City of San Clemente Main Street Digital Program

City of San Clemente Main Street Digital Grant Program

The City of San Clemente is offering a six week Main Street Digital Grant Program, which will provide training and funding to small brick and mortar retail businesses and non-profit organizations with a mission of supporting local business, culture, and tourism. These San Clemente based organizations have continued need of financial assistance to increase their revenue due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Businesses which have previously received alternative sources of funding such as the City Small Business Emergency Grant, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan are eligible to apply.  The program is based on the availability of funds, program guidelines and submission of all required information and supporting documentation.  Small businesses with a minimum of two (2) employees – and a maximum of twenty-five (25) employees (full or full-time equivalent combination) may be eligible to receive a digital marketing grant of one thousand dollars ($1000).  The grant must be used for a paid advertising campaign, developed during the training program and in conjunction with a SBDC consultant.

Application Period

Applications must be submitted online and will be accepted from 9:00 am Friday, September 30, 2022 to 10:00 pm, Sunday, October 9, 2022.  The applications period will close promptly at 10:00 pm on October 9, 2022.  Applications received online after this due date and time will be considered late and will not be accepted so long as the City has received at least 20 qualified applications by the stated deadline.

The City anticipates the number of applications will exceed the amount of funding available for disbursement.  As a result, the City will implement a lottery system for all eligible small businesses.  


Please complete the entirety of the application and ensure all of your information is correct. If required fields are not complete you will receive an error notice which will not allow you to submit the application. For best results, we recommend using the following browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox. After submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation.


The SBDC created a new virtual training program aimed at assisting brick-and-mortar retail businesses with “Creating a Digital Presence” for their business.  Each small business owner will learn how to set-up an online profile through Google, will reach out to customers for a Google review and will learn how to create and send Facebook or Instagram posts.  The program will highlight how to use paid and non-paid advertising to generate leads that turn into sales.  The program will culminate with business owners receiving their grant funds to put towards advertising that will generate customer traffic.  The program will consist of two steps: Step 1 will focus on building a digital presence over four (4) weeks; and Step 2 will uncover the unique paid and non-paid advertising channels and what is the right path for each business owner. All sessions will take place in a group format and will be coupled with individual one-on-one consulting with SBDC consultants.  The program is only available in English at this time. 

Step 1: Building a Digital Presence 

Selected businesses will first complete three sessions on building a digital presence.  At the end of three weeks, each awarded business will receive the grant funds to assist them in their digital/online paid-advertising promotion, developed in partnership with their SBDC consultant. We will be holding the Zoom sessions on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, starting Tues Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Nov 29.

Week 1: All about Google  

  • Understanding how customers find you in a digital world 
  • Why Google? 
  • Creating your own Google profile 


Week 2: Reaching my Audience through Facebook and Instagram 

  • How to use social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram 
  • Capturing pictures and video 
  • Creating a successful: call to action 


Week 3: My First Facebook/Instagram Post  

  • How to post a video or picture to Facebook or Instagram 
  • Each business owner will post their video/picture 
  • How to attract a fan base to social media 
  • Creating a successful social media campaign that increases sales 


Week 4: The Right Channel for My Business 

  • How to generate leads/customers to your business 
  • Different forms of online advertising (PPC, social media, banners) 
  • Creating KPI’s that Matter 
  • Understanding why a website is important 

Step 2: Understanding How to Drive Traffic through Paid/Non-Paid Advertising

Week 5 – Advertising on Social Media 

  • Different types of advertising campaigns on Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG) 
  • What is the cost to run an ad campaign? How much should you spend?
  • What should you be measuring? 
  • What goes in a FB/IG ad campaign 
  • Are Twitter and TikTok a good option for your business?

Week 6 – Setting up the FB/IG Campaign  

  • Let’s put together and launch your FB/IG Campaign 
  • What are you offering (Call to action and image/video)? 
  • Who are you targeting? 
  • Which Keywords are you using? 
  • What is your goal? 
  • How much are you spending? 

Wrap-up: Utilizing Grant for Paid Advertising – Measuring and Tracking

Each business owner will be assigned a SBDC business consultant to assist them with their paid advertising platform.  The SBDC consultant will provide one-on-one assistance, customized to each business owner’s needs.  The SBDC will continue to work with each client through the program and beyond.  Every quarter, the SBDC will track and measure the success of each business owner as they deploy their marketing campaigns.  The SBDC will track change in sales, jobs created and increase in customer traffic.

To be eligible to apply for the Main Street Digital Grant Program, a business must meet certain criteria that has been established by the City of San Clemente and the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury for utilizing ARPA funds.


General Terms and Conditions*

The applicant must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for grant funding:

  • The applicant must be a for-profit commercially-zoned brick and mortar retail business or a non-profit that supports business/culture/tourism and is physically located in the City of San Clemente;
  • Cannabis-related businesses, gambling facilities, adult entertainment businesses, massage parlors, largely cash-based businesses and home-based businesses are not eligible;
  • Residential or real estate projects including short-term rental operators are also not eligible;
  • The applicant must have an active city business license since January 1, 2022;
  • As of September 1, 2022, the applicant must have at least two employees and no more than twenty-five (25) full-time equivalent employees (two part-time employees equal one full-time employee);
  • The applicant must be in good standing with the City (current on bills, no liens or judgements, etc;
  • The business must submit the application and all required supporting documentation; and 
  • The applicant must attest that it experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.   
  • The amount requested ($1000) cannot exceed the amount of lost revenue. 

* City employees and elected and appointed officials are not eligible to participate in this program.  


The funds must be used to develop a paid advertising campaign for the purpose of increasing revenue to offset lost revenue due to COVID-19 impacts.  Each applicant will need to sign and verify that the use of funds will be spent on a paid advertising campaign, such as expressed above. Any use of funding other than for paid advertising is strictly prohibited.  If there is a remaining balance after December 31, 2022, the business will be required to return the funds to the City by January 31, 2023.

For additional information regarding the Main Street Digital Grant Program, please contact:

City of  San Clemente
Economic Development Department


For questions about the guidelines and application or assistance in completing the application and to set up a one-on-one consultation (at no cost), please contact the SBDC at:

Manal Richa, Director
15375 Barranca Parkway, Suite A111
Irvine, CA 92618
(657) 256-3874 office

City of San Clemente Main Street Digital

Mike Daniel is the network director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners throughout Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mike was formerly the director of the SBDC office at Long Beach City College. As business owner and entrepreneur himself, he started his career as the owner of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory location in Manhattan Beach and went on to open a second location in Long Beach in 2001. In 2007, Mike sold the Manhattan Beach store for an above-market offer then invested in several additional locations as a minority shareholder. Mike further expanded his candy empire with venture located in Shoreline Village in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe, based on fill-it yourself candy options.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.