To assist small businesses with adapting operations amid COVID-19, the City of San Diego is offering grants up to $3,000 to businesses constructing outdoor decks and platforms compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). As much as an additional $2,000--for a maximum grant of $5,000--will be available for businesses located in low- and moderate-income areas (LMA) or owned by a sole proprietor or majority group who meets federal low- and moderate-income (LMI) requirements.
Grants may be awarded in advance of construction, with LMA businesses and low-income majority owners receiving expedited, priority processing.
In an effort to support businesses negatively impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19, the City of San Diego launched the Temporary Outdoor Business Operation (TOBO) permitting program in June 2020, making it easier for businesses to expand into the public right-of-way for outdoor operations.
TOBO permits enable businesses to set up dining, retail and other business activities temporarily on the street, sidewalks or in parking lanes, as long as businesses comply with ADA and other regulations. Many businesses have been looking to create outdoor operations that are more attractive to customers by constructing decks or platforms, and others desire to modify decks and platforms that have already been constructed. The City is working to provide more permitting options and support businesses as they work to comply with ADA, City of San Diego and other regulations while operating safely in these relatively new outdoor settings.
The City of San Diego Economic Development Department is dedicating staff time to assist small businesses in code compliance. At this time the City has funding collected through SB 1186 fees, which are intended to be deployed to “increase disability access, encourage compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements, develop education resources for businesses, and facilitate compliance with Federal and State disability laws.” The City will use this funding to offset the costs small businesses incur to come into compliance with ADA and other applicable regulations.
No more than one TOBO grant can be received by an individual owner.
To be eligible, a business must meet the following minimum requirements:
Applicants will be asked, via an online grant application (below), to describe all elements of their outdoor operations that require replacement, addition or upgrade for ADA and other regulatory compliance. Applicants will also be asked to estimate the costs of listed elements, thereby demonstrating the business's eligibility for the grant. Expenses must be documented and submitted to, and approved by, the City upon project completion and inspection of construction.
NOTE: When accessing the TOBO Grant Application, please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your browser.