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Business Relief and Support

Economic Assistance for San Diego Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Quick Reference Links

Getting Started

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) To help business owners navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are advised to reach out to their nearest San Diego & Imperial SBDC for help with identifying available resources, applying for COVID-19 relief, guiding your business through pandemic adaptations, and assisting with cash flow concerns, supply-chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more—all at no cost. SBDC also created the COVID-19 Small Business Survival GuideTo register for counseling or no-cost or low-cost training sessions, please click on the button below:

Register for free SBDC one-on-one business counseling

SBDCs are part of the California Network of Small Business Technical Assistance Centers, which offer programs to help small businesses and entrepreneurs. Expert advisors in more than 30 languages are on hand to assist with all stages of business, including startup business plans, access to financing, growth, resiliency plans, e-commerce and marketing. Advisors offer one-on-one technical assistance on how to help businesses get funded, enter new markets, strengthen and pivot operations amid pandemic conditions, and build resiliency. Find the nearest center that offers the language, services, and subject matter expertise tailored to your business needs by clicking the button below:

Find an Small Business Technical Assistance Center Near You

SBDCs in the City of San Diego

CONNECT SBDC Asian Business Association SBDC

4110 Campus Point Court
San Diego, CA 92121

7675 Dagget St., Suite 340
San Diego, CA 92111
Languages: Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Japanese
The Brink @USD  International Rescue Committee SBDC

5998 Alcala Place
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Room 101   
San Diego, CA 92111
Languages: Spanish

5348 University Ave., #205
San Diego, CA 92105
Languages: Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, Somali,  Portuguese, French, Dari

Please consider the following City of San Diego, Federal, State and regional resources listed below.

We will continue to update this page as resources become available.

City of San Diego COVID-19 Business Support Programs


  • CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund provides economic assistance to City of San Diego or City of Chula Vista businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The low-interest loans, which range from $25,000-$95,000, are intended to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models to operating under pandemic restrictions, to promote economic resiliency, and to support the retention or creation of jobs. Please note that the loans funds are not to be used for emergency working capital expenditures such as payroll and rent.

Loan funds are intended to be applied toward future purchases of goods or services necessary for improve business operations and resilience amid pandemic safety restrictions and social-distancing protocols. Permitted expenditures include the purchase of air-filtration or touchless point-of-sale systems; expansion of online business capacity; or seating, umbrellas or heaters for outdoor business operation. Eligible businesses must have at least one employee on payroll and not be home-based, among other restrictions. Not sure whether your business qualifies? Read the full program details and take the interest questionnaire by clicking the button below

CARES Act Revolving Loan Program Webpage


TOBO Grant postcard

  • Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Grants assist small businesses with adapting operations amid COVID-19. Businesses located in the City of San Diego can apply to receive $3,000 to construct or modify outdoor decks and platforms to bring them in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). As much as an additional $2,000for a maximum grant of $5,000will 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. Read full program details and apply by clicking the button below:

Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Grant Webpage


  • City of San Diego Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Continuing his efforts to support small businesses and get San Diegans back to work, Mayor Todd Gloria launched a grant program on Aug. 11, 2021, with The San Diego Foundation to provide $12 million to support small businesses and nonprofits hardest hit by the pandemic. (Read the full press releaseCoSD Small Business and Nonprofit Relief FundThe program, which won unanimous approval of City Council, is being administered by The San Diego Foundation, which contributed $2 million to increase the total program funding to $12 million. 

The deadline to apply was Sept. 24, 2021. More than 4,000 applications were received, and grant recipients are expected to be announced in mid- to late-November.

Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 for small businesses, with other amounts available for nonprofits. Eligible businesses included self-employed workers, independent contractors, sole proprietors and corporations with no more than 100 employees. Read full program details by clicking the button below:

City of San Diego Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Webpage


Archived City of San Diego COVID-19 Programs

City of San Diego Small Business Relief Fund (2020)

U.S. Federal SupportCoping with COVID-19

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries. The Small Business Administration, in partnership with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) developed the official federal resource for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19, which is available by clicking on the button below:

FEDERAL SITE: Helping Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Small Business Administration (SBA) | 800-659-2955 | The SBA is administering the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act to offer new programs and supplement the relief already provided by the 2020 CARES Act. SBA offers help for small businesses affected by COVID-19 through the current programs of COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Targeted EIDL Advance, SBA Debt Relief, and cross-program eligibility.

SBA COVID-19 Relief Programs

  • Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance (EIDL Advance) are funds that do not need to be repaid by the hardest-hit businesses and private nonprofits. Applicants for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) may be eligible to receive up to $15,000 in funding from SBA that does not need to be repaid. These "advances" are similar to a grant, but without the typical requirements that come with a U.S. government grant. The  American Rescue Plan Act provided an additional $15 billion for Targeted EIDL Advance payments, including a new $5 billion for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance payments for those businesses hardest-hit.

APPLICATION: SBA Economic Impact Disaster Loan 

  • SBA Small Business Debt Relief  As a part of the CARES Act, SBA is authorized to pay six months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all 7(a), 504, and Microloans reported in regular servicing status (excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans). This debt relief to borrowers was originally dependent on the loan being fully disbursed prior to Sept. 27, 2020, and does not apply to loans made under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. These original provisions were amended on December 27, 2020, through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act). The Economic Aid Act revised the eligibility criteria for assistance to include all 7(a), 504, and Microloans approved up to September 27, 2020, even if not fully disbursed. All other provisions for initial debt relief remained the same.

For questions on any of the programs offered by SBA, contact the SBA San Diego District Office at 619-557-7250 or visit its site by clicking the button below:

SBA San Diego District Office

Other Federal Resources 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 webpage offers guidance on a variety of topics to prevent the spread of COVID-19. State, local, and federal agencies are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. 

CDC Guidance and Resources

  • Internal Revenue Services (IRS)
    • Online Tools for Tax Preparers The IRS, in January 2021, implemented this new online option for tax professionals to upload authorization forms with either electronic or handwritten signatures. This new tool is part of the IRS efforts to develop remote transaction options that help tax practitioners and their individual and business clients reduce face-to-face contact. 

    • Employee Retention Credits have been available to employers affected by COVID-19. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted Dec. 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the credits previously authorized under the CARES Act, including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit.  Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021. The American Rescue Plan extended the availability of the Employee Retention Credit for small businesses through December 2021 and allows businesses to offset their current payroll tax liabilities by up to $7,000 per employee per quarter. This credit of up to $28,000 per employee for 2021 is available to small businesses that have seen their revenues decline, or even been temporarily shuttered, due to COVID..

  • U.S. Department of Labor COVID-19 webpage offers information of Occupational Safety and Health SHA requirements, guidance for businesses and employees, and links to useful resources. 

Archived U.S. Federal Support Programs

These programs are no longer accepting applications and/or offering resources.

U.S. Federal Support Programs (2020-2021)

State of California Support

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled helpful information for employers, employees, and all Californians as it relates to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For a complete list of resources, please click the button below:

California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response for Workers & Business Website

State Reopening Guidance

California has reopened its economy as of June 15, 2021, following the Beyond the Blueprint framework. Beginning June 15, all sectors listed in the current PDF icon Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may begin to return to usual operations (with the limited exceptions for Mega Events), based on the general public health recommendations and as established by each County. Please check with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services department, as rules are evolving. Employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable. Businesses can also review guidance for safely reopening by clicking the button below:

California Current Safety Measures (Updated Oct. 26, 2021)

  • California COVID-19 Employer Portal offers businesses a one-stop site where they can select a California county and select up to six business activities to receive a current, customized roadmap covering the steps to operate safely, protect workers, and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Managed by the California Labor & Workforce Agency, the information features state and selected county guidance and summarized the state's COVID-19 industry guidance. Covered topics include COVID-19 vaccination-related information, risk assessment, physical distancing guidelines, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Access the portal by clicking the button below:

INTERACTIVE: Get Your Customized COVID-19 Roadmap (COVID-19 Employer Portal)

State Grant and Loan Programs

The state also frequently updates a webpage with economic resources for California business. To visit that page, please click the button below: 

Financial Help for California Businesses Webpage

Capital Program Highlights

  • California Capital Access for Small Business (CalCAP SB or Program) encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing for start-up, expansion or working capital. Managed by the California State Treasurer's Office California Pollution Control Financing Authority, CalCAP is a loan-loss reserve program, which may provide up to 100% coverage to participating lenders on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. Small businesses with one to 500 employees may receive more favorable loan terms from a participating lender enrolled in the CalCAP Loan Loss Reserve Program. Individual borrowers are limited to a maximum of $2.5 million enrolled over a 3-year period. Contact a PDF icon participating lender to enroll.

  • California Grants Portal Search categories such as Environment & Water, Disadvantaged Communities, Health & Human Services; Education; Housing, Community and Economic Development; Parks & Recreation; Energy; Employment, Labor & Training, to find grants for individuals, businesses and nonprofits. (See also California Grant and Funding Opportunities.)

  • California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) IBank was created in 1994 to finance public infrastructure and private development that promote a healthy climate for creating and retaining jobs, that contribute to a strong economy, that encourage investment in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, and that improve the quality of life for all Californian. IBank helps businesses create and retain jobs, and encourages investment in low- and moderate- income communities. IBank has broad authority to issue tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds, provide financing to public agencies, provide credit enhancements, acquire or lease facilities, and leverage State and Federal funds. Its current programs include the Infrastructure State Revolving Fund (ISRF) Loan Program, California Lending for Energy and Environmental Needs (CLEEN) Center, the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund, California Health Facilities Financing Authority Bond Financing Program, and the Small Business Finance Center.

  • IBank Small Business Finance Center promotes statewide economic development by increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs, the self-employed, microbusiness and small business owners to have better access to capital and other technical resources. The Finance Center programs include the following loan and loan guarantee programs: 

    • 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.

    • Farm Loan Program supports direct loans of up to $1,399,000 to small farms for purchase operating costs and other expenses.

  • California Rebuilding Fund is a public-private loan program to support the smallest of California’s small businesses, especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically underresourced areas of the state. Businesses that employed 50 or less Full-Time Equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply. The Fund, which include a $25 million anchor commitment from the California's IBank, was launched to offer flexible, transparent, affordable capital and free advisory services through community-based lenders, becoming a resource in the market as businesses pivot and recover.California Rebuilding Fund logo 

Not all businesses will be matched with a participating community lender based on each lender’s initial criteria. If matched, a business owner will be connected with a local community lender, which will be a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The community lender will work with the business owner on the full loan application and, if approved, throughout the life of the loan. The loans, which are not forgivable in part or whole, will need to be paid back over a 3- or 5-year term, with a fixed annual interest rate that is currently 4.25%. (See also City of San Diego CARES Act Revolving Loan Program and thePDF icon San Diego Loan Matrix.)

VIDEO: CA Rebuilding Fund

  • 2021 Main Street Small Business Tax Credit II (Credit reservations accepted Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2021) will provide COVID-19 financial relief to qualified small business employers. On Nov. 1, 2021, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) began accepting applications for tentative small business hiring credit reservation amounts through its online reservation system. Qualified small business employers must apply with the CDTFA for a credit reservation. The credit reservations will be allocated to qualified small business employers on a first-come, first-served basis. Qualified small business employers may apply to reserve $1,000 per net increase in qualified employees, not to exceed $150,000. Tentative credit reservation amounts will generally be reduced by credit amounts reserved or received under the first Main Street Small Business Tax Credit. Qualified small businesses will be able to offset their income taxes or their sales and use taxes with the credit when filing their returns.

State Resilience and Recovery Programs

  • California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA)California Office of the Small Business Advocate launched its website in Sept. 2021 that connects California’s small business community with critical resources available through state-funded small business technical assistance program and other state resources. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups can access the following information: small business technical assistance centers that offer specialized support for no-cost or at a low-cost; financing information, including state and federal capital programs and tax/credit incentive programs; business Learning Center that helps business owners navigate the varying stages of the business development process; permits, licenses, and regulations; and access to new markets, including e-commerce, international trade, and procurement and supply chain programs.

CalOSBA is part of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). CalOSBA, according to its website, "supports economic growth and innovation and ensures that ALL California small businesses and innovative startups have the information and direct support they need to better navigate resources, programs and regulations.  CalOSBA serves as the voice of small business, representing their views and interests across the state and advocating for equitable access to capital, markets, and networks so that all California small businesses successfully start, manage, grow and become more resilient."

  • California Disaster Resources - COVID and Wildfires GO-Biz has compiled resources and guidance for California businesses during COVID-19 through a website and CalOSBA's disaster resource guide.

  • Get Digital CA!  Launched by CalOSBA in September 2020, Get Digital CA! is an e-commerce initiative to promote accelerators and intensive trainings to build the skills necessary to compete in an online marketplace and drive Californians to support sGetDigital Californiamall businesses through a Technology Learning Center, where entrepreneurs can learn to grow their businesses with Facebook, Instagram, and Google; Online Tools, which provides free or discounted products, services and resources from more than 40 partner vendors; and Digital Pop-Festivals, which features interactive, online shopping festivals showing local, diverse small businesses in selected cities.

    • E-Commerce to Grow Your Online Presence  Offered as part of GO-Biz's now-retired #ShopSafeShopLocal campaign, this site provides information about special programs, resources, and tools available from industry leads and California State Agencies to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses online. Free and discounted resources are presented from GoDaddy, Google, Nextdoor, eBay, Yelp, and gosite among others.  

  • OnwardCA is a one-stop resource and an initiative of companies, foundations, and humans to get California workers displaced by COVID-19 essential life services and bacOnwardCAk to work as quickly as possible. The site features three-step support, connecting people with Essential Life Service (money, food, shelter, etc.); Retraining Opportunities (upskill, reskill, and refresh programs), and Job Search (more than 70,000 jobs opportunities in critical industries). 

  • OutSmart Disaster is a statewide awareness campaign led by California’s Business Consumer Services and Housing Agency with The California Academy for Economic Development that seeks to equip California businesses and nonprofits with the resources they need to prepare and recover from all types of disasters. Check out our Resiliency Clinic, monthly virtual workshops that provide tips and Resiliency Tools for immediate business preparedness. Interested in taking a closer look at your business’ resiliency? Click on the button below: 

INTERACTIVE: Outsmart Disaster Resilient Business Challenge

  • Safely Making Web Platform California manufacturersSafely Making California who produce personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and gloves, can advertise their wares on this website, which is a joint effort by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) and the State of California.  A manufacturer does not have to be a member of CMTA to participate. To apply, manufacturers should complete this form.  

Additional Resources: State Offices

  • CA Board of Equalization | Property Tax Department: 916-274-3350 | If your property has been damaged by a recent natural disaster, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner.

  • CA Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board | 800-321-2752 | The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) verifies contractor licenses, investigates complaints, and provides helpful information about hiring a licensed contractor.

  • CA Department of Industrial Relations (CDIR) offers guidance on workplace safety and health regulations during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards are still in effect. The workplace standards were updated on June 17, 2021 to include requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
  • CA Department of Insurance (CDI) | 800-927-4357 | CDI aids with questions about insurance or dispute with an insurer. CDI staff are also located at Local Assistance and Disaster Recovery Centers for one-on-one assistance.
  • CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides COVID-19 tracking and vaccination updates.
  • CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration | 800-400-7115 | For questions about filing, extensions and tax relief, call the CDTFA at 1-800-400-7115 or schedule an in-person, video, or phone appointments at the CDTFA public counters. Online videos and Live Webinars are available in lieu of in-person classes. Automatic COVID-19-related extensions for taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax have expired. See the CDTFA sales and use tax and special taxes and fees return extension due dates page for a list of the filing periods, original due dates, and extension due dates. Learn how to reach CDFTA for immediate customer service or contact the local CDTFA office below:

City Local CDTFA Office Address Phone/Fax/Email Directions
San Diego 15015 Avenue of Science, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92128-3434
FAX: 858-675-4100
  • CA Employment Development Department (EDD) | 800-300-5616 | EDD staff are located throughout the state to provide assistance with filing claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, job search assistance, and general support, referrals, and resources. Call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center 1-888-745-3886 (toll-free). While COVID-19-related extensions are no longer available, employers affected by natural disasters, including wildfires and drought, and other emergencies may request Emergency and Disaster Assistance.

    • Employment Training Panel - Rapid Employment Strategies Pilot on Natural Disasters (RESPOND) | Email: etpedunit@etp.ca.gov | 916-327-5258 | The Panel implemented RESPOND Pilot Program in order to help mitigate the devastating effects of drought on workers and industries.

    • PDF icon Rapid Response Services for Businesses A proactive, business-focused program designed to assist companies facing potential layoffs or closures.

    • Work Sharing Program allows employers to apply for this Unemployment Insurance (UI) program if a pandemic-related reduction in production, demand for services, or other conditions puts employees at risk of layoffs. As a temporary alternative to layoffs, this Program allows workers to keep their jobs and get partial unemployment benefits to supplement reduced work hours. By allowing employers to bring back furloughed or laid-off workers at reduced hours, employers can avoid hiring and training expenses associated with new staff during recovery.

    • Unemployment Insurance Benefits The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect benefits for the first week of work.

  • CA Franchise Tax Board | 800-852-5711 | Taxpayers may deduct a disaster loss for any loss sustained in California that is proclaimed by the Governor to be in a State of Emergency.

  • CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency has released a summary of benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.

  • CA Permit & Regulatory Assistance GO-Biz permit experts offer comprehensive permit and regulatory compliance assistance to all businesses in California by serving as the central source of permit guidance. For information about state permits and fees, vist the CalGold permits portal.

Archived California State Programs 

These programs are no longer accepting applications.

California State Programs (2020 and 2021)

San Diego Region Support

The County of San Diego provides a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage with sections on Evaluating COVID-19 Information, Public Health Misinformation Panel, health orders, vaccine sites, testing sites, COVID-19 transmission dashboards, mask guidance, suggested signage, and safe reopening guidance. To visit that page, please click the button below:

County of San Diego COVID-19 Information Page

PDF icon GRAPHIC: San Diego Regional Loan Matrix

  • San Diego Workforce Partnership offers information and services that may assist employers who are forced to consider work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs. Also, SDWP has resources for impacted employees, including unemployment Insurance information, tax assistance, a work-sharing program to avoid layoffs, financial planning, remote career services and more. Visit the SDWP Career Portal by clicking the button below:

San Diego Workforce Partnership Career Portal

  • 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. The United Way has designated seven local organizations to award grants and disperse funds. 

Archived San Diego Region Programs

These programs are no longer accepting applications.

San Diego Region Programs (2020)

Additional Support

California Scope

National Scope

Archived Support Programs

These programs are no longer accepting applications.

Additional Support Programs (2020)