Program Information

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Economic Development Program

The San Luis Obispo Economic Development Program is responsible for implementing the economic development policies of the City Council as laid out in the City's Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP). The EDSP is overseen by the City's Economic Development Manager

COVID 19 Business Resource Connections


The City’s economic development staff is working with the SLO Chamber of Commerce and Downtown SLO to provide business-related COVID-19 updates. If you have businesses related questions please contact us at   

Tips for keeping workplaces safe 

Info for employers from the State Department of Public Health 

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Paycheck Protection Program, Guidance for Businesses and Employers and other important information

Federal, state and local list of resources 

San Luis Obispo County Workforce Development Board 

San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

Downtown SLO

Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo


Hourglass Project 

Coronavirus Updates from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) 

Coronavirus Updates from the California Employment Development Department 

PG&E will waive late payment fees for businesses facing hardship  

CARES Act Business Info

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners monetarily and with aid. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers.

The City is working to provide links to the resources small businesses can use to navigate the CARES Act small business component and will continue to update the City’s COVID-19 page with this information.

Local Offices who can help:

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) District office, which you can find here.
  •  The SBDC Network which serves 14 counties in Central California with Six dedicated SBDC Centers, whose business advisersare here to help answer your questions, apply for business resources and plan during COVID-19, here. For assistance requests go here.
  •  The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce has provided more information on the CARES Act and resources, here.

 Direct Business Loan Resources:

 Small Business Administration, SBA 7(a) LOAN: the CARES Act authorizes $350 billion worth of Small Business Administration loans for Small Business’ to apply for. More info here and a summary of the loan can be found here.

 EIDL: SBA EIDL Loan info hereApplication  here.

Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP)

In October 2012, the City Council adopted a strategic plan (EDSP). The primary goal of the plan is to help create head of house hold jobs. Head of household jobs are defined as meeting four of the following five factors:
  • Income Level - the position’s salary enables the employee to support dependents with some level of disposable income, the current threshold for income is $50,000,
  • Employer Sponsored Benefits - the employee receives some level of healthcare benefits,
  • Stability - the position is permanent and provides a stable income source,
  • Career Ladder - there are opportunities for promotions and/or skill expansion, and
  • Education Level and Technical Skill - the position requires a certain level of education or skill.

The EDSP culminates in a set of clear, measurable strategies primarily aimed at continuing existing Economic Development programming while adding specific activities and work efforts to support head-of-household job creation
over the next five years. Strategies are organized into four areas:

  • Break Down Barriers to Job Creation
  • Actively Support Knowledge & Innovation
  • Promote and Enhance the San Luis Obispo Quality of Life
  • Build on Existing Efforts and Strengthen Regional Partnerships

Traditional Economic Development Activities

In addition to the specific actions laid out in the EDSP, the Economic Development program also focuses on more traditional economic development activities, including:

  • Business retention and expansion assistance
  • Business recruitment
  • Site selection assistance for new and existing businesses
  • Quick Response Team for timely processing of permits, providing development review strategies and identifying potential issues and solutions
  • County, Regional, and State programs through the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC)

Business Retention and Expansion

Nurturing local businesses is one of the program's most important goals. We can help identify resources for your growing business needs and connect you with local service providers. We also offer site selection and site expansion assistance.

Site Selection
We assist new and existing businesses in finding sites for their business. We work closely with the local real estate brokerage community, property owners and developers to help you find existing buildings or properties that could be developed.

local zoning map is available for viewing.

Development Review

The City of San Luis Obispo provides excellent customer service throughout the development process, and works closely with companies to ensure that project reviews are done in a timely manner. We are committed to working with businesses in an expeditious manner on planning, zoning, and permitting issues. One way we accomplish this is through the Quick Response Team (QRT), coordinated by the Community Development Department. This group of key City staff is assembled to provide feedback and solutions throughout the development review process.

City Utilities

The City’s Utilities Department has detailed information regarding water supply, conservation, recycling, and sewer information.

Interestingly, in addition to City provided utilities, several transcontinental fiber optic line landing points are located close to the city limits.  Telecommunications companies operate critical facilities in San Luis Obispo and connectivity is high-speed.