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Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation | 2229 NW 9th Ave Okeechobee, FL 34972 | P: 1 (863) 357-2334 | E: info@ocedcorp.com

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY CARES ACT BUSINESS GRANT  CLICK HERE for Guidelines and to Apply Online.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY
Contact Us: 863.357.2334

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY CARES ACT BUSINESS GRANT  CLICK HERE for Guidelines and to Apply Online.

OKEECHOBEE CARES ACT BUSINESS GRANT

Okeechobee County has partnered with the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) to provide RELIEF funds to businesses/non-profits/specified workers who have suffered due to the required closures resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Funds are available as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal stimulus package.

The program will offer a one-time grant of $7,500 to qualifying small businesses, $5,000 to Independent Contractor/Sole Proprietorship/Home-Based businesses/501C type non-profits entities and $2,500 to Okeechobee Waitresses/Waiters/Bartenders for expenses such as employee wages, bills and rent and other related expenses. The emergency relief is targeted specifically to help local businesses/specified workers cover immediate financial needs. Grants are strictly limited to businesses physically located within Okeechobee County. Funds can only be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures provided those costs are not paid by insurance.

 

Please ensure all information is submitted with application.  Applications submitted without all required documentation will be declared ineligible.  Applicants will not be notified if the application is ineligible.

 

Eligibility Criteria | Businesses are eligible for a one-time $7500

  • The business is locally or independently owned
  • The business occupies commercial space within Okeechobee County
  • Business was ordered to close under the Governor’s Executive Orders (see attached)
  • Business that were not ordered to close, but suffered loss of revenue due to COVID-19
  • Business has no more than 25, full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or subcontractors, including the business owner as of March 1, 2020
  • The business has been operating on or before March 1, 2020 and is still operating.
  • Firm is expected to return to full operations after all local and state emergency guidelines during COVID-19 are rescinded
  • Current on real estate taxes, if the applicant owns the business property
  • Each applicant will be limited to a single application per company or partnership. (For example, if you own the company and you receive a 1099, you can only submit an application for either the Company or your 1099.

Application Documentation Requirements

  • State of Florida business registration from the Florida Division of Corporation (showing the business is registered in Okeechobee County)
  • Current City and County Business Licenses, (If Business is located in County, only County license is required)
  • Copy of Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • Copy of paid Real Estate Tax document
  • Current copy of Fictious Name documentation (if applicable)
  • State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) license
  • Full employee list as of March 1, 2020 (if business owner by submitting IRS form 941 or W-3)
  • Document on why you need this grant and how you intend to use the grant (proof of revenue loss is required, i.e. revenue comparison from previous year period 2019 March to June vs same period in 2020)
  • A correctly completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required from each applicant

Eligibility Criteria | Independent Contractors/Sole Proprietorships $5000

  • Independent contractors/sole proprietorships in this category only are associated with individuals who work in a beauty salon, massage or barber shop businesses only
  • The business they work in is locally or independently owned in Okeechobee County
  • The business they work in occupies commercial space within Okeechobee County
  • Business was ordered to close under the Governor’s Executive Orders (see attached)
  • The business has been operating on or before March 1, 2020 and is still operating

Application Documentation Requirements

  • Current City and County Business Licenses, (If Business is located in County, only County license is required)
  • Copy of Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) license
  • Schedule C (Signed IRS Form 1040 or 1040 SR)
  • Document why you need this grant and how you intend to use the grant (proof of revenue loss is required, i.e. revenue comparison from previous year period 2019 March to June vs same period in 2020)
  • A correctly completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required from each applicant

Eligibility Criteria | Home-Based $5000

  • The business is locally or independently owned in Okeechobee County
  • Your home-based business was ordered to close under the Governor’s Executive Orders (see attached)

Application Documentation Requirements

  • Current City and County Business Licenses, (If Business is located in County, only County license is required)
  • Copy of Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • Current copy of Fictitious Name documentation
  • State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) license, if applicable
  • Schedule C (Signed IRS Form 1040 or 1040SR)
  • Document why you need this grant and how you intend to use the grant (proof of revenue loss is required, i.e. revenue comparison from previous year period 2019 March to June vs same period in 2020)
  • A correctly completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required from each applicant

Eligibility Criteria | Non-National Local Non-Profit Organizations (501C) $5000

  • The business is located in Okeechobee County
  • The business occupies space within Okeechobee County
  • Business was ordered to close under the Governor’s Executive Orders (see attached)
  • The business has been operating on or before March 1, 2020 and is still operating

Application Documentation Requirements

  • Current City and County Business Licenses, (If Business is located in County, only County license is required)
  • Copy of Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Signed copy of Form 990 or 990EZ
  • Document why you need this grant and how you intend to use the grant (proof of revenue loss is required, i.e. tax form, P&L from previous year period (March to June))
  • A correctly completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required from each applicant

Eligibility Criteria | Okeechobee Waiters/Waitresses/Bartenders (Specified Workers) $2500

  • The business they work in is locally or independently owned in Okeechobee County
  • The business they work in occupies commercial space within Okeechobee County
  • Business was ordered to close under the Governor’s Executive Orders (see attached)
  • The business has been operating on or before March 1, 2020 and is still operating

Application Documentation Requirements

  • Copy of Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • W2s for waitresses/waiters/bartenders (REQUIRED, DO NOT APPLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A W2)
  • Document why you need the grant and how you intend to use the grant (proof of revenue loss is required, i.e. tax form, P&L from previous year period (March to June))
  • A correctly completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required from each applicant

The application and all necessary supporting documentation must be submitted for eligibility determination. Please submit your application online in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be rejected.  It is up to the applicant to ensure all information is provided on the initial application.

The following are a list of the Governor’s executive orders outlining the type of businesses which were ordered to close.  Please read to ensure your business was required to close.

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses with more than 25 full time employees.
  • Publicly traded companies.

Eligible Grant Uses

This is a grant program, so no payback is required. Funds may be used for related expenses due to loss income incurred during the months of March – December 2020. These funds cannot be used to pay property taxes.  These funds may be considered taxable income, so please contact your financial advisor for guidance.

Application process

  • Applications MUST be submitted through online application portal.
  • Applicants will be required to digitally/physically sign the application and attest, under penalty of perjury, that all information submitted is truthful.
  • Completing the application should take approximately 10-15 minutes, if the applicant has the necessary documentation at hand.
  • If application is submitted without all valid/required information, application will be deemed incomplete and not accepted.  Applicant will not be contacted to re-apply

Apply Online

These are limited funds that will be distributed on a first-submitted, eligible and approved application basis.  There is no deadline to apply. Applications will be accepted until funds set aside for this purpose are exhausted, or until such time there is no longer demand for the program and funds are re-allocated for other eligible purposes.

Grant Compliance

The company must also register to become a client of the Florida’s Small Business Development Center within one month of completing the application as part of the compliance requirement Click here to register.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the employee count determined?

The 1-25 employee count is determined by the total number of employees, which includes full time and part time employees, as well as 1099’s.

How do I find my active business registration?

Search by “Entity Name” here on SunBiz.org (use full legal business name), select listing with “Active” Status, and attach most recent filing as a screenshot. If not required to register with Florida Division of Corporations, attach documentation showing the business meets all regulatory requirements from Okeechobee County.

What is the definition of a full time employee?

Full-time equivalent (FTE): A measurement of an employer’s total part-time employees’ hours expressed as the equivalent number of full-time hours. For example, two part-time employees working an average of 15 hours a week would equal one full-time equivalent employee

What if I’m not required to register on Sunbiz?

You will need to provide a copy of your Florida Department of Business & Profession Regulation (DBPR) State License.

How will I submit my documents to you?

Clear legible scans, photos, and screen shots of the required documents can be uploaded.

Will my business be eligible to receive funds from the OKEECHOBEE CARES ACT BUSINESS GRANT if I’ve received money from another Federal or State program (i.e. PPP, EIDLA, and Florida Bridge Loan)?

Yes.

Can non-profit organizations apply?

No.

What happens if I do not include all of the required documents when I submit my application?

Only submit your application when you are able to provide the required documents. If you do not uploaded all of the required documents your application will be declared ineligible.  Applications will only be considered if submitted with all required information.   It is your responsibility to make sure all information uploaded is correct and valid.  If the information is discovered to be invalid, your application will be deemed ineligible.

 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE

Okeechobee County CARES Act Business Grant

Funded through the federal CARES Act

 

Program Overview:

Okeechobee County is eligible to receive funding from the State of Florida through the

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal stimulus package. Broadly, the CARES Act provides that expenses are those that:

  • Are necessary expenses incurred due to COVID-19
  • Are not accounted for in your adopted budget as of the date of CARES Act Enactment (March 27, 2020)
  • Were incurred beginning on March 1st, 2020.

Okeechobee County will utilize funding to cover local costs of the City, County, and other county-funded Constitutional Offices.

Funding will also be made available to provide financial recovery assistance through the following programs, subject to eligibility determinations:

  • Small Business Grants
  • Other eligible unmet needs that may exist, or develop, during the program duration.

Each program will outline eligibility requirements, submission of a complete program application submission, and necessary supporting documentation. Program applications will be designed to ensure eligibility, accountability and compliance.  Designated Program Administrators will be appointed by the County Administrator and will be provided flexibility in developing and modifying application elements for each funding category and documentation requirements as deemed necessary to ensure program compliance throughout the program duration.

 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE

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