Frequently Asked Questions
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Economic Development
2600 Fresno St
Room 2156-02
Fresno, CA 93721
559-621-8350
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Welcome to the general questions and answers section for the City of Fresno Downtown and Community Revitalization Department. We hope you find it helpful and beneficial. If you don't find what you are looking for, email or call us at (559) 621-8350.

Frequently Asked Questions

Business Finance Programs

Incentive Zones & Tax Credits


Business Finance Programs

Are there grants available to start or operate my business?I only need to borrow a few thousand dollars to start my business downtown. Is there a loan program for me?My business has outgrown my current leased location and I need to move. I would like to buy something bigger, but my business is growing so fast, I don't have the cash to put 25-35% down on a building. Are there programs available to me?I'm thinking about starting a new business. Where do I begin?I'm thinking about starting a new business, but I'm not sure how much money I'll need. What help is available?If I call the City of Fresno for help with financing, what information are they going to need from me?Who do I contact for more information?


Are there grants available to start or operate my business?
Rather than provide outright gifts of public funds, the incentive programs offered in the City of Fresno are designed to help balance out costs.  These include special loan programs to help provide capital, tax credits for hiring employees, incentives to offset development costs and a variety of tax credits to make it more affordable to invest in capital equipment.
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I only need to borrow a few thousand dollars to start my business downtown. Is there a loan program for me?
Yes.  The Hometown Entrepreneur Loan Program (HELP Loan) is designed to provide up to $50,000 for new and existing businesses in low to moderate income areas of the City.
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My business has outgrown my current leased location and I need to move. I would like to buy something bigger, but my business is growing so fast, I don't have the cash to put 25-35% down on a building. Are there programs available to me?
Yes, there are!

1.  The SBA 504 loan program can provide up to 90% financing for the purchase of an owner-occupied business location.  The funds can also be used to buy land and build your building.  For more information regarding SBA 504 loans, e-mail Kelly Trevino in the City of Fresno Economic Development Department or call (559) 621-8350.

2.  If you have a manufacturing business, the Industrial Development Bond program may be able to finance your building and even some of your capital equipment.


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I'm thinking about starting a new business. Where do I begin?
The City of Fresno Economic Development Department has developed an on-line resource to help you work through the process.  Go to FresnoStartUp.com for all the information.
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I'm thinking about starting a new business, but I'm not sure how much money I'll need. What help is available?
The first thing you need to do is develop a business plan, which will help you work through all of the issues associated with opening a business successfully.  Part of that business plan will help you develop financial projections to forecast how much cash you will need.  With that information, we can help you find the loans that will fill the gap between the funds you already have and the funds you will need. 
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If I call the City of Fresno for help with financing, what information are they going to need from me?
Rather than "laundry-list" the features and benefits of dozens of loan programs, we want to be able to get you the funds you need with a minimum of hassle.  To find the best option, we're going to ask you how much you need to borrow and how the loan proceeds will be used (i.e., working capital, equipment purchase, commercial building purchase, etc.).  We have some special programs that are only available in certain census tracts, so we will also ask you where your business is or will be located.
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Who do I contact for more information?
Please e-mail Kelly Trevino in the City of Fresno Economic Development Department or call (559) 621-8350.
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Incentive Zones & Tax Credits
Is there still an Enterprise Zone?

Does the City of Fresno have incentives that can help my business?
Yes.  The City of Fresno has a variety of incentives that businesses can take advantange of.  Go to our Incentive Zones & Tax Credits home page to find out the details.
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Is there still an Enterprise Zone?
No, the Enterprise Zone was eliminated by legislation effective 1/1/2014.  Tax credits that have already been accumulated can be carried forward for up to 10 years.

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Contact Information

Economic Development Department

2600 Fresno Street
Fresno, Ca. 93721-3620
Phone: (559) 621-8350
economicdev@fresno.gov