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Economic Development

Business Assistance & Programs

NOTE: We are currently redesigning the Economic Development Department website. Some pages may look different than others while we implement this change. 


The Economic Development Department provides businesses with direct support in various ways. Small businesses can access diverse services, including one-on-one technical assistance, expedited permitting, policy advocacy, and utilities coordination services. Economic Development staff also support an ecosystem of nonprofit organizations that serve business communities. The following sections and links can direct you to the services and resources.

Thinking of starting a small business? Visit the “Key Steps to Starting a Small Business” page for more information. For additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our team:



  • Bus walk assistance

    Starting a Business

    There are several key steps to starting a business in the City of San Diego. The steps may vary depending on the type of business you intend to launch. Following the Key Steps to Starting a Business will give you a general idea and help the process run smoothly. We are here to help you!

  • Neighborhood Districts

    Neighborhood Districts

    The City supports various business districts across the City that contribute to thriving communities and neighborhood identities.

  • Business Walks

    Business Walks

    A collaborative effort between City staff and local community organizations to learn first hand from business owners and share resources designed to help their businesses grow.


Citywide Business Programs:



Sidewalk Vending

Sidewalk Vending is a microenterprise opportunity that allows for vendors to sell good in the public right-of-way.

Foreign Trade Zone

Foreign Trade Zone FTZ's are used to encourage activity at U.S. facilities with foreign alternatives by allowing delayed or reduced duty payment on foreign merchandise and other savings.

Tourism Marketing District

Tourism Marketing District A benefit assessment district designed to improve tourism activity and increase hotel night stays in the City of San Diego

Business & Tax Incentives

Business Incentives A program to encourage inclusive economic growth through the expansion, attraction, and retention of small and mid-sized firms in San Diego's base-sector economy.

Tax Incentives The City offers various tax incentives, including California Competes, Partial Sales Tax Exemption, Sales and Use Tax and the Fee Payment Incentive Program