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Entrepreneurship and small business activity are important drivers of job growth, wealth creation and economic resilience—provided that company founders and would-be entrepreneurs have ready access to support services, mentorship, and capital. The investments in this section will make the most of San Bernardino’s existing entrepreneurial assets in order to support startup activity and small business success.

en español

  • Entrepreneurial Resource Center ($5M – 7.5M)

  • Food Entrepreneurship Hub ($3.9M)

  • Supply SB  ($19M)

  • Center for Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship ($2.25M)


  • Local Small Business Retail Plaza


Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial Resource Center


The Entrepreneurial Resource Center (ERC) will provide a centrally located and easily accessible downtown hub for small business training and technical assistance. It will bring together a wide range of entrepreneurial support organizations to provide a complete set of training, technical assistance, and access to resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the area. The ERC will offer assistance to both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, increase the rate of business creation, and foster greater success and long-term sustainability for local small businesses. Anchored by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUSB’s School of Entrepreneurship, the ERC will provide support for every stage of company formation. It will also work with the Supply SB supplier diversity initiative to connect local small businesses  to contract-readiness programming and procurement-focused sales opportunities. 

  • Establish a continuum of support for local entrepreneurs and small business owners

  • Provide long-term small business support in order to ensure success

  • Address disparities in small business ownership and entrepreneurship

  • Increase coordination and collaboration among entrepreneurial support organizations in the region


Total: $5M-7.5M

Entrepreneurship: Food Entrepreneurship Hub


The Downtown Food Entrepreneurship Hub will provide much-needed assistance and resources for area residents interested in opening a food-based business. The Hub will connect entrepreneurs with comprehensive programming and support aligned to the particular needs of food-based companies. Local community organizations will provide support the Hub in providing technical assistance and programs in English and Spanish for food entrepreneurs in the region. It will either be integrated into the Entrepreneurial Resource Center (ERC) or will remain a standalone project in an nearby facility downtown. The Hub will also feature a commercial kitchen that can be rented by the hour or by the day on a sliding-scale basis to ensure access for economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs. This affordable production space will help food entrepreneurs expand their businesses once they outgrow their home kitchens. A temporary food hall nearby (e.g., container park, designated food truck parking lot) will provide low-cost retail space for new food businesses as the Hub is built out. 

  • Support the success of local food-based businesses

  • Intensify impact by leveraging and encouraging collaboration among existing programs

  • Expand retail and dining options in downtown San Bernardino


Total: $3.875M
over five years

Entrepreneurship: Supply SB


Supply SB will organize and leverage anchor institutions’ purchasing power to grow locally owned small businesses and advance supplier diversity in San Bernardino. The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) and its Procurement Center program (which is run through the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center) will head up this initiative. IECE will develop and implement a comprehensive array of programs aimed at aligning member anchors’ procurement processes and engaging minority- and women-owned small businesses in the local contracting process. A staff of 3-4 FTEs will work with local anchors to assess purchasing demand, improve procurement policies and practices, and inventory local vendors—all with an eye toward matching member anchors with area firms that can meet their procurement needs. Supply SB will also work to expand the capacity of local small businesses, with particular emphasis on minority- and/or women-owned vendors. As a key component of the proposed downtown Entrepreneurial Resource Center (ERC), it will connect local business owners to the programming, resources, and expertise they need to compete successfully for anchor contracts.

A delivery team will identify specific project elements, seek out subject matter experts, develop cost estimates, and devise a roadmap for securing funds and phased implementation.

  • Leverage anchor purchasing power in support of local small businesses (with a focus on Latino-, Black-, and/or woman-owned firms) 

  • Increase diversity of vendors winning anchor procurement contracts

  • Promote wealth-building by accelerating sustainable growth among local Latino- and Black-owned small businesses


Total: $19M
over seven years

Entrepreneurship: Center for Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship


The Center for Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship (CYFLE) will provide a transit-accessible hub to connect young people to relevant programs and resources offered by Uplift SB and other stakeholders. Situated in the downtown Enterprise District, the CYFLE office will match San Bernardino youth to educational programming, coaching, and mentorship that will make it easier for them to acquire financial management know-how and engage in entrepreneurial activity. Co-location with the Entrepreneurial Resource Center and the Food Entrepreneurship Hub will create opportunities to leverage resources, space, and programming across all three efforts.

Uplift SB will work with relevant stakeholders to develop this project and devise a roadmap for securing funding and phased implementation.

  • Increase the financial literacy of young people in San Bernardino

  • Encourage entrepreneurial activity among San Bernardino youth 


Total: $2.25M
over five years


Entrepreneurship: Local Small Business Retail Plaza

In order to expand local entrepreneurs’ access to affordable retail space, Uplift SB will work with a coalition of local partners to acquire a transit-accessible multi-unit retail plaza within walking distance of downtown. After acquiring the property, the coalition will make needed building and grounds improvements and work with the Entrepreneurial Resource Center and other community actors to rent vacant units to local small business owners seeking affordable commercial leases. Uplift SB and its partners will be able to connect tenants to small business resources in the city and guarantee that these commercial spaces remain permanently affordable, with a sliding rent scale to accommodate a broader range of entrepreneurs.

Uplift SB’s Small Business Resource Group will identify specific project elements, seek out subject matter experts, develop cost estimates, determine the appropriate ownership model for the plaza, and devise a roadmap for securing funding, property acquisition, and phased implementation.

  • Support local entrepreneurs working to grow their businesses

  • Increase the inventory of affordable commercial space for local small businesses

  • Use colocation to encourage peer learning and collaboration among local small business owners


To be determined

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