We Are Committed to Your Success

The EDC works for you by identifying the tools and resources you can utilize to be successful. From loans and regional resources to workforce data and training, the EDC has the experience and knowledge of resources to connect you with the right people. We have ongoing relationships with our governmental partners and can direct you to the best contacts with these agencies to ensure your communication is timely and accurate and you get the answers you need.

Cal Coastal works directly with businesses to promote the development, growth, and success of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Monterey and San Benito counties. They work with new and existing businesses. They offer no cost professional business consulting, training and workshops, as well as webinars and other resources. Cal Coastal can advise you about business loans and funding for your business growth.

To learn how Cal Coastal can help your business, contact their local office in Salinas, California, or visit their website.

Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center
106 Lincoln Avenue
Salinas, CA  93901
Phone:  831-676-2017
Email:  [email protected]

Access Plus Capital administers a microloan program for businesses in San Benito County.  The Grow San Benito Small Business Revolving Loan Fund offers microloans from $5,000-25,000 with an interest rate of 2.44%, with no pre-payment penalty, and up to 6 months of deferred payments.  Need a cash infusion with reasonable loan terms?  Contact the local Access Plus Capital representative below, or visit their website.

Janay E. Conley
Business Development Manager
Fresno/Northern California Region
1900 Mariposa Street, Suite 121
Fresno, CA  93721

Cell:  559-375-0623
Office:  559-263-1094
Email:  [email protected]

Some of the primary funding resources for businesses are the SBA Loan Programs.

And don’t be fooled by the term “Small Business”. The SBA defines a small business, depending on the industry, as companies with as much as $35.5 million in sales, and 1,500 employees. The SBA loans include:

  • 504 Loans – These are long term, fixed rate loans to purchase or repair real estate, equipment, machinery, or other assets.
  • 7(a) Loans – These loans can be used for short- and long-term working capital, to refinance current business debt, and to purchase furniture, fixtures, and supplies.
  • Microloans – These loans can provide up to $50,000 for business start-up costs and for expansion.

Your financial institution may offer SBA loans, if not contact Cal Coastal, or Access Plus Capital.

To learn more about the SBA, contact their local office in Fresno, California, or visit their website.

Small Business Administration
Fresno District Office
801 R Street, Suite 201
Fresno, CA  93721

Phone: 559-487-5791
Fax: 559-487-5636

The California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business Economic Development (GO-Biz), launched the dedicated California Small Business Portal in September 2021 to connect California’s small business community with critical resources available through the state-funded small business technical assistance program and other state resources.

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups can access the following information:

  • Small business technical assistance centers that offer specialized support for no-cost or at a low-cost;
  • Financing information including state and federal capital programs and tax/credit incentive programs;
  • Business Learning Center that helps business owners navigate the varying stages of the business development process;
  • Permits, licenses, and regulations; and
  • Access to new markets, including e-commerce, international trade, and procurement and supply chain programs.

To access the California Small Business Portal go to website.

Established in 1992, CMTC is a private nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance, workforce development, and consulting services (i.e., lean, plant layout, quality certifications, IT system selections & implementations) to small- and medium-size manufacturers throughout the State of California.  CMTC operates as part of a National Network through a cooperative agreement between the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the Department of Commerce for the State of California.

To learn more about how CMTC can help you, contact our local CMTC representative below, or visit their website.

Kristina Chavez Wyatt
CMTC Client Advisor-Strategic Development, Northern California
1760-F Airline Highway PMB 173
Hollister, CA  95023

Email [email protected]
Cell/Text:  831-737-7944
E-fax:  310808-1311

The Workforce Development Board, through the San Benito County America’s Job Center, assists employers and job seekers with recruitment and training. Their programs include:

  • On-the-Job Training (OJT)
  • Work Experience Program Training
  • Expanded Subsidized Employment

To learn more about these training and employment resources contact the local office below or go to their website.

San Benito County America’s Job Center
1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 107
Hollister, CA  95023

Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  831-637-5627
Fax: 831-637-0996
TDD/TTY: 831-637-3265


Utility Economic Development Rate (EDR)

This program gives special utility discounts for businesses in California given out-of-state competition or potential leave from the State.


  • Industrial Development Bond (IDB): This program provides tax-exempt financing that is available to manufacturers for the acquisition of manufacturing facilities and equipment.
  • California Small Business Loan Guarantee/Disaster Loan GuaranteeThis program partners with Financial Development Corporations to provide loan guarantees for eligible small businesses that experience capital access barriers. There is no minimum loan amount, however, the maximum loan amount is $20 million.

Tax Incentives

  • Research and Development Tax Credit (R&D)This program reduces state income tax due to the Franchise Tax Board qualified research expenses while conducting qualified research activity in California.
  • Capital Investment Incentive Program (CIIP): This program authorizes a local government to rebate a capital investment incentive amount to a manufacturer proponent that is equal to the property taxes owed on the manufacturing property in excess of the first $150 million assessment for up to 15 years.
    • Only specified types of manufacturing, as described in Codes 3321 to 3399 and Codes 541711 (Research and Development in Biotechnology) or 541712 (Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences) of the 2012 North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) Manual, qualify.
  • Partial Sales & Use Tax ExemptionThis program provides a sales tax exemption of 3.9375% for basic manufacturing equipment. Research and development is eligible for the exemption.
  • Full Sales & Use Tax Exclusion (CAEATFA): This program provides a full sale and use tax exclusion for advanced manufacturers and manufacturers of alternative source, recycled feedstock, and advanced transportation products, components or systems. Closed for this year but opening up at the beginning of next year.
  • Opportunity Zones (OZs)This federal tax incentive for capital gains investment through a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund in a qualified Opportunity Zone census tract. Opportunity Zones provide a capital gains tax deferral, reduction, or elimination on future gains dependent on timing of investment.
  • New Market Tax Credit (NMTC)This program incentives investment in real estate projects or businesses in set low-income communities by providing individual or corporate investors a tax credit against their federal income tax.


San Benito County is part of the Central Coast, which includes Monterey County and Santa Cruz County. Located nearby are the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development at the College of Business at Cal State University Monterey, the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology Incubator in Salinas, and the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development at UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Works is an umbrella organization for the tech community in Santa Cruz County.  Numerous resources are available in our neighboring counties that create the economic ecosystem for business startups and innovation. The Western Growers Incubator provides resources for companies working on applying new technologies to agriculture.

Innovation and Startup Organizations

  • The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED), College of Business, CSUMB

    Dan Ripke, Director, Economic Development Funding & Grants        [email protected]

    The Mission of iiED is very clear: “iiED works collaboratively with other regional organizations to create and support businesses and entrepreneurs, promote inclusivity, community, and ecology, and create prosperity in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties.” iiED offers numerous events and programs including Startup Launchpad, a virtual incubator, Startup Investment and Community Capital Expo, the region’s premiere investment conference, and Startup Challenge Monterey Bay, a business competition and accelerator program.Members of the Advisory Council and Committee include Ignacio Velasquez, Mayor of Hollister, and Brad van Dam, CEO Marich Chocolates.

  • Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT), Salinas

    Dennis Donohue, Director        [email protected]

    The Center for Innovation and Technology “is an incubator for technology and startups that Western Growers believes will be important to the future viability of the fresh produce industry.” One of the Center’s collaborative partners is THRIVE, which hosts “an annual AgTech accelerator offering investment mentorship, field trial opportunities, and access to the Forbes AgTech Summit.”  A few examples of Innovators at the Center include companies working on software solutions for food and agricultural companies, real-time agriculture market statistics and analytics, robotics, magnetic spraying technology, and drone applications for predictive analytics to optimize agricultural productivity.

  • UC Santa Cruz Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED)

    Marco Rolandi, Faculty Director        [email protected]

    CIED works primarily with UCSC students, faculty and companies to “identify promising areas of entrepreneurial development and sources on and off campus to develop these ideas further.” CIED coordinates an 8 week Summer Entrepreneurship Academy certificate program to help new entrepreneurs “transition their innovations into sustainable businesses.”

  • Santa Cruz Tech Beat

    Sara Isenberg, Editor in Chief and Founder        [email protected]

    Santa Cruz Tech Beat is the go to source for all things Tech in the Monterey Bay Region. “It’s a news digest – and so much more – events, jobs, thought leadership, resources, a business catalog – for folks who want to know and share what’s up in tech in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.”  Santa Cruz, with its proximity to Silicon Valley, has a notable tech sector.

  • Santa Cruz Works

    Doug Erickson, Executive Director        [email protected]

    Santa Cruz Works is an umbrella organization for the entire local tech ecosystem. Their focus is to build and foster a vibrant start up community in Santa Cruz County. Their services include Grants/Startup Funding, Startup Resources, Manufacturer Support, and Webinar Services. Santa Cruz Works provides the resources and ecosystem for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and skills, learn from successful businesses and mentors, and find access to venture capital to seed new businesses.

Funding for Innovation

  • $749k in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Awarded to CSUMB to Provide Technical Assistance
    This funding award (April 2021) will strengthen the Startup Launchpad of iiED. Startup Launchpad, an initiative supporting entrepreneurs in Monterey Bay and San Benito counties, to provide support to businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Startup Launchpad will provide technical assistance to affected businesses in the form of collaborative programs, training and educational events.
  • EDA Build to Scale Program (B2S)
    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has a specific funding program for Innovation. The funding is administered by the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The funding is the EDA’s Build to Scale Program (B2S)  www.eda.gov/oie/BuildtoScale  Applications for this funding can be submitted by organizations like iiED, or the Western Growers CIT.
  • Central Coast Angels
    Central Coast Angels provides capital and mentoring for innovative companies exclusively in the Monterey Bay Region. These investors are not sector specific. While their membership is drawn primarily from high tech executives, they also have members with expertise in agriculture, food products, marine sciences, life sciences and other areas.  They evaluate a handful of proposals each month, and if members are interested in a specific funding proposal, they will do their own due diligence and report back to the group.
  • Keiretsu Forum

    Randy Williams, Founder and CEO   [email protected]

    This San Francisco based angel network has 55 chapters around the globe. The Keiretsu Forum Northern California region is comprised of the East Bay, San Franciso/North Bay, and Silicon Valley chapters.  Forum members provide early stage capital in the range of $250k to $2M. Members hear business funding pitches at their meetings. The Forum is not a fund. Members collaborate in the due diligence process, but make individual investment decisions.

Other Startup Funding Sources

The listed organizations have additional startup funding sources. Santa Cruz Works identifies the following funding sources: Arora Project, Buoyant Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and Sail Community Capital.

These resources and organizations are focused on business innovation and startup. Other more general business resources and funding are also available from the Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center that serves San Benito County.

California EDD Labor Market Information Division

California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED)

Welcome to the San Benito County WebGIS Portal.  The web portal will allow you to interact with geographic data and create your own custom maps for the county of San Benito and the Cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista.  There is information for land use, zoning, general plan, fault lines, jurisdictions, polling places, and more to come in the future.

To access the San Benito County WebGIS Portal go to website.

New Small Business Resources in the New Year (Posted Jan 19, 2021)
With the signing of the new Federal $900 Billion COVID Relief legislation into law, it includes major new funding for continuation of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The State has set aside $500 Million for its California Small business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, and locally the Grow San Benito Small Business Revolving Loan Fund is available. Local businesses have these Four major loan or grant funding sources to access now.

If you don’t have a local bank you work with, there are numerous online lenders, some of whom specialize in PPP and small business loans.  These include Kabbage and Lendio.  Others are Ondeck, smartbiz, and Bluevine.

Access Plus Capital, Grow San Benito Loan Fund which administers the Grow San Benito loan program, is a community-based financial institution (CDFI), which means they can assist you with the newly refunded PPP and EIDL, as well as State programs, and the Grow San Benito loan.

For more information about the Federal Programs, see this article overview: Hartford Article

For the latest rules for PPP and EIDL see the January 6th Final Interim Rules posted by the SBA and the Treasury Department: Latest PPP and EIDL Rules:  SBA and Treasury

Note that with the new PPP, food service providers such as restaurants, hotels, and vendors, are eligible to receive 40% more than other businesses for payroll costs. There is also new targeted funding for theaters, music venues, museums, and similar “shuttered venues”. The EIDL is a loan – but it includes a grant as well.

Shuttered Venues Operations Grant  |  CNN Article on PPP Loan Reopens

For the State’s Small Business Relief Grant Program information and application see: California Small Business Relief Grant

Round 2 Opens: February 2, 2021 |  Round 2 Closes: February 8, 2021
Approval Notifications: February 11 – 18, 2021

For the San Benito Grow loan program go the Access Plus website to apply: Grow San Benito Loan Fund

Contact your accountant or bookkeeper about the specifics of these loans and grants. Check back with the SBA and Treasury for updated rule changes. If you have any questions, or need help figuring out whom to talk to about these grants and loans, contact us directly at 831-234-2044

SBA Loan Application and Business Assistance
For assistance with your SBA loan application or other business needs contact the Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 0ffice in Salinas through their website at:

Website: https://calcoastalsbdc.com

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (831) 424-1099 Ext.3

Toll free number: 855-815-3833 Ext 3

Cal Coastal SBDC is your Best Resource for one-on-one professional help with your SBA loan application. Cal Coastal serves San Benito and Monterey counties, and is available at No Cost to your business! Their staff and business advisors are available to assist you by phone, email or video conference.

You must be a registered client to receive the no-fee services. Register at https://calcoastalsbdc.com/, Click the “Get Started” button and complete the registration for San Benito County businesses. Once completed, Cal Coastal SBDC’s professional staff will contact you directly to schedule the next steps to help you apply for the low cost SBA loan for your business or other needed services. Cal Coastal SBDC’s professional staff are available to help you directly during these difficult times. Contact them Today!

Below are links to local, state and federal organizations that provide information and other resources to local businesses. Please note that these links will be updated as additional resources are identified:

Small Business Administration Loan Program

Resource Spreadsheet from the CA State Treasurer courtesy of Assemblyman Robert Rivas

CA Small Business Finance Center Loans

California Association of Local Economic Development

California Employment Development Department

Business Resources from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

California’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19)

California Association of Micro Business

San Benito County Shelter in Place Order

Community Foundation of San Benito County Disaster Relief Fund

EDC San Benito Newsletter

SBC EDC Bulletin – July 2020 (PDF)

SBC EDC Bulletin – May 2020 (PDF)