Member Resources

Resources from the Hillcrest Business Association

Here is a list of the many resources the HBA provides to you.

  • Hillcrest Subscription Services:  The HBA provides a number of subscription services in the neighborhood including steam cleaning and security. Here is the brochure. Most of the services described are outlined in more detail below.
  • HBA Associate Memberships: Get more involved with HBA activities through our associate memberships. With three membership levels, your business can be a part of our promotional opportunities.
  • What we do brochure:  The HBA provides a simple and easy to digest brochure explaining many of the programs provided by the HBA. Here is the brochure.  Most of the services described are outlined in more detail below.
  • Your Guide to Fabulous! Advertise with the HBA on it’s Fabulous Hillcrest website and on its tourist map distributed to hundreds of hotel rooms throughout San Diego county.  For as little as $125, your business can be featured in 40,000 printed maps and on the Click here to download the application.
  • Core security service: The Hillcrest Business Association’s MAD district provides security services in the core of the neighborhood. These services are paid for by your property owners and are here to help your business.You can call the duty security guard to assist you on issues relating to homeless problems, panhandlers, graffiti or any public safety issue.  Duty Security Guard: 619-938-2333. In case of an emergency call 911. Here is the schedule for security services in the Hillcrest core for  2017: First and Third week of the month, Monday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm; Second and Fourth week of the month, Monday – Sunday: 8am – 4pm Security patrol (the security patrol is provided within the Core of Hillcrest. Click here for a map of where services are provided).
  • Guide for phasing out plastic containers.  The City of San Diego is phasing out plastic “take out” food containers.  Here is a helpful guide.
  • Hepatitis A outbreak: San Diego has been struck by an unprecedented Hepatitis A outbreak.  Restaurants can be prepared with this new brochure for food handlers from the County of San Diego.
  • Help with frivolous ADA lawsuits.  Hillcrest business owners have come up with strategies to confront a variety of seemingly random ADA lawsuits throughout Hillcrest.
    The first thing business owners can do is to get educated.  Business owners can work with a special Certified Assess Specialist to discover and address their risks for these kind of suits.  A CASp report for your business can also minimize issues if you’ve already been served.  The ADA law is very complex which makes it difficult for businesses to identify which laws to follow and how each law applies to them.  A CASp report takes the guessing out of it, and creates a very detailed report for that individual business.  Often simply getting a CASp report can minimize the chance of “drive-by” lawsuits.  Though the HBA doesn’t endorse any business for this kind of work, many Uptown businesses have been working with Tracey Cabral at Certified Access Services, please call her at 619-736-8585.
    The second thing is to talk to an attorney about your options.  Many HBA members are working with John Turner who, if business people are open to it, is open to coordinating a mutual defense.  Though the HBA doesn’t endorse any attorneys and encourages members to be thorough when selecting an attorney, many Hillcrest members are working with John who can be contacted at 619-237-1212.
    Note: This information is provided as service to our members and for discussion purposes only. The HBA does not endorse any legal service or law firm and has no expertise concerning ADA or disability law as it relates to your business.  Business people are invited to make their own decisions concerning their obligations to the law that take into account their own unique circumstances.
  • Sidewalk pressure washing: This occurs monthly in the heart of Hillcrest.
  • Trash pick-ups & debris removal: this occurs five days a week in the heart of Hillcrest and twice weekly elsewhere.  If your business need special cleaning attention, such as bio-mess or discarded furniture, please contact the HBA offices.  Our cleaning crews can deal with special cleaning projects in your area on a case by case basis.  Call 619-299-3330 for more help or email
  • Tree and landscaping maintenance.  The HBA can trim sidewalk trees infront of your business for free.  Don’t cut any trees in the sidewalk without talking to the HBA first.  You could be fined!  Call the HBA at 619-299-3330 if you need your trees trimmed.
  • PROW Program: All cafes, signs and other fixtures on the sidewalk need a permit.  The HBA offers free permits for most fixtures under our permit. Download this manual about how apply for a PROW permit. Use this application to apply.  Call 619-299-3330 if you have questions about the program.
  • Parking solutions: The HBA’s sister organization, The Uptown Community Parking District has a wide variety of programs concerning improving parking in the neighborhood.  Visit their Hillcrest website at
  • Graffiti removal: While we remove graffiti all the time, if you see any that needs removing, call the office at 619-299-3330.
  • Maintenance of the iconic Hillcrest sign:  This is ongoing and paid for by local property owners.
  • Maintenance of the pride flag pole and monument: This is ongoing and is funded by The Pride of Hillcrest Block Party.

Resources from Our Organizational Partners


Note: This information is provided as service to our members and for discussion purposes only. The HBA does not endorse any media company and has no expertise concerning marketing as it relates to your business.  Business people are invited to make their own decisions concerning marketing that takes into account their own unique circumstances.

The LGBTQ buying power in San Diego County is 9 Billion dollars! Hillcrest Social app puts your business in the hands of thousands of active users. Hillcrest Social has been downloaded over 12,000+ times and has a retention rate of 50%-60%. Our main focus is to connect the LGBTQ+ community across San Diego County with community events, businesses, and more. Interact with our user base by sending push notifications, offering exclusive discounts, and building your own fan base in-app. 
Drive thousands of new potential customers towards your 
LGBTQ+ friendly business for only pennies a day. 
Hillcrest Social offers FREE advertising to all our LGBTQ+ Non-Profits in San Diego County. This service is provided by a percentage of every advertising dollar held to help our community organizations. Contact us today! There are thousands of users waiting for a business just like yours. 
For more information or to sign up contact:
Will Z at and let 
them know the HBA referred you.
Note: This information is provided as service to our members and for discussion purposes only. The HBA does not endorse any media company and has no expertise concerning marketing as it relates to your business.  Business people are invited to make their own decisions concerning marketing that takes into account their own unique circumstances.


San Diego Gas and Electric

San Diego Gas and Electric is enthausitc about partnering with small businesses and they offer many resources to help shoulder the costs of eco-friendly upgrades. Here are a few of their resources:



The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) supports small businesses in San Diego while advocating for mainstream acceptance of diversity. In 2006 the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) was named “Chamber of the Year” by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The award recognizes GSDBA’s stature as a leader in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business movement in the United States. Many HBA members are also members of the GSDBA and greatly benefit from their small business networking events and workshops.

ACCION San Diego

ACCION San Diego provides credit and training for low-to-moderate income micro-entrepreneurs throughout San Diego County. With micro-loans ranging from $300-$35,000, clients can increase their inventory, buy equipment and raw materials and stabilize and grow their businesses. ACCION also helps clients build favorable credit histories and improve their business skills with one-on-one training in bookkeeping, preparation of financial statements and credit repair.

Resources from the City of San Diego

The City of San Diego offers a well of information, support and answers.  Here is a flier  that demonstrates their latest offerings of programs and support.  The trick is knowing exactly what you need and exactly where and how to get it. Specific questions and challenges can often be tackled on a case by case basis; it’s always a good idea to reach out to your Councilmember in addition to community resources. What we’ve outlined below speaks to the most frequently asked questions and most reoccurring themes and concerns in the neighborhood of Hillcrest as relevant to issues under the City of San Diego‘s purview.

I am a restaurant who is interested in providing patio seating on the sidewalk outside of my business.

There are two ways to get a patio permitted for your business.  If you want to serve alcohol you must seek approval from the California ABC and the City of San Diego’s Development Services Department.  Here is an information bulletin from the City concerning their process.  Here is the contact information for the California ABC.

If you wish to obtain a patio permit with no alcohol sales then the HBA can offer you a PROW permit to use your sidewalk.  Here is the information concerning how to apply for a PROW permit for a sidewalk cafe, “A” frame sign or sidewalk displays.

I don’t have a store front business in Hillcrest. Why am I paying a small Business Improvement District fee?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) are common across San Diego and the United States. They are a way for businesses to work together to improve and grow their neighborhoods.  One of the reasons people love San Diego neighborhoods is because of the work of San Diego’s eighteen BIDS.  From clean sidewalks and trees to neighborhood festivals and advocacy most Businesses see a direct benefit from the work of their BIDs.   For every dollar contributed by neighborhood businesses the Hillcrest Business Association raises another four in fundraising. The only ways all these improvements work is for everyone to pay their fair share.

I am interested in modifying or redeveloping the facade of my store front. What programs exist to help me?

The City of San Diego offers a Storefront Improvement Program to help business people make their storefronts more attractive.  Businesses can receive matching grants to help renovate their store.  Depending on the type of renovation you can receive 1/3rd or even 1/2 of the cost of your renovation paid for by the city.  Click here for more information about the storefront improvement program.

I need start up funds or additional funds to assist in my small business. Can the city help me with this?

There are many banks that offer loans to small businesses.  Some business people are eligible for micro-loans or other programs that can get your business started. Accion San Diego offers lending solutions for eligible business people.  Score San Diego offers classes and  guidance for small business people.  Say the HBA sent you and they’ll wave any fees!

I have been told by city representatives that I need a grease trap. Is there a way to avoid purchasing additional equipment?

Yes.  The City of San Diego has a Small Business Liaison who’s job is to help you get your permits fast!  Laila Iskandar is the Small Business Liaison she’ll help you through the permitting process.  Her information is available here.

City of San Diego resources you might find helpful:

The HBA Office Phone Number is 619 299 3330Important Contacts

Hillcrest Business Association

  • Main office: (619) 299 – 3330
  • Security (only available in certain areas): (619) 938-2333

Business Improvement District Council: (619) 239 – 2437

San Diego Policy Department

  • Emergency: 911 — ALWAYS REPORT CRIMES
  • Non-emergency: (619) 531 – 2000 (click here to read reporting non-emergencies)
  • District representative: David Surwillo (619) 531 – 1540

City of San Diego

  • District 3 Council Office: (619) 236 – 6633
  • Small Business Ambassador: (619) 533 – 6474
  • The Business Opportunities Center: (619) 533 – 7431
  • Security Services: (619) 938 – 2333 (Click here to see where services are provided)
  • City of San Diego storm water guidelines for special events
  • Information concerning Inner City Capital Connections

Important Dates

The HBA hosts many events in the Hillcrest neighborhood, we ask that you save the dates for our events that you are prepared when they occur and so that you can act as an ambassador for Hillcrest events as well! Remember you can also view and subscribe to our HBA Calendar.

  • Every Sunday: The Hillcrest Farmers Market*
  • February/ March: Mardi Gras*
  • Third Saturday of April Taste of Hillcrest
  • Second Friday of July: Pride Block Party*
  • Second Sunday in August Cityfest*
  • Last weekend in October: Nightmare on Normal Street*
  • Second Thursday in December: Taste ‘N’ Tinis

The vibrancy of Hillcrest attracts additional events throughout the year. Although we do not host the events below, we encourage you to mark these events on your calendars.

*Events with an asterisk have street closures in the Hillcrest neighborhood.*