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Economic Development Funding Programs

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's position as an innovation hub and tourist destination. Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, which supports the educational, interpretive, and scientific programs of Cabrillo National Monument (right), has been a recipient of Economic Development Funding.

The Economic Development Funding Fiscal Year 2020 application period began November 2018. ** Please note that there is a new two-phase application process, featuring both a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP) portion. Check this site regularly for updates or subscribe below to our mailing list to receive email updates.

FY2020 Application Process

RFQ Application Period - Nov. 19, 2018 to Dec. 17, 2018 (Now closed)

RFP Application Period - Jan. 18, 2019 to Feb. 20, 2019 (Open only by invitation to organizations qualified through RFQ process.)

Step 1: Carefully read the Economic Development Funding FY2020 Guidelines.

Step 2: If you have questions, contact the Economic Development Department by emailing us at [email protected] or calling 619-236-6700. 

Step 3: Prepare your Sample RFP Application in a format that you can use to cut and paste responses in the online RFP Application. Please allow at least 1 hour for completing the application and uploading the attachments.

Step 4: Prepare your Financial Statements Templates.

  1. Please save this Excel file to your own computer.
  2. Open the Excel file. Enter your Organization name, dates and financial information in these worksheets in the highlighted cells:
  • Proposed Program/Project Budget for FY2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)
  • Program/Project Budget Justification (by line item)
  • Personnel Schedule (details of personnel costs for proposed Program/Project Budget)
  1. Save or print each of the three worksheets individually as a PDF.
  2. Finally, attach each PDF in Section 6 of the electronic RFP Application Form in SeamlessDocs (** The SeamlessDocs application link will be provided to each Organization that was 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, 2019 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. 28, 2019 

Key Dates

Jan. 18, 2019 (Friday): RFP release (The SeamlessDocs link to the RFP Application will be made available to Organizations already qualified through the RFQ process).

Jan. 22, 2019 (Tuesday): Economic Development Funding RFP Informational Workshop, 12:30-2 p.m., Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108

PDF icon RFP Informational Workshop Presentation - Posted Jan. 23, 2019

Feb. 5, 2019 (Tuesday): Economic Development Funding RFP Informational Workshop (repeat of Jan. 22, 2019 session), 12:30-2 p.m., Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108

Feb. 8, 2019 (Friday): Additional RFP Addenda published, if necessary

Feb. 20, 2019 (Wednesday): 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.
  • 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 CyberTECH, EvoNexus and The Maritime Alliance, which opened a BlueTech Incubator (right) 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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