San Diego’s Three Largest Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Seek Equity in City’s COVID19 Budget for Economically Vulnerable Businesses

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Donna DeBerry | President, Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce

San Diego County’s three largest ethnic Chambers of Commerce (the Asian Business Association San Diego, the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce), known as the Strategic Alliance of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce (SAECC), presented a memo today to the San Diego City Council and the Mayor that lays out a plan to support historically underfunded and underrepresented businesses, most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a strong display of unity, the SAECC, which represents over 90 thousand businesses countywide, presented a proposal that identifies glaring disparities in the disbursement of federal, state and local funds and other resources targeted for the COVID-19 response. It also provides a blueprint that lays out a strategy to support economically vulnerable businesses to reopen.

The plan includes direct funding, technical support, individual counseling, and training geared toward the thousands of businesses that have not accessed COVID-19 resources. “We have had hundreds of business owners contact us for support. Many have told us that accessing the resources they need has been a significant challenge” – Jason Paguio, President & CEO, Asian Business Association San Diego.

“This is an important step in ensuring thousands of businesses do not get left behind. I am genuinely concerned that minority owned business owners are not receiving the support they need that is culturally competent, addresses language barriers and provides support quickly.” – Iris Garcia, Chairwoman, San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

An important part of the plan is the establishment of a Resurgent Fund that the three chambers can use to support their efforts. The plan identifies Community Care Act, Community Block Grant and Community Reinvestment Act dollars that could support the Strategic Alliance of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce efforts.

“All three Chambers participated in the Mayor’s Reopening Advisory Group. We believe that the City Council and Mayor will support this proposal based on the positive reception thus far, and that San Diego’s most vulnerable and underfunded business owners and entrepreneurs will receive an equitable share of resources.” – Donna DeBerry, President & CEO, Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

 

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Asian Business Association San Diego (ABASD) believes in building sustainable communities through inclusive economic development and a qualified diverse workforce. ABASD accomplishes its mission through educational workshops, technical assistance, business mentorship, advocacy and access to capital to Asian Pacific Islander owned small businesses throughout San Diego County. For more information: www.abasd.org

The San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SDCHCC) is San Diego’s largest business association representing the San Diego-Tijuana Hispanic Business community. The SDCHCC was founded as a not-for-profit legal entity in 1989 by a group of men and women business owners who felt a need for an organization to assist and promote the interests of the Hispanic entrepreneur in San Diego County. For more information: www.sdchcc.org

The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce’s (CSDBCC) mission is to create generational wealth through business enterprise, education, employment, and investing. Their goal is to support the business, career, and financial success of Chamber members which results in the economic empowerment of our Communities. The CSDBCC utilizes innovative programs, networking opportunities, and business partnerships to advance and strengthen Inclusive Economic Development throughout the City and County of San Diego. For more information: www.sdblackchamber.org

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