The City of San Diego’s Small Business Advisory Board (SBAB)¬†advises the Mayor and City Council on matters that enhance the capability of small businesses in San Diego to succeed. There are 11 board members, consisting of small business owners and business advocates, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The SBAB typically meets on the third Friday of every month at the Downtown Central Library, however, the board recently took their meetings on the road for a three-part series aimed at sitting down with experts from San Diego’s thriving industries in different communities throughout San Diego.

On June 13th, the San Diego CITD and Southwestern College hosted an SBAB meeting which focused on discussing strategies for expanding businesses into international markets. Southwestern College Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Renee Kilmer, provided opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the college’s Higher Education Center in Otay Mesa prior to the start of the meeting. The meeting featured a panel discussion with business owners engaged in international trade, as well as representatives from organizations that provide trade assistance. The guest speakers on the panel included Carrie Brooks, Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, Sylvia Casas-Jolliffe, President of CASAS International Brokerage, Victor Castillo, Director of the San Diego CITD, Drew Garrison, Manager at the World Trade Center San Diego, and Jeff Silver, President of Rough Draft Brewing Company. Each panel member had a few minutes to introduce themselves and their company or organization and then had an opportunity to answer questions from the Board about the importance of trade in the region and how to expand opportunities for small businesses to grow internationally.

The City of San Diego’s SBAB meetings are open to the public. Visit the SBAB website for additional information on the board and upcoming meetings.