City of San Diego Announces Small Business Relief Grant Program Partnership with San Diego Grantmakers

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

We are teaming up with the City of San Diego, Cal Coast Credit Union, The Cal Coast Cares Foundation, and GoFundMe to bring equity-informed relief to small businesses


The City of San Diego announced yesterday the expansion of its Business Relief and Support Program, and a new partnership with San Diego Grantmakers to manage the grant making process for funds.  

The expansion of this program is a result of the City, the Cal Coast Cares Foundation, SDG and its members rallying together to bring our resources to bear in support of our region's resiliency. We are grateful for the strong relationships held across our region that together are creating a coordinated response to this crisis. Here at SDG, we are realizing new and different ways we can most effectively contribute our time and talent to relief efforts. We are honored to help guide the grantmaking for the City, bringing an equity-informed lens to the overwhelming need we are seeing.

In the wake of COVID19, tens of thousands of San Diego businesses have had to close their operations, critically impacting our region's economy. More than 98% of businesses in San Diego have less than 100 employees—these are the businesses we know and love that need our assistance to help sustain their employees and keep their doors open. 

At Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s urging to provide grants and micro loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, the City of San Diego allocated $6 million to create the Small Business Relief Fund, to provide certainty and offer financial support to businesses facing reductions in demand, shorter business hours, and business closures due to the pandemic. The City received more than 9,000 applications for these funds, highlighting the need for more financial assistance raised for businesses that were not awarded. 

SDG connected the City with interested members to help realize the potential for a program expansion. In this expanded program, financial assistance will range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will be allocated to eligible small businesses based on the availability of funds and program guidelines established with SDG, including preference going to businesses in Opportunity or Promise Zones, Qualified Census Tracts, and Difficult Development Areas.

Cal Coast Credit Union, Qualcomm, and GoFundMe have each contributed $100,000 to launch this new initiative and in less than 24 hours the fund already exceeds $400,000 in contributions. In addition, SDG members The San Diego Foundation and Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego have stepped up in a big way to fund the grants management cost to SDG.

With thousands of businesses in need, the Cal Coast Cares Foundation has established a GoFundMe page to activate additional contributions to the grant fund. Funders and San Diegans are encouraged to make a contribution in any amount to the Small Business Relief Grant Fund at Cal Coast Cares Foundation and 100% of the funds will be distributed as grants to small businesses in partnership with San Diego Grantmakers. 

We look forward to continuing to provide updates on this program as they become available. Please, as always, reach out to us with any questions you may have. Thank you so much for your support.

Know a small business in need of support?
Applications will be received through Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59 pm to allow for those businesses who may not yet be in the queue time to send in their application. Please refer interested business to the City's page.

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