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Update October 2020: The CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Grant Program has doubled the amounts awarded to each business category. The new grant tiers are as follows:
- Up to $5,000 for home based businesses, and businesses with one (1) employee, or non-profits with no employees (volunteers only).
- Up to $10,000 for applicants with 2-25 employees
- Up to $20,000 for applicants with 26 or more employees
Businesses that have already applied and received grant money can fill out a supplemental request form to double what they already received.
The window of time for eligible reimbursements has also increased. Applicants may now apply for grant funds to offset a portion of operational costs incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020. New applications are due by 5:00 pm on October 30, 2020.
The City of Kissimmee’s grant program is also still open for applications.
Update August 2020: The CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Grant Program will re-open to application submissions on September 1. The City of St. Cloud COVID-19 Economic Recovery & Stimulus Plan Small Business Grant and Non-Profit Assistance Grant are still open. The City of Kissimmee Business Assistance Grant will re-open once current applicants processed. Read below to be prepared to apply when these grants are again available.
Osceola County and the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud have all recently launched grant programs for Osceola-based businesses and nonprofits. Read below to find a grant that works for your business or organization and see the chart for a comparison of the various programs. Links are provided for more information and to access applications.
CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Grant Program
Osceola County has received $16 million of a potential $65 million in CARES Act funding from the State of Florida. They have dedicated 70% ($11 million) of that to rental assistance, 20% ($3.2 million) to business assistance, and 10% ($1.6 million) to food assistance. Their CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Grant Program launched on June 29 and will remain open until July 27 at 5:00 pm.
This grant offers reimbursements totaling up to $10,000 (depending on business size) for expenses incurred between February 1 and May 31 that have not already been covered by PPP or EIDL funds. Applicants must be located in Osceola County (including within the St. Cloud or Kissimmee city limits) and at least 51% of ownership must belong to Florida residents. This grant is available to both commercial businesses and nonprofits (including 501(c)(6)s), and can be applied for at weveopenedsafely.com. In addition, applicants are required to register with weveopenedsafely.com and complete the Economic Damage Assessment Survey at floridadisaster.biz. Applicants must also be current on all County taxes, assessments, and fees and have no outstanding code enforcement violations.
Kissimmee Business Assistance Grant
The City of Kissimmee is using $213, 304 in Commuity Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the CARES Act. The application period for this grant opened at 8:00 am on July 15 and will close one week later on July 21 at 5:00 pm. After the application period closes, completed applications will be randomly selected for processing and funding until funds are exhausted.
There are two levels of grant available: The Micro-Enterprise Business Assistance Program and the Small Business Assistance Program. The Micro Business Grant is available to companies with one to five employees and maxes out at $5,000 per grant. The Small Business Grant is available to companies with 6 to 75 employees and maxes out at $10,000. These grants are available to businesses located within the Kissimmee City Limits as direct payments to cover expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and payroll incurred in the month of June or later. If you are unsure if your business lies within the city limits of Kissimmee, it will be determined for you as part of the application process. To apply for this grant, visit kissimmeeresponds.com/business-assistance.
Of note, this grant must aid in the creation or retention of a job, and employees hired or retained must be considered Low/Moderate Income and maintain employment for at least six months. While businesses who previously received PPP or EIDL funding are welcome to apply, an applicant may have also not received any other funding for the same period to which they wish to apply these grant funds.
City of St. Cloud COVID-19 Non-Profit Assistance Grant
The City of St. Cloud opened a grant designed specifically for nonprofits on May 29 and it will remain open until its $50,000 in funds are exhausted. Interested nonprofits must be located within the geographic boundaries of St. Cloud, or serve 51% of the St. Cloud population. This grant is designed to offset the loss, due to COVID-19, of income to nonprofits that would be used for a wide range of human services initiatives.
The application for this grant can be accessed at stcloud.org/businessrecoveryresources and must be submitted as a PDF with supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail. Applications will be evaluated by the Office of Economic Development and awards will be authorized by the St. Cloud City Manager and approved by the St. Cloud City Council. Award recipients will then be subject to quarterly reporting and a final annual report on the progress of their grant-funded programs.
City of St. Cloud COVID-19 Economic Recovery & Stimulus Plan Small Business Grant
The City of St. Cloud also launched a Small Business Grant on May 29 and it too will remain open until the $200,000 of allotted funds are exhausted. The maximum grant amount available to any one business is $10,000, and funds will go directly to the business. However, the City requires recipients of these grants to provide post-award reports at the six month and one year point that will include evidence of use of funds, sales data, and job creation/retention.
Eligible businesses must be located within the geographic boundaries of St. Cloud, licensed and registered in St. Cloud, and have no outstanding debts to the city. Recipients of this grant may not have received PPP or EIDL loans, or benefited from any SBA debt relief programs under the CARES Act. Applications will be assessed and scored by an evaluation committee in the order received. Applications may accessed at stcloud.org/businessrecoveryresources and submitted as a PDF with supporting documentation to email@example.com or via mail.
Comparison of Available Business Grant Grograms within Osceola County
Below please find a comparison of the grant programs currently available from the County and two cities, as well as a quick guide of acceptable uses.