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Economic Development

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Microgrant Capacity Building Program

Program Summary

As part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s "Back to Work SD" budget, the Economic Development Department is administering capacity building microgrants to nonprofit organizations that support small business recovery with a focus on communities of concern within the City of San Diego.

Capacity building expenses may include but are not limited to providing technical assistance to businesses, building a website, hanging banners, programming special events, or creating/updating business directories. Only non-personnel expenses qualify for this program. Nonprofit organizations that serve small businesses in communities of concern are encouraged to apply.

The City values the vital role these organizations play in furthering the City’s economic and workforce development objectives.

We are no longer accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2022. Funds may be available in the future. Click here for a list of  ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program Recipients


General Provisions

Organization Legal Status: Nonprofit        
Contract Duration:  Twelve (12) months
Available Funding: Minimum $5,000 to a maximum $20,000 (per qualifying application)

Allocation and Use of Funds

  • Funds will not be available for disbursement until 1) a final agreement is fully executed; and 2) all necessary internal accounting protocols have been established. Funds will be advanced to eligible and successful applicants.
  • Contract awardees must avoid a duplication of benefits with other Federal financial assistance, including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or other U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds. A duplication of benefits occurs when a person, household, business, government, or other entity receives financial assistance from multiple sources for the same purpose, and the total assistance received for that purpose is more than the total need for assistance. Federal funds from more than one source cannot be used to fund the same project.
  • Contract awardees will not be precluded from applying for other discretionary City fund source(s) during ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program contract period.
  • Awarded funds must be fully expended by June 30, 2022.
  • Any allocated budget funds remaining after the contract period has expired will be recaptured and returned to the ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program fund pool.

Selection Process

Please note, the application should be completed using Chrome or Firefox (Internet Explorer is not supported).

The application will remain open until the $400,000 fund has been exhausted. (All funds have been expended).

  • Applications will be evaluated for consistency with preceding ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program General Requirements.
  • Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.
  • An organization will receive an email notification from the Economic Development Department within three (3) business days of submitting ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program application.
  • Organizations will be notified via email about the status of their applications within two (2) weeks of submitting a completed application.  
  • Applicants must demonstrate that proposed activities and services will benefit businesses within the City of San Diego.

Ineligible Organizations:

  • Any for-profit business or entity
  • Lending institutions
  • Business Improvement Districts
  • Located outside of the County of San Diego
  • Microdistrict organizations outside of communities of concern

All applications will be required to provide the following information:

  • Scope of work, programs and/or services to be provided.
  • Proposed budget to complete scope of work, programs and/or services.
  • Proposed schedule for completing scope of work, programs and/or services.
  • Supplemental documents and disclosures as required by the City’s standard nonprofit contracting provisions.
    • Board of Directors List Include affiliations and brief background information (one-page maximum)
    • Key Personnel List Include key information on training, qualifications and experience (one-page maximum)
    • Nonprofit Status Include a copy of IRS Determination Letter
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Printout of Nonprofit status from Department of Justice website
    • Printout of Entity Status Letter from Franchise Tax Board website
    • Federal IRS Form 990 Copy of most recently submitted Form 990

Contracting Process

Approved applications will be routed to assigned Economic Development Department staff for contract processing. The City’s contractual process is required in order to make funding available for disbursement of award for programs and services provided per the agreed upon scope of services and budget (contract).

    Contracting Timeframe

    Depending on the proposed scope of programs/services/activities to be provided per the agreement and the timely receipt of all required supporting documents and forms to be provided by the contract awardee, it will take approximately 4-6 weeks to execute a final agreement.

    Contact Us

    For additional information about the ARPA Microgrant Capacity Building Program, please contact Sean Karafin at or the Economic Development Department at