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Better Business Bureau continues to expand by helping nonprofits and the communities they serve

Before doing business, consumers turn to Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) for reliable reviews and honest companies. The BBB Trust Seal signifies a businesses commitment to ethical operations and dedication to bettering their community by embodying integrity. In recent years, BBB expanded building its community by not only supporting businesses and consumers in the marketplace but also the nonprofit organizations providing crucial work often done behind the scenes. 

During the pandemic, BBB awarded unprecedented grants to small businesses to ensure their survival through uncertain times. But it wasn’t only for-profit businesses that were affected; nonprofits were suffering as well. To give nonprofits a leg up in their recovery, BBB knew they needed to go above and beyond for the community. Through Empower by GoDaddy, in partnership with ignite sparked by BBB, subgrants were awarded to 13 nonprofits in Southern California, including Startup San Diego and the Somali Bantu Association of America (SBAOA). This financial support provided the help these organizations needed to continue their respective missions while delivering resources to partner businesses and the communities they serve.  

“While many might not know the array of services and resources we provide to the business community, these subgrants are indicative of the commitment we have to improve our entire small business ecosystem, especially during challenging times,” said Rosie Carrillo, Community Impact and Project Manager at BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest. “Nonprofits provide vital resources and services to some of our most vulnerable populations and this round of award money was put to immediate use to create an impact.” 

Startup San Diego – a nonprofit organization that supports individuals building startups in the San Diego community through various in-person events – saw its business disappear during the pandemic. 

According to Startup San Diego Executive Director, Alexa-Rae Navarro, since most of Startup San Diego’s internal revenue is through events, sponsorships and ticket sales, the organization had to immediately pivot to online and hybrid options.  

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Through the subgrant they received from BBB, Startup San Diego expanded its Convergence Conference marketing efforts to reach underrepresented community college attendees. Navarro said they focused on community college students because they were not part of the organization and needed more resources than the local four-year universities. 

“There’s a lot of funds being pushed into the ecosystem which means there are a lot of high-growth jobs that are coming to the San Diego market,” Navarro said. “Convergence is partially our way of connecting the aspiring talent that is coming out of our universities and colleges to potential opportunities here locally.”  

Navarro additionally shares that the startup and tech ecosystem in San Diego has been growing since the beginning of 2022.  

Another subgrant recipient, the Somali Bantu Association of America (SBAOA), focused its funds on empowering the Somalian youth by setting up a food pantry for those that could not afford food to eat.  

In hopes that the youth in his local community will be able to provide for themselves in the future, Said Abiyo, president, CEO and founder of SBAOA, developed multiple programs for young Somalians to better acclimate to American society. 

SBAOA also used some of the grant money from BBB to hire an interpreter and support its Learning Upgrade program which helps Somalian youth learn basic English vocabulary. Abiyow is grateful to BBB for helping him establish a road to create a better future for the youth in his community. 

“It shows that Better Business Bureau cares about people and those in need,” Abiyow said. “Even one penny, one dollar helps us build toward a better future.” 

For more information on Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest, visit BBB.org online or in-person at the ignite sparked by BBB coworking space at 4747 Viewridge Ave, #200, San Diego. 

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