The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in Southeastern San Diego. Courtesy of the center

After a year of operating in a virtual environment, a business accelerator program in Southeastern San Diego is going back into action, currently taking applications for its upcoming class to help business owners.

In just two years, the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center program has held four classes for small businesses.

Organizers of the program says it has worked with 52 businesses, a number that includes 25 female entrepreneurs.

In addition, the program has awarded $65,000 in grants through Union Bank’s pitch competitions for startups.

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southeastern San Diego program’s state-of-the-art shared workspace is reopening, which will allow new participants to join a shared community of entrepreneurs.

Interested low-to-moderate income owners must apply for the free, four-month class before the end of day Aug. 30.

Those who are accepted will experience working with expert mentors, have access to free co-working space and be able to attend helpful weekly workshops on topics ranging from sales and marketing to small business finance.

To apply and to learn more, including the start date for the classes, visit connectallsd.org.

“Since it opened in 2019, this program has had great impact on local businesses.” said Jacobs Center top executive Reginald Jones.  “Our program contributes to San Diego’s economic health and empowers small businesses.”

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A local coalition that includes The San Diego Foundation, LISC San Diego, Urban League of San Diego County and county Board of Supervisors chairman Nathan Fletcher have launched a San Diego Black Homebuyers Program.

The effort is supported by $1 million pledged by The San Diego Foundation’s Black Community Investment Fund.

At a news conference Aug. 21, organizers said the program has been set up to provide $9,000 grants to those buying a home, as well as assistance in qualifying for a mortgage.

Overall, according to organizers, assistance valued up to $70,000 per family will be made available.

LISC San Diego will be the administrator of funds granted to eligible homebuyers, while also providing an additional $250,000 contribution to the program.

The Urban League of San Diego County will provide its HUD-certified homeownership counseling services for these homebuyers prior to and post-purchase and will lead outreach efforts.

By working with the Urban League, the homebuyer’s program and their partnering financial institution, homebuyers could receive up to $70,000 in assistance to help them buy a home, according to a spokesperson.

Homebuyers interested in grant assistance through the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program can click go here for more information.

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Young children living in San Diego’s underserved Diamond Community will soon have access to a new educational resource — free-standing lending libraries, thanks to the help of the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association.

Volunteers used their skills in woodworking to construct and install four “Little Libraries” structures on behalf of the Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership, or DEEP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to bettering the educational outcomes for students living in Southeastern San Diego.

A self-standing wood library in Southeastern San Diego

The woodworkers association is one of the largest guilds in the country devoted to woodcraft.

The libraries were installed by members of the association the week of Aug. 16.

“Students will make connections, enhance comprehension, and increase fluency which will complement their classroom learning,” said Nicole Marquel, the top executive of DEEP. “After a year of critical learning loss due to COVID, these resources are more important than ever.” 

Retired San Diego firefighter and long-time woodworker Jim Stawn managed the project team that constructed the libraries for DEEP.

Marquel said books placed in the little libraries are written for pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade students. The books have been selected with the goal of encouraging adults to read to family members.

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Carlsbad-based mobile personal training startup BodyBuzz, has expanded services to eight locations in San Diego County. In addition to the new sites just announced, the firm also has trainers in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Leucadia, Oceanside Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.

Founded by three San Diegans, the company incorporates electro-stimulation technology to provide what it says is a more effective workout in less time.

According to a news release, one 20-minute training session delivers the same results as three hours of conventional training.

The technology was originally developed in Germany in the 1970s.

Body Buzz’s website claims there are over 5,000 fitness studios in Europe utilizing this technology, which was cleared by the FDA for use in the U.S.

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Meanwhile, a second Carlsbad company, Bemer USA, a subsidiary of Bemer International, is introducing another consumer medical device to the market that it claims will improve health and well-being for users who are on the go.

The company says the product has classified as a Class II cleared FDA medical device.

The portable Go-Edition device generates a low-intensity pulsed electromagnetic field to boost muscle conditioning, enhance performance and improve recovery. No exercise is required.

An eight-minute ​​therapy session increases local blood flow and stimulate muscle tissue, according to a news release.

Bemer USA generates $100 million a year in revenues, according to a spokeswoman. It is a unit of a German-based company.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

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