San Diego Small Business Relief Grant Fund

San Diego Small Business Relief Grant Fund

In partnership with the City of San Diego, Cal Coast Credit Union, The Cal Coast Cares Foundation, and GoFundMe we are helping to bring relief to small businesses who need it most



This opportunity is now closed and all funds have been distributed. To read about the recipients, view here.  

The City of San Diego issued the Small Business Relief Grant Fund supplemental questionnaire to eligible applicants on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The response window closed Monday, June 1 at 5:00PM Pacific. We anticipate receiving more than 1,000 applications the week of June 8, and communicating grant decisions within one month. Access our answers to frequently asked questions here.

Are you an applicant with a question about the Small Business Relief Grant Fund? 



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. 

As a result, the City has expanded the program to include the Small Business Relief Grant Fund, and a new partnership with San Diego Grantmakers to manage the grantmaking process for these additional funds. The expansion of this program is a result of the City, Cal Coast Credit Union, 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.


Cal Coast Credit Union, Qualcomm, and GoFundMe each contributed $100,000 to launch this new initiative and in less than 24 hours the fund exceeded $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.


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, which we have designed to help businesses who need it most and may have been overlooked by other relief opportunities. Any application received by the City’s Small Business Relief Fund to date that was not funded with the first fund established could be funded through this effort. All applications remain available for reference to San Diego Grantmakers so businesses do not need to apply again.  

Applicants will be assessed based on: 

  • Located within the City of San Diego
  • Preference given to locations within an Opportunity Zone or Promise Zone, Qualified Census Tract, or Difficult Development Area
  • Owner household income
  • Businesses with annual revenue of $100,000 or less
  • Businesses with 0-100 employees; including home-based and sole proprietors 
  • Ability to demonstrate financial hardship
  • Percent revenue lost
  • Percent jobs to be retained

Applications for the fund closed at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, April 14. Applications are currently being reviewed and this site will be updated when funds have been awarded. We anticipate awards to be dispersed on a rolling basis, contingent on the funds being raised by the Cal Coast Cares Foundation GoFundMe page. 


  • For questions related to the grantmaking process for these funds, please contact Megan Thomas at San Diego Grantmakers  
  • For questions related to the dispersement process for these funds, please contact Rene McKee at Cal Coast Credit Union
  • For further information and assistance on the City's COVID19 response, please visit this page.