Funding Sources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
During this time of economic uncertainty, Orange County Government and its partners want to ensure that local business owners and nonprofits are aware of the financial resources available to help their organizations stay in business. Businesses can use Orange County’s self-service tool to see what loans for which they may qualify.
The federal CARES Act establishes new programs and processes throughout various federal agencies and provides up to $349 billion in economic relief for small businesses. Business owners can visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury to learn more or to apply.
CARES Act FAQs | Paycheck Protection Program | U.S. Chamber Small Business Checklist
Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses recover from declared disasters. Businesses can apply for loans online through a 3-step loan process. For more information visit sba.gov.
Short-term, interest-free working capital loans intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major disaster hits and a business has secured longer-term recovery resources. The program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funding. It is not a grant and must be repaid.
The State of Florida announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local businesses. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and implement appropriate relief programs.
Essential vs. Non-Essential Business
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ state-wide stay at home Executive Order went into effect on April 3, 2020. The Order will expire on April 30, 2020 unless extended by a subsequent order. The Order supersedes all County mandates and requires all 67 counties to comply. Businesses can call 407-254-8833 or email ESF18@ocfl.net for more information.
Businesses that have general questions can visit Orange County’s newsroom for a list of frequently asked questions. According to the Governor’s order, the state will maintain a list of essential businesses, available at the Division of Emergency Management’s and Florida Department of Health’s website.
Businesses with specific inquiries regarding the order will need to direct those questions to staff members at the state level. Here are some recommended contacts:
At this time, employers of essential businesses are asked to implement work-from-home policies as well as practice social distancing for their employees and customers. If you or an employee have symptoms of COVID-19, please refer to the recommended resource links below for how to properly sanitize your workplace to prevent future spread.
The CDC’s guide provides information for essential business employers who are open to practicing safe protocols.
To assure safe and healthy working conditions, OSHA has created policies to keep employees safe during this public health crisis. Policies on workplace sanitation can be found on page 18 of its Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 handbook.
Testing Sites in Orange County
In addition to the recommended federal protocols, federal and Department of Health testing locations are located in Orange County. For criteria and more information, please visit the main page of www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus.
Employee and Re-Employment Assistance
Reemployment assistance benefits, formerly known as unemployment compensation, can be mail in or filed online using the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity portal. Reemployment Assistance provides temporary wage replacement (unemployment insurance) benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own.
Reemployment FAQs | Mail-In Application | Print and Mail for Free at FedEx
CareerSource Central Florida’s online portal allows users to search for and post hiring needs for regionally available job opportunities, learn more about receiving re-employment assistance, and utilize virtual resources and coaching tools.
The Heart of Florida United Way connects residents to critical health and social service resources. Residents impacted by COVID-19 can contact 2-11 for financial assistance, health programs, crisis support and more. Additionally, businesses looking to contribute to the area’s COVID-19 recovery can donate to United Way’s ALICE Fund.
Additional Resources for Businesses
Economic Resiliency and Community Support (ESF18)
Orange County Government’s Office of Emergency Management has activated a diverse team of experts to provide emergency support resources related to COVID-19 to local businesses across the County. Businesses can call 407-254-8833 or email ESF18@ocfl.net.
The National Entrepreneur Center is home to a variety of business support organizations that provide free business coaching, training opportunities, and connections to available business resources. During the COVID-19 public-health crisis, all of these services are accessible online only.
Businesses that may have products or services that can assist Orange County Government and other local partners during this public health crisis can provide their information on our Central Florida Innovation Contact Form.
Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh announced on Thursday, March 26, 2020, that a 45-day extension will be granted for all Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax returns. TPP tax returns are now due on May 15, 2020, instead of the standard April 1 deadline.