Several counties in Florida have allocated funding received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for grants to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
Application information and eligibility requirements, if released by the county, can be found below and are on the relevant county government website. Check back for any updates and changes.
Orange County CARES Small Business Grant
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved a plan to provide COVID-19 relief and financial assistance for small businesses located within Orange County, Florida. Of the $243.1 million received by the county from the U.S. Treasury, $72.9 million will be allocated towards the Orange County CARES Small Business Grant program.
To provide assistance from a loss of revenue as a result of COVID-19, a one-time grant of $10,000 will be sent to qualifying businesses to cover employee wages, vendor bills, property rent, and other business expenses.
In order to qualify, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria as outlined by Orange County:
- Business must have been in business by January 1, 2020.
- Have a business license in Orange County.
- A brick and mortar business OR home business with three or more employees.
- Demonstrate ongoing business operations during the Orange County stay-at-home executive order.
- Must have no more than 25 employees.
- Business taxes are paid up-to-date.
- Expected to stay in business through December 31, 2020.
- Commit to following recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines.
An online application portal and guidance on how to apply has been launched. For further information and updates released by the Orange County Government, visit the Orange CARES for Small Businesses Resource Page.
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Seminole County CARES Small Business Grant
The Seminole County Office of Economic Development announced a grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. It provides a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to support businesses with salaries at or below $19.59/hour and it covers operating expenses such as employee wages, rent, and utilities.
To qualify, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria as outlined by Seminole County:
- Seminole County-based and independently operated (must be at least 50% owned by a Florida resident).
- Physically established within Unincorporated Seminole County or one of the County’s cities (Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, or Winter Springs).
- Home-based businesses are not eligible.
- Operate within the designated impacted eligible business sectors as noted on the county website.
- Have a minimum of one employee, other than the owner, but no more than 25 employees on payroll.
- Affirm a loss of revenue due to COVID-19
- Demonstrate working capital for business operations as of February 28, 2020 (as indicated in the Balance Sheet or other documentation deemed acceptable by the County).
- Demonstrate payment of 2019 County business tax payment and 2018 Federal Income and Property Taxes (if applicable).
- Be free of outstanding property code enforcement violations.
The pre-application portal will be available from June 1 to June 5. Once all pre-applications are received and reviewed by Seminole County staff, eligible businesses will be notified to apply with supporting documents. For further information on the program and to access the pre-application, please visit the Seminole County Resource Page.
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Lee County CARES Small Business Grant
Financial relief is available for Lee County businesses through the LeeCARES program that began on May 26, 2020. A one-time grant of $5,000 is available for qualifying small businesses and 501 (c)(3) organizations with a physical location in Lee County, 25 or less employees and whose owner is a resident of Lee County.
To apply online and for further information, visit the LeeCARES Resource Page.
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Palm Beach County CARES Small Business Grant
The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissions approved a grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The $60 million funding available for this program includes $50 million to be used for businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $10 million to be used for businesses with more than 25 employees.
To qualify for the one-time grant, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria as outlined by Palm Beach County:
- Has been operating since October 1, 2019, and was still operating on February 29, 2020.
- Is located in Palm Beach County.
- Is not a publicly-traded company or a not-for-profit organization.
- Has an Active Status and a Date Filed on or before October 1, 2019, as shown on SunBiz, the Florida Division of Corporations website.
- Has an Active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt or is Exempt from filing a Business Tax Receipt with the Palm Beach County Tax Collector.
- Has filed IRS Income Tax Returns for 2019 or 2018.
- Has payroll forms submitted to the IRS for 2019.
- Does not exceed $5 million in total gross receipts or sales.
- Has not received any COVID-19 relief funds in the form of a grant or forgivable loan exceeding $25,000.
For further eligibility requirements and information on the program, visit the Palm Beach County Cares for Business Resource Page.
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Pinellas County CARES Small Business Grant
Up to $35 million in emergency relief funds have been allocated to support small businesses located in Pinellas County and impacted by COVID-19. The program offers a one-time $5,000 grant to assist businesses in retaining and paying employees, vendors, rent and other business expenses.
Qualifying small businesses must have a physical location in Pinellas County and 25 or fewer full-time employees, or equivalent part-time employees, including the owner. Publicly traded companies, home-based businesses, not-for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
To qualify, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria as outlined by Pinellas County:
- Suffered from business interruption caused by required closures resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Suffered economic damages from business interruption caused by COVID-19 exceeding $5,000 since March 1, 2020, excluding those covered by insurance or reimbursement from any federal program.
- Employed 25 full-time equivalent employees or less (equivalent to 1,000 total average weekly hours for all employees) as of February 29, 2020.
- Business is physically located within the boundaries of Pinellas County, Florida.
- Business is not a home-based business and occupies commercial space.
- Business has been operating since at least October 1, 2019.
- Business can demonstrate ongoing business operations as of February 29, 2020.
- Business is expected to be fully operational after local and state emergency guidelines are rolled back.
- Business is not a publicly-traded company.
- Business does not have any current unpaid code enforcement liens and is not operating in violation of any state, federal or local laws.
- No owner, officer, partner, or principal actor of the business has a felony conviction for financial mismanagement within the last two years for which he or she is still serving a sentence (including prison, parole and probation).
An online application portal is available, with all applications due by June 1, 2020. For more information, visit the Pinellas CARES Resource Page.
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Polk County CARES Small Business Grant
The Polk County Board of County Commissioners has allocated $40 million of funding towards the Polk CARES 2020 Small Business Grant program. Small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 may apply online. Different funding levels available include $1,000 for self-employed, $2,500 for businesses with 2 to 9 employees and $5,000 for businesses with 10 to 25 employees.
To qualify, businesses must attest to the following conditions and eligibility criteria as outlined by Polk County:
- Were negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- Have the authority to apply for this grant on behalf of the business.
- Have not received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL); or benefited from the SBA Debt Relief Program as provided under the CARES Act.
- Will use the grant funds for authorized business expenses only.
- Will apply for a Polk County Business Tax Receipt if not registered with the Polk County Tax Collector.
- Plan to resume normal operations after emergency guidelines are lifted.
- Shall cooperate with Polk County or appropriate officials for grant auditing purposes.
For further information and updates released by the Polk County Government, visit the Polk CARES 2020 Resource Page.
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Learn more about Economic Development Grants by state.
SBA Financial Assistance Services