Member Toolkit:

The HBA currently provides a wide variety of services to Hillcrest businesses. The services, called the Toolkit, are can be useful to member businesses for a variety of challenges and issues. All the tools in the toolkit are provided to Hillcrest businesses for free. Some require business owners to take action to get involved, such as signing up or donating gift certificates, but all are provided without a fee to members.


Featured service:

Neighborhood walk-about

Join us most Friday mornings at 10am (holidays & special events may require a date change) for a neighborhood walkabout and Q&A session. Our weekly walkabouts provide businesses, property owners, and residents an opportunity to join us on a cleanliness and safety audit throughout one of three designated zones in Hillcrest. Contact Jonathan(at) for details on the next walkabout.

Dates and Zones:

Friday mornings at 10am
First Friday: Zone 1: meet at Crest Cafe at Robinson and Fifth.
Second Friday: Zone 2: meet at Kona Coffee at Fifth and Washington.
Third Friday: Zone 3: meet at Whole Foods at Eighth and University.

Fourth and fifth Fridays are off.

Free services for members

Special Events

The HBA hosts a wide series of promotional events throughout the year from restaurant walks like the Taste of Hillcrest to large sale street fairs such as Hillcrest CityFest. These events are all designed to bring customers to Hillcrest and raise funds for the neighborhood.

Hillcrest CityFest, is the second Sunday in August, and offers free vendor booth spaces for members.
Taste of Hillcrest, is the Second Saturday in April and is free to restaurants (there is a small fee for retailers).
Hillcrest Taste ‘n Tinis is the Second Thursday in December and is free to restaurants (there is a small fee for retailers).
Pride of Hillcrest Block Party is the Friday before Pride and offers free vendor booth spaces to members.
Nightmare on Normal Street is in October and offers free vendor booth spaces to members.

Steam cleaning

The HBA currently steam cleans the core of Hillcrest on a monthly basis. Members in this area fall within the Hillcrest Maintenance Assessment District (Hillcrest M.A.D.).  Members that are outside of this area are able to apply for sidewalk pressure washing services on a subscription basis.

Quarterly open house

Each quarter the HBA hosts an open house and general member meeting. The events are held at a different business each time and often feature a guest speaker. Its a great way to meet your neighbors and find out what’s going on that the HBA.

Social media and radio promotions

The HBA has a robust social media network and we’re happy to use it to promote our members. If you have a special or a promotion that you’d like to let us know about, please email fill out this form with details and email it to marketing(at)

Neighborhood trashcans & weekly liter pickup

The HBA cleaning crews service the neighborhood between two and five days a week depending on the location. In the core of the neighborhood, litter pickup occurs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  In other parts of the neighborhood, it occurs on Tuesday. The HBA currently maintains over fifty ashtrays, trash cans and recycling cans throughout the neighborhood. 

Block Captain program

The HBA hosts a block captain program with the goal of having a neighborhood business person in each block of the neighborhood keeping an eye on their block. It is envisioned that Block Captains will report issues to the Get It Done app, report issues to the HBA, monitor Next Door social media, and be a conduit for members to the HBA. If you’d like to be a Block Captain for your block, email jonathan(at)

Hillcrest Sign and Pride Plaza maintenance

The HBA maintains -on behalf of the community- the Iconic Hillcrest Gateway Sign and Pride Plaza, home to the popular Hillcrest Pride Flag.   The sign’s maintenance and power bill, and the regular replacement of flags are funded by the HBA’s special event programs.

Gardening, tree trimming, & flower baskets

The HBA maintains over 200 trees throughout Hillcrest including the seventeen large heritage trees on Fifth Ave.

The HBA maintains three sidewalk gardens on University Ave. and five large planters throughout the neighborhood.  These landscaped areas are planted with trees, shrubs and flowering plants.

The HBA maintains almost fifty planted flower baskets on street poles throughout the neighborhood.  These baskets are replanted with new flowering and hanging plants every six months.

Neighborhood promotions

The HBA maintains an annual promotional calendar full of advertising and activities to promote the neighborhood. This includes the HBA’s customer facing website at, regular advertising in print, radio and other media, and a robust social media presence.

Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays is a neighborhood promotion in December and only requires a gift certificate promotion to participate.
Small Business Saturday is a partnership with American Express and occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving and free to participate.

Farmers Market Pop-up Shop

Did you know that the HBA owns the Hillcrest Farmers Market? The HBA allows its members and friends to use the information booth to promote the products and services to the neighborhood. We can either distribute your fliers and materials or businesses can take over the booth for a day for a promotion or sampling.

Other resources

HBA Associate Memberships 

Even if you don’t have a business in Hillcrest, you can get more involved with HBA activities through our associate memberships. With three membership levels, your business can be a part of our promotional opportunities.

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.

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.