Small Business Financial Assistance Programs

North Park Main Street (NPMS) coordinates with numerous partners to facilitate access to small business financial assistance programs and other business support resources. Listed below are financial assistance programs for which North Park merchants may qualify. Direct contact information is provided for each program. North Park Main Street staff also welcome inquiries regarding these and other business assistance programs. 

City of San Diego Storefront Improvement Program

The City of San Diego provides design concept assistance by a licensed architect and construction cost rebates to small business owners within the City of San Diego who wish to upgrade their storefronts. Participants are eligible to receive a rebate in the form of a loan, forgivable over a five year period. All rebates are based on a formula whereby participants may receive a rebate of $1.00 for every $3.00 spent on the project up to the appropriate maximum (see below). Participants are eligible for up to ten hours of design assistance/architectural services at no charge to assist in planning the project.   

  • Eligible businesses: small businesses with a current Business Tax Certificate and with 12 or fewer employees. 
  • Ineligible businesses: national franchises, large office buildings in excess of 80,000-square-feet, residential rental buildings (apartments), home-based businesses, structures not facing the public right-of-way, government owned and occupied buildings, churches and other religious institutions. Also ineligible are properties that have received a SIP rebate within the last five years.   
  • Eligible Uses: repair, replacement or new applications of awnings, windows, doors, lighting, paint, landscaping, tile or other decorative material, and signs, removal of security bars, and code compliance for signage violations.
    • Standard Project: one-third of construction costs up to $5,000.   
    • Historic Project: one-half of construction costs up to $7,500. Property must be designated historic structure by the City’s Historic Resources Board and classified as a contributing structure to a historic district or included in local historic building inventory. Improvements must be consistent with the historical character.
    • Inclusion of Public Art: one-half of construction costs up to $7,500. Property owner must show evidence of the engagement of an Artist (defined per San Diego Municipal Code Chapter 2, Article 6, Division 7: Commission for Arts and Culture) to be involved in the storefront designo    Multiple Tenant Building: up to $10,000. For commercial building that leases to multiple small business tenants. Office buildings in excess of 80,000-sq ft are ineligible.  www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/business-assistance/small-business/storefront.shtml

Loan Programs (City, State, Federal, Non-Profit)

City of San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund (SDRRLF) 

  • Eligible businesses: must be located within Cities of San Diego or Chula Vista; must have firm financial commitments and creditworthiness; loan must create new jobs
  • Eligible uses: loans can be used to supplement private financing of new or rehabilitated buildings, fixed machinery and equipment, working capital and soft costs
  • Maximum amount:  Loan size generally $150,000 to $500,000
  • Direct loans fully amortized over 3 -7 years
  • Interest rates are prime plus fixed rate, based on risk. 8% floor
  •  www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/business-assistance/finance/sdrrlf.shtml;

City of San Diego Small Business Micro Revolving Loan Fund (SBMRLF) 

  • Eligible businesses: must be located within the City of San Diego or the City of Chula Vista; loan must create new jobs; business must have firm financial commitments and demonstrate creditworthiness  
  •  Eligible uses:  can be used to supplement private financing of new or rehabilitated buildings, fixed machinery and equipment, working capital and soft costs  
  • Maximum amount:  Loan size generally $5,000 to $150,000  
  • Direct loans fully amortized over 3 -7 years   
  • Interest rates are prime plus fixed rate, based on risk. 8% floor  
  • www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/business-assistance/finance/sdrrlf.shtml;

City of San Diego Clean Enterprise Loans

  • Eligible businesses: small businesses with an SDG&E account active for past 2 years and receiving other SDG&E energy efficiency rebate or incentive   
  • Eligible uses: improvements such as lighting retrofits, HVAC upgrades, water pumps and food-service equipment replacement   
  • Maximum amount: up to $100,000   
  • Interest free loans for up to 10 years   
  • CleanTECH San Diego; 858.455.0300 City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency Tax Increment Loans   
  • Eligible businesses: projects located in a City of San Diego Redevelopment Project Area (North Park Redevelopment Project Area)   
  • Eligible uses: off-site improvements and land assembly   
  • Maximum amount:  amount varies per availability of tax increment and nature of project; minimum amount of $3 million   
  • www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/pdf/programschart.pdf;

ACCION Micro Loans   

  • Eligible businesses: Micro-businesses in business at least 6 months anywhere in San Diego; Group Solidarity Loans and Individual Loans   
  • Maximum amount:  Micro loans from $300 to $35,000. Maximum for first solidarity group loan with no collateral or cosigner is $750. Maximum on first individual loan with collateral and co-signer is $5,000   
  • Market interest rates. Nontraditional underwriting and stepped lending process   
  •  www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/pdf/programschart.pdf;

Banker’s Small Business Community Development Corporation Micro Loans[1]                

  • Eligible businesses: focus on minority and women owned small businesses or businesses in low-mod census tracts who are unable to obtain bank financing; One or more years in business with positive cash flow   
  • Eligible uses: working capital, fixed assets, and equipment   
  • Maximum amount:  $5,000 to $200,000   
  • Equity and collateral on case by case basis   
  • Market interest rates with 5 year amortization   
  • www.cdcloans.com;

Neighborhood Development Loan Program   

  • Eligible: medical professionals and daycare providers located in a low to moderate income community. Open to businesses ineligible for SBA or conventional financing   
  • Eligible uses: facility purchase, tenant Improvements, equipment or expansion   
  • Maximum amount:  Financing of $20,000 – $200,000 term loan, or 40% of project with participating lender   
  • Up to 100% financing   
  • www.cdcloans.com

Small Business Administration (SBA) Micro Loans

  • Eligible businesses:  all businesses unable to obtain bank financing; Sufficient business experience, collateral and earnings.  
  • Eligible uses: working capital, fixed assets and equipment   
  • Maximum amount:  $1,000 to $35,000   
  • Competitive interest rates with 3,4,and 5 year amortization   
  • www.cdcloans.com;  

SBA Community Express (Credit Scored Product) Innovative Bank SOHO Loan        

  • Eligible businesses: must be owned at least 51% by a woman or minority, or Vet, or be located in a low to moderate income area and have reasonable credit   
  • Maximum amount:  up to $25,000   
  • Two page application; no tax returns, financials, business plan needed   
  • 10% capital injection for businesses in operation less than 2 years   
  • No collateral required   
  • www.sbditc.org;

SBA Community Express (Full Loan Package) Innovative Bank SOHO Loan      

  • Eligible businesses: must be owned at least 51% by a woman, minority, or veteran or be located in a low-mod income area and have reasonable credit and sufficient earnings; Start-ups must have minimum 2 years experience; Business acquisitions must have 2 years management experience
  • Eligible uses: working capital   Maximum amount:  $250,000 loan or LC   
  • 84 month/ 7 yr term   
  • Terms for start-ups: 30% capital injection   
  • Terms for business acquisitions: 20-30% injection   
  • www.cdcloans.com;

SBA Community Express (Credit Scored Product) Borrego Express Capital Loan

  • Eligible businesses:  must be owned at least 51% by a woman, minority, or Vet, or be located in a low/mod income area and have reasonable credit. Start-ups allowed.   
  • Maximum amount:  $5000 to $50,000   
  • Two page application; no tax returns, financials, business plan needed   
  • 10% capital injection for businesses in operation less than 2 years   
  • No collateral required   
  • www.cdcloans.com

Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Certified Development Corporation Loans

  • Eligible businesses:  business within size and standards of SBA 7(a) program (see below) or businesses whose tangible net worth does not exceed $7.5 million and average net income is not over $2.5 million after taxes   
  • Maximum amount:
    • Participating financial institution finances 50% of project cost as 1st trust deed 
    • Debentures issued for 40% of project cost for land and buildings, in 2nd trust deed
    • Borrower contributes 10% down
    • 100% guaranteed on SBA debenture issue with a gross debenture up to $750,000     
  • Maturity depends on life of assets being financed – 10 or 20 years. Personal guarantee required. Market interest rates. 3% fees (may be financed with loan)   
  • www.cdcloans.com;

Small Business Administration (SBA) 7 (a) Loan Guarantees

  • Eligible businesses:
    • manufacturing firms with 500 – 1500 employees
    • wholesalers with up to 100 employees
    • general construction firms with up to $7 million in equity
    • services industries with from $2.5 million to $21 million in sales   
  • Eligible uses: loan guarantees for facility expansion/renovation; machinery, fixtures, leasehold improvements; financing receivables; working capital; refinancing; seasonal lines of credit; acquisition/construction of commercial buildings; purchase of land and equipment   
  • Maximum amount: 
    • Guarantees up to 75% of lender’s loans
    • Max loan amount per borrower is $2 million. If gross loan amount less than $100k, SBA guarantees 85%    Terms vary with use of proceeds – up to 25 years for fixed asset/real estate. Personal guarantees required. Collateral required. Fixed and variable rates. Loans over 7 years not more than 2.75% over prime.     619-557-7250, Fax: 619-557-5894http://www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ca/sandiego/

Small Business Administration (SBA) CAPLines Lines of Credit 

  • Eligible businesses:  small businesses needing short term credit and cyclical working capital
  • Eligible uses:
    • Seasonal and working capital needs
    • Direct costs associated with commercial or residential construction
    • Operating capital advances against existing inventory or accounts receivable
    • Consolidation of short term debt   
  • Maximum amount::
    • Guarantees up to 75% of lender’s loan.
    • Maximum gross loan to be guaranteed is $750,000 with exception of “Small Asset Based Lines” – this credit line is revolving and gross max loan is $200,000   
  • Maturity up to 5 years. Collateral usually met by short term assets being financed. Interest rates negotiable with participating lenders not to exceed 2.25% over prime   
  • http://www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ca/sandiego/

Small Business Administration (SBA) International Trade Loans   

  • Eligible businesses: small businesses entering international trade, and those impacted by foreign imports   
  • Eligible uses: working capital, purchasing land, building ore capital equipment and/or equipment to produce goods or services for export. May be used to repay existing debt.  
  • Maximum amount:  Up to $1.25 million in working capital. Fixed asset loans can be guaranteed.   
  • Working capital loans have max maturity of 3 years; equipment up to 25 years. Collateral required. Participating lenders require first lien position and a personal guarantee.   
  • http://www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ca/sandiego/

California State Loan Guarantee Program (Cal Southern SBDC)   

  • Eligible businesses: small businesses unable to obtain conventional bank financing without a guarantee; targets underserved businesses   
  • Eligible uses: working capital, equipment, and fixed assets   
  • Maximum amount: guarantees up to 90% of participating lender’s loans to maximum of $500,000   
  • Market interest rate. Maximum maturity is 7 years. Personal guarantee and collateral.   
  • www.casouth.com

The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Loans   

  • Eligible businesses: must be in one of the industries listed in the qualified Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes list.   
  • Encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that fall just outside of most bank’s conventional underwriting standards   
  • Maximum amount:  Maximum loan is $2.5 million. Maximum premium CPCFA will pay is $100,000   
  • Lenders set all terms.    
  • www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/pdf/programschart.pdf; 

Export, Import Bank of the United States Loan Guarantees   

  • Eligible businesses: small, medium and large exporters and foreign purchasers of U.S. goods and services (min 50% content)   
  • Eligible uses: working capital, export credit insurance, guarantees of commercial loans of foreign buyers of U.S. products   
  • Maximum amount: 
    • Guarantees from 85% to 100%; amounts dependent on type of buyer. Structured on case by case basis.
    • Minimum gross loan guarantee is $833,334. Working capital loans guaranteed up to 90%. Export loan guarantee insurance generally covers 85% of contract price and 100% of financing portion.   
  • U.S. Export Assistance Center, 949.660-1688, ext 150  

City of San Diego Tax Credits

San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone (EZ)   

  • Encourages investment in geographically defined areas with historically low business development and job creation   
  • City of San Diego recently combined two EZs and expanded the boundaries to include areas in downtown San Diego, City Heights, Normal Heights and Greater North Park.  
  •  Businesses within the Zone are eligible for:o    Tax credits on California business income tax
    • Sales or Use tax credit of up to $1.35 million annually on purchases of manufacturing equipment
    • Hiring credits on up to 50% of wages paid to qualified new employees over  5 year period
    • Net operating loss deduction
    • Net interest deduction for lenders   
  • www.sandiego.gov/cpci; http://www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/pdf/sdrezmapsept06.pdf

City of San Diego Business Cooperation Program (BCP)   

Cash rebates or credit on business tax or development fees based upon amount of sales and use taxes allocated to the City by the participating company (ensuring that tax proceeds stay in City of San Diego) 

Tax Exempt Bonds

Tax exempt Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) for Manufacturers   

  • Eligible uses: At least 75% of equipment/facilities financed must be used in production process; minimum 20 new jobs per $1 million in bonds   
  • Maximum amount: $20 million capital expenditure limit   
  • Interest rates substantially lower than commercial rates due to municipal bond tax exemption  
  • Allow for long-term amortization periods up to 30 years   
  • Up-front transaction costs can be financed (up to 2 points) 

The CDC Small Business Finance Corp. is the nation’s #1 lender certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer long-term, fixed-rate financing and other business financing programs. CDC offices are located at 2448 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106 .  2 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offices are located at 550 West “c” Street, Suite 530, San Diego, CA  92101-3500.