Help is here for St. Lucie County small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic!
St. Lucie Recovers Small Business Assistance Grant
Grants of up to $7,500 to be awarded to eligible small businesses
This grant program is designed for small St. Lucie based businesses with under $1 million in revenues to provide a rapid infusion of capital, with the amount of money allocated dependent on the number of business employees:
|NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES||MAXIMUM GRANT AWARD|
|0-3, including sole proprietors||$ 5,000|
These are grants not loans, so they do not have to be repaid. While the grants will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, priority will be given to those applicants that have not yet received any federal, state or local assistance related to COVID-19 impacts.This grant application period will be open from July 30, 2020 and ends August 28, 2020 (or until funds are depleted).
GRANT PURPOSE: HOW CAN THE FUNDS BE USED?
The grants are intended to be used to cover operational and working capital expenses incurred during a forced business closure or curtailment due to COVID-19. Funds may only be used for expenses and are not to replace lost revenue. Examples include:
- Mortgage, rent, utility and insurance premium costs (Mortgage, rent, utility and insurance premium costs during the period the business is closed to follow any stay-at-home order.)
- Reopening costs (Costs incurred during a reopening process, including the additional business interruption resulting from any limiting of accessibility to the public; also costs for displaying and/or communicating state-based requirements for public access.)
- Costs for safety measures (Operating costs for the purchase of items meant to protect the public and employees, such as masks and sanitizer; and other costs of implementing any required safety measures undertaken in order to reopen the business.)
Grant recipients may use these funds to cover payroll during a closure, however, as with all expenses, recipients may not use these funds to cover expenses that have been or will be reimbursed by other means such as Federal or State funding or insurance proceeds.
GRANT RECIPIENTS: WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Grants are available to the hardest hit St. Lucie small businesses, businesses that were temporally closed, and those that were economically injured by COVID-19. Below are the categories of eligible business types:
- “Food Service Establishments” as defined in Chapter 500, Florida Statutes, and “Public Food Service Establishments” as defined in Chapter 509, Florida Statutes.
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs as described in Governor’s Executive Order 20-68.
- Short-Term Lodging establishments and vacation rental management companies that collect and remit Tourist Development Tax.
- Non-essential businesses covered under Section 5 of the “State of Florida ‘Safer-at-Home’ Guidance” document and Governor’s Executive Orders 20-112, 20-120, and 20-123 and not included above.
- Any business subject to any St Lucie County Emergency Order limiting operations.
GRANT QUALIFICATIONS: WHAT ARE OTHER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?
In addition to being hardest hit or having suffered economic injury, your company must also meet these other qualifications:
- Have been deemed “non-essential” and forced to close or curtail operations by government order.
- Have sustained economic damages from business interruption caused by COVID-19 exceeding $1,000 between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020, excluding those covered by insurance or reimbursement from any federal program.
- Have employed 10 or fewer employees as of February 29, 2020.
- Have had total revenue of less than $1 million on latest filed tax return (2019 or 2018 with a copy of the 2019 extension request)
- Be physically located within the boundaries of St. Lucie County, Florida.
- Business occupies commercial space (not home-based).
- Have been established and operating since at least February 28, 2019.
- Be able to demonstrate ongoing business operations as of February 29, 2020.
- Be currently opened for business in some capacity or temporarily closed by a government order.
- Be registered as a Florida business with Sunbiz.com (Florida Division of Corporations) OR, if not required, otherwise demonstrate the business was operating prior to March 1, 2019. Examples may include license issued from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, certification from Department of Health, and business tax receipt from your applicable St. Lucie jurisdiction.
- Hold valid local business tax receipts (commonly known as a business permit or business license) from St Lucie County and the municipality in which business is located.
- Be current on all St. Lucie County property tax obligations thru Tax Year 2018.
- Be expected to be fully operational after local and all state or local emergency guidelines restricting business operations are lifted.
- Business is for-profit and privately owned.
- No owner, officer, partner or principal has been convicted of a financial crime within the last 3 years.
Note: this is a grant program, no payback is required. These funds may be considered taxable income, so please contact your financial advisor for guidance. Each applicant will be limited to a single application per company or partnership. A 1099 may be issued for awarded grant funds.
If your business does not qualify for this grant, contact us for no cost COVID-19-related consulting services to help your business grow and succeed, or call 772.336.6285.
Depending your business type, you will also need to upload the following completed documents with your application (there are a total of 10 categories). D.1. thru D.8. are REQUIRED for all applications. D.9. and D.10. may or may not apply to your business. Click on the blue underlines for links to forms or more information as needed.
✓ D.1. Scanned copy of the front and back of the business owner or principal’s driver’s license or state identification card. (Required)
✓ D.2. Completed and signed W-9 form for business. (W-9 form for business.) Note: the W-9 DBA, Tax ID Number (or Social Security Number for sole proprietor), and Mailing Address for Grant Check must match entries in General Information section of the application. (Required)
✓ D.3. St. Lucie County Direct Deposit Authorization Form (required to enable payment).
✓ D.4. (Required) Copy of “active” state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations (SunBiz) showing the business was operating prior to March 1, 2019. Search by “Entity Name” here (use full legal business name as depicted on your Business Tax Receipt or Sunbiz), select listing with “Active” status, and attach most recent filing as a screenshot;
If not required to register with the Florida Division of Corporations, attach documentation showing the business was operating prior to March 1, 2019. Examples may include certification from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, certification from Department of Health, and business tax receipt from your applicable St. Lucie jurisdiction.
✓ D.5. Business Financials For Your Business Type (Required)
|Individual (Sole Proprietors and individual/single-owner LLCs)||Corporations (C-Corps, S-Corps, corporate Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs))||
2019 Schedule C (Form 1040)
If no 2019 Schedule C is available, provide 2018 Schedule C (Form 1040) and a copy of the extension request and 2019 Year End Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.
2019 Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120 or Form 1120S)
If no 2019 Corporate Tax Return is available, provide 2018 Corporate Tax Return (Form 1120 or 1120S) and a copy of the extension request and 2019 Year End Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.
2019 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065)
If no 2019 Return of Partnership Income is available, provide 2018 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1120 or 1120S) and a copy of the extension request and 2019 Year End Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.
✓ D.6. Detailed employee roster including the following for each employee: Name, Start Date, Position, Current Full-Time/Part-Time status and Telephone #. (Required)
✓ D.7. Copy of bills, payment receipts, or proposals supporting the eligible reimbursable COVID-19 related business expenses incurred or planned between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. (Note: Within the application you will be required to list and document these expenditures.) (Required)
✓ D.8. Copy of a business lease or utility bill showing the physical location of the business. (Required)
✓ ***D.9. Updated and Current Municipal Business Tax Receipt, if applicable. (***Not required of all applicants)
✓ ***D.10. For Short-Term Lodging establishments and vacation rental management companies that collect and remit Tourist Development Tax, tourist development tax receipt or cancelled check for last monthly or quarterly payment made. (*** Not required of all applicants)
TIMELINE: WHEN TO APPLY?
While applications will be processed and grants awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted, applicants who have not received federal, state or local government assistance related to impacts from COVID-19 will receive priority over other applicants currently in the review process, potentially over other earlier applicants. The applications are being accepted from August 3, 2020 to September 3, 2020.
- Please read through the entire list of information before starting the application.
- See if you are eligible. Read “WHO IS ELIGIBLE” and “OTHER QUALIFICATIONS.”
- Collect all appropriate documents. To be uploaded at the end of the application. See “DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION. Complete Application including uploading all appropriate documents at the end. Make sure to hit Submit then complete the final survey for additional no-cost business services.
- Application Review. A committee will evaluate your application; all attempts will be made to contact applicants for missing or items needing clarification; however, APPLICATIONS WILL BE ULTIMATLEY REJECTED IF ANY REQUIRED DOCUMENTS ARE MISSING, ILLEGIBLE OR FALSIFIED.
- Applicants will receive an email notification whether application has been accepted or denied.
- Processing and distribution. Approved applications will be processed and funds distributed via direct deposit.
Do I Qualify?
Frequently Asked Questions
Begin the Application Process
Please read all eligibility requirements and documentation needs before starting the application.
The EDC’s Partner: WeVenture hosted a webinar to help educate business owners on the application process.