LISC National
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City Heights Business Relief Fund

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been catastrophic for small businesses. Diverse communities such as City Heights have especially been hard hit, and many small businesses owned by people of color have had challenges accessing limited Federal, State, and City relief funds.  

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. Partner organizations include City Heights CDC, City Heights Business Association, El Cajon Boulevard BIA, and the International Rescue Committee. This fund is supported by generous contributions from U.S. Bank Foundation, Price Philanthropies, SDG&E, Union Bank, and The Hervey Family Fund at The San Diego Foundation.

The fund will provide grants of up to $10,000 and technical assistance to businesses in City Heights facing immediate financial pressure as a result of COVID-19. Priority will be given to established women and minority owned businesses that contribute significantly to the City Heights economy. The grants and technical assistance will help businesses fill urgent financial gaps -- from paying rent to payroll to covering lost profits to making physical, technology and operational improvements to comply with physical distancing requirements -- until they can resume normal operations. 

Applications will be accepted June 10th - June 24th. Link to online application below. 

Eligible Businesses

  • Businesses that are located in City Heights (including the north side of El Cajon Blvd)
  • Must have a current City of San Diego Business Tax Certificate
  • Able to document financial impacts caused by COVID-19*
  • Willingness to complete a W-9 (tax identification)

Ineligible Businesses

  • Home-based businesses
  • Chain stores/ franchises
  • Lending and investment institutions
  • Rideshare companies

Priority Businesses

  • Businesses owned by women and/or minorities (WMBE)
  • Businesses that are well established and vital to the local economy
  • Businesses that have a physical presence in the community and are visible

The Selection Committee will consist of representatives from LISC San Diego, City Heights CDC, City Heights Business Association, El Cajon Blvd BIA, IRC, U.S. Bank, and Price Philanthropies. Businesses will be evaluated according to the following criteria.

Selection Criteria

  • Likely to remain viable post-crisis 
  • Well-known and beloved establishment in City Heights
  • Level of Need 
  • Number of Employees  
  • Years in business in City Heights  
  • Owned by a minority 
  • Owned by a woman 
  • Owner lives in City Heights 
  • Owner has relationship with a City Heights Economic Development Collaborative member organization
  • Business had not received other relief funds 

*Required Documents:

  • Financial Statements from 2019 and 2020
  • Documentation of additional Covid-19 relief funds recieved




Avital Aboody, Program Officer