San Diego Business Journal

Popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter has apparently emerged as the go-to source to raise capital for small San Diego businesses. The latest is watchmaker Original Grain, which used the $390,000 raised from 2,200 people in 30 days to launch a new line of wood and stainless steel watches using a Japanese quartz movement. Last week, we mentioned that Curtis Micklish of East County had raised more than $25,000 to produce a wall-mounted personal organizer. Meanwhile, Original Grain’s watches for men and women are priced at $200, according to an announcement. Details are at originalgrain.com. … Along with Oakland-based health care provider Kaiser Permanente, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce launches its second annual 30-day Get Fit Challenge, an effort aimed at helping employees boost their fitness for better overall health and improved job performance. Chamber CEO and former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders leads the month-long weight loss contest. Sanders can serve as the poster boy for the challenge; he lost 100 pounds in the final years of his time in office by exercising more and changing his eating habits. Teams of two to 10 can sign up at sdgetfit.org before the program begins Oct. 1. … And speaking of chamber activity, the East County Chamber of Commerce runs a bus tour Sept. 25 to scout business opportunities in that quadrant of San Diego. There might be a few last-minute seats available for those interested in taking the tour. If you want to jump on board, call Gladys Selfridge at gladys.selfridge@eastcountyedc.org or call 619-258-3670. … While the city of San Diego weighs in on a ban on plastic shopping bags used at food and other retail stores, SeaWorld San Diego has eliminated all of the polystyrene foam tableware and plastic flatware once handed out at its restaurants and employee cafeterias. SeaWorld said it is now using products made from compostable material to replace 8 million pieces of tableware and cutlery. … Finally, the San Diego Association of Governments, or Sandag, the region’s public planning and transportation agency, begins work to reconstruct the 12 Blue Line trolley stations from Barrio Logan to San Ysidro. Overall, Sandag is spending $660 million to upgrade the system, which will include replacing track within stations and at adjacent grade crossings. The work, scheduled for completion in 2015, will allow the use of the low-floor cars already in use on the Orange and Green lines. The 32-year-old Blue Line, San Diego’s oldest, carries 45,000 passengers a day, Sandag said. Till next week.

Contributing Editor Tom York pens the SDBJ Insider. You can reach him via email at tyork@sdbj.com.