San Diego mayor announces $12M in relief grants for small businesses

Applications for relief grants begin Aug. 11 until Sept. 24, $12 million available


San Diego is planning to distribute $12 million in COVID-19 relief grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations hit hard by the pandemic, Mayor Todd Gloria announced Monday.

“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,” Gloria said in a statement.

Gloria’s “Back to Work SD” budget allocated $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 businesses and nonprofits hammered by the pandemic and in historically underinvested communities.

Another $2 million will be provided by The San Diego Foundation to support nonprofits.

The application period begins Aug. 11 and runs through Sept. 24.

“San Diego’s small businesses and nonprofits are a critical part of the fabric of our community,’’ Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera said in a news release. “The COVID Relief Grant Program isn’t just meant to be a lifeline to those struggling to make it. 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 ... ,” he said.

Donna DeBerry, president of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that “BIPOC” (Black, indigenous and people of color) business owners matter. “Providing equitable resources to these businesses not only supports their dreams and aspirations, but it also refuels and rebuilds the City of San Diego,” DeBerry said.

Free application assistance is available through the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center and other partners. The International Rescue Committee is providing assistance and outreach in multiple languages to communities of color and immigrant communities.

To apply for COVID-19 relief grants, visit