5 COVID-19 resources for San Diego small businesses – April 2021

Note: San Diego County is currently in the state’s Orange Tier, which increases indoor restaurant capacity to 50 percent, increases indoor gym and brewery capacity to 25 percent, and removes retail capacity limits. California plans to eliminate the tier system on June 15 if current trends continue—more updates and resources to come.

With continued changes to COVID-19 relief programs, it can be challenging to sift through what’s available. Below, EDC has outlined new and ongoing business resources available in April 2021 as your small business or manufacturer navigates the impacts of COVID-19.

1. Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

Open NOW: Via SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, the SVOG will distribute $16 billion in grants first come, first served to venues closed due to COVID-19. Apply now.

  • Award: Grant of 45 percent of gross earned revenue up to $10 million, with $2 billion reserved for applicants with up to 50 full-time employees
  • Application period: Today (April 26) until funds are depleted
  • Who’s eligible? Live venue operators/promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums, motion picture theater operators, talent representatives, and more
  • Applicants must not have applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020

2. California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

On April 28, the State of California will open a final round for its California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Prepare to apply.

  • Award: Grant of $5,000 to $25,000 per business
  • Application period: April 28 to May 4
  • Who’s eligible? Small businesses or nonprofits with yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less
  • Awards are needs-based, not first-come, first-served
  • Those who submitted their application and all documentation in earlier rounds do not need to reapply

Watch San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center’s on-demand webinars or contact EDC to learn more.

3. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

PPP loans are designed as direct incentives for small businesses to keep workers on payroll. Both first and second-time borrowers may apply for a loan, with priority to companies that haven’t received a first loan and those in heavily impacted sectors.

For all PPP applications

  • Application period: Ongoing through May 31, 2021
  • PPP loans are nontaxable and will be forgivable if employee retention criteria is met
  • Companies may receive both a PPP loan and EIDL loan without compromising PPP forgiveness

First Draw PPP

  • Award: Loan size dependent on business, with a 1 percent interest rate
  • Who’s eligible? Small businesses that meet SBA’s size standards, businesses with fewer than 500 employees or meet SBA’s industry size standards, or businesses with a NAICS code beginning with 72 with more than one physical location and fewer than 500 employees per location

Second Draw PPP

  • Award: Loan of up to $2 million with a 1 percent interest rate
  • Who’s eligible? Businesses above that have previously received a First Draw PPP loan and will or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, have no more than 300 employees, and can demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020

Get expert help applying at no cost: 
Contact our team via the San Diego Small Business Development Center.

4. Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

EIDLs are available to businesses, private non-profits, homeowners, and renters who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Apply now.

  • Award: Loan up to $500,000 with 24 months of economic injury
  • Application period: Ongoing
  • Who’s eligible? Small business owners, qualified agricultural businesses, agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees, agricultural businesses engaged in food and fiber production, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and more

5. Targeted EIDL Advance

Businesses and non-profit organizations that received a previous EIDL Advance in an amount less than $10,000 will have first priority to apply for the Targeted EIDL Advance. The SBA may reach out directly to you via email with instructions to determine eligibility and invite you to apply.

  • Award: Grant amount dependent on business
  • Application period: Ongoing
  • Who’s eligible? Non-farm businesses with 300 or fewer employees, that are located in federally identified low-income communities, and can demonstrate a reduction in revenue of more than 30 percent during an eight week period beginning on or after March 2, 2020
  • All communications from SBA will be sent from an official government email with an @sba.gov ending

EDC is here to help. Request our help finding resources, applying to relief programs, and more, at no charge.

Request EDC assistance


For more COVID-19 recovery resources and information, please visit this page, or see how we can help your company free of charge.


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Apply by March 29: California Competes Tax Credit

ABOUT THE California Competes Tax Credit

Businesses growing in the state of California over the next five years, or considering leaving California: Apply for a significant tax credit to offset your state income tax liability.

Awards are primarily based on the following factors, including:

  • Number of jobs created or retained in California
  • Capital investments in California over the next 5 years
  • Overall economic benefit to the state and its people
  • Commitment to remaining in California

For more information on eligibility and assistance, visit the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) website.


Get help applying

Learn about the application process via California GO-Biz’s on-demand webinars:

  • March 10, 9:30–10:30 a.m. PST | Register
  • March 18, 4:00–5:00 p.m. PST | Register
  • March 23, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PST | Register

Plus, reach out to EDC’s expert team for assistance, free of charge.

“San Diego Regional EDC was an integral resource for our redevelopment. They were able to strategically bring key partners together and secure incentives that best positioned us to redevelop our headquarters in the Kearny Mesa area.”
–Anshooman Aga, EVP and CFO at Cubic Corporation, which secured an $8 million California Competes Tax Credit.


4 resources for San Diego small businesses – May 21, 2020

With so many relief and recovery programs launching every day, it can be difficult to figure out which ones your business should prioritize. In addition to financial resources for San Diego businesses and residents that we’ve compiled here, here are four recovery resources you should know about. 

1. Connect with your customers online via GoSite

Local digital software suite provider GoSite is helping small businesses connect with their customers online with a free website and payment method. Click here to learn more.

2. Reopening guides for San Diego’s restaurants, retailers, & small businesses

San Diego Regional EDC convened a broad coalition to develop step-by-step guides to help local businesses reopen. These guides have been tested in focus groups, and align with local, state and national guidance. EDC recognizes that in order to get to a point where reopening guides such as these are useful, other issues, like childcare, must be addressed first. Download your guide here.

3. SDGE late payment fee waivers

SDG&E will waive late payment fees for business customers whose finances have been hit hard. The company also urges customers who are struggling to pay their utility bill due to financial hardships stemming from the coronavirus to call its Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 to make payment arrangements. Click here to learn more.

4. Rady School business recovery coalition

The Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego will help businesses in the San Diego region navigate the unprecedented challenges faced by COVID-19. Drawing on expertise from the UC San Diego community, Rady will provide immediate pro bono assistance to businesses, including PPP loan forgiveness application templates, risk evaluation, and other guidance. Apply here.

For more COVID-19 recovery resources and information, please visit this page.

Regardless of how this all plays out, EDC is here to help. You can use the button below to request our assistance with finding information, applying to relief programs, and more.

Request EDC assistance

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Reopening San Diego’s small businesses [free guides]

San Diego Regional EDC, in partnerships with San Diego and Imperial SBDC, have commissioned a broad team to develop detailed guides to help small businesses reopen – in advance of San Diego’s announced phase 2 reopenings. The guides align with current local (San Diego County), state, and national guidance, were developed in collaboration with various regional task forces, and have been tested in focus groups by local businesses.

Small businesses are the backbone of our region’s economy, and employ the majority of San Diegans. In order to meet our regional goal of creating 50,000 quality jobs in small businesses by 2030, we all need to invest in ensuring small businesses have the tools they need to recover, adapt, and thrive over the coming months. Funding, technical assistance, and childcare for working parents are also important to the long term recovery and resiliency of San Diego’s small businesses.

For more tools to help distribute the guides, contact Heather Dewis at hd@sandiegobusiness.org. Let’s get San Diego back to work. 

Download the free Small Business guides

Additional Small Business resources

For more business resources, including information about relief programs, visit our COVID-19 resource page.

If you’re a small business that is looking for direct counseling, please request EDC’s support here.

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