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Economic Development Funding Programs

LaunchBio event 2019The 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. 

An FY2020 Economic Development Funding recipient, LaunchBio (above) is a nonprofit organization that identifies, counsels and supports high-growth, high-impact life science and biotechnology companies. Its mission is to build an ecosystem of innovation for the benefit of human health and well-being.

The Economic Development Funding Fiscal Year 2021 RFP application period begins January 2020 for organizations qualified through the RFQ process. ** Please note that this is a now a two-phase application process, featuring both a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and 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 Application Process

PDF icon FY2021 Economic Development Funding Guidelines

RFQ Application Period - Oct. 7, 2019 to Nov. 7, 2019  CLOSED

RFP Application Period - Jan. 18, 2020 to Feb. 20, 2020 (Open only by invitation to Organizations qualified through RFQ process.)

Key Dates

Oct. 7, 2019: RFQ release

Oct. 16, 2019:  Economic Development Funding RFQ Informational Workshop, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108

Oct. 18, 2019: RFQ Addenda published. (Not applicable, since no addenda were made.)

Nov. 7, 2019: RFQ Application deadline. RFQ must be submitted electronically by 2 p.m. PT

Jan. 15, 2020 (Friday): 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 (Subject to change)

  • 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 (Subject to change)

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

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

Stay Updated: Subscribe 

Please subscribe to our Economic Development Funding mailing list to get email updates on applications, workshops and FAQs. Subscribe here


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 The Maritime Alliance, 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. 


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