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Economic Development Funding Programs

About Economic Development Funding

The Economic Development Funding Program covers economic development, tourism and small business support. This grant program allocates Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue to promote San Diego as a business and tourism destination; and utilizes the Small Business Enhancement Program (SBEP) to supports small business efforts Citywide and in Microdistricts. 


An eligible nonprofit organization 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 (BIDs). 
  • Goal B: Creates, retains and/or expands non-base-sector small businesses by offering a program to small businesses Citywide, not focusing on specific commercial neighborhoods with BIDs or Microdistricts. 
  • Goal C: Promotes the City of San Diego as a visitor destination, enhancing the Tourism base sector. 
  • 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). 

Economic Development Funding Schedule

The schedule for the annual review of proposals and allocation of funding for the Economic Development Funding Process is approximately six months beginning in March. The funding, if approved, will apply to proposed Program/Project budgets for FY2024, which is from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.

Key Dates

  • March 6, 2023: Application guidelines published.
RFP Workshops for potential applicants
ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY to One (1) of the two (2) sessions below.  
A representative of the organization must attend
  • March 14, 2023 from 10:00-11:30 a.m: RFP Workshop for potential applicants via Zoom. See below for workshop materials.
  • March 29, 2023 from 1:30-3:00 p.m: RFP Workshop for potential applicants via Zoom. See below for workshop materials.
  • March 28, 2023: RFP Addenda published, if necessary.
  • April 3, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.: Cutoff for questions on the Economic Development Funding Programs RFP Application.
  • April 6, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.: Seamless docs RFP Application deadline.
  • April 2023: Staff vetting of applications to identify missing documents, ineligible activities, and whether any applications are disqualified due to non-compliance with the application guidelines. Funding recommendations will be made after review and scoring proposals.
  • May 3 – May 18, 2023: City Council Budget Review Committee hearings. Tentative award amounts have historically been available in late May to begin pre-agreement budget/scope and required documentation discussions with each application.
  • June 2023: Final award amounts will be confirmed by City by the end of June.
  • July 1, 2023: Performance period begins July 1. Formal, signed agreements need to be in place with each organization prior to requesting reimbursements. This process is anticipated to take 2-3 months, from July to September, depending on the receipt of agreement materials.

*All dates are subject to change

FY2024 RFP Workshop Details

You can view the workshop presentation and Q&As any time:

PDF icon Workshop Presentation

PDF icon Q&As from the previous meeting(s)

FY2024 RFP Application Process

The Economic Development Funding online RFP application available through SeamlessDocs must be completed in one session. Please plan ahead: 

  • Follow the steps below, including preparing a Sample RFP Application and attachments in advance. 
  • Please allow at least one (1) hour for completing the online application and uploading the attachments. 
  • Whoever completes and submits this form must be authorized to electronically sign and to create a legally binding RFP submission between the applying Organization and the City of San Diego. 

Please download all:

PDF icon Funding Guidelines 

PDF icon Step by Step Instructions 

Sample Application (Microsoft Word format) or

PDF icon Sample Application

Program Budget Templates (Microsoft Excel format)

Financial Statements Templates (Microsoft Excel format)

Online RFP Application

The Request for Proposals (RFP) Application Portal was available through until April 6, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. (no exceptions). The Application period is now over.

Stay Updated

Please contact us through sdbusiness@sandiego.gov if you have any questions.

Previous Economic Development Funding

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 below to see the variety of valuable organizations we support.

To optimize viewing, please click this link to open the full map in a new window.