Sarasota County has Free CARES Act Grant Money for Local Small Businesses
Small Business Relief Grant Program
The Small Business Relief Grant Program will provide grants up to $20,000 to small businesses and 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations, negatively impacted by COVID-19, for COVID-19-related expenditures. Applications are now open.
Eligibility Criteria: (Please see application for more details.)
- For-profit non-publicly traded businesses, and 501(c)3 and 501(c)6 organizations in operation as of March 1,2019.
- Principal place of business, or 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 organization’s principal place of operations, located in Sarasota County.
- Businesses must be “small” (less than 100 full-time equivalent employees).
- Experienced a negative financial impact due to COVID-19 demonstrated through certification and supporting documentation, such as profit or loss statements, quarterly tax filings from most recent year, bank statements, sales tax statements or the like.
- Must be properly registered with Florida’s Division of Corporations.
- Must have active Municipality Business License from Department of Business Professional Regulation (DBPR), if applicable.
- No current debt owed to the county, such as taxes and/or liens (including but not limited to code enforcement liens for corrective action).
- No business owner, or board director or officer of a 501(c)3/501(c)6 organization, has been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, including but not limited to fraud, in the last 5 years.
- Cannot be presently suspended or debarred from participation in transactions by any federal department or agency (this includes the business as well as any business owner/the 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organization as well as any board director and/or officer).
- Has not presently filed for bankruptcy and is not planning to file for bankruptcy before Dec. 30, 2020 (this includes the business as well as any business owner or the 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organization). This does not include the board directors and/or officers of any 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organization.
- All business owners, and all 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) board directors and officers, must be U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents (“green card” holders).
- Entity cannot have an existing compliance or penalty order from the county’s Code Enforcement Special Magistrate.
Eligible types of expenditures include:
- Utilities (water, sewer, electric, gas, solid waste collection, phone, internet)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- COVID-19 testing
- Marketing related to reopening
- Perishable inventory related to reopening
Important funding request restrictions:
- Eligible entities may submit requests for funding assistance on a reimbursement basis only.
- All reimbursement requests are subject to review and approval.
- Expenses for which reimbursement is being requested must be COVID-19-related.
- Entities can only request reimbursement for expenditures incurred between March 1,2020, and the date of application, no later than Dec. 15, 2020.
- Entities cannot request or receive reimbursement for an expense if the entity has received, or will receive, financial assistance from ANY other source for that same expense.
- In addition to the above restrictions, 501(c)3 and 501(c)6 organizations CANNOT be reimbursed for:
- expenditures that were in the organization’s approved budget as of March 27, 2020 (copy of budget may be required); or
- revenue losses, even if due to COVID-19 (i.e. reduced fundraising due to cancelled events or uncollected membership fees).