City of Santa Ana

Santa Ana Small Business Incentive Program

Dear Business Owner:

 Thank you for your interest in the City of Santa Ana’s Small Business Incentive Program. The City is dedicated to the support and growth of local businesses. We look forward to working with you personally, providing information on other City programs and services, and connecting you with the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Orange County SBDC will provide access to training and other business resources for businesses to grow and prosper. 

This program is designed to encourage entrepreneurs to establish businesses within the City of Santa Ana. The program provides a reimbursement grant for eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. Grant amounts are up to $5,000 for businesses with a storefront, and up to $2,500 for Santa Ana residents with businesses operating in Santa Ana without a storefront. 

Eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • New Santa Ana business within three years of operation
  • Business License & Certificate of Occupancy 
  • Micro-enterprise with 5 or fewer employees, including the owners
  • Income Qualifying or Geographic qualifying
  • Exclusions apply and are listed in the application

Important: As a first step, please fill out and email the Pre-eligibility Form (attached) to or mail to the address listed below. Upon receipt, staff will review and provide verification of your eligibility. 

If eligible, a complete application with the following supporting documentation will be required:

  1. A copy of your current City of Santa Ana Business License
  2. Copies of bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs from other sources of employment ( if qualifying by the income criteria if applicable)
  3. Copies of you paid receipts to document expenses that you have spent during the last six months of the start-up process for your business, along with documentation that verifies how the receipts were paid (bank statements, credit card statements). 
  4.  Copy of the receipt for completion for the business development training workshop from the Orange County Small Business Development Center or CIELO.  
  5. Completed Forms: W-9, ACH, & Vendor Information

 Applications are accepted via mail or hand delivery to the following address:

City of Santa Ana Economic Development Division SBIP 20 Civic Center Plaza, M-25 Santa Ana, CA 92701 

Application will also be accepted if submitted through

 Please note that funds are limited for this program. Applications will be processed on a first- come, first-served basis. Once the incentive funding is not available, the program will end. There may be additional funding in subsequent years if approval is granted. Again, thank you for choosing Santa Ana as the home to grow your business. Please contact our office at (714) 647-5445 to learn more about this program and other City programs and services that could be available to you.

Small Business Incentive Program Pre- Eligibility - Full Application

Small Business Incentive Program 

Dear Business Owner,

 Thank you for your interest in the City of Santa Ana’s Small Business Incentive Program. Please fill out the Small Business Incentive Program pre-eligibility application prior to filling out the full application.

Program Eligibility Guidelines

Income Qualifying - The business owner is determined to be low-income pursuant to HUD requirements. Income limits are listed below. Applicants must use total household size as their measure of eligibility. These income limits are determined annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and listed in the below table. Applicants must complete the Self Certification Form and Source of Income Documentation Form (attached) 

 1 Person--$ 66,500
2 Persons--$ 76,000
3 Persons--$ 85,500
4 Persons--$ 94,950
5 Persons--$ 102,550
6 Persons--$ 110,150
7 Persons--$ 117,750
8 or More Persons--$ 125,350 

 *Income limits are subject to change upon HUD’s release of new income limits 

Community Service Area Qualifying – The business is a new community-serving retail or service-based business and located in the designated area (Map A). City staff will determine if your business serves the immediate residents based on its proximity to neighborhoods and the goods/services it provides. If the City determines that your business serves at least 51% Low to Moderate Income residents, the business will be qualified. (Please Click here to view City of Santa Ana Map A 2010 Census Tracts and Block Groups)

2. Applications to participate in the Santa Ana Small Business Incentive Program need to be completed and submitted within the first three years of operation. 

3. The business must be located in a commercial/industrial storefront with an individual address to be eligible for the maximum reimbursement amount of $5,000 reimbursement (no shared suites or home based businesses). Santa Ana residents with businesses operating in Santa Ana without a storefront may be eligible for a maximum reimbursement amount of $2,500.

4. Non-profits are not eligible. 

5. The business must have 5 or fewer employees including the owner of the business. 

6. The business owner must submit receipts/invoices with proof of payment such as cancelled checks, bank statements, or credit card statements to the City for all approved costs. Cash payments on receipts are ineligible and will not be reimbursed by the City. (See Reimbursement Instructions) The business must be active at the time of reimbursement. Only one application for your business will be accepted. 

 7. The business owner must allow access to the City and its employees, as deemed necessary, for audit purposes and to assess the benefits derived from participating in the Santa Ana Small Business Incentive Program.

8. The business owner must complete an approved business development training workshop from the Orange County Small Business Development Center prior to submitting an application. To sign up for an approved training workshop, please visit  or call (714) 564-5200. An applicant may substitute the OCSBDC program for a program that provides training and consultant services through CIELO on a case by case basis 

9. The business must have a current business license and certificate of occupancy and must be in compliance with all City codes and regulations. 

10.  The business must register for a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) identification number. (Please Click here for more information on the DUNS number) 

11. The business must fill out a Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) and submit with the application. Additionally, a copy of a valid ID, a Vendor Information, and ACH forms are required. (attached)

12. Businesses selling or promoting a majority of items such as alcohol, tobacco or firearms, are ineligible for the program. Cannabis and adult entertainment uses are also not eligible for the program.

13. Funding is not transferable and other restrictions may apply. 

NOTE: Any violation of the program guidelines will result in the businessperson promptly repaying the City any amount paid pursuant to this agreement. 

Please Click on the Following Documents to View 

Small Business Incentive Program Guidelines

Obtaining DUNS Number

2010 Census Tracts and Block Groups

Family Income Table

City of Santa Ana CDBG Program Self Certification Form

City of Santa Ana CDBG Program Source of Income Documentation Form

Reimbursement Checklist

Vendor Information Form

ACH Form

W-9 Form

Small Business Incentive Program--Full Application


1) Due to technical issues with the online system, we will be extending the application deadline until Wednesday, March 4 at 11:59 PM (PST)

**** Submit early, in order to troubleshoot any difficulties. Deadline for questions is Thursday, Feb 27th ****

2) You may now submit UP TO TWO (2) designs for the final review. Do not exceed this 2-Design LIMIT to ensure a fair process for all applicants. 

Submit separate applications for each design. They will be reviewed separately.

Clarification: The design you submit should be the version you are proposing for the utility box. There will be no additional time for the panel to review design changes. 

3) Timeline - The schedule has changed. Please review the timeline/table on our webpage for important dates.



Utility Box Art Program

Revolving Display

Deadline: Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM (PST)

The City of Santa Ana’s Arts & Culture Office is issuing a Call for Art Proposals (CFP) to artists OR artist teams who live, work, or study in Santa Ana to create and paint their designs on utility boxes in Santa Ana. The intent of the program is to enhance the beauty and vibrancy of the city, provide the opportunity for artists to showcase their work, and discourage vandalism on utility boxes. The design submissions will be reviewed and recommended by a panel. The selected artists/teams will be awarded an all-inclusive budget of $400 to paint the utility box and to purchase materials and supplies. Once utility boxes are painted, special coating will be applied by the City to extend the longevity of the art and help deter vandalism. The timeframe for the project completion is in May 2020 or sooner from full execution of the agreement. 

The deadline for proposal submission is Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM (PST) and must be submitted online via 

Submit applications here:

Design Template download here:

All questions regarding this application should be submitted in writing by Monday, January 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM via e-mail to: 

Ms. Gabriela Cramer

Arts & Culture Office


All questions submitted and responses will be posted on our website (


Event dates, times, and locations   may be subject to change under certain circumstances. Please check back on the Arts & Culture Office web page for any changes prior to attending  the on-site orientation and Arts & Culture Commission meetings. 


 1/13/20 Application Available on 

2/13/20 Applications DUE online by 11:59 pm

3/2020 Panel Review

3/19/20 Funding recommendations from Arts Commission

Week of 3/30/20 On-site orientation with city engineers - MANDATORY

April-May 2020  Completion of utility box art 


This CFP is intended to engage artists to create designs for utility boxes in Santa Ana that will enhance the beauty and vibrancy of the city, provide the opportunity for artists to showcase their work, and deter vandalism on utility boxes. The artwork must be appropriate for all ages and engage with the growing, diverse population in the City of Santa Ana.


It is anticipated that 11 utility boxes located along South Main Street will be designated for the project, in addition to more boxes in other areas of the city. However, the locations of the utility boxes are subject to site verification by the City’s Public Works Agency, and final utility box locations will be confirmed when the boxes are awarded. Please check our website for updates on the location of utility boxes. 

**Applicants are encouraged to visit a utility box as reference for your proposal.** 


A selection panel composed of, but not limited to, arts professionals, City staff, City Commissioners, and local community representatives will review and score the applications and make recommendations. The selection panel will review and evaluate the applications and final design proposals based on criteria that may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Artistic merit, craftsmanship, and originality
  • Compelling idea and composition
  • Experience creating artwork for public spaces, preferred but not required
  • Track record working within a timeline and budget, preferred but not required 
  • Availability and ability to work for the term of the project


The ideal artwork will enhance the intersection, represent Santa Ana’s vibrant arts culture, and promote awareness of the city’s social, cultural, and historical composition. The artwork must be appropriate for all ages and engage with the growing, diverse population in the City of Santa Ana.

The artist/team will be required to design the artwork and paint the utility box within the agreed-upon time frame and according to utility box painting guidelines that will be provided by the City’s Public Works department. 

There will be a mandatory onsite orientation with City engineers. 

Awardees will be notified of the orientation date, which will be announced at a later time. The in-person orientation is part of the all-inclusive award amount, and no additional monetary compensation will be given. 

An 8”x 8” marker embedded with the City of Santa Ana logo will be placed on the lower right-hand corner of the box facing traffic and facing the sidewalk. Please plan your designs with this in mind.

Design & Installation Criteria:

  • Proposed design should be 2-D artworks only
  • Digital wraps, decoupage with water sealant, and other appliques will be considered; however, no additional compensation will be provided.
  • Artwork cannot contain trademark images, logos, tag lines, or be in any way thematically linked to a commercial business, establishment, product, or service. Overt religious and political themes and symbolism will also be declined.
  • Utility box size may vary and artwork cannot restrict any vents or airflow through boxes. City maintenance crew must be able to access components inside the box at all times. 
  • The City will reject for display works of art that are in violation of State or Federal obscenity laws.


The all-inclusive award of $400 must cover every cost incurred by the artist in the course of designing and installing the artwork including, but not limited to, artist fees, design fees, travel expenses, materials, supplies, site-preparation, and any other expenses related to the design and installation. The City will cover the costs of insurance, special ultraviolet coating, and permits (if required). 

Selection and funding are contingent upon a signed Agreement between the artist/team and the City of Santa Ana. The award will be distributed in two payments: $300 upon a fully-executed agreement and receipt of invoice, and the final $100 upon the successful completion of painting the utility box, photos of completed work, final report, and receipt of invoice. 


Applicants must be artists or artist teams living, working, or studying in Santa Ana and age 18 or older. Candidates are eligible regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability.


A complete submission must include all the information and materials described below. The online application will prompt you to submit the information directly into the fields and to upload the submission materials described in the application guidelines. Please prepare all required materials before logging onto Incomplete and late applications will be deemed ineligible and not be considered. 

1. Application Cover Sheet Worksheet:
The information on the Application Cover Sheet Worksheet will be entered directly onto the online application fields and does not need to be uploaded. 

2. Proposed Design:  

[Design Template download here:]

Complete the design template and upload to the online application. Be aware that an 8”x 8” marker embedded with the City of Santa Ana logo will be placed on the lower right-hand corner of the box facing traffic and facing the sidewalk. Please plan your designs with this in mind.

3. Letter/Statement of Interest:
[Limit 1 page. Formatting guidelines: Double spaced, 12 points Times New Roman, one-inch margins PDF or Word Doc only]
Describe in a couple of paragraphs your interest in the project and preliminary ideas for how you would approach this project. The letter should demonstrate your understanding of the project objectives and a preliminary proposal on how they would be achieved. 

4. Images of Past Work & Annotated Image List:
[Limit 6 files, high resolution JPEG, PDF, Word Doc files only, with minimum 72 DPI resolution]

Artists/artist teams must submit up to 5 images and 1 annotated list of relevant work samples. Every image file must be titled first with the number of the image in the order to be viewed, followed by the artist’s last name (for example: 01_Mendoza; 02_Mendoza). Number must correspond to an annotated image list. Images should be labeled with the title of the piece, the specific medium, the dates, and the dimension of the art. Artists applying as a team may include examples of existing collaborative work.

5. Additional material included that is not requested by the Arts & Culture Office will not be reviewed.

The proposal must be submitted online via Email, faxed, or hand-delivered materials will not be accepted. Application materials must be received by Thursday, February 13, 2020, 11:59 PM PST.

Submit applications here:

The online application will prompt you to submit the information directly into the fields and to upload submission materials. The City strongly recommends submitting the application at least 5 days prior to the deadline to give ample time to troubleshoot.

For questions, please contact Gabriela Cramer at (714) 647-5385,


It is the policy of the City that artists/artist teams selected through this application process must agree to maintain liability insurance, which will insure and indemnify the artist(s) and the City of Santa Ana for the duration of the contract. However, for this project, the City will cover the costs of insurance, special ultraviolet coating, and permits (if required). 

The City of Santa Ana is not obligated to select a finalist from the submitted applications and reserves the right cancel this application at any time.

  • Submitting an application does not constitute an expressed or implied contract.
  • Applicants submitting will receive notification of the results of the selection process.
  • Application materials will not be returned.
  • This application is subject to ordinances in effect in the City of Santa Ana. 


City of Santa Ana