This document is intended to provide explanation and technical guidance to assist owners of
small businesses on the accessibility regulations of the State of California as applied to places of
businesses. Under the current governing regulations, places of businesses are considered public
accommodations and commercial buildings.
The Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) revitalizes building facades visible to customers, neighboring merchants, and residents. The City of San Diego provides design assistance and financial incentives to small business owners who wish to make a creative change to their storefronts. For more information, visit the SIP web site or download the SIP flyer:
There are several key steps to starting a business in the City of San Diego. The steps may vary according to the type of business you intend to start, but the following 10 steps will give you a general idea. Please download the file below:
The purpose of the Public Right of Way Enhancement Program (PROW) is to optimize the growth and income of retail businesses and restaurants by allowing and encouraging the use of portions of the public right-of-way between the curb and the adjacent property line. The Program will promote an environment that encourages pedestrian traffic. It will also encourage beautification of the streetscape with landscaping placed in planter boxes and pots.
The program's three areas of endeavor are freestanding signs, outdoor display areas, and outdoor dining areas. A business owner will be allowed to locate these items in the public right-of-way provided he or she obtains approval of the Non-Profit Management Corporation having jurisdiction and then conforms to the requirements of this program.
Note: Only those businesses fronting on the public right-of-way and located on the first floor may participate in the program. Please download the program application and guidelines below. If you have any questions, please call
The City of San Diego offers several resources to help businesses succeed. These services are administered by the Economic Development Department.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and Microsoft developed this free online course series, available at http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/business-technology-simplified, as a guide to using technology to improve business productivity and creativity.