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Resources for Your Business During COVID-19

Local communities and small businesses have been impacted by spread of COVID-19. As a nonprofit that supports small businesses, Accion wants to provide you with helpful information and resources as the safety and health of our staff, clients and community is the highest priority.

NOTE: This list is being updated as new resources become available.  Last updated: August 20, 2020, 9:30am.

Accion Local Office – Accion Serving Southern California

Accion staff team will continue services to support small businesses and are doing so virtually. All contact information and number remain the same.

Accion Contacts

Reopening Resources

  • For employers seeking to reopen safely and successfully: Check out the new Business Reopening Digital Resources Center from the US Chamber of Commerce, including state-specific and sector-specific guidance, here:
  • California Reopening Resources: Information from the state to reopen your business safely and state guideline details.
  • SBA Low Interest Lows re Recent Civil Unrest Events for San Diego County: The linked form is for businesses to document damages sustained during the recent civil unrest event(s). This form will be utilized by Local, State and Federal governments in order to request a Physical Disaster Declaration from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). If a Physical Disaster Declaration is granted by the SBA, impacted businesses will be able to apply for a low-interest loan from the SBA. Please submit completed forms to recoverysandiego at Any questions regarding this process can also be sent to the recoverysandiego at email address.
  • Salesforce Guide to Reopening: step-by-step playbook for reopening your business, safely.
  • Shop Safe, Shop Local: The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery announced a new campaign, Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal, to encourage Californians to support small businesses in their communities as they make modifications to protect public health and help our state’s diverse neighborhoods thrive. Running through July, the campaign is a call to action to help all California small businesses operate safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their digital footprints. As part of this campaign, the State of California has partnered with industry-leading companies, such as Nextdoor, Google, and UPS, and launched a website that connects California’s small business owners to critical tools and resources.
  • SDCCU Financial Wellness Wednesdays: free weekly webinars about various financial topics.

Local Electric Companies

SDG&E and SoCal Edison is temporarily suspending service disconnections and waiving late payment fees for business customers whose finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

County Resources in Our Service Area

These counties in our service area have pages dedicated to COVID-19 and have the latest governmental updates:

  • San Diego
    • Through the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program, Accion is now offering small business loans at 1% interest from $5,500 to $50,000 to existing businesses located in unincorporated areas of San Diego County with fewer than 50 employees. If you are a nonprofit interested in loan information, visit
    • Small Business Stimulus Program: For-profit and nonprofit businesses can apply for grant money if they can show losses and costs are a direct result of the pandemic. Businesses are urged to apply early. Applications are available now through Oct. 16 – subject to available funding.

      To qualify businesses must have:

      • 100 or fewer employees
      • Headquarters in San Diego County
      • A minimum 1-year operating history as of Feb. 14, 2020
      • Documentation of financial hardship because of COVID-19
  • Riverside
    • Riverside County Business Assistance Loan Program - The County of Riverside, in partnership with AmPac Business Capital, has established a COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program, consisting of two separate loan programs totaling $1 million in available assistance. These programs are designed to help provide small businesses with emergency capital cash flow during this immediate health crisis.
    • The Microenterprise Business Grant Program is a United Way Inland Valleys project in partnership with the City of Riverside Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, that offers a ONE-TIME GRANT UP TO $7,500 to help assist Riverside small businesses with their needs during the local emergency.
    • Altura Credit Union is helping local businesses recover from COVID-19 by providing ten $10,000 grants to selected businesses through a new Small Business Empowerment Grant. Businesses located in Riverside County with fewer than 10 employees that have been in business for more than two years can apply for the grant between August 14 and September 4. Those interested in applying will be required to provide business documentation, a written statement, and a short video highlighting why they should be selected.
  • San Bernardino

Recursos para pequeñas empresas en español:

City Resources

  • Resources from Asm. Lorena Gonzales' office including mental health and domestic violence resources
  • Chula Vista CARES Small Business Grant Program - On July 14, 2020, the Chula Vista City Council approved a $1.5 million dollar grant program to assist small businesses that experienced business interruption caused by the required closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The grant program will provide direct financial assistance to small businesses, the core of Chula Vista's economy.
    • Grant applications will be accepted online only for a one-week period beginning Monday, July 20, 2020 at 7 a.m. Eligible businesses may apply until Friday, July 24, 2020 at 7 p.m. Businesses may only apply once.
  • Residents of the City of San Diego experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for rental assistance through the City's COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program, administered by the San Diego Housing Commission, is designed to provide one-time, emergency financial assistance to help households pay their rent. Application accepted through August 7, 2020.

Local Business Resources For Counseling/Advice   

Free one-on-one business counseling on general business topics is available by phone or video through our partners

Our Accion team can also help to coordinate an appointment on your behalf. Please email Etla Moreno ( for more information.

  • SBDC California has put together a Small Business Survival Guide to help navigate the options for California small business owners.
  • INC has compiled an extensive list of free tools, resources, and financial help for business owners hit by Covid-19.
  • Chairmen’s RoundTable is a group of highly accomplished executives who devote their time to helping select San Diego companies navigate their business challenges. Chairmen’s Roundtable is tackling the crisis by working with businesses on crisis management/turnaround, business pivoting to new ways of doing similar work and business transformation, which is making new products.

Organizations with Grants/Loans for Small Businesses

  • Payroll Protection Program (PPP) - The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
  • SBA Emergency Funds – Disaster Loans Program
  • KIVA Crowd Lending
  • South County EDC: one-time $5,000 no-interest loan with repayment due on April 1, 2021.
    • For eating establishments located in South San Diego County
  • CDC Small Business Finance - Top Tips For Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 guide (being updated)
  • Save Small Business Fund - U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund. The Fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States, including chambers of commerce. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community (bottom 80% of zip codes in the country).
  • The Red Backpack Fund -The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.
  • Smart Relief Loan Program: Cathay Bank has launched the Smart Relief Loan Program to help small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which offers low interest rate short-term business loans ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Learn about Smart Relief Loan eligibility.
  • City Heights Business Relief Fund - In an effort to help these 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.
  • Qualcomm launches Small Business Accelerator Program - Qualcomm Technologies Inc. unveiled the Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator Program, designed to help small businesses convert to a mobile-first work environment necessary to thrive in today's business climate. Approximately 25 small businesses will be selected and each will receive a selection of products and technical support valued at up to $25,000. To apply for the Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator Program and view its T&Cs, applications should be submitted here.
  • Black Business Relief Grant for San Diego - The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce announced a new relief fund for Black owned business meant to keep them afloat during the pandemic. Applications open Wednesday, June 17, and priority will be given to small disadvantaged businesses in low income neighborhoods. Read more here:
  • La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund: The La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund was created by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help businesses damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of opportunistic violence and looting following peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations in La Mesa.

Local Grant Programs, text provided from the SBDC

$25 Million is available for ChildCare providers from the San Diego Foundation funded by the County of San Diego.

Other Cities have programs as well!

City of Escondido

City of Oceanside

City of Encinitas

City of Santee

City of Chula Vista

City of Carlsbad

City of San Marcos

LISC-San Diego, with funding from Lowe's, has opened the Neighborhood Business Grant program. Click for more information

The SBDC Business Advisors can help you apply! Request your free help!

Legal Support

  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program - Launched a COVID-19 Small Business Brief Legal Advice Clinic. You need to apply but small business owners affected by COVID-19 may submit a request for remote brief legal advice. 
  • Legal clinic for self-employed workers in California who are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Are you a gig worker in California? Contact the PUA Legal Clinic to find out if you’re eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Call 415-484-8372 or fill out this form: Sponsored by the Zitrin Foundation.
  • California Small Enterprise Task Force - The California Small Enterprise Task Force (CASE Force) is a consortium of legal, financial, and nonprofit professionals working together to connect California small businesses with the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force is focused on collecting local, state, federal, and private/nonprofit resources for California small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and disseminating this information in a digestible way as quickly as possible. In addition, the task force provides small businesses with weekly access to live support from lawyers and financial professionals via virtual office hours.
  • The Legal Aid Society of San Diego - Legal Help with Housing, Debt Collection, Repossession, Sales Contracts, Housing Discrimination, Family Law, Immigration, Federal Tax Problems, CalWorks/CalFresh/General Relief, Conservatorships, Restraining Orders, SSI. If you need any legal assistance to help clarify your situation, you can contact the Legal Aid Society of San Diego at (877) 534-2524 or via their online form. The Legal Aid Society is still providing intake and legal assistance remotely. Their specialists are available Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For Workers and Employers


Business Resources: California  

Resources to Help Businesses Maintain Their Operations

  • The California Office of the Small Business Advocate is available to help businesses identify resources and obtain answers to key questions (to the extent known). (Disponible también en español) 
  • CAMEO’s Resources for Small Business - extensive list of resources (statewide and local) for small businesses
  • The Small Business Administration
  • San Diego Regional EDC: extensive list of resources for city of San Diego businesses.
  • North County EDC - San Diego - resource list for people located in Northern San Diego County
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. The provisions of the program include:
    • Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic.
    • A new 13-week federal extension for those who run out of their regular state-provided UI benefits (maximum 26 weeks). File a PUA claim and you may be converted to the federal extension once it is available.

Federal and State Government Resources