The Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) revitalizes building facades visible to customers, neighboring merchants and residents. The City of San Diego provides free professional design assistance and financial incentives to small business owners who wish to make a creative change to and improve the curb appeal of their storefronts. In FY2021, the SIP completed 18 projects throughout the City and provided $148,500 in incentives, leveraging $235,400 in private funds.
All applications are subject to review for eligibility. SIP is open to small businesses (25 or fewer employees) that are located in the City of San Diego and have a valid business tax certificate.
Program Exclusions: National franchises, office buildings larger than 80,000 square feet, residential rental buildings (apartments), home-based businesses, storefronts that do not face the public right-of-way, government-owned and -occupied buildings, churches and other religious institutions are not eligible. Properties that have received a SIP rebate within the past five years and projects that have already begun or completed renovations/construction are also ineligible.
Eligible Improvements: These include the repair, replacement or new applications of awnings, windows, doors, lighting, paint, landscaping, tile or other decorative material and signs. The removal of security bars and code compliance for signage violations are also eligible for the rebate.
The design parameters include:
The City of San Diego offers three different rebate options through the SIP:
The guidelines and procedures of the Storefront Improvement Program are outlined in Council Policy 900-17.
Application is available through SeamlessDocs: Storefront Improvement Program Application.
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Before an application is approved, applicants will be asked to provide basic information about the property; e.g., size, location, building use, current tenants and ownership. Applicants will also be asked to consider what types of improvements they'd like to make, what goals they'd like the improvements to achieve and how much they're able to spend on the projects. Each applicant must include two color, high-resolution photos with his or her completed applications.
The Sanctuary Wellness Experience | Ocean Beach
1955 Cable St., San Diego, CA 92107
Completed: FY2017 | Total cost: $15,124 total construction | SIP incentive: $7,526
Key improvements: Sleek signage, sustainable landscaping, lightning, minimalist paint scheme and facade mosaic with title branches for "love," "kindness," "gentleness," "faith," and joy"
Wheat & Water | La Jolla
5737 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037
Completed: FY2017 | Total cost: $54,108 total construction | SIP incentive: $11,479
Key improvements: New doors, windows, a sidewalk patio, stucco walls, new paint, tile and signage
Good Vibrations Family Chiropractic | Kensington-Talmadge Community Planning Area
4060 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
Completed: FY2017 | Total cost: $21,305 total construction | SIP incentive: $8,000
Key improvements: New paint, wood paneling at entrance and window trim, new landscaping, accent lighting
Cafe Madeleine North Park | Greater North Park Community Planning Area
2850 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104
Completed: Nov. 1, 2016 | Total cost: $24,462 | SIP incentive: $8,000
Key improvements: Fresh paint scheme, new doors, new windows, planter boxes, signage