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Run A Biz Near El Cajon Boulevard? The City Is Stopping By To Hear Your Concerns

Credit: City of San Diego

Above: A postcard the city of San Diego mailed to businesses within the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District in San Diego's midcity neighborhoods.

The city of San Diego is going face to face with business owners to learn about their concerns.

The city of San Diego is going face to face with business owners to learn about their concerns.

Armed with clipboards, surveys and information on public resources, participants will walk storefront to storefront along El Cajon Boulevard on Wednesday to engage with the area's business owners. Organizers said this week's business walk, which the city arranges quarterly, will bring about 600 businesses face to face with a city staff member or volunteer.

Elizabeth Studebaker, neighborhood investment manager with the city's Economic Development Department, said the in-person contact connects business owners with supportive city programs that they otherwise might not have known about, such as information on loans or storefront improvement.

The visits are also an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to share feedback, Studebaker said.

“We ask them what they really like about the area of town that they’re located in, what they think could be made better, what they think the city could do to better serve the small business community," she said.

The department then compiles the responses and shares the information with the most appropriate office or agency.

"Sometimes it's the council office, sometimes it's Transportation and Storm Water, sometimes it's Streets Division, sometimes it's us and sometimes it's the (business improvement district), and then, we share that report, and we actually get tangible stuff done for those business owners quickly," Studebaker said.

Studebaker said the teams also work to identify needed repairs, such as a broken streetlight or a pothole. The most common request is for bike installation, she added.

For the Wednesday walk, the City Heights Community Development Corporation, the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Acción San Diego and the local council offices are helping to recruit volunteers.

This is the department’s sixth business walk. Past events took place in Mission Hills, Southeastern San Diego, the College Area, Hillcrest and Pacific Beach. Upcoming events are planned for the East Village and the Marina District.

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