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Economic Development

Emergency Response Grant for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Grant Guidelines

**Applications are now closed**


The City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department (EDD) will be providing emergency relief grants up to $2,500 per applicant, with a 100% bonus (for a total of $5,000) for applicants located in the Promise Zone, Opportunity Zones, or Low-Moderate Income Census Tracts. EDD will be prioritizing businesses located in under-resourced communities and high-impact storm-affected areas for these grants. Eligible businesses and nonprofits are awarded funding based on a reimbursement basis for documented storm-related expenses incurred.

Click here to see if your business is located within the Promise Zone, Opportunity Zones, or Low-Moderate Income Census Tracts.

*Note - the application will be available for translation with Google Translate. Google Translate is currently experiencing a technical issue but should be functioning shortly.

Timeline and Funding Available

Applications will be accepted beginning February 12, 2024, through February 27, 2024. Businesses/organizations are encouraged to view the recorded webinar to learn more information about the application process and supporting documentation needed to complete the application. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, not in the order they are received.

This grant is funded through Small Business Enhancement Program (SBEP) funds, which are intended to provide continuing support to small businesses in recognition of their vital economic, employment, service, and cultural roles, and their importance in sustaining and revitalizing older commercial neighborhoods and adjoining residential areas. SBEP funds are determined from annual Business Tax Certificate collections. The total amount available is approximately $370,000. This grant program will be periodically reviewed and updated based on available funding and participation levels.

Eligible Use of Funds

Eligible expenses include: Loss of inventory, trash and/or debris removal, mold and mildew remediation, carpet/flooring cleaning or replacement, drywall replacement, re-painting, professional restoration or cleaning services, insurance deductibles, business equipment repair or replacement, appliance and furniture replacement, utility damage or restoration costs (electrical, water/sewer, gas, phone/internet), and lost revenue (lost revenue can be demonstrated by providing a comparison of January 2023 and January 2024 financial statements showing decreased revenue or a comparison of seasonal income from 2023 and 2024). 

Ineligible expenses include: Repair or replacement of motorized vehicles, undocumented expenses, or anticipated future expenses.

Eligible Business Applicants 

To be eligible, the applicant must be a commercial occupant of the subject property. The business must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be located within high-impact storm-affected areas within the City of San Diego; 
  • Have an active (paid as of 2/12/2024) City of San Diego Business Tax Certificate (see details at bottom of page); 
    • If a business is not required to have a BTC, it will be required to provide a professional license from a state issuing agency - such as a childcare business.
  • 12 or fewer employees;
  • Be independently owned and operated; and
  • Priority will be given to businesses and nonprofits located on the ground floor.

Applicants are ineligible if any of the following characteristics are true about the business:

  • Any owners with 20% or more ownership stake have previously applied for this grant;
  • It is a chain or other restaurant group with seven or more locations; 
  • It is engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations; or
  • Primary business activity is lobbying, lending, investment, or insurance; a golf course, racetrack, or gambling facility; or it is a business engaged in performances or sales of products of a prurient sexual nature

Eligible Non-Profit Applicants 

Eligible nonprofit organizations must meet the following requirements: 

  • Office located within high-impact storm-affected areas within the City of San Diego;
  • Incorporated within the United States and is an organization in good standing registered with the California Secretary of State; and
  • Holds tax-exempt nonprofit status under Sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 115 of the Internal Revenue Code and can also demonstrate its tax-exempt status under the State of California Revenue and Taxation Code.


Grant funds are issued on a reimbursement basis only. Applicants are eligible for reimbursement of eligible expenses up to $2,500. Applicants located within the San Diego Promise Zone boundaries and in low- and moderate-income areas are eligible for reimbursement of eligible expenses up to  $5,000. All expenses must be documented by 1) dated invoices or receipts clearly showing the nature of the expense and 2) copies of checks or receipts clearly showing payment.

Click here to see if your business is located within the Promise Zone, Opportunity Zones, or Low-Moderate Income Census Tracts. Your business is considered to be in a Low-Moderate Income (LMI) Census Tract if the percentage of LMI households are over 51%.

In order to receive funds, applicants must provide a fully completed and signed IRS Form W9 and a City of San Diego Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form.


This application is available through SeamlessDocs between February 12, 2024, through February 27, 2024. To optimize SeamlessDocs functionality, applicants should use Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, or Safari browsers. Google Translate is providing translation services on the SeamlessDocs applications.

Applicants will be asked to provide basic information about the business type (or non-profit status) and the damages experienced. Incomplete applications may be given lower priority. Applications will require the upload of:

Applicants must agree to the program Terms & Conditions as part of the application form.

City staff primarily communicate using email so be sure to check your spam inbox for any emails ending in “” 

Paper copies are available upon request in the lobby of the 14th floor at Civic Center Plaza (1200 Third Ave, Suite 1400). Paper copies are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic, Khmer, and Somali. For questions, please contact

English - Fillable PDF application

Spanish - Fillable PDF application

Vietnamese - Fillable PDF application

Tagalog - Fillable PDF application

Arabic - Fillable PDF application

Khmer - Fillable PDF application

Somali - Fillable PDF application

Technical Assistance

Contact Economic Development staff at or by phone at 619-236-6700 for questions about the application process.

The San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network can provide free assistance for you in completing your application for the Emergency Response Grant for Small Businesses. To get assistance, please visit to request assistance. You will get a call back within 24 hours to schedule an appointment or you can call 619-482-6391 during regular business hours. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin, and other languages upon request.

The County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce is offering technical assistance to businesses. Visit to learn more or email them at

The San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and City Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC) are partnering to support business owners with the emergency relief grant application process and provide outreach support. If you are a business owner in need of technical assistance with applying to the City of San Diego emergency relief grant or would like someone to visit your business, please email or call (619) 584-1535 for direct business assistance from City Heights CDC. Visit to learn more.

Logan Heights Community Development Corporation will be providing technical assistance to business owners. Call (619) 858-0563 or email for assistance.

The Asian Business Association San Diego, is also providing no-cost technical assistance for small businesses in English, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, and other languages upon request. Please contact (858) 277-2822 or

Business Tax Certificate Requirements and Lookup

* All businesses doing business within the city of San Diego limits must have an active Business Tax Certificate (BTC). If a business has multiple locations, each location must have an active BTC. BTCs are renewable annually. If you are not sure about the status of your BTC, you can look it up here.

If you do not have a BTC, you can apply for one here. Applications can take several days to process so start this immediately if you need to.

For the purposes of this grant, businesses must have a BTC paid in full by February 12, 2024.

Additional Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration will open the SBA Business Recovery Center on Monday, February 26 at 12:00 pm at the Southwestern College, Center for Business Advancement.

880 National City Blvd

National City, CA 91950

Hours: Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm