City of Tustin Main Street Digital Training and Grant Program

City of Tustin Main Street Digital Training and Grant Program

As part of the Tustin Cares program, the City of Tustin has partnered with Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to offer a six-week Main Street Digital Grant Program,  which will provide training and funding to small brick and mortar retail businesses needing financial assistance to increase their revenue due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible retail businesses are invited to apply. Businesses which have previously received alternative sources of funding such as the City of Tustin Small Business Emergency Grant, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or the 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. Businesses with a minimum of 2 employees –which may also include owner, and a maximum of twenty-five (25) employees (full or full-time equivalent combination) may be eligible to receive a digital marketing grant of five hundred dollars ($500). The grant must be used for a paid digital/online advertising campaign, developed during the training program and in conjunction with a SBDC consultant.

Application Period

Online applications will be accepted from 9:00 am, Monday, April 25,  2022 to 6:00 pm, Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Paper applications will not be accepted, but applicants needing assistance can contact the SBDC for telephone support at 1-800-616-7232. Applications received after this due date and time will be considered late and will not be accepted.

The City will disburse thirty (30) $500 grants, a total of $15,000, to thirty (30) businesses. 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 a small grant to put towards digital/online 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 Social Media 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 will be conducted in English only.

Step 1: Building a Digital Presence 

Each business owner will complete three sessions on building a digital presence. At the end of three weeks, each business owner will have the opportunity to receive a grant to assist them in their digital/online paid-advertising promotion, developed in partnership with their SBDC consultant.

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 2A: 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? 

Step 2B: Understanding How to Drive Traffic through Paid/Non-Paid Advertising for businesses that have chosen to go the Website pathway for paid advertising. 

Week 5: How to Reach Your Customer Online through Google Ads 

  • What goes into a Google ad campaign 
  • How to create the right words to attract your audience 
  • How to use Google search tool to conduct key word research 
  • Setting up Google ad builder 
  • How to do research what competitors are doing online for free 

Week 6: How to Build Out a Successful Google Ad campaign 

  • Break down an example of a successful campaign 
  • How to use Google Analytics to measure a campaign 
  • Examples of how to utilize demographics for targeting your ads


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 Tustin Main Street Digital Grant Program, a business must meet certain criteria that has been established by the City of Tustin and the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury for utilizing ARPA funds. The business must also demonstrate the need for financial support resulting from the temporary loss of revenue due to the impact of COVID-19.

General Terms and Conditions* 

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

  • The business must be a for-profit commercially-zoned brick and mortar retail business and physically located in Tustin;
  • 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 business must have an active Tustin business license since January 1, 2021;
  • As of January 1, 2022, the business must have at least a minimum of 2 employees –which may also include owner – and no more than twenty-five (25) full-time equivalent employees (two part-time employees equal one full-time employee);
  • The business must be in good standing with the City (current on bills, no liens or judgements, etc.), unless directly correlated to COVID-19 impacts;
  • The business must submit the application and all required supporting documentation; and
  • The business applicant must certify it experienced financial hardship due to COVID-
  • The amount requested ($500) cannot exceed the amount of lost

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

The funds must be used to develop a paid digital/online 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 July 31, 2022, the business will be required to return the funds to the City by August 31, 2022.

In addition, the applicant cannot use these funds for paid advertising costs that have been or will be reimbursed or recovered through other funding programs.

Upon pre-approval and selection for the program, businesses will be required to submit the following documents by May 16, 2022, for review and verification in order to receive the grant:

  • The most recent monthly bank statement; and
  • Current City of Tustin Business

In addition, SBDC will provide the selected businesses with the following documents to complete and submit by May 16, 2022:

  • W-9;
  • Direct Deposit Form (includes voided check which matches account and routing numbers listed on Direct Deposit Form. Grant funds are directly deposited into your account);
  • Check Request Form; and
  • A signed Tustin Small Business Grant Agreement, which includes business impact statement and self-certification.

Although selection is not guaranteed, businesses should begin to collect the required documentation in order to expedite the approval process in the event they are selected.

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

City of Tustin
Economic Development Department
300 Centennial Way
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 573-3117

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

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