by Photo by Sarah Berjan

Chula Vista City Council recently approved a $40,000 grant from the San Diego Foundation to establish a “Business Designation Toolkit” for businesses and business districts in order to increase livability among residents.  

The San Diego Foundation’s Age-Friendly Community grant aim to establish “Age-Friendly Businesses” and implement an “Age-Friendly Buisness District” within Downtown Chula Vista under the city’s Age-Friendly Action Plan.   

According to Stacey Kurz, the city’s Housing Manager, Development Services, creating a Business Designation Toolkit provides a pathway for businesses and business districts to become more accessible and pleasing for residents of all ages by using a “lense of age”. 

“The effort will engage the community and businesses along Third Avenue with surveys and a series of focus groups to inform and develop the Toolkit which will help businesses start asking the right questions about how they can improve interactions with persons of all ages and abilities and provide inspiration to others that are also on the path to becoming more Age-Friendly,” reads a city staff report. 

The nonprofit organization established the Age-Friendly Communities grant for San Diego Jurisdictions that joined the AFC AARP Network in November 2020 to “support services and initiatives to increase the quality of life of older adults in the community and ultimately all San Diegans.” 

Several goals are identified in the city’s Age-Friendly Action Plan, like addressing better communication, sensitivity in public places, respect for older adults, and recognizing the need for all sectors of the community to be involved. 

According to a City Staff Report, the newly awarded funds also aim to increase park usage and community ownership by creating at least two Park Action Groups and organizing programs that increase community presence, such as Adopt-A-Park and clean-ups. 

The funding also aims to develop culturally-and age-appropriate programming throughout the city by creating an older adult-related theme for the “THIS is Chula” campaign and other identified communication efforts surrounding respect, economic power, adventure, and vibrancy in aging. 

The Age-Friendly Community’s grant also will fund at least four dementia-friendly training and workshops for businesses, families, Community Based Organizations, and or health care in the South Bay. 

“Overall, the toolkit will provide a process and assessment tools to create a business designation and district that is Age-Friendly with case studies from the implementation along Third Avenue that can be replicated in other areas of Chula Vista, the region and nationally,” reads a city staff report. 

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