Tustin Level Up Training and Grant Program Propelling 82 Established Businesses into Growth and Expansion

Fullerton, November 2022 – In collaboration with the Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network (OCIE SBDC Network,) the City of Tustin launched the first of its kind, the Tustin Level up Training and Grant Program, an initiative focused on providing growth opportunities to Tustin-based established small businesses through no cost training, no cost one-on-one consulting and access to $10K in grant funds.  “This is an amazing program that assisted local Tustin small business owners with finding new ways to grow their revenue post pandemic,” said Mike Daniel, Network Regional Director of the OCIE SBDC. 


A total of 82 Tustin-based businesses qualified for the program and participated in a total of eight hours of no cost group/cohort training in addition to receiving one-on-one technical assistance, led by the SBDC team of consultants, between September 13, 2022 and November 15, 2022. “The purpose of the program is to assist small businesses in accelerating their expansion and driving their business to the next level,” said Manal Richa, Director of CSUF SBDC. “Participants learned how to increase their profits and decrease their costs as they developed a strong understanding of their financials, got involved in proactive growth strategies, built their teams, and expanded on their customer base and sales channel,” Richa states.

Austin Lumbard, Tustin Mayor

Over one hundred and twenty-five (125) businesses applied online between August 1, 2022 and August 22, 2022.  “The Tustin City Council has demonstrated our commitment to the Tustin business community by allocating over six million dollars since July 2020 to address the pandemic’s impact on our businesses.  We are pleased the selected businesses took advantage of this innovative program that combined training, consulting and a $10,000 grant to support our local businesses who have suffered economic hardship,” said Austin Lumbard, Tustin Mayor. 

Selection criteria included for-profit businesses physically located in the City of Tustin, who have an active Tustin business license since the first quarter of 2019, with a minimum of five (5) employees, including the owner, and no more than a total of 50 employees as of July 1, 2022. Further criteria required the selected businesses to be in good standing with the City, to not be suspended or debarred or otherwise excluded from receiving Federal funding, and the businesses certified that they had experienced more than $10K in loss of revenue and financial hardship due to COVID-19.


The Tustin Economic Development Department provides leadership as the Executive Developer of Tustin Legacy, facilitates business and property development, manages City real estate, acts as the Housing Authority for the City to facilitate workforce and homeless housing, oversees Successor Agency activities and promotes the economic interests of the City. For additional information, contact us at 714-573-3117.

About OCIE SBDC Network

The Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network (OCIE SBDC) offers no cost business consulting and low-cost training to current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. Our team of consultants is ready to assist in a variety of areas like: start up assistance, debt and equity funding, attracting and retaining customers, international trade, and technology commercialization. For additional information contact us at 1-800-616-SBDC (7232) or www.ociesmallbusiness.org.

The OCIE SBDC Network is hosted by California State University, Fullerton and funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. All programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Looking to start or grow your business?

We at the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful.
Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at ociesbdc.org/consultation to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.