Tools For Business

COVID-19 Resources

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

[updated 2/2/21] On November 30, 2020, Governor Newsom and the State Legislature announced the allocation of $500 million available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).

Grants will not be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and will be awarded after the close of each application round. The second window for the state's relief grant opened Feb. 2. Small businesses or nonprofits that didn't apply in round 1 can apply for round 2 consideration until 6 p.m. Feb. 8. The first round closed – grant awards as well as waitlist notifications went out. Waitlisted applicants automatically moved into round 2 and don't need to reapply.

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Lendistry has been designated by the State to act as the intermediary for the Program to disburse the grant funds. Learn more.

Paycheck Protection Program

The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program began accepting applications on January 11, 2021 prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Status of County Businesses - 1/12/2021

With the changing dynamics and impact of COVID-19 on San Diego County, for the most up to date information on guidelines for businesses, please see the County’s Safe Reopening website. 

San Diego Reopening Resources

San Diego Regional Economic Development Council convened a broad coalition to develop reference guides to help local businesses reopen. These guides have been tested in focus groups, and align with local, state and national guidance. Download here.

The San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, with funding by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz), have partnered to prepare small business owners to navigate required for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBDC website provides free live and on-demand webinars to help small businesses prepare for reopening. The site also includes training, county resources, templates, and counseling.

Additional SBA Coronavirus Relief Options

In addition to the programs listed above, the Small Business Administration has information on SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief on its Coronavirus Relief Options webpage.

Tax Payer Assistance

The Secretary of the Treasury announced a 90-day extension for any federal taxes due - from April 15 to July 15. You can find the specific IRS guidance here. The Treasury department announced Tax Day would be moved from April 15 to July 15. No interest or penalties will be charged for filing during this extended window, but any American expecting refunds or credits may claim now to get their money sooner.

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced updated special tax relief for all California taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FTB is postponing until July 15.

Business Assistance

The San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network is providing all services online. You can visit and click "Request Counseling" to get assistance. The SBDC can help you apply for capital and work through the ways you now have to pivot to get personal assistance or “On-Demand Training” for free training courses. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) guide can help you navigate a number of SBA programs relevant to business survival and recovery. 

Federal assistance information can be found at the Small Business Administration – San Diego office. 

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has a resource page for businesses and employees.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is temporarily suspending enforcement of specific legal prohibitions.


United Way of San Diego San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative – Individuals or families who experience job loss or pay reductions since March 1 can receive help to pay gas, electric, water, trash, phone and Internet bills, as well as rent or mortgage payments. Apply online.

Essential Workers – The State Public Health Officer’s list of "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers" further clarifying the Governor’s "stay-at-home" Executive Order.

If you are unsure on where to look for assistance, contact Economic Development Administrator Craig Ruiz by email or call 858-668-4509. 

New and Existing Business Assistance

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – The SBDC is dedicated to increasing the economic vitality of the community by providing consulting services and workshops for both start‐up and existing businesses.  SBDC provides consulting services and most seminars at no cost. The SBDC offers assistance in Finance; Marketing; Business Planning; Government Contracting; General Business; Accounting; and E-business.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States. The SBA on-line Business Guide will help you plan, launch, manage and grow your business.

In addition, both the SBDC and the SBA provide assistance specifically targeted to assist Military Veterans

Hiring Assistance

  • San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) - The SDWP can help you hire and/or train qualified workers. The SDWP cans assist with employment and training needs, including customized recruitment and hiring assistance, and funding for training new employees.
  • Veterans Assistance - The California Employment Development Department (EDD) assists veterans and their eligible spouses to maximize their employment and training opportunities. Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help in their search for employment.

Tax Information

Schedule a One-on-One Appointment

For more information on starting or operating a business, schedule a one-on-one appointment with Economic Development Administrator Craig Ruiz today!