Please direct your questions related to the Small Business Grant process to the hotline: (877) 298-3539
What is the Seminole CARES Small Business Grant?
Seminole County will invest $10 million into small businesses as part of Seminole CARES, a broad relief program supporting the needs of business owners, residents, not-for-profits, and municipal and community partners. This program represents Phase II of Seminole County small business grants in response to the pandemic. Information regarding the Phase I Small Business Grant program is included at the bottom of this webpage.
This one-time grant places emphasis on small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic. Funding for this program is made available through the Federal CARES Act.
The online application portal for Seminole CARES Small Business Grants opened Wednesday, August 19. Please contact the Small Business Grant Hotline with your questions: (877) 298-3539.
How Much Money Can My Business Receive?
Grants will be awarded based on number of employees:
- Home-based businesses
- Mobile businesses
- Commercially zoned businesses with up to one (1) W-2 employee
All businesses must have a Seminole County Business Tax Receipt. Home-based businesses that do not have a Business Tax Receipt should consider the Seminole CARES Individual Grant.
- Commercially zoned businesses with 2 – 25 employees
W-2 full-time employees or part-time equivalent
- Commercially zoned businesses with 26 – 50 employees
W-2 full-time employees or part-time equivalent
What documents are required in order to apply?
The following documents are required in order to complete the application:
- Signed W-9: The business name on the W-9 must match the business name in Sunbiz
- Florida Identification: A scanned copy of the front of your Florida driver’s license or identification card. The name on the ID must match the name submitted on the online application, as well as one of the names associated with the business in Sunbiz
- Proof of Economic Impact Due to COVID-19. This can be:
- Quarterly Profit & Loss (P&L) statements from both January – March 2020 and April – June 2020 OR
- Quarterly Form 941 (payroll taxes) from both January – March 2020 and April – June 2020. The Taxpayer ID on these documents must match both W-9 and Sunbiz
- Proof of Employee Count. This can be:
- 2019 Form W-3 (W-2 summary) The Taxpayer ID on these documents must match both the W-9 and Sunbiz OR
- Form 941 (payroll taxes) from January – March 2020. The Taxpayer ID on these documents must match both the W-9 and Sunbiz
- Current Seminole County Business Tax Receipt: Every business in Seminole County is required to obtain a Business Tax Receipt and renew it annually.
How Do I Know If My Business is Eligible?
In order to receive funding, your business must be:
- A for-profit business. Not-for-profits are not eligible for this grant
- A privately held company. If members of the public can buy shares of your company on an open exchange market (NASDAQ or NYSE), your business is publicly traded and, therefore, not eligible for this grant
- In operation before January 1, 2020. Businesses incorporated after January 1, 2020 are not eligible
- A Home-based business with a Seminole County Business Tax Receipt, a mobile business with a current Seminole County Business Tax Receipt, or a business with between 2-50 employees that is not home-based or mobile. Home-based businesses and mobile business that do not possess a Seminole County Business Tax Receipt and businesses with more than 50 employees are not eligible for this grant
- Legally registered, fully licensed (as required by applicable law), and up to date on tax payments/filings. If your business holds all licenses required by Seminole County and the State of Florida, has filed the necessary tax documentation, and has paid all business taxes, your business is eligible
- One that experienced economic impact due to COVID-19. If your business was defined under Florida Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 20-91 and subsequent orders as non-essential so that it was not permitted to operate, your business is eligible. If your business shows a loss of income for April – June 2020, as compared to the previous quarter (January – March 2020), your business is also eligible
- Principally based in Seminole County? If your business’ main physical location is within the boundaries of Seminole County, including one of the County’s seven cities (Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford, or Winter Springs) your business is eligible
- A recipient of less than $100,000 of assistance through the Federal Paycheck Protection Program. If your business received more than $100,000 through the PPP, your business is not eligible for this grant
- Your business must not be associated with the gambling, CBD/medical marijuana, or adult entertainment industries. If your business is associated with any of these industries, your business is not eligible for this grant
What Information Will I Be Asked to Provide on the Application?
- Applicant name that must be listed in Sunbiz
- Email address
- Phone number
- The legal business name that matches the legal, registered business name in Sunbiz
- Business address: Applicable business must be the principal location in Seminole County, even if there are multiple business locations
- The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code for your business classification that matches the NAICS code listed in Sunbiz, if applicable
- Taxpayer Identification Number found on tax returns or other forms filed with the IRS
- Business legal entity type:
- Individual - Sole Proprietorship – owned by one single person only but is not a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Individual – Single Owner LLC – owned by one single person and are a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Corporation – C Corp – recognized as a separate taxpaying entity that conducts business, realizes net income or loss, pays taxes and distributes profits to shareholders
- Corporation – S Corp – specific type of corporation recognized by the IRS
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) – allows certain protection from personal liability for business debts and claims for two or more owners pursuant to Chapter 608, Florida Statutes
- Partnership – A Partnership includes the ownership of a company by two or more owners that has not been incorporated
- A narrative description of how your business was impacted by COVID-19, to include a list of planned expenses and must provide the expense type, description, and dollar amount
How Can This Grant Be Used?
Applicable business expenses include:
- Rent or mortgage costs for the business location
- Utility cost for the business location
- Investments to meet reopening guidelines, such as purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other workplace improvements directly related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19
- Remote access equipment, such as computers, software, and printers for employers to enable telecommuting to allow for social distancing
- Internet-based communications and service delivery technology that helps directly address customers and/or employees in response to new work schedules & service/product delivery
For additional information regarding the Seminole CARES Small Business Grant, click HERE.
SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS: PHASE I
The application period for PHASE I of Seminole County’s Small Business Grant has now closed. The Economic Development Team will be communicating with all PHASE I grant recipients via email by Friday, July 31.
Those businesses that did not qualify for PHASE I funding may qualify for the SEMINOLE CARES PHASE II SMALL BUSINESS GRANT. Staff is currently reviewing applications that did not qualify for PHASE I to determine those that qualify for PHASE II. Businesses that qualify for PHASE II will be contacted via phone or email to discuss next steps by August 14th.
Businesses that applied for PHASE I grant funds that will not qualify for PHASE II will be notified by email.