Small Businesses and Nonprofits Urged to Apply Through the San Diego Foundation

For Immediate Release

August 9, 2021 – San Diego, CA – Continuing his efforts to support small businesses and get San Diegans back to work, Mayor Todd Gloria launched a grant program today with The San Diego Foundation to provide $12 million to small businesses and nonprofits hardest hit by the pandemic.

“We thoughtfully crafted this program to effectively distribute millions of dollars as a lifeline for local businesses and nonprofits,” Mayor Gloria said. “With The San Diego Foundation’s partnership, we’re able to provide $12 million of aid as they navigate how to recover from the pandemic. 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.”

Mayor Gloria’s “Back to Work SD” 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.

“San Diego’s small businesses and nonprofits are a critical part of the fabric of our community,” Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera said. “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. So, if you’re a businessowner who has been struggling, please apply. San Diego is investing in your success.”

The San Diego Foundation provided an additional $2 million to support local nonprofit organizations and increased the total program funding to $12 million. Applications for this funding will be open between 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 Mark Stuart, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “This public-private partnership will sustain local nonprofits as they continue their important work for just, equitable and resilient communities in San Diego.”

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

“As a small business owner, I know firsthand how COVID relief grants like this can greatly impact small and family-owned businesses in our pandemic recovery,” said Prince Shamamba, Owner of Huruma Clothing. “The process of accessing relief assistance can be made much easier by partner organizations like SBDC. These grants can also help us get more local youth involved in our business operations, from selling processes to specialized training.”

The application process is not first come first serve. 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.

“Having helped thousands of San Diego businesses during the pandemic, the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network know the high need for additional grant assistance, in particular, for small business that are historically underrepresented,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Acting Regional Director of the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center. “The SBDC is here to help small business owners through the application process with no-cost training and one-on-one meetings. We look forward to seeing more funds get to small businesses who need it most.”

“San Diego BIPOC Business Owners Matter. They are a part of the economic engine of San Diego,” said Donna DeBerry, President and CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. “The City of San Diego cannot allow the pandemic to dilute the vision and the progress of underserved businesses and communities. Providing equitable resources to these businesses not only supports their dreams and aspirations, but it also refuels and rebuilds the City of San Diego.”


Lorena Nava Ruggero, The San Diego Foundation, 619-309-5179,
Office of Mayor Todd Gloria,