News & Updates

Apply Now for Small Business Awards

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce annually honors our region’s small businesses and nonprofits for their significant contributions as drivers of economic growth through our Small Business Awards.

There are five categories for organizations with fewer than 50 employees, including nonprofits can apply for:

  • Making a Difference
  • Innovation Leader
  • Thank You for Your Service
  • Customers First
  • Marketing Magic

Submissions must be received by Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. PDT to be eligible. Finalists will be notified in early April and will be asked to give a two-minute presentation at the Small Business Roundtable on Wednesday, April 17 between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. Winners will be announced live at the Small Business Awards on May 23, 2019.

Apply Now. 

Ribbon Cutting – Torrey Holistics

Congrats to Torrey Holistics who celebrated 3 years of conscientious cannabis customer service and support!

Please visit their website @ for events, orders and more information or contact Megan @ 619-486-4544 to speak with our Cannabis Coordinator.


Facilitated by San Diego’s top civic, community and business leaders, as well as key regional decision-makers, Influence is a peer-to-peer program specially developed to further educate C-level and senior executives on key regional issues. Often described as a “crash course on San Diego,” Influence is highly valued by corporate executives and mid-to-large companies interested in establishing a stronger connection to the regional community.

Here’s what a few Influence graduates have to say about the program:

“Influence provided me with a broader understanding of the issues affecting our region, as well as a better appreciation of our civic leaders.” – John Frager, Executive Managing Director, CBRE

“This program was invaluable. Everything I learned over the three days has had some kind of impact on how I run the Library, and on my role in the City.” – Misty Jones, Director, San Diego Public Library

“Influence gave me a better understanding of our community and motivated me to be more involved. It also provided great networking with other engaged professionals.” – Virginia Tinley, Chief Executive Director, Challenged Athletes Foundation

“Even though I’ve been in San Diego a long time, Influence gave me a new and valuable perspective on our region.” – Bill Geppert, Former Senior Vice President & General Manager, Cox Communications

Influence is presented just once a year; in 2019, Influence takes place Thursday, April 25th through Saturday, April 27th. Applications are now being accepted!


Tijuana River Valley Update

We applaud Senator Feinstein (CA) for her recent work to secure language requiring the IBWC and Department of State to report to Congress on their work to “mitigate transboundary pollution including a description of efforts taken by federal agencies to implement measures addressing increased flows since 2017, feasibility studies for sediment basins in the Tijuana River and tributary washes and the installation of additional trash booms”.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. International Boundary and Water Commissioner Jayne Harkins, the Senator reiterated these concerns and called for action. Earlier this year, Sen. Feinstein and our San Diego Congressional delegation secured $15 million in funds for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program for water infrastructure improvements along the U.S.-Mexico border preventing sewage flows into the United States.

This issue is at the forefront of our policy work and will be one of the main discussion topics during our upcoming delegation trip to Mexico City.

San Diego Chamber Shares Our Binational Mega Region’s Success Story at Conference in D.C.

Chamber VP, Paola Avila joined Davin Lopez President, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance of New Mexico & Luis Ramirez President, Ramirez Advisors Inter-National of Arizona on a panel regarding border development at the XVIII Congressional Border Issues and NAFTA/USMCA Conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. Paola shared insight about our region’s interdependence with Baja California and the deep collaborative ties which have enabled us to achieve great success such as the Cross Border Xpress and the expansion and renovations at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The border region represents opportunity for San Diego and leaders across the globe are pointing to this example as a model.

Mexican Customs Forms Binational Working Group to Advance Border Infrastructure Projects

In February, SAT, the Mexican Customs agency, established a new binational working group to advance infrastructure projects. The working group meets every two to three weeks and has prioritized 10 projects to focus their efforts. These projects include Otay Mesa East POE (Otay 2), and the proposed rail port of entry at Tecate featuring joint inspection facilities.

The working group includes representatives from SANDAG, Caltrans, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mexican Customs authorities, General Services Administration and its counterpart in Mexico, INDAABIN, as well as the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, and the local U.S., Mexican Consul Generals, as well as representatives from the private sector including the Chamber which has actively participated to advocate for efficient border infrastructure.

At the most recent meeting, Mexico’s top customs administrator flew in from Mexico City to attend the meeting after a morning ceremony celebrating the opening of Mexican customs operations at Matrix, the air cargo park in Tijuana. The project, which the Chamber has formally supported, was one of the working group’s priority projects.

The Tijuana International Air Cargo and Logistics Park (Matrix) is a tremendous asset for our region facilitating cross-border commerce between Mexico, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Adjacent to the Tijuana Airport, Matrix serves companies such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, Aeromexico and Volaris Cargo, and includes on-site Mexican customs authorities, a bonded warehouse, office space for freight forwarders, customs agents, banking services, food concessions and the Mexican Postal Service. The air cargo park was built by a subsidiary of Grupo Bustamante, a real estate development business organization owned by Carlos Bustamante, former Mayor of Tijuana. Future plans include U.S. Customs pre-inspection operations that allow cargo carriers to expedite shipments between the U.S. and Mexico.


Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Appointed as Representative for International Affairs and Trade Development

We applaud Governor Newsom in his recent announcement as he signed an executive order establishing the International Affairs and Trade Development Interagency Committee and assigning Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis as the Governor’s representative for International Affairs and Trade Development where she will advise the Governor on international opportunities. Lt. Governor Kounalakis will serve as the chair of the committee with Lenny Mendoca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor serving as vice-chair. The committee will focus on increasing the state of California’s global presence and reopening international trade offices.

The Chamber has long advocated for the reestablishment of a trade and investment office in  Mexico City to strengthen the California and Mexico’s economic partnership.

With over 565,000 California jobs supported by trade with Mexico, our state is the only border state without a trade office in Mexico. Among other things, a trade office would promote state businesses, aid with business delegations and trade shows, local government advocacy, and provide information and support on incentive packages, site selection, local workforce, and facilitating regulatory systems and permits.

San Diego Community Forum on the State Budget

Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senator Ben Hueso, and Assemblymember Shirley Weber are hosting a community forum to break down the state budget and go over how it impacts the San Diego region. The event is on March 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Educational Cultural Complex. RSVP here.

Energy & Water Hears from City of San Diego Environment Committee Chair

This month the Energy & Water Committee hosted the Chair of the City’s Environment Committee, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell. Councilmember Campbell shared her priorities for the Environment Committee which include rivers and waterways; the Climate Action Plan; water, storm drains, and street sweeping; oceans and sea level rise; energy and technology; and more. The Councilmember shared that she would like to prioritize stormwater and address the challenges the City faces as well as reimagining the funding associated with such infrastructure improvements.

Education & Workforce Roundtable Explores Childcare

On February 20th, the Education & Workforce Roundtable hosted a panel on making the business case for affordable and accessible child care. Moderated by Omar Passons from the County of San Diego, panelists included representatives from Child Care Law Center and First 5 Los Angeles. Panelists highlighted the challenges of opening and expanding child care facilities due to zoning or liability costs, and members of the committee shared their own challenges as employers on the topic. The Roundtable will be focusing on all aspects of childcare throughout the year.