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Supervisor Fletcher, Partners Stand-Up Loan Program for Small Business and Nonprofits


The Office of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and The San Diego Foundation have formed a public-private partnership to stand-up the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Loan Program (SBNLP). The Program is unique because it is structured to use a combination of subordinated funds and state guaranteed funds to provide financial relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the County who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the last four weeks, the Office of Supervisor Fletcher and The San Diego Foundation, have been collaborating with the California Southern Small Business Development Corporation, San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Accion San Diego and LISC San Diego, both Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), and Mission Driven Finance -- to build this regional vehicle for low-interest and no-interest loans. Most importantly, it is a program that can access available disaster recovery loans with approved 95% guarantees on the principal. It is anticipated a variety of local governments, philanthropists and other entities will contribute to this fund to help our small business and non-profit community. 

“Development of the COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Loan Program began in earnest after we stood-up the Community Response Fund,” said Supervisor Fletcher, Co-Chair of the County’s COVID-19 Subcommittee. “We designed this Program to allow public and private entities to donate money that our strategic partners can leverage using their technical expertise, staff capacity, balance sheets and resources to rapidly inject liquidity into the local San Diego County small business sector.” 

Funders are lining-up to contribute to the countywide relief program and will be announced at a later date, but if on Tuesday, April 21, the Board of Supervisors pass the $5 million business loan proposal from Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond -- those County funds will be directed to unincorporated areas and flow through the COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Loan Program established by Supervisor Fletcher, The San Diego Foundation, and the finance partners.   

“We are grateful for the leadership of County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond for bringing forward a proposal to the board to provide $5 million to the SBNLP to help start our region’s economic recovery,” said Mark Stuart, President of The San Diego Foundation. 

For small business loans up to $50,000, SBNRP will work with California Southern Small Business Development Corporation, which has served as San Diego’s top loan guarantee partner for more than 30 to more than 40 financial institutions and banks. California Southern has worked to leverage the potential for State of California funds of up to approximately $30 million through the State of California’s Ibank to be able to support some of the disaster recovery loans with approved up to 95% guarantees on the principal. 

For loans over $50,000 to both nonprofits and small businesses, SBNLP collaborators plan to use philanthropic and subordinate funds to leverage additional, low cost funding available from CDFIs and other local banking institutions.

The loan underwriting, servicing and overall program administration will be managed through the Accion and LISC, CDFI institutions, The San Diego Foundation and Mission Driven Finance, a San Diego-based investment firm and Certified B Corporation is dedicated to advancing economic opportunity by getting capital to flow where it normally does not.

SBNLP will open for applications once sufficient capital funding is secured and a web-based application process is finalized, anticipated by June. 

Cities, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and corporations that want to loan or grant funding through this program can visit

Also, the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC), with more than 30 years providing one-on-one assistance to San Diego’s small businesses through technical assistance, education workshops and training, will serve as a key partner in working directly with small businesses and nonprofits to prepare for this funding. SBDC would provide business advising to help the businesses correct errors/deficiencies in the application before resubmitting it to the loan fund. SBDC will also provide business advising and identification of other resources for those that do not meet requirements for the fund. SBDC will be able to provide advising and support for the business as they move into the recovery process and into the long-term.

Partner Quotes

“As one of the largest CDFIs in San Diego County, with a history of lending to nonprofits, minorities, women, and affordable housing developers; LISC San Diego will do all that we can to support Supervisor Fletcher to stand-up the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Loan Program (SBNLP). We thank Supervisors Jacob, Desmond for proposing $5 million from the County,” said Ricardo Flores, Executive Director of LISC San Diego

“As a nonprofit dedicated to fueling entrepreneurs with the tools, resources and capital needed to contribute to our local economy and community, our team looks forward to working with these partners to support small businesses during this time, as we know they are the vital fabric of our local neighborhoods,” says Elizabeth Schott, CEO of Accion San Diego.