Main Street Digital Training & 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 to seven-week Main Street Digital Grant Program, which will provide training and funding to woman-owned and/or minority-owned 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 to participate in the learning program and receive a grant to assist in applying the practical skills learned in the program to be used for paid advertising on social media.
Small woman-owned and/or minority-owned businesses, at least 51% owned by one or more women/minorities, with a minimum of one (1) employee – not including the 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 advertising campaign.
Each business owner will complete three sessions (1 - 2 hours a session) on building a digital presence. At the end of three weeks, each business owner will have the opportunity to apply for a grant to assist them in their paid advertising promotion. At the fourth session, the business owner will choose their digital marketing track, either advertising via social media or website, and develop their advertising campaign with their SBDC consultant. Depending upon which track they choose, there will be two or three remaining sessions, either focusing on social media advertising or website advertising.
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 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.
The City’s Economic Development Department will be responsible for oversight of the Tustin Main Street Digital Grant Program and disbursement of funds will take place through the City’s Finance Department. The City's Program Partner, the SBDC will be responsible for program administration, marketing, application processing, underwriting, training and for the review and approval of financial and business documentation for disbursement approval. City staff is obligated to fulfill the terms and conditions of the funds as established by the City Council, these program guidelines, and Federal, State, and local rules and regulations.
digital training program description
Step 1: Building a Digital Presence
- Week 1 - All about Google
- Week 2 - Reaching my Audience through Facebook and Instagram
- Week 3 - My First Facebook/Instagram Post
- Week 4 - The Right Channel for My Business
Business participants will choose either Social Media (Step 2A) or Google Track (Step 2B).
Step 2A: Understanding How to Drive Traffic through Paid/Non-Paid Advertising for businesses that have chosen to go the Social Media pathway for paid advertising
- Week 5 - Advertising on Social Media
- Week 6 - Setting up the Facebook/Instagram Campaign
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
- Week 6 - How to Build Out a Successful Google Ad campaign
- Week 7 - Putting it all Together
Wrap-up: Utilizing Grant for Paid Advertising - Measuring and Tracking
eligibility & How to Apply
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 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
The Tustin Main Street Digital Grant Program guidelines are available for review and can be downloaded by clicking here.
The digital grant application will be available online only at 9:00 am on Monday, October 11, 2021. Applicants may apply for the grant program online by accessing the application portal.
The Digital Grant application is NOW CLOSED.
Opens Monday, October 11 at 9:00 am - Closes Sunday, October 17 at 10:00 pm
(NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED)
Applications must be submitted online and will be accepted from Monday, October 11 to Sunday, October 17. The application period will close promptly at 10:00 pm on October 17.
The City of Tustin is expecting the Main Street Digital Grant Program to have an overwhelming number of applications. If the number of applications far exceeds the amount of funding that is available for disbursement, the City will implement a lottery system for all eligible small businesses. Once applications and eligibility have been approved, they will be assigned a number and entered into a lottery. Potential program participants will be contacted by email, phone and/or letter starting October 20, 2021.
For additional information regarding the Tustin 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: