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Escambia Cares Business Assistance Grant Program FAQs

Escambia Cares Business Assistance Grant Program FAQs

Q: When will you accept applications for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program?

A: The application window opened at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. The application window closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6. THE APPLICATION WINDOW IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.

Q: How do I apply for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program?

A: There are two ways to apply: online and in person.

To apply online, visit myescambia.com/cares. There will be a link on this page to start the online application process.

To apply in person, visit one of the following sites during the hours of 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and noon-5 p.m. weekends during the Friday, Oct. 2, to Tuesday, Oct. 6, application window, unless otherwise noted:

  • 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

Staff will be on hand to help guide you through the application process. Please bring the required application information and documents for your application to be complete. 

Q: What materials will I need to compete the application process?

A: Businesses must have all documents readily available before you begin the application process. It is recommended that you scan and save all required documents to your computer desktop so they can be easily uploaded to your application form if you are applying online.

You will need the following:

  • State of Florida active business registration from SunBiz.org showing the business 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application and is expected to return to full operations after local and state emergency guidelines during COVID‐19 are rescinded).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, if any
  • Copy of owner’s Driver’s License, state ID or passport
  • IRS FORM 941 (from the first quarter of 2020, or, if not completed, fourth quarter of 2019)
  • Entire 2019 tax return
  • A completed and signed IRS W‐9 form. Applicants can find this form at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irspdf/fw9.pdf

Please complete each question in the application. Incomplete applications or missing information may result in a delay in processing or in the denial of your application.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program?

A: To be eligible for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program, applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • That it is a for-profit business located in Escambia County and show proof of operations as of October 1, 2019, and operational as of date of grant application. The business cannot be publicly traded.
  • Must have valid Escambia County business license verifiable through Subiz.org.
  • Must be current on ad valorem taxes, if any.
  • No current unpaid code enforcement liens or violation of federal, state, or local laws/ordinances.
  • Expected to operate after grant award.
  • Less than 50 full or part-time employees.
  • Must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 after March 1, 2020.
  • Impacted by full or partial closure or reduction of hours, and lost revenues due to social distancing or other COVID 19 controls or forced to furlough employees.
  • Received less than $10,000 in Payroll Protection Program loans from Small Business Administration.

Q: I applied for the Escambia CARES Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. Will my application for that be automatically applied to the application for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program?

A: No. Applicants who applied for the Escambia CARES Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program would need to reapply for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program.

Q: I applied for the Escambia CARES Family Assistance Program. Can I apply for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program?

A: Yes. These are separate grant programs with separate requirements. Application or acceptance of one will not impact acceptance of another.

Q: How will I know if I will receive a grant?

A: Following the close of the application window, applications will be processed in the order received for eligibility. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within three weeks after submittal.

Q: I am behind on my business’s lease payment. Will the grant be paid directly to my landlord?

A: No. The grants for the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program will be paid directly to the applicants. These grants will not be paid to landlords or to any other creditor.

Q: If I am awarded the Escambia CARES Business Assistance Program grant, how much will I receive?

A: Grants are awarded in two amounts. For businesses with 25 or fewer employees, grants will be awarded in the amount of $7,500. For businesses with 26-50 employees, grants will be awarded in the amount of $15,000.

Q: Are these grants taxable?

A: Yes. You must provide a W-9 form with your application for income tax purposes.

Q: I submitted my application and need to make changes. How do I do that?

A: Once the application is submitted, you will need to contact the county to have the application reopened. To do that, e-mail  sbdc@uwf.edu or telephone (850) 474-2528 with the documents you need to add. Include your name, phone number, address and confirmation number in the email so it can be matched easily to your application. If you have not hit "submit," you can go back into the saved application to make edits.

Q: How will I know the county has successfully received my application?

A: Applicants will receive an on-screen confirmation message upon completion of a successful online application. Applicants will receive an e-mail with this confirmation.

Q: The application includes a checkbox about being exempt to Florida Public Records Law. What does this mean?

A: Unfortunately, there is not a very concise way to describe which applicants may qualify for an exemption based on their occupation, under Florida Statue § 119.071(4)(d). However, the list of qualifying occupations is as follows:

  • Active or Former Law Enforcement Personnel
  • Active or Former Correctional and Correctional Probation Officers
  • Active or Former Personnel of Department of Child & Family Services whose duties include the investigation of abuse, neglect, exploitation, fraud, theft, or other criminal activities
  • Active or Former Personnel of Department of Health whose duties are to support the investigation of child abuse or neglect
  • Active or Former Personnel of Department of Revenue or local governments whose responsibilities include revenue collection and enforcement or child support enforcement
  • Firefighters certified in compliance with Florida Statue § 633.408
  • Justice of the Supreme Court, District Court of Appeal Judges, Circuit Court Judges, or County Court Judges
  • Current or former State Attorneys, Assistant State Attorneys, State Prosecutors, and Assistant State Prosecutors
  • General and Special Magistrates
  • Judges of Compensation Claims
  • Administrative Law Judges of Department of Administrative Hearing (DOAH)
  • Child support enforcement hearing officers
  • Current and former human resource, labor relations or employee labor relations directors, assistant directors, managers, or assistant managers of any local government agency or water management district whose duties include hiring and firing employees, labor contract negation, administration or personnel-related duties
  • Current and former Code Enforcement Officers
  • Current and former guardians ad litem as defined in Florida Statue § 39.820
  • Current and former juvenile probation officers, juvenile probation supervisors, detention superintendents, assistant detention superintendents, senior juvenile detention officers, juvenile detention officer supervisors, juvenile detention officers, house parents I and II, house parent supervisors, group treatment leaders, group treatment leader supervisors, rehabilitation therapists, and social services counselors of the Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Current or former Public Defenders, Assistant Public Defenders, Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, and Assistant Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel
  • Current or former personnel of the Department of Health whose duties include, or result in, the determination or adjudication of eligibility for social security disability benefits, the investigation or prosecution of complaints filed against health care practitioners, or the inspection of health care practitioners or health care facilities licensed by the Department of Health
  • Current or former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, or the National Guard, who served after September 11, 2001.
  • Current or former nonsworn investigative personnel of the Department of Financial Services whose duties include the investigation of fraud, theft, workers' compensation coverage requirements and compliance, other related criminal activities, or state regulatory requirement violations.
  • Current or former emergency medical technicians or paramedics certified under Chapter 401, F.S.
  • Current or former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys
  • Current or former Judges of U.S. Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Judges and U.S. Magistrates  

The CARES applicant has the obligation to inform the county whether his information is exempt based on his occupation, or whether the applicant is the spouse or child of such a person.