Browse Services

Small Business Grant Program

Orange CARES for Small Businesses Orange County Government, Fl logo

Information

Orange County’s Small Business Grant Program will invest $72.9 million into Orange County small businesses. The Program will allow approximately 6,500 qualifying small businesses access to $10,000 in grant money to cover normal business expenses, including employee wages, vendor bills, and rent to help offset the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Federal Cares Act provides the funding for this County program.

How to Apply


Step 1: Check for Eligibility

Read the Frequently Asked Questions to review all required documents and eligibility criteria to ensure your small business qualifies for this grant. Do not start the application if you do not have all your required documents.

Eligibility Criteria

Small businesses must meet the criteria to be considered for the Orange County Small Business Grant Program. They must be one of the following:

Eligibility Classification:

Commercial Businesses: Businesses that have a physical commercial locations, AND employ 100 employees or less.

Home Businesses: Businesses with 3-100 employees, not including the owner, that are legally allowed to operate within their jurisdiction, AND have employees that are not residents of the home pursuant to their jurisdiction’s zoning regulations (only allowed if the residence is located in the City of Orlando).

Mobile businesses that have physical commercial locations are considered commercial businesses for the purposes of eligibility. If a mobile business does not have a physical commercial location and instead is operated out of a home residence, then that mobile business’s eligibility classification as either a commercial business or a home business is dependent on the zoning regulations of the government jurisdiction in which that it is located.

Other business criteria (regardless of Eligibility Classification) include:

  • For-profit business
  • NOT a publicly traded company
  • Experienced a business interruption or closures due to COVID-19
  • Have received $50,000 or less in Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, with proof of funding
  • Operating since at least January 1, 2020
  • Prove ongoing business operations as of February 29, 2020
  • Expected to operate after applicable local and state emergency guidelines are removed
  • Commit to following all recommended COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
    1. Practice social distancing
    2. Stay home when feeling sick
    3. Wear protective face covering
    4. Conduct health screenings
    5. Sanitize and wash hands frequently
    6. High-risk individuals should shelter and work from home, when possible.
    7. Temperature checks for all staff. If there's a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, they must go home.
  • No current unpaid code enforcement liens or violation of any state, federal or local laws
  • No owner, officer, partner or principal actor of the business involved with financial mismanagement. This includes: "Business Owner(s) with any conviction(s) for financial crimes within the last 3 years, with Business Owner(s) defined as: Managing Members and/or Officers."

Required Documents

Business owners will need the following documents before they fill out the application:

  • Current W-9 Form
  • Active state business registration, license or other documentation
  • Business financials, including 2019 Tax Return or equivalent
  • Staffing documentation, including W-3 Summary, IRS Form 1096, IRS Form 941; or sole proprietor statement (for sole proprietors only in English or in Spanish).
  • Municipal business tax receipt
  • If the business received Federal PPP funding, provide proof such as a confirmation from your lending institution, or a copy of your PPP executed note.

Depending on the small business’ legal structure, business owners will be required to provide:

Individual (Sole Proprietors and individual/single-owner LLCs): may submit their 2019 Schedule C (Form 104). If no 2019 Schedule C is available, provide 2018 Schedule C, AND most recent Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement.

Corporations (C-Corps, S-Corps, corporate Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs)): may submit their 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120/Form 1120-S). If no 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return is available, provide 2018 Corporation Income Tax Return, AND Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement

Partnerships: may submit their 2019 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065). If no 2019 Return of Partnership Income is available, provide 2018 Tax Return, AND Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement.

Staffing Documents

Business owners will be required to provide their W-3 Summary, Form 1096 from 2019 OR Form 941 from the first quarter of 2020, or the fourth quarter of 2019.

Sole Proprietors

Sole proprietors may complete and attach a Sole Proprietor Certification Statement in English or in Spanish stating that the business owner is the sole proprietor with no additional employees or subcontracted workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply for the Orange County Small Business Grant Program?
A: Orange County small businesses can apply to the program by filling out an online application. If you are unable to access the Internet or have a language barrier, please call 3-1-1.

Q: When does the application process begin?
A: The application process will begin June 8, 2020.

Q: When does the application process end?
A: Orange County Government will evaluate the application process periodically to determine whether it will temporarily close and reopen.

Q: What documents do I need in order to apply?
A: Business owners will need the following documents before they fill out the application:

  • Current W-9 Form
  • Active state business registration, license or other documentation
  • Business financials, including 2019 Tax Return or equivalent
  • Staffing documentation, including W-3 Summary, IRS Form 1096, IRS Form 941; or sole proprietor statement (for sole proprietors only in English or in Spanish).
  • Municipal business tax receipt
  • If the business received Federal PPP funding, provide proof such as a confirmation from your lending institution, or a copy of your PPP executed note.

Q: Where can I find my active state business registration?
A: Business owners can find the most recent filing for their active state business registration from the Florida Division of Corporations by searching the full, legal business name.

If your business is not required to register with the Florida Division of Corporations, other documents may include certification from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, certification from the Department of Health, and a business tax receipt from applicable jurisdiction.

Q: What financial documents do I need in order to apply?
A: Depending on the small business’ legal structure, business owners will be required to provide:

Individual (Sole Proprietors and individual/single-owner LLCs): may submit their 2019 Schedule C (Form 104). If no 2019 Schedule C is available, provide 2018 Schedule C, AND most recent Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement.

Corporations (C-Corps, S-Corps, corporate Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs)): may submit their 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120/Form 1120-S). If no 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return is available, provide 2018 Corporation Income Tax Return, AND Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement

Partnerships: may submit their 2019 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065). If no 2019 Return of Partnership Income is available, provide 2018 Tax Return, AND Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss Statement.

Staffing Documents

Business owners will be required to provide their W-3 Summary, Form 1096 from 2019 OR Form 941 from the first quarter of 2020, or the fourth quarter of 2019.

Sole Proprietors

Sole proprietors may complete and attach a Sole Proprietor Certification Statement in English or in Spanish stating that the business owner is the sole proprietor with no additional employees or subcontracted workers.

Q: What are the eligibility criteria?

A: Small businesses must meet the criteria to be considered for the Orange County Small Business Grant Program. They must be one of the following:

Eligibility Classification:

Commercial Businesses: Businesses that have a physical commercial locations, AND employ 100 employees or less.

Home Businesses: Businesses with 3-100 employees, not including the owner, that are legally allowed to operate within their jurisdiction, AND have employees that are not residents of the home pursuant to their jurisdiction’s zoning regulations (only allowed if the residence is located in the City of Orlando).

Mobile businesses that have physical commercial locations are considered commercial businesses for the purposes of eligibility. If a mobile business does not have a physical commercial location and instead is operated out of a home residence, then that mobile business’s eligibility classification as either a commercial business or a home business is dependent on the zoning regulations of the government jurisdiction in which that it is located.

Other business criteria (regardless of Eligibility Classification) include:

  • For-profit business
  • NOT a publicly traded company
  • Experienced a business interruption or closures due to COVID-19
  • Have received $50,000 or less in Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, with proof of funding
  • Operating since at least January 1, 2020
  • Prove ongoing business operations as of February 29, 2020
  • Expected to operate after applicable local and state emergency guidelines are removed
  • Commit to following all recommended COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
    1. Practice social distancing
    2. Stay home when feeling sick
    3. Wear protective face covering
    4. Conduct health screenings
    5. Sanitize and wash hands frequently
    6. High-risk individuals should shelter and work from home, when possible.
    7. Temperature checks for all staff. If there's a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, they must go home.
  • No current unpaid code enforcement liens or violation of any state, federal or local laws
  • No owner, officer, partner or principal actor of the business involved with financial mismanagement. This includes: "Business Owner(s) with any conviction(s) for financial crimes within the last 3 years, with Business Owner(s) defined as: Managing Members and/or Officers."

Q: Are independent contractors eligible to receive grant funds?
A: No. An independent contractor is typically a person who provides services under a written agreement. They will not have any of the required documentation needed for application. Therefore, only businesses legally organized and located in Orange County are eligible to receive grant funds.

Q: Which types of businesses will be prioritized?
A: Applications for the Orange County Small Business Program are first-come, first-served until the funds are depleted.

Q: Is there a stipulation on how I can spend the grant funds?
A: Funds will cover normal business expenses, such as employee wages, vendor bills and rent to help offset the significant temporary loss of revenue to qualified small businesses.

Q: Am I able to save and come back to my application?
A: Yes.

Q: May I edit my documents after I submit my application?
A: No. Documents cannot be edited after the application has been submitted.

Q: What if my application is incomplete?
A: Applications will be automatically rejected if documents are missing, falsified or illegible.

Q: How many businesses will Orange County assist?
A: Orange County will provide grants to approximately 6,500 small businesses.

Q: Do I have to pay the money back?
A: No. Small businesses will not have to pay back the grant.

Q: Where is this money coming from?
A: The funds for the Orange County Small Business Grant Program are part of the County’s Federal CARES Act funding.

Q: How much money will I receive?
A: Small businesses approved for the grant will receive a one-time payment of $10,000.

Q: What is the approval process?
A: A review committee will evaluate the applicant’s documents for eligibility to make sure it is complete. Applicants will be notified by email as to whether their application has been approved or denied.

Q: Who makes up the Review Committee?
A:  The review committee is comprised of staff members from economic development partners.

Q: Who will provide the funds if my business is approved?
A: The Orange County Comptroller’s Office will coordinate and execute all grant distribution and receipt activities with the applicant business.

Q: How will I know my application has been successfully submitted?
A: After you submit your application, you will see a confirmation screen and will receive a confirmation email with a unique number.  We recommend you make a copy of the confirmation screen for your records.

Q: What if I don’t receive or delete my confirmation information?
A:  Please check your spam and junk-mail folders in your email. If you still cannot locate your confirmation information, please call 3-1-1.

Q: Who can I contact if I have any questions?
A: Residents can call 3-1-1 for more information regarding the Orange County Small Business Grant Program.

Q: Am I eligible to apply if I live in another County, but my business is located in Orange County?
Yes, if the business has a physical address in Orange County.

Q: How do I know if my business is a publicly traded company?
A: Businesses can visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing and forms web page.

Step 2: Complete the Application

Complete the online application form. Applicants are required to affirm and upload relevant business documents to be considered for Orange County’s Small Business Grant Program.

Step 3: Application Review

A review committee will evaluate the applicant’s documents for eligibility. Applications will be automatically rejected if documents are missing, falsified or illegible.

Step 4: Notice to Applicant

Applicants will receive an email notifying them as to whether their online application has been accepted or denied.

Step 5: Processing and Distribution

Accepted applications will be processed for grant distribution. The Orange County Comptroller will coordinate and execute all grant distribution activities with the applicant business.

Apply Here

Contact Us

General Questions
Dial 407-836-3111