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Business For Good San Diego

2020 Wasn’t Entirely a Sh*t Show

There’s no question 2020 was ghastly. Our patience and humanity were tested in ways we never thought possible. For too many of us, it was a year of grief and isolation; overwhelm and sorrow.

But it was also a time of awakening and growth. Humans affirmed that we have one common thread: resilience. We don’t give up. We continue to search for the light in the darkness, no matter how fraught the effort may seem.

At Business For Good, we’d like to end this year in the light. By celebrating our wins and the wins of our members, it reminds us that 2020 wasn’t entirely a shit show. Hope is alive, and there’s plenty of it to go around. 

Business For Good’s 2020 Policy Wins

  • Measure E passedMeasure E was one of only two ballot measures BFG endorsed in 2020. We’re thrilled that San Diego voters supported the long overdue revitalization of the Midway District.
  • Measure A received a majority vote—Nearly 58% of voters supported Measure A, the other ballot measure BFG endorsed. Although it failed to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to be enacted into law, the fact that Measure A had overwhelming support is important. It shows that the narrative in San Diego around solving homelessness is moving in the right direction. 
  • San Diego is largely supporting progressive policies—From our new Mayor-elect to the Board of Supervisors to the City Council, San Diego’s elected bodies dramatically moved in a progressive direction in 2020. 
  • SDG&E Franchise Agreement postponed—After 50 years, San Diego’s Franchise Agreement with SDG&E as our sole energy provider has ended. Instead of automatically re-signing with SDG&E, the City Council voted to extend the agreement by one year. This gives San Diego officials time to carefully review our Climate Action Plan goals and develop a franchise agreement that is truly aligned with them. 
  • San Diego created the Office of Immigrant Affairs—And hired a full-time staff person, who maintained their employment during the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • BFG is integral to San Diego’s reopening strategy—Our Board Chair Mikey Knab is on the Advisory Council for Mayor-elect Todd Gloria’s COVID-19 safe reopening plans for San Diego businesses, communities, and schools. “The desire of San Diego coalitions and elected officials to get input from Business For Good has greatly increased this year,” Mikey said. “They want our members to talk with them, endorse them, and help contribute to advocacy efforts. Business For Good has really filled the void in San Diego County for a progressive business voice.” 

Business For Good’s 2020 Organizational Wins 

  • Increased membership, even during a pandemic—We are grateful and proud to have increased our membership base in 2020. “Although it’s only $250 per year to join BFG, the fact that small business owners still found budget for that in an extremely tough year speaks to how much they value the organization,” Mikey said. 
  • Expanded community outreach—BFG formed its internal Member Communications team this year, which has drastically increased our social media presence, brand awareness, content creation, and website traffic.  
  • Launched our new website + brand identity—Speaking of web traffic, we launched our amazing new website in 2020. We are indebted to the talented team at Visceral, who (pro bono!) crafted an updated brand identity, logo, and exceptionally polished website that clearly reflects our values and style. 
  • More regional diversity—Our membership in North, East, and South San Diego County increased, too.
  • Developed new leadership—Through new board appointees, we’ve gained fresh, new perspectives into both local policy as well as organizational strategy. This helped us navigate and hone our focus in a very turbulent year. 
  • Our Environmental Health Committee is a powerhouse—We continue to be awed by the incredible work of our four BFG Committees. But the award for kicking major ass in 2020 goes to our Environmental Health Committee. Committee members Cindy Lin and Mike Torti have led the charge in tackling major climate change efforts in the San Diego region. 

Celebrating our Business For Good members’ wins in 2020

Everyone who still has a business right now had wins in 2020, no matter how small. We asked BFG business owners to tell us what they’re most grateful for this year and what got them through the toughest days. 

Sam Mazzeo // Founder + Owner, Better APC

Your business’s biggest win: Launching the business in March 2020 and making payroll every pay period since; creating multiple anti-racism giveaways and donation campaigns; becoming a member of 1% For The Planet; and offering full health + dental and a 401k matching plan for my team. (Editor’s note: Gee, Sam, why don’t you actually try to get some stuff done in 2021?!) 

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: BFG supported my business with referrals from members. But also emotionally and psychologically through offline conversations and virtual gatherings with other business owners and activists going through the same things.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: Todd Gloria, because of how well he represents San Diego. And, Sean Elo because I know him and know he’s a great human being.

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: Trader Joe’s Mac n Cheese with soyrizo in it.

Rachel Cross // Founder + Owner, Rachel K Group

Your business’s biggest win: 2020 will be my best revenue year yet, which I feel very grateful for and proud of.

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: I loved being part of a community of other small business owners who were values-aligned. And I feel like I have a group of new friends who I look forward to connecting with deeper over the next year.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: My congressional pick didn’t win, but I am excited to have San Diego’s first Latinx LGBTQ mayor, Todd Gloria.

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: We watched a lot of TV after dinner, binging everything from Ted Lasso (LOVE!) to Cobra Kai (80’s nostalgia all the way).

Jen Derks // Founder + Owner, Four Fin Creative and Lindsay LaShell // Founder + Owner, Diamond + Branch  

Your business’s biggest win: While this wasn’t our biggest win, it’s a fun one! Four Fin and Diamond + Branch were thrilled to partner in doing a re-brand, marketing strategy, and website rebuild to help grow an amazing local non-profit, Alternative Healing Network. Never underestimate the huge positive impact that three women-run organizations can make together! 

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: Doing business with other members as clients, partners, and subcontractors. It’s great to know you have shared values and integrity as you head into a partnership. Everyone in Business for Good is so supportive of each other.  

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: La Mesa’s City Council has grown more progressive. Go Colin Parent and Jack Shu! 

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: Surfing and Juneshine.

Jay Buys // Co-Founder + CEO, Visceral 

Your business’s biggest win: We increased our revenue while also paying 100% of our team members’ and their dependants’ healthcare costs; offsetting our carbon emissions; and donating to many organizations that we care about.

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: A community of people that all share the same values is crucial, especially when things are tough. Having a trusted sounding board and a group of folks that I could turn to was an amazing feeling.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: I had the pleasure of meeting Todd Gloria at an event hosted by Super Cocina, and I was honestly blown away by how much he genuinely cares about San Diego. I think he’ll make a terrific mayor.

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: I don’t feel guilty about it, but I imagine most people would be surprised to hear that I absolutely love the new Taylor Swift album.

Tayler, Chrissy, Cassie, and Jen // The team at Sourced Co.

Your business’s biggest win: Since the wedding industry was hit so hard in 2020, we thought we would also take a colossal hit.However, we were actually able to grow our business in the midst of the pandemic—something that was both incredible and also very humbling. 

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: The BFG community has helped us keep a perspective on a bigger sense of purpose this year.

What or who got you through this difficult year? Having business partners has been so important in a year like this. We can’t imagine going through it all alone, and we’re incredibly thankful that this was a team effort.

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: Baked goods and wine.

Greg Chapman // Founder + Owner, The Gentleman Gorilla 

Your business’s biggest win: After essentially restarting my business from the ground up, I was able to move some interns into paid positions.

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: I am happy that I was able to meet so many like-minded people in one place. It puts my soul at ease to know there are more people in the business community fighting for positive changes. 

What or who got you through this difficult year? Our teammates, and a couple good friends and clients. We all had to stick together and lean on each other, but we made it through and are heading out even stronger than when we went in. 

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: Chocolates and sausage rolls from a local British shop.

Laurel Glass Lees // Co-Founder, A STELLAR CO

Your business’s biggest win: Overachieving our 3% for Good Model goals through our Business Guide services and Runway to Regeneration initiative.

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: Opportunities to tap into knowledge and resources.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: Flipping the County Board of Supervisors to Democratic for the first time in loving memory. I hope we’ll be able to sort out our land use policies with a sharper focus on renewable energy development and procurement. 

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: Otter pops.

Jeremy Addis-Mills // Founder, Digital Impact &, Inc.

Your business’s biggest win: Managed to navigate and survive the shifting market in 2020.

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: A strong sense of community.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: Through our client work, we had a role in helping Todd Gloria, Marni von Wilpert, and Terra Lawson-Remer win this cycle. We are most proud of the work we did to help elect them all. 

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: DIY home remodeling, since I have been stuck at home. 

Diolinda Monteiro // Founder + Owner, 5th Dot Studio

Your business’s biggest win: Seeing my photography and infographics published in a book about the Anza-Borrego desert region

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: The BFG community is awesome! I am routinely inspired by fellow business owners who are interested in helping to create and maintain a healthy society. Also, the knowledge that I gain from other members regarding current policies is invaluable. It supports me in making conscious business decisions that help positively shape the local economy.

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: Todd Gloria as our next mayor! I am looking forward to seeing what he will bring to our city, and I am excited to see him represent San Diego.

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: True crime podcasts and wearing slippers to work. 

Sarah Beauchemin // Founder + Owner, Protagonist Content

Your business’s biggest win: I’m so grateful to say that after five years in business, I had my best revenue year yet. But more importantly, I accomplished that while working with exactly the purpose-driven, inspirational clients I’ve always dreamed of.  

How you felt supported by the Business For Good community: Having a support system of other values-aligned business members—and friends—who just get me. No awkwardness, no drama. I am so grateful that this group exists. 

Most exciting San Diego policy or candidate win on the 2020 ballot: Measure E passed! I feel that San Diego still has a lot of work to do in terms of public transportation, affordable housing, and community building. The Midway District is a prime location for this to blossom, and has so much potential. 

Favorite quarantine guilty pleasure: All the streaming shows. As a Gen Xer, how has it taken me this long to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer?!


If this got you thinking about ways 2020 was good for you, please donate to the San Diego Food Bank! Your generosity helps those hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19 this year.  


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