On March 28, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an economic relief package to help Americans and small businesses affected by the coronavirus. President Trump signed the bill into law on March 28, 2020.  The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus bill to help working Americans and small businesses.  For a detailed, section by section explanation of the CARES Act, click here.

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.

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
    • Practice social distancing
    • Stay home when feeling sick
    • Wear protective face covering
    • Conduct health screenings
    • Sanitize and wash hands frequently
    • High-risk individuals should shelter and work from home, when possible.
    • 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."
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.


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.