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Small Business Grant Relief Program Accepts Applications Starting Wednesday

Sculptured lions guard the front of Jasmine Seafood Restaurant on Convoy Street. Aug. 25, 2016.
Matthew Bowler
Sculptured lions guard the front of Jasmine Seafood Restaurant on Convoy Street. Aug. 25, 2016.

Mayor Todd Gloria Monday announced a $12 million grant program that will support small businesses and nonprofits hardest hit by the pandemic, with applications being accepted starting this week through the San Diego Foundation.

"We thoughtfully crafted this program to effectively distribute millions of dollars as a lifeline for local businesses and nonprofits," Gloria said. "With The San Diego Foundation's partnership, we're able to provide $12 million of aid ... For many of our family-owned businesses and community-based organizations, these grants are a much-needed opportunity to get back on track and rebuild their livelihoods."

RELATED: ‘Back To Work SD’ To Provide $10 Million In COVID Relief For Businesses


The city's budget allocated a total of $14.2 million in one-time funding for programs to get San Diegans back to work through a variety of initiatives, including $10 million in financial assistance to small business and nonprofits hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and in historically underinvested communities.

The San Diego Foundation provided an additional $2 million to support local nonprofit organizations and increased the total grant funding to $12 million.

"San Diego's small businesses and nonprofits are a critical part of the fabric of our community," Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera said.

"The COVID Relief Grant Program isn't just meant to be a lifeline to those struggling to make it," he continued. "It is an investment by our city in the hardworking people who make San Diego what we are. Even better, by focusing on historically underinvested in communities, we are working to provide opportunity to those who have been left out of less thoughtful relief efforts. So, if you're a businessowner who has been struggling, please apply. San Diego is investing in your success."

Applications will be accepted between Wednesday, Aug. 11, and Sept. 24, with grants awarded by the San Diego Foundation shortly thereafter.


"For the past year, our community-based organizations have proven a lifeline for our neighbors in need providing financial assistance, food security, childcare and other essential support," said the San Diego Foundation President and CEO Mark Stuart. "This public-private partnership will sustain local nonprofits as they continue their important work for just, equitable and resilient communities in San Diego."

RELATED: States Tap Federal Aid To Shore Up Empty Unemployment Funds

Small businesses located in the city and nonprofits serving residents of San Diego can view eligibility requirements and apply at

Grant decisions will be made after the initial window for applications closes.

Free application assistance is available through the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center and other partners. The International Rescue Committee is providing significant assistance and outreach to critical populations in multiple languages as well.