San Diego Opens ‘One-Stop Online Shop’ for Small Business Owners

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Melanie Gordon of TapHunter demonstrates the city’s OpenCounty service. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego on Monday launched a “one-stop online shop” for starting a small business within the city limits.

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“With Small Business Saturday right around the corner, we’re excited to launch this new tool,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “You don’t have to go downtown to City Hall to get the answers you need.”

The new OpenCounter service at business.SanDiego.gov helps those starting an new business navigate licenses, permits, zoning restrictions and other requirements.

Faulconer and other city officials unveiled the service in the offices of TapHunter, a 5-year-old business that develops mobile apps for finding craft beer across the country. Co-founder Melanie Gordon demonstrated the process of starting a business using a laptop and a large screen.

She said the new service will make it easier for her customers — restaurants, breweries and bars — to get started in San Diego.

The OpenCounter software was developed by a San Francisco-based startup and is in use in Boston, Orlando, Long Beach and more than 30 other cities.

“We want entrepreneurs to see America’s finest city as a place that is welcoming, ” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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