September 2023

Business Spotlights

La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program Grand Openings

In July 2022, the City launched the La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP) to support entrepreneurs in establishing brick-and-mortar enterprises, offering grants of up to $20,000 in collaboration with the East County (ECEDC) and San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), LEAP's goals include reducing commercial vacancies, providing hands-on training, and fostering entrepreneurship in La Mesa. The program features a comprehensive curriculum, individual advising, and grant access for startup costs. 


Flavour Spice and Tea Opens Its Doors in La Mesa

Congratulations to Sherida Bonton, proud owner of Flavour Spice and Tea for officially opening her doors on Saturday, Sept. 23! This shop offers an array of premium teas, spices, and more. Sherida attributes her successful brick-and-mortar opening to the support she received from LEAP and looks forward to welcoming the community to her store. Be sure to watch the ABC 10News feature spotlighting Sherida's business journey and her experience with LEAP!


LEAP Helps Bring Angela Noyes' Dream to Life with Shine Universe

Thanks to LEAP, Angela Noyes’ dream of a brick-and-mortar store has become a reality. From cheerleading uniforms to personalized products, Shine Universe is your go-to boutique for all things special. We’re proud to have been part of Angela’s journey, and we invite you to join us in celebrating her success!


Mr. Bowties Hair Studio Celebrates Grand Opening in La Mesa with a Backpack Giveaway!

Adrian Hill, owner of Mr. Bowties Hair Studio in La Mesa, is a man of passion. He is passionate about his vocation in the beauty and barbering industry and passionate about his community. As an instructor at Jasmine Beauty School, Adrian felt it was necessary to provide a place for his students to work after graduation. Therefore, Adrian opened his studio to serve those students, as well as customers. 

“I wanted to be inspirational for my students and help them build a network where everyone can succeed,” said Adrian. “I wanted to open this business to help people aim for a higher level in their lives and for our customers in the community to feel the power of a haircut or from any other services that we provide.” 

Through generous community donations, Adrian and his team held a backpack and school supplies distribution celebration in Aug. to help local children prepare for their return to classes. Adrian and his team were overjoyed with the success of this community event and the support of the public in helping the community’s youth attain school supplies.

Welcome to La Mesa, Mr. Bowties!


Office Depot in La Mesa Has Reopened! 


After a year of dedicated rebuilding following a devastating fire, the Office Depot on Fletcher Parkway is back in action and open for business. They celebrated their return to the business community on Sept. 20. 

“We are happy to finally have the La Mesa Office Depot open again and ready to do business with our customers,” General Manager, Christopher Cini, said. “It has been a long 12 months to complete all the construction after the fire. We have changed the floor plan and made shopping for items easy and convenient.”

Cini's belief is that at Office Depot in La Mesa, you can once again enjoy affordable prices on office supplies and a wide range of products, encompassing everything from paper, ink, and toner to cutting-edge technology, as well as cleaning and breakroom essentials. Office Depot also provides an array of services, including printing, curbside pick-up, packing, mailing, shipping, ink and toner recycling, and much more. Office Depot prides itself on offering products, supplies and services that “you need to succeed.”

Welcome back to La Mesa, Office Depot!

Happening in La Mesa

La Mesa Oktoberfest Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

La Mesa Oktoberfest is just a day away, and this year marks its milestone 50th Anniversary! The three-day event is a multi-generational tradition that has become a local attraction every Fall. The event draws more than 100,000 visitors to La Mesa from across the region throughout the weekend. The event is free and includes something for everyone from traditional food and beverages, family-friendly activities, competitive games, and a great lineup of live music. As the festivities approach, we’d like to encourage eventgoers to use public transit for quick and easy access to the event.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System offers free parking at several of their convenient, nearby lots. Park and ride at one of the trolley stations listed below, take the Orange Line to the La Mesa Blvd. Trolley Station and walk a few steps to the event.

Spring Street Trolley Station

4250 Spring Street, La Mesa, CA

Grossmont Trolley Station

8601 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa, CA

Amaya Drive Trolley Station

9100 Amaya Drive, La Mesa, CA

El Cajon Transit Center

352 S. Marshall Ave., El Cajon, CA

Please be aware that street closures in and around the Village will take place starting on Friday, Sept. 29 at approximately 2 p.m. Expect traffic delays if you plan to commute near the event. 

The La Mesa Police Department will have a command post to ensure the safety and security of all attendees and local businesses. But in the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.


Collier Park Renovation Project Update

If you’ve walked by Collier Park lately, you've probably noticed the remarkable transformations taking place. The installation of the playground is in full swing! Salvaged timbers were placed throughout the nature trails, and tree planting has started. With a budget of approximately $4.5 million, the project is being funded by park development fees, federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), donations from the La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation, California Department of Parks and Recreation Local Assistance Specified Grant funds, and California Prop 68 Land and Water Bond Funds. The completion of the project is expected by Fall 2023. Stay tuned for further updates.


City Awarded Downtown La Mesa Trolley Prioritization Project Grant

The City of La Mesa has received a Caltrans planning grant, which will enable us to partner with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) to explore ways to enhance the Orange Line Trolley's operations in downtown La Mesa.

What's happening:

  • We're looking at different ideas to make the trolley run more smoothly in downtown La Mesa. One big idea is to separate the trolley from the streets.
  • Right now, the trolley comes every 15 minutes, but we want to make it even more frequent – every 7.5 minutes by 2028. But the streets can't handle that many trolleys right now.
  • Lots of people use the trolley! Every weekday, about 2,638 people get on or off at the Spring Street and La Mesa Boulevard Trolley Stations.

Why it matters:

  • We want to have better transportation options for everyone in our region, as planned in SANDAG's 2021 Regional Plan.
  • We also want to make our streets safer and reduce pollution to help meet our climate goals.

What we're doing:

  • We're studying ways to make transportation better in this area, like making it easier to walk or bike.
  • We also want to stop cars from waiting for the trolley to pass at the train tracks. That's not only frustrating, but it also pollutes the air.

This project costs $565,780, and the City of La Mesa is contributing $64,780. The study will take about 2 years to complete.

Find Available Commercial Space using our Search Engine 

Looking for retail, office, or industrial space in La Mesa? Discover the City's commercial space availability search engine! This user-friendly resource allows you to tailor your search by building size, type, available space size, and lease or sale options. Moreover, you can generate customized reports, complete with maps and aerial imagery, to make informed decisions easily. Explore the possibilities and find your perfect commercial space in La Mesa today!


Helix Soap Co Earns Green Business Certification

Eric and Krista of Helix Soap Co began their business as a passion project, crafting natural soaps for friends and family. With encouragement and growing demand, it evolved into a business dedicated to sustainability. Their commitment to sustainability shines through their use of locally-sourced ingredients from their own garden and other hyper-local sources. As a La Mesa Green Business, they've embraced practices such as LED lighting, efficient HVAC systems, and reducing water waste. Their mission extends to collaborating with other green-certified businesses and encouraging a sustainable path forward in their community. 


Get your Green Business Certification!

Join the La Mesa Green Business Network (GBN) and work towards Green Business Certification for free. Access valuable resources, attend educational events, and network with like-minded businesses. Certified businesses may be eligible for up to $500 in rebate incentives for approved green purchasing.


Community Open House: Climate Action Plan Update

The City of La Mesa is conducting an update to the Climate Action Plan (CAP) and is seeking resident and community input on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Helix Charter High School – Library at 4200 Lowell Street. This is the second of three community workshops at which we’ll dive into draft changes to CAP targets, measures, and actions. Participants will also be able to provide input on implementation activities and priorities for CAP programs and projects. Together, we’ll explore the many different ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Please come share your ideas and learn how you can stay involved!  


La Mesa Citizens’ Police Academy 

Join the La Mesa Citizens’ Police Academy for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at our Police Department. This program takes place on Thursdays from Oct. 12 to Nov. 16, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It's limited to 25 participants aged 18 years or older, spanning six weeks of engaging sessions. This FREE program offers hands-on training in patrol procedures, insights into traffic investigations, Special Response Team (SRT) experiences, crime scene investigation exploration, community policing discussions, communications insights, and firearm simulator training and scenarios. 


City of La Mesa Career Opportunities

Are you on the lookout for a new career opportunity or a fresh start in your professional journey? Look no further! Our vibrant city has exciting job openings across various departments, offering you the chance to contribute your skills and talents to the heart of our community. 


In the News

California's Growth Continues for Eight Straight Month, Adding 23,100 New Jobs in August

  • California added 23,100 nonfarm jobs in August 2023, bringing total non-farm employment in the state to 18,120,200 jobs. 
  • California has now added jobs in eight consecutive months and in 22 of the last 23. 
  • Seven of California’s eleven major industry sectors added jobs, and two had no change. 
  • The state has added 3,202,200 jobs (21.5 percent increase) over the course of its 40-month recovery and expansion following the pandemic-induced recession.  
  • The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.6 percent in August 2023, unchanged for the third consecutive month.   

The Inventor's Patent Academy (TIPA) Empowers Historically Underrepresented Inventors in Navigating the U.S. Patent System

Invent Together and Qualcomm have launched The Inventor's Patent Academy (TIPA), a free online course aimed at assisting historically underrepresented inventors in navigating the U.S. patent system. The course, designed to close diversity gaps in patenting, has already enrolled about 1,200 students, with 80% from historically underrepresented groups. TIPA features enhanced course content, mobile accessibility, new voice narration, and inspiring inventor stories, aiming to demystify the patent process and increase inventor diversity, ultimately fostering innovation and strengthening the U.S. as a global innovation leader.


Workshops, Webinars and Events

Save on your Businesses Energy Bills with SDG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program

San Diego Gas & Electric eligible business customers can get paid to voluntarily reduce energy load in the event of a grid energy. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP), business customers who qualify will choose their estimated target load reduction quantity to be achieved during an event. An event may be called any day of the week from 4-9 p.m., May through October for a duration of one to five hours. During a grid emergency, California Independent System Operator (CAISO) will trigger an ELRP event, and notifications will be sent out the day ahead of the event. Participants enrolled in the ELRP will be paid $2/kWh for verified load shed.


Boost your Revenue with Small Business Development Center’s Social Media Webinar

Join the San Diego & Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on Oct. 26 for an online training session on leveraging social media to enhance your small business' revenue. Learn the difference between sales and marketing, discover three effective strategies to increase revenue, and explore the significant impact of social media on your business's growth.


Small Business Fall Tax Seminar


The Small Business Development Center is hosting a tax seminar for small businesses. Small business entrepreneurs will learn the skills that can help start, manage, and receive assistance in understanding and fulfilling your tax responsibility. During the event, you will be able to hear the latest breaking news from each agency and your local Industry leaders. Resource tables will also be available to answer tax questions and share small business resources within the community.

Save the Date for the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce 2023 Salute to Local Heroes & Installation Dinner

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is celebrating those that serve our community in extraordinary ways including the La Mesa Police Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue. During this event, the Chamber will also install their Board of Directors. 

When: Thursday, Oct. 5

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Where: Sycuan Casino Resort, 5485 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA


Business Resources

Small Business Development Center Offers No Cost Business Consulting and Low-Cost Training

Discover the range of services provided by the San Diego & Imperial Valley SBDC, designed to assist you in starting, growing, and succeeding with your small business. They offer support in various areas, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, technology security, manufacturing, distribution, and finance. Take advantage of their expert training and personalized one-on-one assistance from experienced advisors and trainers. 


La Mesa Economic Development |

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