CARES business assistance opens tomorrow

Escambia County will start accepting applications for the Escambia CARES Business Emergency Financial Assistance Grants beginning Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 a.m. Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m.

Applications will be accepted online at myescambia.com/CARES and at several physical locations throughout the county.

Those needing assistance or who do not have access to the internet and wish to apply with paper forms instead of online can visit one of the four fully-staffed application assistance centers located throughout the county.

These locations will be staffed for in-person application assistance during the grant application window, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and noon-5 p.m. on weekends.

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

Businesses wishing to apply for this grant will need to supply:

  • Fully completed application, including certifications, affirmations, acknowledgements.
  • State of Florida active business registration from SunBiz.org 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application and is expected to return to full operations after local and state emergency guidelines during COVID‐19 are rescinded).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: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irspdf/fw9.pdf
  • Provide attestation that request is valid and truthful.

To qualify for the grant, businesses will need to show proof:

  • 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.
  • Less 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.

Escambia County has allocated more than $7.5 million of CARES Act funding to provide grants of $7,500 for businesses with 0-25 employees and $15,000 for businesses that have 26-50 employees. Escambia CARES Business Emergency Financial Assistance Grants will be dispersed on a first-qualified, first-served basis until funding has been exhausted.

For more information on the Escambia Cares Business Emergency Financial Assistance Grant, visit the program’s list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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