• Small Business Updates from the Florida SBDC at UWF

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    May 20, 2020
    Small Business Updates
    Governor's Full Phase 1 Reopening Plan
    COVID-19 has left many wondering what businesses can still operate and to what capacity. To find out what business operations are allowed under the Governor's Full Phase 1 Reopening Plan which went effective as of Monday, May 18, click here.
    Highlights include restaurants, retail stores, and gyms may open up to 50% capacity while adhering to safety standards. Museums and libraries may open if permitted by local governments.
    Short-term vacation rentals are now allowable by county if plans submitted to the Governor's office are approved. Many local counties including Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa have already received approval for their plans effective immediately.
    Grant Programs for Okaloosa County and Fort Walton Beach Businesses
    The City of Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County have partnered with the Florida SBDC at UWF, to create and fund two Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Programs. The individual grant amount is $2,500. Each applicant OR business can only receive one grant. Those who were already awarded a grant from another SBDC grant program such as the Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant are not eligible to receive additional awards.
    General eligibility requirements for the grants programs include:
    • Applicant(s) must be the majority owner of an established private business active in Okaloosa County or Fort Walton Beach prior to 1/1/2019
    • Must have 20 employees or less (independent contractors with 1099's count as employees)
    • Must have a storefront in Okaloosa County or Fort Walton Beach city limits
    • Must have a reduction in sales/revenue of 25% or greater due to loss of business related to COVID-19
    Applications are available for download now, but won't be accepted until Tuesday May 26th. Please follow the links below for a full description of requirements and how to apply for programs.
    Okaloosa County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant
    City of Fort Walton Beach Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant
    Eligible Agricultural Businesses May Still Apply for EIDL Funding
    SBA began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.
    The new eligibility was made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
    • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.
    At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.
    Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.
    Eligible agricultural businesses looking for more information should go to the SBA's website found here.
    SBDC at UWF training workshops to resume in a virtual capacity, more information and dates to follow soon!
    Check out our website sbdc.uwf.edu or follow us on Facebook for regular updates.
    Kelly Massey, Executive Director
    kmassey@UWF.edu, (850) 474-2528