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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


Will be accepting applications Friday, July 10th!

Click Here for Guidelines and Application



Will be accepting applications Friday, July 10th!

Click Here for Guidelines and Application


Okeechobee County has partnered with the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) to provide RELIEF funds to businesses 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 and $5,000 to Independent Contractor/Sole Proprietorship to cover expenses such as employee wages, bills and rent and other business related expenses. The emergency relief is targeted specifically to help local businesses 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.

Eligibility Criteria | Businesses are eligible for a one-time $7500.00 and Independent Contractors/Sole Proprietorships - $5000.00) grant if:

  • The business is locally or independently owned.
  • The business occupies commercial space within Okeechobee County.
  • Have 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 since October 1, 2019 and is still operating.
  • Firm is expected to return to full operations after all local and state emergency guidelines during COVID-19 are rescinded.
  • Up to date on tangible personal property or real estate taxes.
  • 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.

Eligible Businesses

Ineligible  Businesses

  • Businesses with more than 25 full time employees.
  • Publicly traded companies.
  • Home based businesses.
  • Nonprofit organizations.

Eligible Grant Uses

This is a grant program, so no payback is required. Funds may be used for business related expenses incurred during the months of March – December 2020. 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 must upload all necessary documents.
  • 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.

Application Requirements

  • State of Florida business registration from the Florida Division of Corporation (showing the business is registered in Okeechobee County).
  • City and/or Okeechobee County Business Licenses if applicable.
  • Copy of Individual or Business Owners Driver’s License, state ID or passport.
  • State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) license if applicable.
  • Full employee list as of March 1, 2020 (if business owner by submitting IRS form 941 or W-3).
  • A completed and signed copy of IRS W-9 form is required.

Apply Online

These are limited funds that will be distributed on a first-submitted, eligible and approved application basis (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.

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

Grant recipients must submit receipts/documentation of expenditures and summary of how all monies have been spent to by September 15, 2020. These need to be submitted to OCEDC by mail, email, or in person. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2505, Okeechobee, FL 34973. E-mail address: info@ocedcorp.com. If providing in person, make an appointment with the OCEDC office by calling 863-357-2334. The office is on Indian River State College Campus, located at 2229 NW 9th Ave, Okeechobee, FL  Building B, Room 141.

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.


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)?


Can non-profit organizations apply?


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 you will be notified by the OCEDC staff. Applications will only be considered once everything is submitted in their entirety.



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.




Ready to move your business to Okeechobee County?

In addition to incentives aimed at stimulating economic activity, Florida ranks as one of the best states to run a business because of its pro-business state tax policies.

Find out more