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San Diego Tourism Authority is accepting applications for its Accelerator Program

The program will be accepting applications through Jan.6, 2023, and organizations that apply must have operated for at least one year to qualify.
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The San Diego Tourism Authority is accepting applications for its Accelerator Program, which offers support to San Diego businesses operated by people of color, women, veterans, or those who identify as LGBTQ+. 

The program will be accepting applications through Jan.6, 2023, and organizations that apply must have operated for at least one year to qualify. Business categories may be but are not limited to, restaurants, retail, activities and attractions, museums, transportation, and meeting and event services.

The program will offer participants support valued at over $10,000, according to organizers. The program will provide coaching and support in the areas of financial, and legal support, labor and employment, marketing, digital business profiles, risk management, and commercial real estate, as well as two free quarter-page ads in the San Diego Business Journal.

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are important to the tourism industry because the tourism industry represents all. To be able to allow everyone to grow with this billion-dollar industry is extremely important,” Julie Cocker, President & CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority said in a statement. “We want to offer education, mentorship, and the opportunity to network with senior leaders so that they can grow their businesses.”  

According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, the program also offers a complimentary membership in the SDTA and free admission to select SDTS events, a voucher for a course through UC San Diego Extension, a $1,000 credit to use on SDTA's digital advertising platforms, advertising, and networking opportunities.

Brian Heilemon, Senior Director of Marketing Partnerships with the San Diego Tourism Authority Tourism Accelerator program combines the benefits of a San Diego Tourism Authority Membership with the suit of services from our partners and sponsors. 

“We are fortunate to partner with the best in San Diego. We have the best legal support you can find, the best business insurance, commercial real estate, banking, education, and marketing agencies. They all come forward to offer their time, treasure, and talent to support these businesses in that everyone sees the value in investing in,” Heileman said in a statement. 

Applications will go through a diverse panel comprised of program sponsors, and the San Diego Tourism Authority board and staff. Aside from being tourism businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ+, women, or veterans, other selection criteria include the viability of the business model, business needs, and commitment to community service.

Businesses not selected are eligible for a 50% discount on SDTA Membership for the current Membership term. 

Businesses that are not eligible include any type of accommodation, airline, or cruise line. Current or former Members of the San Diego Tourism Authority, and all affiliated organizations are not eligible for the program. 

For more information, visit https://www.sandiego.org/about/tourism-accelerator.aspx

To apply, visit https://apps.enjoysandiego.com/machform/view.php?id=18410 .