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EDC endorses plan to boost small business jobs by ’30

Above: Only about a quarter of small businesses are able to offer economic security in the form of wages that keep up with the county’s cost of living, according to a recent San Diego Regional EDC study. Courtesy photo

REGION — The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday, June 5, announced its endorsement of a goal to create 50,000 small business jobs throughout the county by 2030.

The goal is a result of a recent study from the EDC, which found that small businesses — those with fewer than 100 employees — face challenges like attracting new customers and sales. The study also found that only about a quarter of small businesses are able to offer economic security in the form of wages that keep up with the county’s cost of living.

The EDC plans to focus on so-called opportunity industries like construction and transportation to increase small business jobs because those industries are often accessible to people without a bachelor’s degree.

Opportunity industries also offer more economically secure jobs than innovation industries like cybersecurity.

“If you care about the future of San Diego — economic competitiveness and mobility — then you need to pay attention to small businesses,” said EDC Board Chair Janice Brown. “From large employers to
elected officials, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that small businesses have the tools to succeed.”

The organization’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee recommended local businesses with more than 100 employees focus on improving transparency and engagement with small businesses to help them succeed. Large businesses are also advised to invest in small businesses through programs such as growth initiatives.

Multiple businesses and companies like the San Diego Padres, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Kaiser Permanente have agreed to work toward the EDC’s goals and the committee’s recommendations, according to the organization.

“As one of the region’s foremost economic drivers, we are proud of our commitment to ensuring that small, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and other underrepresented businesses in San Diego have every opportunity to do business with the airport,” said Airport Authority President and CEO Kim Becker.

Local businesses and companies can contact the EDC at [email protected] to join the effort to increase job growth.

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