To ensure the resiliency of local businesses and assist in job retention, the City of San Diego established a Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF) to provide grants and forgivable or low- to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital. The goal of the SBRF is to help businesses retain employees and sustain continuity of business operations impacted by federal, California, San Diego County and local emergency declarations regarding COVID-19.
We have received more than 9,000 applications to the Small Business Relief Fund, in excess of the funds available. Beginning Wednesday, April 15, 2020 we will close the submission process to focus our efforts on raising awareness and receiving donations to serve as many qualified businesses as possible. All submissions must be received by Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
The City of San Diego has partnered with the Cal Coast Cares Foundation and San Diego Grantmakers to expand the SBRF. You can now make a tax-deductible, secure donation online, and 100% of your gift will go to a qualifying small business facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
The goal of the SBRF is to help businesses retain employees and sustain continuity of business operations impacted by federal, California, San Diego County and local emergency declarations regarding COVID-19. Approximately $6.1 million is available in the SBRF, which is being administered by the City of San Diego Economic Development Department.
Financial assistance, in the form of grants and loans, will range from $10,000 to $20,000 and will be allocated to eligible, qualified small businesses based on the availability of funds, program guidelines and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation.
Businesses that are NOT eligible to request or receive SBRF financial assistance include, but are not limited to:
Once an application has been submitted and determined eligible for funding, business owners will be asked to include backup documentation, including but not limited to:
The establishment of the SBRF is in addition to other steps the City is taking in consultation with--and at the direction of--County of San Diego public health officials to help people affected by and prevent the spread of the global pandemic known as COVID-19.
On March 18, 2020, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer unveiled and outlined the City's economic relief package that reduces fees, provides certainty and offers support to local employers. (Read the full press release.)
“Businesses are following public health orders, and we recognize this has an impact. This relief effort is about restoring some balance to the current situation,” Mayor Faulconer said. “San Diego businesses are making a necessary sacrifice while bearing a tremendous burden as they comply with these orders. We’re taking aggressive action today to help businesses stay afloat and continue to pay as many employees as possible.”
Businesses are advised to reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide to help business owners navigate through the chaos COVID-19 is having on our communities.
SBDC can help with applying for relief, guiding you through available resources and assisting with cash flow concerns, supply-chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more--all at no cost. Register for free SDBC one-on-one business counseling.
Additionally, please consider the following federal and state resources listed below. We will continue to update resources as they become available.
On April 2, the Governor issued new directives to provide relief for small businesses and workers displaced by COVID-19. Relief plans include allowing small business owners to defer sales and use tax payments for up to $50,000. Learn more.
On April 15, the Governor announced the April 20 launch of an Employment Development Department call center and expedited access to the Work Share program to avert layoffs. The Governor also announced $125 million in disaster relief assistance for working Californians. Learn more.
Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program provides guarantees for loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses. The State has allocated $50 million to mitigate barriers to capital for businesses with up to 750 employees.
Labor and Workforce Development Agency's primary website for COVID-19, including information on support services for workers and interim guidelines for protecting workers
Jewish Community Foundation San Diego will offer relief to support to those out of work and vulnerable communities through its COVID-19 Emergency Fund
South County Economic Development Council is offering emergency 0% interest loans to restaurants in San Diego’s South County.
The San Diego Foundation is offering emergency grants to nonprofits in food security, rental and utility assistance, and income replacement or gap funding through its COVID-19 Community Response Fund
United Way of San Diego County will support low-wage workers and their families whose incomes have been negatively impacted during this time of uncertainty through the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative.
Freelancers Union: Freelancers Relief Fund
Honeycomb Credit: Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Revel Systems: Revel Relief Program in Response to COVID-19
Seated: Restaurant Hotline
WeFunder: Disaster Loans