SBA News and Updates from the San Diego District Office

San Diego District Office

u s small business administration

Statement from SBA Administrator McMahon

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon

On March 29, 2019, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda E. McMahon issued the following statement:

“Two years ago, President Trump entrusted me with the privilege of leading the SBA. The opportunity to lead the agency in supporting America’s small businesses has been immensely rewarding. I’ve also had the opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative impact the President’s growth policies are having on communities across this country: small businesses are reporting some of the highest levels of optimism on record; they are gaining access to new global markets; they are expanding access to affordable health care; and they are investing in their companies and their employees – raising wages, providing bonuses and benefits, and creating more jobs.

“I’m very proud of the work this agency has done to improve the way we connect small businesses to capital, counseling and government contracts. The focus that we have put on supporting women entrepreneurship, veteran businesses and rural development has been particularly rewarding for me. I am especially proud of the agency’s unprecedented disaster recovery efforts in 2017, in the aftermath of three of the costliest hurricanes on record. After Harvey, Irma and Maria hit, SBA’s dedicated professional staff worked around the clock to approve more than $7 billion in low-interest loans to help small businesses and displaced residents recover from the disasters and rebuild their homes and livelihoods. That experience and the life-changing impact this agency had on so many Americans is something I will never forget.

“While it has truly been the honor of a lifetime to serve our country in this Administration, it is time for me to step down and return to the private sector. I am resigning my position at SBA effective April 12. I wish to thank the President and I will continue to be a strong advocate for him and his policies.”


Event Highlights

Ramona SBA Day and Lender Fair

Photo Collage for Ramona SBA Day: Ruben Garcia, Desiree Garza, Rosalinda Si8ngh, and Jamye Pritchett Solorzano; Audience; Ken Luis


Photos above: Top: (L-R) SBA San Diego's Ruben Garcia, USDA's Desiree Garza, and Rosalinda Singh; and SBA San Diego's Jamye Pritchett Solorzano. Center: Audience - Bottom: SBA San Diego's Ken Luis 

Effective collaboration becomes a reality for the SBA San Diego District Office, US Department of Agriculture, and the Ramona Chamber of Commerce. SBA and USDA, joined forces at SBA Day in Ramona, CA on March 27, 2019.  The focus of the event was aimed at increasing program effectiveness, supporting rural entrepreneurs, and strengthening local agriculture economies. SBA also partnered with other federal and state agencies (Internal Revenue Service, US Department of Labor, California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration), to increase delivery of services. 

Agenda Items included:  

  • USDA Federal Programs to assist Rural Small Businesses
  • Overview of SBA Programs and Services
  • California Sales and Use Tax Rules and Regulations
  • Tax Reform Highlights for Small Business and Pass Through Entities
  • Tips for Employer Compliance 
  • SBA’s Resource Partners helping small business succeed (San Diego & Imperial Valley SBDC Network)
  • Lender Fair aimed at financing small business (Local lender reps. were available to speak with attendees.)

SBA, USDA, and the local viticulture community identified ways to sustain the momentum, engage in cross program training, and continue the investing in Rural America.


SBDC Day - Celebrating Our Small Business Development Centers and Their Accomplishments Assisting Entrepreneurs

Several San Diego District Office staff members joined the SBDC Day Open House celebration at the South San Diego SBDC. District Director Ruben Garcia provided opening remarks, at this well attended event. Local elected officials spoke and presented certificates, and local SBDC clients shared testimonials regarding their customer experience with the South San Diego SBDC and other resource partners housed at the Southwestern College Center for Business Advancement, in National City, California.

Economic Development Specialist Cynthia Harris attended the North San Diego SBDC Day Open House, where they Live Streamed interviews of the SBDC clients, counselors, staff members and local elected officials. San Diego and Imperial Valley SBDC Network Marketing, PR and Outreach Specialist Lynn Pittman moderated three hours of interviews.

Photo Collage for South San Diego SBDC Day Open House

Above: South San Diego SBDC Day Open House – Top: (L-R) Economic Development Specialist (EDS) Jamye Pritchett Solorzano; San Diego & Imperial Valley Women's Business Center Acting Director Katty Ibarra; Lead EDS Mike Sovacool; South San Diego SBDC Director Carla Holland; District Director Ruben Garcia and San Diego & Imperial Valley SBDC Network Associate Regional Director Daniel Fitzgerald. Middle: (L-R) National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and attendees during opening ceremony. Bottom: (L-R) Ruben Garcia, Lender Relations Specialist Ken Luis, Ruben Garcia, and Jamye Pritchett Solorzano

Photo Collage for No. S.D. SBDC Day - Fernanda Carpraro, Tom Stinson, Lynn Pittman Min Vu, War War Win, Marquise Jackson and Matthew Phy

Above: North San Diego SBDC Day Open House – Top: (L-R)  SBDC client Fernanda Carpraro, CEO/founder, Cookies con Amore; Tom Stinson, communications director, Assemblymember Waldron’s Office; Lynn Pittman, marketing, PR and outreach specialist, San Diego & Imperial Valley SBDC Network (SDIV SBDC Network); Min Vu, COO and War War Win, CEO,  Aurora Medbiochem Co; and Tom Stinson. Bottom: (L-R) Marquise Jackson, regional director, SDIV SBDC Network; Tom Stinson; Sudershan Shaunak, director, North San Diego SBDC; and Matthew Phy, field representative for Senator Bates.


California Procurement Event

Photo collage of California Procurement event

Photos above - Top: Event Audience
Center: (L-R) Navy veteran and business owner Elizabeth Sibley; SBA's Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS) John Engstrom and Economic Development Specialist Jamye Pritchett Solorzano; US Customs and Border Protection Small Business Specialist Ivette Jorge, and BOS John Engstrom 
Bottom: (L-R) SBA BOS John Engstrom and Mid-Coast Transit Constructors (MCTC) Engineer Jodi Landi; San Diego & Imperial Valley Women's Business Center Acting Director Katty Ibarra; and John Engstrom, and Jamye Pritchett Solorzano.

On March 21st, the San Diego District Office participated in the 2019 California Procurement Event hosted by the North San Diego SBDC, at the Handlery Hotel in San Diego. Lead EDS Mike Sovacool (not shown in photos) spoke to more than 275 attendees about SBA Resources and how the SBA can help entrepreneurs. BOS John Engstrom and EDS Jamye Pritchett Solorzano worked the SBA's exhibit table discussing SBA's government contracting assistance programs with many of the event attendees.


Financing for Business Success Lending Panel

Photo of Panelists: Lisa Brooks, Isaac RamirezRosaElena Enríquez, Kenneth LuisMatt Bryant

Photo above: (L-R) Lisa Brooks, California Bank and Trust (Moderator); Isaac Ramirez, Accion; RosaElena Enríquez, City of San Diego; Kenneth Luis , SBA San Diego; and Matt Bryant, California Bank & Trust.

SBA San Diego Lender Relations Specialist Kenneth Luis shared SBA's loan programs with attendees at the Financing for Business Success Lending Panel, co-hosted by Accion and California Bank & Trust, on March 22nd. Over 40 were in attendance.


Women's History Month Tribute to Jill Andrews

SCORE Women's Networking Breakfast

Photo: Cynthia Harris, and Liz Lemesevski with Jill Andrews photo on screen in background

SCORE San Diego celebrated the life and achievements of former San Diego Deputy District Director Jill Andrews in honor of Women’s History Month, at their Women’s Networking Breakfast. A brief video presentation was shown to around 100 event attendees, followed by recognition statements by SCORE counselor Liz Lemesevski, former SCORE San Diego Chapter President Sally Broff, and SBA Women’s Rep. Cynthia Harris.

Below is an excerpt from memorial by SBA Field Operations Associate Administrator Jason Simmons (Jan. 2018)

Jill was a passionate advocate for San Diego’s small businesses, bringing a wealth of professional experience and a unique background to her work with the district’s dynamic entrepreneurship community. Jill was a treasured and talented colleague in Region IX and across the SBA. 

During Jill’s tenure at the San Diego District, she excelled in a variety of capacities, serving as deputy district director, lead economic development specialist and economic development specialist. Jill deeply understood the aspects of starting and running a small business, having owned and operated a 1,800-acre ranch for almost 30 years, and partnered or directed other ventures including a marina, public relations & special events management company and a national bank.  

Click here to read more about Jill Andrews.

Photo above (L-R)  SBA Women’s Rep. Cynthia Harris, with SCORE Counselor Liz Lemesevski, recognizing Jill Andrews for her life achievements.


1st Annual Women Changing the Face of Business

Photo: Katty Ibarra, Ruben Garcia, Jamye Pritchett Solorzano

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. It doesn't end on International Women's Day.

The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year.

Members of the San Diego District Office and the San Diego & Imperial Valley Women's Business Center headlined presentations at the 1st Annual Women Changing the Face of Business event in Coronado, Ca. The event was a sell out a crowd and attended by both domestic and international woman small businesses. We were also joined by aspiring future leaders from San Diego High School.

The focus of the event was aimed at increasing the ranks of women who own small businesses and women in the construction and STEM fields.

The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize collective action. All year long, we will reinforce #BalanceforBetter activities. The San Diego District Office is collaborating with San Diego High School girls to provide mentorship opportunities.

Photo above: (L - R) San Diego & Imperial Valley Women's Business Center Acting Director Katty Ibarra, SBA's District Director Ruben Garcia and Jamye Pritchett Solorzano


San Diego Angel Conference

Bringing Together Investors and Entrepreneurs

Photo collage at San Diego Angel Conference - Jamye Pritchett Solorzano at SBA exhibit, Jamye assisting client, event audience

Above photos by Pam Covarrubias - Top: (L-R) EDS Jamye Pritchett Solorzano at exhibit table and assisting a guest. Bottom: (L-R) Event audience

SBA San Diego Economic Development Specialist Jamye Pritchett Solorzano worked an exhibit table at the San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), at University of San Diego, hosted by USD’s The Brink Small Business Development Center, Hera Labs and CONNECT. Both entrepreneurs and investors were given opportunities to attend workshops and work with mentors leading up to the event.

SDAC is the culmination of many months of due diligence, review, evaluation, and selection by the investors participating in the Conference. The entrepreneurial candidates are narrowed down and on the day of the Conference, the conference finalists have the opportunity to make their best pitch for why their company deserves the investment.

The intent of the San Diego Angel Conference was  to build the San Diego ecosystem by connecting accredited investors and entrepreneurs. 

The inaugural Conference was open to any member of the community interested in learning more about starting a company and investing in a new business. Over 300 attendees and participants were present to experience and support this collaborative program and event to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors.


Congratulations to San Diego Angel Conference I Winner, Aquacycl!

Presented by The Brink | SBDC University of San Diego

Photo: Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D.

Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO Aquacycl

Dr. Bretschger's career efforts have resulted in a disruptive wastewater treatment technology and innovative business model for industrial markets.

Aquacycl provides technology for onsite wastewater treatment plants that operate at 50%-95% lower costs than incumbent technologies. Aquacycl offers the only technology for treating high strength wastewater at small volumes. Aquacycl’s modular and scalable treatment systems create immediate customer savings through competitive equipment rental, and the Aquacycl service plan guarantees discharge quality per customer requirements. 


Small Business Training Calendar Links

The SBA and its resource partner organizations offer many workshops and training events, for entrepreneurs and small business owners, on an on-going basis. Please take a moment to review our upcoming events now, and bookmark the sites listed below for future reference. We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our future events.

SBA Calendar

SCORE San Diego

SBDC San Diego and Imperial Valley Network

San Diego & Imperial Women's Business Center

SOCAL Veterans Business Outreach Center

Procurement Technical Assistance Center


SBA Office of Advocacy Updates


SBA Blogs

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SBA National News

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Articles, photos, events, and linked information included in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and do not indicate an endorsement by SBA of the views, opinions, products or services of any person or entity. SBA is not responsible for and does not endorse information posted on or linked from third party websites. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


San Diego District Office Directory

Ruben Garcia, District Director
Phone: 619-727-4880 email: ruben.garcia@sba.gov
Mike Sovacool, Lead Economic Development Specialist/Veteran's Outreach
Phone: 619-727-4881 email: michael.sovacool@sba.gov
Cynthia Harris, Economic Development Specialist/Public Information Officer/International Trade Officer/WBC District Office Technical  Representative
Phone: 619-727-4884 email: cynthia.harris@sba.gov
Jamye Pritchett Solorzano, Economic Development Specialist/Administrative Officer
Phone: 619-727-4878 email: jamye.pritchettsolorzano@sba.gov 
Ken Luis, Lender Relations Specialist
Phone: 619-727-4871 email: kenneth.luis@sba.gov
Carlos Liu, Lead Business Opportunities Specialist for 8(a)/HUBZone Programs
Phone: 619-727-4879 email: chung.liu@sba.gov
Merica Le, Business Opportunities Specialist for 8(a)/HUBZone Programs
Phone: 619-727-4870 email: merica.le@sba.gov
John Engstrom, Business Opportunities Specialist for 8(a)/HUBZone Program
Phone: 619-727-4872 email: john.engstrom@sba.gov
Lucy Leu, Procurement Center Representative for the Office of Government Contracting
Phone: 619-727-4882 email: Jane.Leu@sba.gov


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