Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on all sectors of our economy, including small businesses and non-profits, Osceola County is allocating funding received through the CARES Act towards an emergency grant program for locally owned and independently operated small businesses and non-profit entities within the county that have been negatively impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
This one-time grant will provide critical support to help offset a portion of operational costs during this global pandemic, as well as, costs incurred in resuming operations while ensuring guest and staff safety. Eligible applicants may receive emergency funding on a reimbursement basis, based on the following tiers:
- Up to $5,000 for home based businesses, and businesses with one (1) employee, or non-profits with no employees (volunteers only).
- Up to $10,000 for applicants with 2-25 employees
- Up to $20,000 for applicants with 26 or more employees
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can This Grant Be Used?
To receive funding through this program, applicants must provide evidence of eligible expenses paid during the period of March 1st and September 30th 2020, with the corresponding evidence of payment in order to apply for reimbursement. Eligible uses include the following:
- Commercial rent or mortgage payments
- Investments in materials or equipment necessary for reopening or operating during social distancing mandates such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), barriers, etc..
Funds may not be utilized to pay bonuses, commissions, dividends or salary increases to owner(s) or investor(s).
Who is eligible?
Applicants must meet the below criteria:
- Locally owned and independently operated, including Non-profit entities and Home-based 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 in accordance with CARES Act guidelines.
- Priority will be given to businesses that did not receive PPP or other emergency funding or loans. However, receiving PPP or other loans does not disqualify applicants.
- Owners of multiple businesses, all independent of each other, can apply for one grant per business.
- Owners of a business that has multiple locations, including owners of multiple short-term rental units, must aggregate (bundle) expenses of all locations up to the maximum grant amount allowable.
- Owners of multiple businesses sharing employees, or registered under the same business address, must aggregate (bundle) expenses of all businesses, up to the maximum grant amount allowable.
- Home-based business can be reimbursed up to 50% of residential mortgage payment, covering mortgage payments from March to September.
- 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 Code Enforcement violations.
What do we need to apply?
Business applications must include the following documentation:
- Completed Application Form;
- 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;
- Business W-3 or IRS 941 form to support number of employees;
- Supporting documentation for the expenses incurred (invoices) and proof of payment. Acceptable proof of payment includes: bank statement showing the payment, or front and back of cancelled checks.
- 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 businesses revenue/operations;
- Documentation regarding other Federal and/or State funds received and proof that submitted expenses were not paid via these funds; and
- Any other documentation deemed necessary by Osceola County to support the application for assistance through the Emergency Economic Relief Grant Program.
DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
- Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 8:00 AM: Updated application process begins.
- Applications and all supporting documentation shall be submitted and uploaded via the County’s weveopenedsafely.com website.
- Applications will be reviewed for completeness by staff as they are received.
- Eligible businesses 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.
- For questions, email to EconomicDevelopmentCARES@osceola.org
Si tiene alguna pregunta, o necesita asistencia en espanol, envienos un correo electronico a EconomicDevelopmentCARES@osceola.org