Department of Public Works

Disability Advisory Commission (DAC)

Accessible Fresno Small Business Initiative

Are you protected from an Access Lawsuit?

Accessible Fresno Small Business Initiative is a proactive program to help businesses like yours with construction-related accessibility compliance.

Eligible small businesses can get a Free Access Inspection
There is no cost to apply!
Inspection Value: $1,500

Once your application has been approved, the City will connect you with a qualified Certified Access Specialist (CASp) to conduct your inspection – at no cost to your business.

Eligibility

Does your business qualify for a FREE Certified Access Specialist Inspection?

  • Small for-profit business ($1 million or less annual gross revenue) located in the City of Fresno
  • A current valid business tax certificate
  • Place of Public Accommodation (businesses that are generally open to the public, such as retail stores, restaurants, care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors’ offices)
  • Has not yet been served a summons and complaint of a construction-related accessibility claim for the property site
  • Public use area 4,000 square feet or less
  • Individual business site (not a multi-business complex)
  • No outstanding code violations or assessments on record
ADA and Businesses

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities and requires facilities to be accessible.

Your business may be sued under the ADA, CA Disabled Persons Act, or Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Lawsuit-related costs are typically over $15,000 – much more than construction costs to make your business accessible.

Having a CASp inspection and working on compliance shows your commitment to access AND provides legal benefits!

CASp Benefits

Each step in improving access to your business potentially reduces your risk of an expensive lawsuit settlement.

Many accessibility issues are simple to fix if you know what to do. A Certified Access Specialist (CASp) can:

  • Inspect your business for construction-related accessibility issues
  • Provide an inspection report and Disability Access Inspection Certificate
  • Help you determine how to make a reasonable compliance schedule

To learn more about the CASp program and benefits, visit the Division of the State Architect and the California Commission on Disability Access.

Business Partners and Workshops

The City of Fresno partners with a variety of business partners to provide educational workshops and discussions forums for the business community. Business Partners:

To request training opportunities for your business or organization, contact Shannon M. Mulhall at (559) 621-8716 or Shannon.Mulhall@fresno.gov

Financial Assistance

Disabled Access Credit
The Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. An eligible small business is one that earned $1 million or less or had no more than 30 full-time employees in the previous year. Businesses may take the credit each year they incur access expenditures, up to $10,000 each year.

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Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction
The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Businesses may claim a deduction of up to $15,000 a year for qualified expenses. Businesses may use the Disabled Tax Credit and the architectural/transportation tax deduction together in the same tax year if the expenses meet the requirements of both sections.

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CalCAP/ADA
The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Americans with Disabilities Act (CalCAP/ADA) Financing Program assists small businesses with financing the costs to alter or retrofit existing small business facilities to comply with the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Loans may be used for physically altering or retrofitting existing small business facilities of less than 10,000 square feet, if the costs are necessary and allocable for compliance with the ADA.

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Access + Capital
Access Plus Capital (formerly Fresno CDFI) participates in the CalCAP/ADA financing program. Access Plus Capital provides financing, training, and asset development services for low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.

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Opportunity Fund
Opportunity Fund is a non-profit microfinance organization that helps small business owners gain access to responsible and transparent capital by providing easy-to-get, fast, and affordable loans. Opportunity Fund is non-FICO based and lends from $2,600 to $250,000.

This is solely informative and should not be treated as legal advice or as an endorsement of any of the listed service providers.

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