COVID-19 Business Resources

Last updated 10/16/20

Guidance for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

We're compiling a growing list of resources for business owners that we will update below.

Click here for information on how you can support our local businesses during this time.

San Diego Resources

City of San Diego Strategies for Reopening the Economy

The City of San Diego has published San Diego Ready: Strategies To Reopen San Diego's Economy. This document provides a list of guidelines that businesses need to follow in San Diego County in order to prepare for reopening.

City of San Diego Press Releases

San Diego County Coronavirus Information

Regularly updated information from the County of San Diego about the coronavirus, including county-wide statistics and wellness resources.

Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce

The CSDBCC has grant opportunities available for small and disadvantaged businesses. The application is open and will close on Thursday, October 22nd. Go to for more information and to apply.

LISC San Diego - Small Business Relief Grants, Round 5

Round 5 of the LISC Small Business Relief Grants is now open! These grants are for small businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19. This round of applications must be submitted by Monday, August 3rd, at 8:59 pm PST. For more information, and prior to applying, please read the Grant Information Overview and FAQ. Please email if you have questions not answered by the FAQ. The application can be found here.

Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit

The Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit supports the recovery of local retail outlets and restaurants devastated by economic impacts from COVID-19 by helping businesses with limited footprints operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses and get closer to the sunshine. The goal is to help dining and retail outlets with space constraints expand operations outdoors so they can cost-effectively implement safety, health and distancing protocols. Click on the link to learn more and apply for the permit.

City Heights Business Relief Fund

In an effort to help locally owned businesses survive the current crisis and sustain their operations for the long-term, LISC San Diego has joined with members of the City Heights Economic Development Collaborative to launch the City Heights Business Relief Fund. Applications are open and will close June 24th.

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program

The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SDVLP) is offering a COVID-19 Brief Legal Advice Clinic to help San Diego small businesses and nonprofits cope with the pandemic. Volunteer attorneys will provide remote consultations to eligible businesses and nonprofit organizations on legal issues arising out of the pandemic, including questions relating to employment law, commercial leases, insurance, contracts, bankruptcy/restructuring, applications for financial assistance, and more. Consultations will last up to 45 minutes and are provided free of charge. Information in Spanish is available here. Applications can accessed using the following links:

Small Business Relief Fund

Learn about the City of San Diego's Small Business Relief Fund established to help businesses retain employees and sustain continuity of business operations impacted by federal, California, San Diego County and local emergency declarations regarding COVID-19.

The San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides small business owners no-cost guidance through the recovery process, including applying for disaster recovery loans if needed.

Support for Small Businesses Adapting to the Covid-19 Environment

Nathan Fletcher and the 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 requirements for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBDC and Supervisor Fletcher are unveiling a new website at to provide free live and on-demand webinars to help small businesses prepare for reopening. The site also includes training, county resources, templates, and counseling.

Webinars: Adapt Series

Webinars: Covid-19 and Capital for Small Business

Center on Policy Initiatives

The Center on Policy Initiatives is providing a template letter for tenants to give their landlords if they are unable to pay rent related to COVID 19. Tenants should send a hardship letter/email to their landlords as soon as possible. They also need to provide/collect documentation related to hardship (COVID-19).  If tenants do not notify their landlords, they may lose the protections under the "eviction moratorium."


Accion Serving Southern California is a nonprofit, mission-based microlender dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with the accessible financing and resources it takes to create or grow healthy businesses.

CDC Small Business Finance

CDC Small Business Finance has an extensive listing of support opportunities available to small businesses affected by COVID-19. View the CDC Small Business Finance guide to finding the right small business loan.

San Diego Foundation

Learn about the San Diego Foundation's Community Response Fund, which will make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations that have deep roots and strong experience supporting impacted communities, particularly those that are disproportionately affected by this global pandemic and its economic consequences.

United Way of San Diego County

Learn about the United Way of San Diego County's Worker Assistance Initiative to provide flexible resources to individuals impacted by layoffs and reduced working hours implemented by employers.

2-1-1 San Diego

2-1-1 San Diego provides access to 6,000+ services, resources and programs through their online database. By simply dialing 211 the call is free, confidential and available in more than 200 languages.

San Diego Workforce Partnership

Read about the San Diego Workforce Partnership's COVID-19 Updates for Businesses.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Read about SDG&E's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including payment help and a moratorium on disconnections.


IHeartmedia is launching a campaign called IHelpSD where they are promoting restaurants with takeout/delivery on all their stations. Click here to add your restaurant to their list.

State Resources

State Treasurer’s Office

California Capital Access Program (CalCAP): The California Capital Access Program for Small Business encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion or working capital, you may receive more favorable loan terms from a lender if your loan is enrolled in the CalCAP Loan Loss Reserve Program. CalCAP is a loan loss reserve program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. With CalCAP portfolio support, a lender may be more comfortable underwriting small business loans. You must contact a participating lender to enroll. A list of participating lenders can be found here. If your financial institution does not currently participate, it can apply using this form. Completed forms must be sent to Contact:


Small Business Finance Center: The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) partners with Financial Development Corporations to provide loan guarantees and direct loans for small businesses that experience capital access barriers. Contact:

Franchise Tax Board

The Franchise Tax Board has extended the state tax deadline. This relief includes moving the various tax filing and payment deadlines that occur on March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. Partnerships and LLCs who are taxed as partnerships whose tax returns are due on March 15 now have a 90-day extension to file and pay by June 15. Individual filers whose tax returns are due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to file and pay by June 15. Quarterly estimated tax payments due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to pay by June 15.

Employment Development Department

If you are experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may request up to a 60-day extension from the Employment Development Department (EDD) to file your state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For questions, call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center toll-free at 1-888-745-3886; TTY: 1-800-547-9565.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

During this time of uncertainty, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is supporting California businesses so they can focus on their health and personal priorities.To apply for special assistance, including additional filing and payment extensions, and/or relief from interest and penalties, visit the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website.

Labor and Workforce Development Agency

The LWDA has developed COVID-19 resources for employers and workers. Contact:

Employment Development Department

EDD can provide rapid response services for businesses, including help to avert potential layoffs and providing immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

The AICPA has a document that summarizes the latest developments on state tax filings related to the coronavirus.

The California Endowment

The California Endowment is providing downloadable posters with COVID-19 health and safety information that you can post in your place of business.

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Read the department's Notice of Regulatory Relief, which covers temporary changes designed to support the alcoholic beverage industry in its efforts to assist California in slowing the spread of the virus while assisting the industry in dealing with the economic challenges it is facing as a result.

Federal Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Economic Impact Payments will begin in April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Information about these payments can be found on the IRS website.

Employee Retention Credits Program (ERCP) provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of qualified wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses qualify if their operations were (1) fully or partially suspended due to a government-issued COVID-19-related shut-down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.

Click here for additional information about coronavirus tax relief.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Your Small Business: A guide to helping businesses of all types and in all regions navigate the complex process of reopening and evolving post-coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Read a statement from Administrator Jovita Carranza about SBA's plan to help the nation's small businesses.

Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources: Overview of all resources provided by the SBA during the COVID-19 crisis.

Disaster Loan Program: low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. For help and assistance contact:, (800) 659-2955.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low interest loans up to $2 million for small businesses, nonprofits of any size, small agricultural cooperatives, and small aquaculture enterprises. Here are some key things to know about EIDL:

  • This loan is direct from the US Federal Government.
  • This loan is for any small business (with very limited exclusions), independent contractors, free-lancers, gig workers, home-based businesses, and any other sole-proprietor, and non-profit organizations.
  • The loan is for working capital to pay your business operational expenses, not to expand your business. It can be used to pay an owner their draw or wage for their living expenses.
  • Only the $10,000 advance portion can be forgivable.
  • The application is available here. 
  • Read the SBA's 3 Step Guide on how to apply for a disaster relief assistance loan.
  • For help and assistance contact:, (800) 659-2955.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) This new program was created by the CARES Act. It is to support small business owners and their employees during the Covid-19 crisis by providing loans, that can be forgiven, in support of payroll expenses, mortgage, or rent. This program will become available on April 3. Here are some things to remember about PPP:

  • Loans are from banks or other lenders. You should first reach out to your bank if they offer the program. If not, you can find a lender here.
  • You are eligible if you are small business or a non-profit 501(c)(3) in operation prior to February 15, 2020 and paid employees or paid independent contractors under 1099.
  • You are also eligible for a PPP loan if you are an individual who operates under a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor or eligible self-employed individual, you were in operation on February 15, 2020.
  • Loans amounts cannot exceed $10 million
  • Loan amounts are based on 2.5 times your average monthly payroll. Payroll is fully loaded, included payroll taxes, insurance, group-health, and retirement. Payroll in excess of $100,000 per employee is excluded, but the pay up to $100,000 for that employee is included.
  • Forgiveness of the loan would be done on demonstrated payroll, rent, mortgage, or utility costs made by the small business between Feb 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

*You may receive both an EIDL and PPP,  however, they cannot be used for the same purpose. Meaning, if you use EIDL to pay rent, you can’t use PPP to pay rent. That said, SBDC recommends applying for both loans, then to work with your SBDC advisor following the loan offers to balance the use of funds between both programs to best ensure the survival of your business.


Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus


Businesses can begin applying for FEMA Disaster Assistance while awaiting a disaster declaration to release the funds.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Private Resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The US Chamber of Commerce has created a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to file for a loan.

National Council of Nonprofits

The National Council of Nonprofits has created a document outlining the different loans available to non-profit organizations through the CARES Act. They have also posted a link to their recent webinar Federal COVID-19 Legislation: What do they mean for nonprofits?

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has compiled a resource page for restaurants and workers coping with the COVID-19 emergency.

Opportunity Fund

Opportunity Fund is committed to supporting existing and new small business customers who are financially struggling amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Their website has numerous resources, including loan information and webinar links.

Kiva US Small Business Loans

In today's difficult circumstances, Kiva is working to make it easier for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform by expanding loan eligibility, providing larger loans, and offering a grace period of up to 6 months for borrowers.

LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation)

LISC has received an investment of $2.5 million from Verizon to create a small business recovery fund, making it possible for them to offer critical relief and resiliency-building grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. Applications will be accepted in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available.

California Bank & Trust

California Bank & Trust's City Heights location is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additional resources related to COVID-19 are available on their website, and staff are available to help customers navigate current challenges. California Bank & Trust is also available to help community members apply for the Main Street Lending Program. This program is designed to provide support to small and medium-sized businesses and their employees during the current period of financial strain by supporting the provision of credit to such businesses. For more information and to request support, please contact Jeff Barger at 619-521-4010 or

Chase Bank

Chase’s City Heights office is open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional resources related to COVID-19 are available on their website.

Self-Help Credit Union

Self-Help Credit Union's local branch is currently closed, but they are providing member support online and over the phone.

Citi Bank

Citi Bank is providing assistance for Retail Bank Customers, waiving monthly service fees and penalties for early CD withdrawal. For Retail Bank Small Business Customers, fee waivers are being provided for monthly service fees and remote deposit capture; waived penalties for early CD withdrawal; Bankers available after hours and on weekends for support.


Forbes has produced a list of banks offering relief to customers affected by COVID-19.

Wellness Resources

Mental health resources

  • San Diego County Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Line provides free and confidential immediate support and resources from an experienced counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-(888) 724-7240.
  • Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will help you connect to available local resources and treatment centers. Call 1-(800) 662-4357.
  • The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Call the 1-(866) 488-7386 or text START to 678678.
  • Parental Stress Helpline provides crisis management, support services, and will help you identify local resources. Call 1-(800) 632-8188.
  • Disaster Distress Line supports people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-(800) 985-5990.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support and prevention and crisis resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-(800) 273-8255.
  • Veterans Crisis Hotline connects veterans and their family and friends with qualified Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential hotline. Text 838255 or call 1-(800) 273-8255 and Press 1.

Resources for those experiencing domestic violence

  • YWCA San Diego Becky's House transitional housing provides longer-term housing and supportive services for individuals and families. Contact their  24-hour hotline: (619) 234-3164, or offices: (619) 239-0355.
  • Casa Segura (Safe House) provides a short-term, confidential shelter and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence and their children who are homeless. Contact their hotline: 1-(800) 640-2933, or offices: (619) 420-3620.
  • Center for Community Solutions provides emergency and long-term shelter services for domestic violence survivors and their children. Contact their 24-hour hotline: 1-(888) 385-4657, Project Safe House: (619) 631-6442, Hidden Valley House: (760) 480-0055.
  • Community Resource Center will answer your questions on available resources, locate emergency shelter and transitional housing and provide legal advocacy and case management. Contact their hotline: 1-(877) 633-1112, or office: (760) 753-8300.
  • Women's Resource Center will be available by phone to answer questions, provide crisis services, and provide resources like food, toiletries and diapers to clients as they are needed. Contact their hotline: (760) 757-3500.