San Diego Business Journal

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. announced plans to create 50,000 new, quality jobs by 2030. The goal is part of a broader effort to help small businesses in San Diego compete, one of the three focuses of the EDC’s Inclusive Growth initiative that it launched last year.

The effort is meant to help combat issues with affordability, educational attainment and wage gaps in the region. In a recent study, the EDC found only 26 percent of jobs at small businesses are quality jobs, meaning they pay enough for economic security. The EDC defines this as the rough equivalent of an annual salary of $40,529 per year, or $19.49 per hour.

In addition, the EDC found small businesses pay 14 percent lower wages on average.

“If you care about the future of San Diego—economic competitiveness and mobility—then you need to pay attention to small businesses,” San Diego Regional EDC Board Chair Janice Brown said in a news release. “From large employers to elected officials, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that small businesses have the tools to succeed.”

The EDC and its Inclusive Growth Steering Committee plan to build better-paying jobs for small businesses by offering partnerships to small businesses in high-growth, high-wage industries, particularly companies led by underrepresented groups. The group also plans to invest directly in small business support programs, and work to better understand local suppliers.

In April, San Diego won a $3 million grant from JPMorgan Chase’s AdvancingCities program to support the effort.