BOCA RATON, Fla. — Small businesses in Boca Raton impacted by the recent shutdown from the coronavirus will be able to apply for a grant through the city starting Monday.
The program is expected to help around 100 small businesses.
About two months ago, the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce asked the city council to start the program to help businesses in need.
Chamber CEO Troy McLellan said he is proud to see the city step up and offer the program, providing at total of $500,000.
"The period of recovery is going to take a long time," said McLellan.
Staring Monday, businesses located within the city limits can apply for a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
To qualify, owners must have not received any federal or COVID-19 funding, employ three to 25 people, shut their business down due to COVID-19 and be located within the Boca Raton city limits.
“Half a million dollars is a lot of money, and $5,000 still in this time for a small business is a lot of money and can a lot of difference,” said McLellan.
He said even though many places have opened under Florida's phase one, $5,000 could help keep doors open for the next six to 12 months.
“We need to make sure they are supported and given the resources they need now so that they can sustain, so that we can keep them online,” said McLellan.
Councilman Andy Thomson hopes struggling businesses will benefit from this program.
"We are trying to fill in the gaps where people haven't gotten relief," said Thomson.
He said the city is ready for the online application process to open.
“We have robust technology ready to help people, and we have people who are waiting to review applications when they come in,” said Thomson.
To be eligible for the funding, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Types of Businesses: Businesses must be for-profit, and must qualify as a restaurant, retail or retail service business with a physical location within the city customarily open for customers/patrons
- Closure: The physical location of the business must have been closed as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency (except for delivery, curbside pick-up and related activities)
- Multiple businesses: Owner(s) of more than one business may apply for a grant for each business, provided that each business has a separate Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service and meets the criteria of the Grant Program
- Other Funding: Businesses may not have received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established by the federal government (PPP) or other COVID-19 government relief funding
- Business History: Businesses must have been in business in the city for at least one year prior to March 1, 2020
- Business Tax License: Businesses must have a current city business tax license
- Number of Employees: Each business must have employed at least three employees and no more than 25 employees as of March 1, 2020
- Sales: Businesses must have had annual average sales prior to March 1, 2020 of less than $1 million
- Sales Reduction: Businesses must have experienced at least a 50% reduction in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
The online application will go live on Monday, June 1 at 8 a.m.
Click here to learn more about the program.