Grant Program FAQs

 

Q: How do I apply for the Osceola County Emergency Economic Relief Grant Program?
A: Applications and all supporting documentation shall be submitted and uploaded via the County’s weveopenedsafely.com website.

Q: Can I use this same website to apply for home rental assistance?
A: No. This is an Emergency Economic Relief Grant Program businesses and not-for-profit entities. For information related to home rental/mortgage financial assistance please visit https://housing.osceola.org.

Q: How much can I apply for?
A: Eligible applicants may receive emergency funding, based on the following categories:

  • Home-based (including Home-based non-profits, “virtual offices” and businesses in Incubators) – $5,000
  • Vacation Home – $5,000 ($5,000 total grant, regardless on the number of units owned)
  • Food Trucks – $5,000
  • “Brick & Mortar” businesses and non-profits (operating in a commercial space):
    • 2,500 sq. ft. or less – $10,000
    • 2,501 sq. ft. – 7,500 sq. ft.  – $20,000
    • 7,501 sq. ft. – 20,000 sq. ft.- $40,000
    • 20,001 sq. ft. and above – $75,000

Q: How can I prove the square footage occupied by the business?
A: Applicants that own the business premises can document the square footage occupied by the business with public records, recorded deed, appraisal report, etc. Applicants operating from leased premises must provide copy of the lease indicating the square footage occupied by the business, or a letter from the landlord certifying the square footage leased for business purposes.

Q: What is considered home-based business?
A: A home-based business is any enterprise for which the principal administrative and managerial activities take place within an individual’s personal residence.  An applicant listing the residential address as the business address, or if the business registration and/or licenses show a residential address as the business address, the application will be processed as a home-based business.

Q: My business meets the definition of a home-based business. What is the maximum grant I can apply for?
A: A home-based business, regardless of the number of employees, is eligible for a $5,000.00 grant.

Q: What other requirements apply to home-based businesses?
A: Homebased businesses will be required to certify that the applicant has not received, nor will seek to receive assistance from, any Mortgage Assistance Program through Osceola County. Also, Home-based businesses and Food Trucks must have been in operation for at least six (6) months prior to submitting a grant application.

Q: I own more than one business. Can I apply for multiple grants, one for each of my businesses?
A: Yes. Owners of multiple businesses, all independent of each other and operating from different addresses can apply separately, one grant per business. However, owners of multiple businesses operating at the same business address must combine the square footage occupied by all businesses and apply for only one grant.

Q: What should I expect after I submit my application?
A: Applications will be reviewed by staff for eligibility and completeness as they are received. Eligible applicants will be notified via email, confirming receipt of the application and all supporting documents, and whether or not the application is considered complete.
If the application is not completed in its entirety and/or documentation is missing, staff will notify the applicant via email and require the missing information to be submitted within a specific period of time, and application will not processed until such time as it is completed. If the application is not completed within the timeframe provided, the application will not be processed. Applicants will be notified of grant approval status via email.  Funds will be disbursed upon approval, until allocation for this program is depleted.

Q: When does the application process end?
A: Osceola County Government will evaluate the application process periodically to determine whether it will temporarily close, reopen and/or extend.

Q: What are the eligibility criteria?
A: Applicants must meet the below criteria:

  • Locally owned and independently operated businesses physically located in Osceola County, including businesses within city limits of Kissimmee and St. Cloud,
  • Independently owned and operated franchises (not corporate owned stores) are eligible.
  • Business must be at least 51% owned by a Florida resident.
  • Homebased businesses will be required to certify that the applicant has not received, nor will seek to receive assistance from, any Mortgage Assistance Program through Osceola County.
  • Applicants identified as “Home-based” businesses must show an owner’s residential address in Osceola County in order to be eligible.
  • Home-based businesses and Food Trucks must have been in operation for at least six (6) months prior to submitting a grant application.
  • Applicants under a “virtual office” arrangement must be Osceola County residents, and will be processed at the “home-based” businesses category.
  • Owners of multiple businesses, all independent of each other and operating from different addresses can apply separately, one grant per business.
  • Owners of ONE business that has multiple locations, must combine the square footage of all locations and apply for one grant.
  • Owners of multiple businesses operating at the same business address must combine the square footage occupied by all businesses and apply for one grant.
  • Applicants must complete the Economic Damage Assessment Survey (https://floridadisaster.biz/businessdamageassessments)
  • Applicants must register the business through We’ve Opened Safely website (https://www.weveopenedsafely.com/), and commit to adhere to safety best practices.
  • Applicants must be current on all County taxes, assessments and fees;
  • Applicants must have no outstanding Life/Safety Code Enforcement violations or be actively engaged with the County’s Code Enforcement to remedy the delinquency or violation within 12 months.

Q: Do I have to show proof of expenses paid, like with the last Emergency Grant program?
A: No. As long as the applicant meets the physical space size requirements, provide the required documentation and meet the program criteria, is eligible to receive the grant.

Q: I received business grants before. Can I re-apply and receive additional funds?
A: Yes.

Q: What documents do I need in order to apply?
A: Applications must include the following documentation:

  • Completed Application Form;
  • Provide a statement regarding how Covid-19 is negatively impacting the businesses revenue/operations;
  • Current Osceola County’s Business Tax Receipt;
  • State of Florida business registration from the Florida Division of Corporation (sunbiz.org) noting an “ACTIVE” status;
  • Current W-9;
  • Home-based businesses on leased premises must provide consent from the property owner to operate the business from the home;
  • Brick and Mortar businesses must provide proof of ownership such as a mortgage statement  or a valid lease agreement (if place of business is leased), and documentation of the square footage of the business;
  • Any other documentation deemed necessary by Osceola County to support the application for assistance through the Emergency Economic Relief Grant Program.

Q: Do I have to prove my business suffered economic injury because of Covid-19, and if yes, how can I do that?
A: To prove the business suffered economic injury the business must have been determined non-essential by Florida Governor’s Executive Order or provide a statement regarding how Covid-19 negatively impacted the business.

Q: Where can I find proof of my Osceola County Business Tax Receipt (BTR), or renew/obtain one if needed?
A: Applicants can go to http://www.osceolataxcollector.org/local-business-tax-receipt.html

Q: Where can I find my active state business registration?
A: Business owners can find the most recent filing for their active state business registration from the Florida Division of Corporations by searching the full, legal business name at www.sunbiz.org

Q: Which types of businesses may be prioritized?
A: Applications under this program will be processed in the order they are received while funds last. Priority in processing and/or disbursement may be given to owners that have not received Federal and/or State dollars in support of these initiatives and to owners that are also Osceola County residents.

Q: Can I submit outstanding invoices for rent, utilities and other expenses to be paid directly by Osceola County?
A: No. The grant is payable to the applicant directly.

Q: What if my application is incomplete?
A: Applications will not be processed if documents are missing or illegible. Eligible applicants will be notified via email, confirming receipt of the application and all supporting documents, and whether or not the application is considered complete.

If the application is not completed in its entirety and/or documentation is missing, staff will notify the applicant via email and require the missing information to be submitted within a specific period of time, and application will not processed until such time as it is completed. If the application is not completed within the timeframe provided, the application will not be processed.

Q: May I edit my documents after I submit my application?
A: Yes. If additional information was requested, you can send updated/additional documents to EconomicDevelopmentCARES@osceola.org within the timeframe provided.  Failure to do so will prevent processing of your application.

Q: How many businesses and not-for-profit organizations will Osceola County assist?
A: Osceola County will provide grants depending on funding availability, until funds allocated are depleted.

Q: Do I have to pay the money back?
A: No. This is a grant, not a loan, therefore repayment is not required unless funds are not used for eligible expenses. These grants may be considered taxable income, so please contact your financial advisor for guidance.

Q: What is the approval process?
A: Osceola County staff will evaluate the applicant’s documents for eligibility to make sure it is complete. Once completed, the application will be processed. Applicants will be notified by email as to whether their application has been approved or denied.

Q: Our business was never closed, can we still apply for the grant?
A: Yes, if the criteria is met.

Q: Am I eligible to apply if I live in another County in Florida, but my business is located in Osceola County?
A: Yes, but priority may be given to owners that are also Osceola County residents.

Q: Am I eligible to apply if I am not a Florida resident, but my business is located in Osceola County?
A: No. Business must be at least 51% owned by a Florida resident.

Q: Why are Osceola business owners not eligible if they are overseas residents? Our businesses have been affected as badly as any.
A: We understand that there are many different ways that the pandemic has negatively impacted our County, and may have impacted your business as well. Unfortunately, Non-Florida residents and foreign persons will not be eligible to receive funds through this program.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions not answered in this FAQ?
A: You can send us an email at EconomicDevelopmentCARES@osceola.org for more information or questions regarding the Osceola County Emergency Economic Relief Grant Program

Q: Am I eligible if I received PPP or EIDL Advance?
A. Yes. Applicants that received PPP/EIDL funds are eligible, and must provide proof of PPP/EIDL deposit.