By Colette Mauzeralle
Founded in August 2011, the Bankers Hill Business Group is on a mission: Promote and advocate for area businesses, and increase awareness of Bankers Hill as a destination neighborhood.
Partially funded by the city’s Micro District Program, the group is managed solely by volunteer business owners, many of whom have been around since the group’s inception.
“We had about 20 neighborhood business owners when we started. Now we have more than 70 listed on our website,” said Jake Sutton, co-founder of the Bankers Hill Business Group and owner of Edward Jones Investments at Fourth Avenue and Laurel Street. He shares the founder role with Clyde Dugosh of Inscriptu, a laser engraving and printing company.
The Bankers Hill Business Group has met near-monthly since 2011 to discuss topics ranging from street lights and parking improvements to planning community events. In six the group has achieved milestones such as writing a grant for and receiving funding from the city’s micro improvement district, working with San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego on community development projects, addressing opportunities to enhance Bankers Hill as a business district despite its largely residential feel and providing local business owners with a place to connect.
The organization also hosts two large-scale events. Last spring’s fifth annual Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival sold out for the first time in the event’s history, and the Bankers Hill Fall Festival, co-sponsored by the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation, will take place Saturday, Oct. 21. The Fall Festival is designed to provide San Diegans a closer look at Bankers Hill and features a 10-block footprint of more than 30 participating businesses including restaurants, fitness studios, boutiques, spas and art galleries showcasing their fare and wares. Tickets are available at bankershillbusinessgroup.com/events and at the door, while supplies last.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect has been the neighborhood’s growth in recent years.
“It has been exciting to see all the new businesses that have opened in Bankers Hill since 2011 when we started our organization,” Sutton said. “From professional services and restaurants to health and wellness establishments and salons, the mix of businesses has become a strength for the district. Bankers Hill is definitely open for business.”
— Colette Mauzeralle is public relations & marketing manager for the Bankers Hill Business Group.