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Economic Development Funding Programs

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The City of San Diego supports local nonprofits that foster the City’s economic prosperity and quality of life. Funding opportunities are available to local nonprofits that launch, expand, attract or retain businesses in the City, advancing San Diego as a leading innovation hub and tourist destination. Explore past Economic Development Funding Recipients in the interactive map above to see the variety of valuable organizations we support.

   UPDATE: Please note that funding in Fiscal Year 2022 has yet to be determined. As a result, information about RFQ/RFP applications, technical assistance, and training webinars is not available until further notice.

The Economic Development Funding Fiscal Year 2021 RFP application period began January 2020 for organizations qualified through the RFQ process. ** This was a two-phase application process, featuring both a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which ran from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, 2019, and the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase. Please read the Economic Development Funding Guidelines to learn more about the application process. Check this site regularly for updates or subscribe below to our mailing list to receive email updates.

FY2021 RFP Application Process

RFP Application Period - Jan. 15, 2020 to Feb. 20, 2020 (2 p.m. PT)

** RFP open only by invitation to Organizations qualified through the RFQ process **

RFQ-qualified Organizations will receive an email on or prior to Jan. 15, 2020 containing a Sample RFP Application (in fillable Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formats), a SeamlessDocs link to the online RFP Application, and RFP Financial Statements Templates (in Microsoft Excel format).

Step 1: Carefully read the PDF icon FY2021 Economic Development Funding Guidelines (Updated Jan. 21, 2020)

Step 2: If you have questions, contact the Economic Development Department by emailing us at sdbusiness@sandiego.gov or by calling us at 619-236-6700.

Step 3: Download the Sample RFP Application and complete it. This is the format that you can use to cut and paste responses into the SeamlessDocs online RFP Application. Please allow at least 1 hour for completing the online application and uploading the attachments.

Step 4: Download and complete the RFP Financial Statements Templates.

  • Please save this Excel file to your own computer.
  • Open the Excel file. Enter your Organization name, dates and financial information in these worksheets in the highlighted cells:
  1. Proposed Program/Project Budget for FY2021 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)
  2. Program/Project Budget Justification (by line item)
  3. Personnel Schedule (details of personnel costs for proposed Program/Project Budget)
  • Save or print each of the three worksheets individually as a PDF.
  • Finally, attach each PDF in Section 6 of the SeamlessDocs online RFP Application Form (** The SeamlessDocs application link will be provided to each Organization that is qualified through the RFQ process).

Step 5: If submitting optional attachments, gather those items and upload under Section 6. Please allow at least 1 hour for completing the application and uploading the attachments.

Step 6: Submit your RFP Application by the deadline of 2 p.m. PT on Feb. 20, 2020 through the City of San Diego SeamlessDocs portal. Please note that the online RFP Application must be completed entirely in one session.

RFP Instructions Addendum

Check here for Addendum postings after Jan. 27, 2020.

Key Dates

Jan. 15, 2020 (Wednesday): RFP release (The SeamlessDocs link to the RFP Application will be made available to Organizations already qualified through the RFQ process.)

Jan. 21, 2020 (Tuesday): Economic Development Funding RFP Informational Workshop, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108


  • RFP Informational Workshop Presentation (to be posted around Jan. 21, 2020)

Feb. 4, 2020 (Tuesday): Economic Development Funding RFP Informational Workshop (repeat of Jan. 21, 2020 session), 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108

Feb. 7, 2020 (Friday): Additional RFP Addenda published, if necessary

Feb. 20, 2020 (Thursday): RFP Application deadline. RFP must be submitted electronically by 2 p.m. PT

Stay Updated

Please subscribe to our Economic Development Funding mailing list to get email updates on applications, workshops and FAQs. You can also contact us through sdbusiness@sandiego.gov to be added to the list.


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An eligible nonprofit has a mission that closely aligns with one of the following:

  • Goal A: Creates, retains and/or expands small businesses with a neighborhood-based focus, excluding Business Improvement Districts. Past recipients of these Small Business Enhancement Program (SBEP) Microdistrict funds include Bayside Community Center and Logan Heights CDC.
  • Goal B: Creates, retains and/or expands non-base-sector small businesses by offering a program to small businesses Citywide, not focusiBlueTech Incubator ng on specific commercial neighborhoods with BIDs or Microdistricts. Past recipients of SBEP Citywide funds include ACCION San Diego and Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC). 
  • Goal C: Promotes the City of San Diego as a visitor destination, enhancing the Tourism base sector. Past recipients include Cabrillo National Monument Foundation and Travelers Aid Society of San Diego.
  • Goal D: Enhances San Diego's economic standing and reputation as a Smart City and a center for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology development for base sector businesses (Manufacturing and Innovation, International Trade and Logistics, or Defense). Past recipients include business incubators and accelerators such as EvoNexus and TMA BlueTech, which opened a BlueTech Incubator (pictured) in 2017.

About Economic Development Funding

The Economic Development Funding Program covers Economic Development and Tourism Support (EDTS) and Citywide Economic Development Support (CEDS), which allocate Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue to promote San Diego as a business and tourism destination; and the Small Business Enhancement Program (SBEP), which supports small business efforts Citywide and in Microdistricts.