Economic Development


Goal: To promote the growth of resilient and diverse business corridors in City Heights


City Heights CDC promotes sustainable economic development in City Heights by providing opportunities for local business owners and entrepreneurs to participate in infrastructure enhancement projects, trainings and one-on-on support, promotional events, and advocacy for equitable investment and development in business corridors.

A strong, well-rounded, small business sector can be an important economic engine for the neighborhood by keeping money circulating within the community and by creating job opportunities for local residents. CHCDC believes that a thriving local business sector is one that is both by and for the community residents that it serves.

City Heights is home to a wide variety of locally-owned businesses, micro-enterprises, and street vendors that truly reflect the diversity of the neighborhood. Many of these businesses are owned by immigrant families that are often struggling to navigate city processes and access the capital they need to develop a viable, self-sustaining business. CHCDC provides access to resources by encouraging relationship-building amongst business owners and relevant stakeholders, and by partnering with other community-based organizations to develop innovative approaches to economic development.

CHCDC also has a particular focus on the safety and accessibility of business corridors, particularly for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders. Our Walk and Shop plan identifies six unique business districts within City Heights and demonstrates how the implementation of pedestrian-centered infrastructure, public art, and urban greening strategies can lead to significant economic and health benefits for the community.

The CHCDC Economic Development Program is working to implement these strategies by organizing community-driven placemaking projects, engaging in advocacy for equitable city planning and budgeting, and seeking additional funding opportunities.



  • Provide technical assistance and resources to business owners and micro-entrepreneurs in City Heights through workshops and one-on-one support
  • Coordinate the implementation of infrastructure improvements and participatory place making projects to encourage greater walkability and promote the business corridors
  • Engage property owners, business owners, community residents, city staff, and non-profit partners in collaborative community economic development projects
  • Facilitate Neighborhood Ethnic Business Cluster meetings and coordinate activities such as promotional events, networking and training for business owners, and creating opportunities for new business incubation


  • Working with Super Cocina to design and install the first parklet in City Heights
  • CHCDC is partnering with Circulate San Diego and the El Cajon Boulevard BIA to host ACT: The Blvd, a creative placemaking event that will bring new art and vibrancy to the transit corridor on El Cajon Boulevard and Fairmount Ave.
  • Pilot Storefront Improvement Program: CHCDC provided technical assistance and matching grants of up to $1500 to support El Cajon Boulevard businesses in renovating their storefronts and signage
  • Walk and Shop plan: CHCDC developed a report which examined market potential and activity in City Heights. The report provided recommended improvements and potential funding sources that can be used to improve walkability and pedestrian infrastructure
  • Micro-Business Academy: Partnerships with Helping Women Help Themselves and La Maestra to bring technical assistance to prospective women business owners
  • Neighborhood Ethnic Business Cluster: Partnership with LISC, IRC, Horn of Africa, El Cajon Blvd BIA, and City Heights Business Association to attract new businesses and clientele through promotional activities, such as African Restaurant Week, that raise the profile of ethnic businesses in City Heights

Citi2City Neightborhood Investment Celebration

We Love City Heights And We Are Here To Stay:


First Parklet in City Heights: