COVID-19 and Other Disaster Resources

Hurricane Sally Relief 

Three counties in the Florida Panhandle (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa & Walton) have been designated eligible for federal relief due to Hurricane Sally. Click HERE for details. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 19, 2020. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 21, 2021. For more information, please contact:

Bay County Public Library
898 W 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Escambia County Business Recovery Center
East Pensacola Heights Clubhouse, 3208 East Gonzalez St., Pensacola, FL 32503
Hours: Sunday-Saturday (7 days a week)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST)

Escambia County Equestrian Center
7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola, FL 32562
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Gulf Breeze Community Center
800 Shoreline Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Lexington Terrace Community Center
700 S. Old Corry Road, Pensacola, FL 32507
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Marie Young Wedgewood Community Center
6405 Wagner Road, Pensacola, FL 32505
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Northwest Florida Fairgrounds
1958 Lewis Turner Boulevard, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)

Okaloosa County Business Recovery Center
Bridgeway Center, Building C, 205 Shell Ave., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Hours:    Sunday-Saturday (7 days a week)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST)

Post Shutdown Resources

  • PPP Loan Forgiveness Explanation 
  • PPP Full Forgiveness Application 
  • PPP EZ Forgiveness Application (loan is $50,000 or less; self-employed, no employees, OR did not reduce salaries or wages of employees by more than 25% and did not reduce the number of hours of employees, OR experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce salaries or wages of employees by more than 25%)
  • Checklist to Reopen Your Small Business
  • Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which will make it easier for small business owners who have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to qualify for loan forgiveness. Some key changes include an extension from the 8-week forgiveness period to a 24-week forgiveness period, a decrease in the minimum amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%, an increased loan maturity from 2 years to 5 years for new PPP loans and an extended deadline to rehire staff. Also, new are safe harbors for small businesses unable to return to previous business levels or unable to rehire or find new, qualified employees, allows borrowers to use 60% of the loan amount for payroll costs and up to 40% for debt obligations, including interest on a mortgage, rent payment, or utility payments. Details here.

During (and After) Shutdown Resources

Small businesses, private non-profits and agricultural businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can still apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt. Learn More

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Hillsborough County Businesses

To best serve the largest number of Hillsborough County businesses impacted by the sustained COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the County’s Rapid Response Recovery Program (R3) is being reformatted so that even more businesses can qualify for assistance. There is still plenty of funding available through the R3 program, but the County will pause taking applications at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, so that the application portal can be redesigned with the new criteria. Applicants who were denied in Phases 1-3 but may now qualify under the Phase 4 criteria can simply resubmit their existing application now. Application deadline is 12/1/2020 or until funds are exhausted.

Through the first three phases of the program, Hillsborough County has been working with more than 3,000 small businesses on requests for nearly $32 million in direct funding under the County’s R3 program. The program aims to soften the protracted economic injury the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on the small business community. The County is taking lessons learned during the first three phases of the Economic Recovery financial assistance program to develop a Phase 4 application period.

Phase 4 is designed to expand access to more businesses and increase award amounts, simplify qualifications, and make applications easier. Some of the Phase 4 program changes include:

  • Increasing awards to up to $40,000 for operational/working capital expenses to provide an immediate infusion of capital to local small businesses with between $40,000 and $20 million in annual revenue 
  • Basing awards on the size of the small business, with tiers based on the number of employees 
  • Expanding eligibility to businesses established before Jan. 1, 2020
  • How Existing Applications and Awards Are Impacted by Phase 4 Small businesses who have already been approved and paid will automatically receive a supplemental award equal to the amount they would have received under Phase 4 guidelines.
  • All applications under review from Phases 1-3 will have their award amounts automatically determined based on the more favorable Phase 4 scale.

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The Florida Veterans Business Outreach Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with Gulf Coast State College and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.