Small businesses can use all the help they can get. It’s not easy to strike out on your own and build something from the ground up right from scratch. But, with a lot of hard work and some good old fashioned networking, you can easily build a business that you’re proud of.
Knowing that San Diego entrepreneurs need all the help they can get, we’ve compiled a list of resources in the San Diego area to help you establish and grow your business.
San Diego Small Business Resources
- San Diego Small Business Meetup Group – For those who are not familiar with the Meetup website, it’s a site that encourages people to form Meetup groups based on similar interests and then get out there and actually meet other people. It’s all about using the internet as a tool to make connections with other people, but then solidifying those connections away from the computer. The San Diego Small Business Meetup Group holds semi-regular networking events, workshops, speaker events and personal development opportunities for entrepreneurs in San Diego.
- City of San Diego Office of Small Business – 1200 Third Avenue, 14th Floor; San Diego, CA 92101; Phone: (619) 236-6700 – The staff of the City of San Diego Office of Small Business will provide you with referrals to agencies and resources to help you explore business ideas, research opportunities, write your business plan and kick-start your business. They can also help you learn about the key regulatory steps of starting and operating a business within the City of San Diego
- City Treasurer’s Office – 1200 Third Avenue, First Floor (Lobby); San Diego, CA 92101; (619) 236-6613 – The City Treasurer’s Office can help you with everything you need to know about small businesses and taxes in San Diego.
- City Development Services Department – 1222 First Avenue, Third Floor; San Diego, CA 92101; Zoning & Permits: (619) 446-5000 – When you need information about commercial zoning (or any other type of zoning) in San Diego, this is the department to call. Likewise, they can answer your questions about permits.
- San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce – 402 W. Broadway, Suite 1000; San Diego, CA 92101; Phone: (619) 544-1300 – The Chamber is a political advocate for business, and an excellent source of connections and collaboration amongst businesses in the San Diego-Baja region.
- San Diego Association of Governments – 401 “B” Street, Suite 800; San Diego, CA 92101; Phone: (619) 699-1900 – SANDAG is an organization that represents all of the local city governments and the County of San Diego. The organization serves as a forum for discussing regional decision-making.
- The Center for International Trade Development (CITD) – Southwestern College Higher Education Center; 880 National City Blvd. Suite 103; National City, CA 91950; Phone: (619) 482-6391 – The CITD helps small and medium-sized businesses with international trade by connecting them with an International Trade Specialist who can answer their questions for free.
- The San Diego and Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center – Three different locations in North San Diego, South San Diego and Imperial Valley – The San Diego & Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center network provides technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the San Diego and Imperial Valley counties through advising, low-cost training and other specialized services.
Fermanian Business & Economic Institute – A unit of the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University, the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute provides expert consulting services including studies, business plans, research, commentary, speeches and related services for individuals, firms, organizations, and government entities.
If you are thinking about starting a business in San Diego, you should bookmark this list. These organizations can help you get pointed in the right direction and get off to a solid start.
[Photo courtesy of FutUndBeidl on Flickr]