The Coast News Group

County to offer loans to small businesses in unincorporated San Diego

REGION — A new low-interest loan program for small businesses in San Diego County’s unincorporated area is now accepting applications.

Businesses with 50 employees or less hit by COVID-19-related losses can seek loans between $5,500 and $50,000 under the county-approved program initiated by county supervisors Jim Desmond and Dianne Jacob.

“Our small businesses have been greatly impacted by COVID-19, many of which have not received federal or state relief,” Desmond said. “We want to make sure our county businesses can survive during this difficult time.”

The initiative is part of the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program. Businesses can apply online here. Nonprofits seeking assistance through the program should apply online here.

“Like other parts of San Diego, our unincorporated area is full of mom-and-pop shops and other businesses that have been devastated by the economic crisis growing out of the pandemic,” Jacob said. “The sooner they can get some relief, the sooner they can get on the road to recovery.”

The Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the program several weeks ago. It is being administered by the San Diego Foundation, with assistance from Accion and Mission Driven Finance and is available to businesses in Rancho Santa Fe, Valley Center and other portions of the county not within an incorporated city.

“With county funds now in hand, we are ready to go,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of the San Diego Foundation.

Eligibility requirements include:

→ Must be an existing business located in unincorporated areas of the county with 50 or fewer employees;

→ Must not have received funding from the Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program or Paycheck Protection Program;

→ Must have a current source of income — business, job, unemployment, spousal income;

→ Must have been an operating business a minimum of seven months;

→ Must be current with credit report and no bankruptcy discharged within the past 12 months.

Accion is hosting several webinars, starting Thursday, with Chief Credit and Operating Officer Robert Lopez so business owners can learn more about the loan product. Webinar dates and times are available online here.