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 $20,000 to be awarded to eligible small businesses
St. Lucie Recovers Small Business Assistance Program – Phase 3 will focus on businesses that experienced a business disruption whether they were forced to close by government order, curtailed operations or closed voluntarily to promote social distance measures or that were affected by decreased customer demand as a result of COVID-19 public health emergency. Business Disruption is defined as:
- Reduction of 20% or greater in annual revenues or customers.
- Supply chain disruption resulting in increased operational costs greater than the maximum grant award for which the business qualifies.
- Workforce availability or reduction leading to decreased production capacity by greater than 20-%, for which the impacts are greater than maximum grant award for which the business qualifies
- Modification of business operations, e.g., changes in production, delivery processes or increased digital capabilities (conversion to online platform for provision of services or products or shifting organization to operate remotely) resulting in disruption expenses greater than the maximum grant award for which the business qualifies.
Note – Business Disruption: Business must clearly demonstrate business disruption. For example, if a business is claiming $10,000 in financial impacts, as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, due to a reduction in annual revenues or customers you must provide a detailed overview and must be able to produce all necessary and requisite documents to demonstrate the impacts, upon request, of the business disruption. These requisite documents will need to be retained for seven years.
Grant awards will be approved on a first-come, first-qualified basis (application complete and all documentation provided) and subject to funding availability.
Maximum grant awards will be based on the below table and reimbursement of eligible business expenses related to the COVID-19 public health emergency:
|NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES (Full-Time Equivalents)||MAXIMUM GRANT AWARD|
|0-3 employees, including sole proprietors||$ Up to 5,000|
|More than 3 and up to 10 employees||$ Up to 7,500|
|More than 10 to up to 25 employees||$ Up to10,000|
|More than 25 and up to 50 employees||Up to $20,000|
These are grants not loans, so they do not have to be repaid. This grant application period will be open from October 19, 2020 and ends November 20, 2020 (midnight or until funds are depleted).
GRANT PURPOSE: HOW CAN THE FUNDS BE USED?
Grants funds are to be used to reimburse businesses for operational expenses incurred by Business Disruption as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Funds may only be used to only to reimburse 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 or curtailed (from March 2020 thru the date of application submission).
- *Reopening costs (Costs incurred during a reopening process from March, 2020 thru the date of application submission, 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 in March, 2020 thru the date of application submission 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.)
- *Payroll during a closure in March 2020 thru the date of application submission, 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.
*A business may not request reimbursement for revenue loss
We know virtually all small businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. As new grants are made available with different eligibility requirements and/or funding, they will be posted on this website. 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.
GRANT RECIPIENTS: WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All St. Lucie Businesses who have incurred qualified Business Disruption (as defined above) AND meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:
- Provide copies of bills, invoices, statements (not bank statements), proposals or receipts for eligible reimbursable COVID-19 related business expenses between March 1st and submission of application totaling a minimum of $1,000. (Note: You must provide a copy of an executed business lease or lease statement if you are seeking reimbursement of rent or lease payments. If you are submitting for reimbursement of mortgage expenses, please provide a copy of the mortgage statement for the months for which you are seeking reimbursement.) Keep in mind, eligible business expenses are for reimbursement due to COVID-19 impact and be from a business forced to close or mandated reduction in service, i.e., bars and restaurants only eligible to operate at a certain percentage of full capacity.
- Have employed 50 or fewer employees (Full-Time Equivalents) as of February 29, 2020.
- Have had total revenue of less than $5 million on 2019 filed tax return.
- 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 December 31, 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 January 1, 2020. Examples may include license issued from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or certification/licensure from Department of Health.
- Provide a valid local business tax receipt for St. Lucie County AND if your business is operated in the City of Port St. Lucie, the City of Fort Pierce or the Town of St. Lucie Village provide a business tax receipt for the applicable municipality (this is commonly known as an occupational license or business license).
- 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.
- Attest that 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.9. are REQUIRED for all applications. 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 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.A. St. Lucie County Direct Deposit Authorization Form (required to enable payment).
✓ D.3.B. Copy of Voided Check for Business (Required)
✓ D.4. (Required) Copy of “active” state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations (SunBiz) showing the business was operating prior to December 31, 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;
If not required to register with the Florida Division of Corporations, attach documentation showing the business was operating prior to December 31, 2019. Examples may include certification from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or certification/licensure from Department of Health.
✓ D.5. Income Tax Return For Your Business Type (Required)
|Individual (Sole Proprietors and individual/single-owner LLCs)||Corporations (C-Corps, S-Corps, corporate Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs))||
Complete 2019 Schedule C (Form 1040)
Complete 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120 or Form 1120S)
|Complete 2019 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065)|
✓ D.6. Detailed employee roster including the following for each employee: Name, Start Date, Position, Current Full-Time/Part-Time status and Telephone #. (Required) Contract Labor or Independent Contractors do not count toward calculation of full-time equivalents (FTEs).
✓ D.7.A Business-related expenses submitted for reimbursement are required to be due to COVID-19 impact. Provide copies of bills, invoices, statements (not bank statements), proposals or receipts for eligible reimbursable COVID-19 related business expenses between March 1st and submission date of application. Past-due, unpaid bills may be included and proposals from contractors for COVID-19 related safety measures may be applicable. These must exclude expenses covered by insurance or reimbursement from any federal program. Within the application you will be required to list and document these expenditures. (Required)
✓ D.7.B. Lease or mortgage statement. You must provide a copy of an executed business lease or lease statement if you are seeking reimbursement of rent or lease payments. If you are submitting for reimbursement of mortgage expenses, you will need to provide a copy of the mortgage statement for the months for which you are seeking reimbursement).
✓ D.8. Copy of a business lease (if applicable) AND a utility bill showing the physical location of the business. (Required)
✓ D.9.A 2020 – 2021 St. Lucie County Local Business Tax Receipt (Required).
✓ D.9.B 2020 – 2021 City Local Business Tax Receipt if your business is located if in the City of Fort Pierce,City of Port St. Lucie or the Town of St. Lucie Village. (Required, if applicable)
✓ ***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 October 19, 2020 to November 20, 2020 (midnight).
Please read through the entire list of information before starting the application.
- Please read through the entire list of information before starting the application.
- See if you are eligible. Read “WHO IS ELIGIBLE”.
- 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.
- When submitting expenses for reimbursement consideration, start with your largest ones first (rent, payroll, etc.) with the goal of submitting the minimum requirement of $1,000 and at least up to your maximum allowed based on your FTE employee count:
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES MAXIMUM GRANT AWARD 0-3 employees, including sole proprietors Up to $5,000 More than 3 to up to 10 employees
Up to $7,500
More than 10 to up to 25 employees Up to $10,000 More than 25 to up to 50 employees Up to $20,000
- 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 ULTIMATELY REJECTED IF ANY REQUIRED DOCUMENTS ARE MISSING, ILLEGIBLE OR FALSIFIED. Additionally, should your application be selected for proof of Business Disruption documentation, you will be contacted directly prior to funds disbursement.
- 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
- IRS W-9
- SunBiz (Florida Secretary of State – Division of Corporations)
- Chapter 500, Florida Statutes
- Chapter 509, Florida Statutes
- Governor’s Executive Order 20-68
- Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 (Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency)
- Section 5 of the “State of Florida ‘Safer-at-Home’ Guidance” document and Governor’s Executive Orders 20-112, 20-120, and 20-123
- Essential Retail and Commercial
- Direct Deposit Form
- SBDC Counseling
- The EDC’s Partner: WeVenture hosted a webinar to help educate business owners on the application process.