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October 2, 2020

Business For Good members sitting around meeting table

Business For Good San Diego is a nonprofit on a mission to unite local business owners to drive policy that improves our community. Business For Good was founded to engage local business owners directly on the policy issues they care about. They champion a vision where local businesses have rightful power and influence to strengthen our communities and make life better for all of us.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership spoke with Business For Good to learn more about how they are bettering our community through business voices.

Tell us about Business For Good San Diego? Why do you exist?

Business For Good San Diego was founded in 2017 by independent business owners in San Diego County who believe that investing in our employees and community is more important than maximizing profit margins. 97% of employers in San Diego County have less than 500 employees, and our voice was not represented in policies that affect our businesses.

We know that empowering owners of small and medium-sized businesses to have a seat at the table with legislators can make positive changes to how our region operates. Our policy focuses are Environmental Health, Immigration, Housing and Homelessness, and Business Resources. All of these issue areas are viewed through a lens of equity, and we have seen some positive movement since our work started, but there is still so much to do.

Can you talk about some of the challenges small businesses face and how Business For Good supports its members?

Business For Good 2

Small businesses face tremendous challenges and that is only amplified during the current pandemic. Just some of the challenges they’re facing are:

  • Tension between cost of living and business sustainability
  • Many of us are forced into adversarial relationships with landlords
  • Without federal support or leadership, businesses are forced to choose between the safety of our team members and the viability of our businesses
  • Knowing that half of our state is on fire, and there is still no acceptable Climate Action Plan at the county level is embarrassing, and terrifying, for business owners investing in the region
  • Business For Good supports our members through calls with policy makers and candidates for office. We hope to allow access to decision makers that our members may not typically have.
  • We also offer peer-to-peer support in terms of ideas but also resource sharing
  • Our communications team is hard at work conceiving of new ways to highlight and uplift our member businesses during this period when it is very difficult to manage marketing, or to access customers in a respectful way

How else is Business For Good impacting the community? 

Juan Pablo

In the past, we’ve had some big policy wins. For example, we had the adoption of a community choice energy program and a joint powers authority with other cities in our region, bringing local control to decisions around energy procurement and sustainable, renewable commitments. We also printed and distributed a guide for business owners and their employees on options for respectfully interacting with unsheltered neighbors. Another win was that we achieved a ban on styrofoam in the City of San Diego.

Looking forward, we’re working closely with the Yes on A campaign (check out the interviews and insights on why we’re so excited about this!), The San Diego Green New Deal Alliance and Invest in San Diego Families coalition work to uplift all workers in San Diego County by improving working conditions, increasing equity and demanding transparency and access for all from our government officials.

How can San Diegans get involved?

If you run a local business, join us! If you don’t, you can donate to sponsor memberships for others.

What else do you want the community to know about Business For Good?

We’re all in this together. Small business is the heartbeat of the local economy and our heart is full. We need to make sure that we support policies and elected officials that help make good business practices in San Diego as easy as possible. And reject those that encourage predatory, low road behavior. Buy local! Be nice! Wear a mask!

We need to make sure that we support policies and elected officials that help make good business practices in San Diego as easy as possible. Click To Tweet

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