Escambia County small business CARES grant applications open Friday

Escambia County small business CARES grant applications open Friday

Jim Little, Pensacola News Journal
Published 2:11 p.m. CT Sept. 30, 2020 | Updated 2:46 p.m. CT Sept. 30, 2020

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Small businesses in Escambia County hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for grants from the county starting Friday.

Escambia County announced Wednesday that it would start accepting grants for its $7.5 million emergency financial assistance program for small businesses at 8 a.m. Friday.

Applications will be accepted through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Businesses with fewer than 25 employees will be eligible for $7,500 grants, and business with 26 to 50 employees will be eligible for $15,000 grants.

If businesses received money from the Paycheck Protection Program, they are still eligible for the grants if they received less than $10,000.

The grants are being funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

The county said grants will be awarded on a first-qualified, first-served basis. 

Applications are available online at myescambia.com/CARES. Also four locations will be open to assist business owners in completing the application from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. The locations are:

  • Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto St.
  • Century Branch Library, 7991 N. Century Blvd.
  • Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida, 9999 University Parkway, Building 8
  • Studer Community Institute, 220 W. Garden St., Suite 301

Requirements to be eligible for the grants are:

  • The business cannot be publicly traded.
  • Must be current on ad valorem taxes, if any.
  • No current unpaid code enforcement liens or violation of federal, state or local laws/ordinances.
  • Fewer than 50 full- or part-time employees.
  • Must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 after March 1, 2020.
  • Received less than $10,000 in Payroll Protection Program loans from Small Business Administration.

Businesses applying for the grant must have the following documents:

  • State of Florida active business registration from SunBiz.org that is registered in Escambia County effective October 2019 (will need to confirm still in business as of date of application and is expected to return to full operations after local and state emergency guidelines during COVID‐19 are rescinded). If the business is not registered in SunBiz, a business license or documentation with an Escambia County address will be required. 
  • Documentation of any PPP funding (must be less than $10,000 to be eligible).
  • Copy of owner’s driver’s license, state ID or passport.
  • Entire 2019 tax return.
  • IRS form 941 first quarter 2020.
  • A completed and signed IRS W‐9 form. Applicants will be instructed that they can find this form at irs.gov
  • Provide attestation that request is valid and truthful.

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