with original intentions of the product being used for athlete training purposes. After being developed for years, the NewGait came to light in 2016 after physical therapist Kim Spranger saw what benefits this device could bring to her patients. The NewGait technology pivots this field of medicine to being both effective and affordable, costing thousands of dollars less than leading treatments for these conditions.

After winning the competition, Benga Adeeko shared in an interview, “… we need more Black founders to start companies in the life science and biotech industry. There is a big opportunity to not only build wealth but also make an impact in the healthcare industry.

Other Black owned Life Science companies that are making great strides in San Diego include, Roswell Biotechnologies, the pioneer in the development of a molecular electronics platform for DNA sequencing. Led by founder, Paul Mola, recently announced that it is a member of a team led by Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) that has been awarded a US government contract worth up to $25 million to develop a sequencing technology capable of reading data stored in DNA.

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.

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.

Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarship Opportunity

Are you looking for financial support as you start your college experience?

The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce will award scholarships of $ 2,000 each to graduating high school seniors. Scholarships are paid upon verification of college enrollment.

The application must be received by the CSDBCC no later than Friday, September 14, 2018. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. LaWana Richmond – Scholarship Committee Chair, (619) 796- 3479,

Apply today at the following link: