Due to the high volume of applications and funding availability, the Leon CARES Small Business Program is no longer accepting new applications as of 6:00 p.m. on October 19, 2020 in order to process submitted applications that are in queue for review. If you have a current SBA application already submitted, please continue to upload additional documentation, if needed to complete your application. As previously shared, funding is not guaranteed.

If additional funding becomes available in the future and new applications submissions resume, the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) will issue notification through their web site, email, social media and this portal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Individual Assistance

Small Business Grant

Human Services Grant

Individual Assistance FAQ

Q: When/how can I apply for financial support through the Individual Assistance Program?

A: The Leon CARES Online Portal is open for application submissions. The application portal can be found here.

Q: Who can I contact for questions or assistance with the online portal?

A: A call center is available to assist applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584. Or, resources for FREE in-person assistance with your application submission are also available through the following organizations:

Leon County Public Libraries - (850) 606-2665

Tallahassee Urban League - (850) 251-3025

The Greater Frenchtown Area Revitalization Council - (850) 284-0366

Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO, Inc.)  - (850) 224-3246

Q: When will the application period close?

A: The Leon CARES Portal will be open for application submissions as long as funds remain available. Applications will be processed and awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Q: Who is eligible to receive financial support through the Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program?

A: Income-qualifying Leon County households who are experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 and who meet the following program eligibility requirements are eligible for financial support:

  • Must be a full-time Leon County resident for each of the past twelve (12) consecutive months
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have experienced a household loss of income of at least 25% between March and December 2020 due to COVID-19
  • Household member(s) who experienced a financial loss due to COVID-19 must have:
    • Worked an average of at least 30 hours per week between March 1, 2020 and the application date
    • Or worked an average of 30 hours per week between March 1, 2020 and the date the applicant was laid off, furloughed, or had work hours reduced due to COVID-19
  • Must verify financial difficulty with rent, mortgage, and/or utility payments during the same period. Utilities are defined as electricity, natural gas, water and sewage services.

Q: What is the income threshold for eligibility?

A: Must have a household income that is 120% or below the area median income based on household size as shown in the chart below:

Leon County's 120% Area Median Income Thresholds by Number of Persons in Household
Household Size Maximum Annual Income Threshold
1 person $61,080
2 persons $69,840
3 persons $78,600
4 persons $87,240
5 persons $94,320
6 persons $101,280
7 persons $108,240
8+ persons $115,200
As defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Q: How will my household AMI be verified?

A: To demonstrate income eligibility, applicants may submit the following documentation:

  • Self-certification of income form or
  • Proof of current enrollment in SNAP, Medicaid or with Tallahassee Housing Authority for Section 8 Housing

Q: I’m unable to provide the income documents listed.  Can I provide a W2 form to verify my household income?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot accept W2 forms as an alternative form of income documentation.

Q: How will my household’s loss of income be measured?

A: Applicants must attest that they have experienced a loss of income of at least 25% between March 1, 2020 and the application submission date as a result of COVID-19.

Q: What expenses can this program support?

A: Past due rent, mortgage, and/or utility payments.

Q: How much funding will I be able to receive through the program?

A: Applicants can receive up to $5,000 in assistance per household, not to exceed applicant’s actual demonstrated financial need.

Q: I’m past due on my rent and utility payments. Can I apply to receive assistance for both?

A: Eligible applicants can receive up to $5,000 in assistance to cover past-due rent and utilities payments.

Q: Will my payment assistance be disbursed directly to me or my landlord or utility provider?

A: Upon application approval, funding awards will be processed and distributed by the Leon County Clerk & Comptroller directly to the applicant by check or direct deposit. As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to complete and submit a Leon County Substitute W-9 form (located here) to receive funds.

Q: What other documents will I need to submit with my application?

A: Applicants must provide proof of past-due expenses as applicable:

  • Current statement or notification of past due rent amount
  • Current mortgage statement showing past due amount (and proof of homestead exemption if the applicant is a property owner)
  • If you are a renter, a current copy of your rental agreement
  • Most recent statement of past due utilities amount

Q: Will I be able to save and come back to my application?

A: Yes. Once you establish your email and password log-in to start a new application, you’ll be able save your application to finish later.

Q: What if I was laid off as a part-time employee?

A: Households with members who worked an average of at least 30 hours per week prior to being laid off, furloughed, or had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 and are able to meet the other program requirements are eligible to receive assistance.

Q: What happens after I submit my application?

A: You will receive an email notification confirming that you have submitted your application. From there, the County’s processing team will review your application for completion and follow-up via email to receive missing documents or additional information that may be needed. Once your completed application has been reviewed, you will be notified via email if you have been approved or denied.

Q: How can I check on the status of my application?

A: In addition to email updates from the County’s processing team, applicants can check the status of an application through the online portal.

Q: How/when will payments be disbursed?

A: Upon notification that your application has been approved, payments will be made directly to the applicants.

Q: I’m ineligible for the Individual Assistance Program, is other local assistance available?

A: If deemed ineligible for the Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program, residents in need of assistance can contact 2-1-1 Big Bend to receive information about other local resources available by calling 2-1-1 or by visiting their website here.

Have additional questions?

The Leon CARES FAQs will continue to be updated with new questions and more information throughout the program. Please continue to check back for updates.

In the meantime, a call center is also available to assist residents with questions regarding the Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584. Or, resources for FREE in-person assistance with your application submission are also available through the following organizations:

Leon County Public Libraries - (850) 606-2665

Tallahassee Urban League - (850) 251-3025

The Greater Frenchtown Area Revitalization Council - (850) 284-0366

Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO, Inc.)  - (850) 224-3246

Small Business Grant FAQ

Q: What if I received funding during Round 1 of the program? Can I reapply?

A: If you received assistance during the first program round, you do not need to submit a new application to receive additional assistance. The County will automatically distribute a second payment to you reflecting the difference between the initial award and the new increased award amount. The county will also send an email and update your application in this portal when the second payment is issued. We ask for your patience as we will not start processing until after October 5 and processing may take a few weeks to complete.

Q: When/how can I apply for the Small Business Grant Program?

A: Small businesses in Leon County can apply for financial assistance by submitting an online application through the Leon CARES Portal on this site. On September 29, 2020, the Leon County Commission approved program changes which take effect October 5, 2020. Applications submitted on or after September 30th will be subject to the new funding awards and documentation requirements approved by the Leon County Commission.

Q: Who can I contact for questions or assistance with the online portal?

A: Applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Online Portal or the Small Business Grant Program can call the Leon CARES Call Center at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Q: How can I receive assistance with submitting my application?

A: Resources for FREE assistance with your application submission are also available through the following organizations:

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: The Leon CARES Portal will be open for application submissions on a first come, first served basis until program funds have been depleted.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements?

A: Eligibility is limited to fully licensed, legally registered, and not publicly traded for-profit businesses located in Leon County that were in operation prior to March 16, 2020, with 1-100 employees and have either been forced to close or experienced business impacts directly related to COVID-19.

Q: What are the eligible expenses under the program?

A: (1) Business re-launch costs including: payroll, inventory/supplies, rent, mortgage, utilities, signage/marketing to announce re-opening or new hours; and (2) COVID-19 safety costs including PPE for employees, PPE for customers, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, deep cleaning services, equipment associated with establishing social distancing within a business establishment (e.g. plexiglass for point-of-sale, floor markings, signs, barriers and space arranging items).

Q: How much funding will my business be able to receive through the program?

A: Eligible small businesses can receive a baseline funding award between $5,000 - $12,500, based on the number of employees as follows:

  • 1-10 Employees: $5,000
  • 11-24 Employees: $7,500
  • 25-49 Employees: $10,000
  • 50-100 Employees: $12,500

Supplemental funding awards are also available as follows:

  • “Hardest Hit” Businesses: $20,000 for small businesses within sectors directly impacted by the state of Florida’s Stay at Home Order (Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Arts, Entertainment and Recreation or certain Other Services) that demonstrate at least a 50% revenue loss related to the economic effects of COVID-19.
  • MWBE Businesses: $20,000 for minority-owned and women-owned small businesses that provide documentation of MWBE certification, or application to become certified, by either the Office of Economic Vitality of the Florida Department of Management Services’ Office of Supplier Diversity.
  • “Rebounding” Businesses: $5,000 for small businesses that certify they have hired two or more full-time or part-time employees in the previous 30 days.

Q: Are sole proprietors eligible to receive grant funds?

A: Yes, sole proprietors (self-employed; no employees; also known as 1099 employees) with documentation of principal business address in Leon County are eligible.

Q: Is there any other documentation that a Sole Proprietor can submit?

A: The SS4 document is currently required to meet the federal guidelines for proof of an active sole proprietor. If an applicant does not have one, they can fill one out here and submit. Alternatively, we would accept a receipt / transcript from the IRS confirming approval of the SS4 application (IRS notice CP 575, Notice of assigned Employer Identification Number (EIN)). 

Q: How are number of employees determined?

A: An employee is defined as an individual who receives a paid wage or salary which employment taxes (i.e. FICA, FUTA) and income taxes are withdrawn and remitted to the IRS. This can include full-time employees, part-time employees, and independent contractors (also known as 1099 employees). You should be able to find this on your Form 941 (Employer Quarterly Payroll Tax) or Florida State Form RT-6, Employer's Quarterly Report from FY20Q1. 

Q: How many small businesses will be able to receive assistance?

A: Leon County has dedicated $7.5 million to provide financial assistance to approximately 3,100 qualifying small businesses. Funding will be awarded on a first come, first basis.

Q: Can non-profit organizations receive grant funds?

A: Only eligible for-profit businesses can receive funding through the Leon CARES Small Business Grant Program. Local nonprofits may be eligible to receive grant funds dedicated through other Leon CARES programs, additional information can be found here.

Q: What documents will I need to submit my application?

A: Applicants must submit the following documentation:

  • Documentation of business interruption costs caused by required closures beginning March 16, 2020; a minimum 25% reduction in revenue as a result of COVID-19; or a minimum 25% increase in costs as a result of COVID-19 between the pre-COVID-19 time period (no earlier than March, 2019) and the post-COVID-19 time period beginning in March, 2020. Applicants must provide either a complete monthly or complete quarterly P&L for both the pre-COVID-19 period and the post-COVID-19 period
  • Signed and dated Form W-9
  • Filed 2019 IRS W-3 or a 2020 IRS 941 form (for businesses with 2 or more employees); IRS SS4 form/IRS Notice of assigned EIN (for sole proprietors)
  • Documentation of MWBE certification or application for certification through either the Office of Economic Vitality or the Florida Department of Management Services’ Office of Supplier Diversity (only if applying for the MWBE supplemental award)

Q: How will I submit the required documents?

A: Applicants will be able to submit required documents online as part of their application submission through the Leon CARES Portal. Scans, photos, screen shots or electronic copies of the required documents can be uploaded but must be clear and legible.

Q: I don't have my quarterly P&L statement done for April - June 2020. Can I use something else?

A: Yes. The P&L statement may be for an individual month rather than a quarter, so long as you provide a P&L statement for any full month or full quarter between March, 2020 and the application submission date, along with a P&L statement for any full month or full quarter in the pre-COVID period (no earlier than March, 2019). Effective October 5, 2020: you are not required to provide a Profit & Loss Statement if your business has 10 or fewer employees and is within one of the “Hardest Hit” Industry sectors (NAICS 44, 45, 71, 72, 8121, 8123 or 8129). 

Q: I’m a very small business impacted by COVID-19 and do not have P&L statements available. Can I submit something else?

A: If your business has 10 or fewer employees and is within one of the “Hardest Hit” Industry sectors (Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; or Other Services) you can attest that your business has experienced a loss of revenue or increase in costs compared to its 2019 operations/financials due to COVID-19 as an alternative to providing a Profit & Loss Statement.

Q: Is there anything other than a P&L I can use to document revenue loss or increased expenses?

A: This must be assessed on an applicant-by-applicant basis. The documents must satisfy federal guidelines. Applicants may provide their Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax (DR-15) forms in lieu of a P&L (for revenue only). Applicants should strive to submit the clearest documentation of revenue and expenses possible within the relevant time period clearly indicated. Reviewers will assess each application accordingly. Effective October 5, 2020: you are not required to provide a Profit & Loss Statement if your business has 10 or fewer employees and is within one of the “Hardest Hit” Industry sectors (NAICS 44, 45, 71, 72, 8121, 8123 or 8129).

Q: Will I have to repay my small business assistance grant?

A: No, funds will be awarded as grants, not loans, therefore there is no repayment.

Q: I have more than one limited liability companies (LLCs) located in Leon County. Can I apply for more than one grant?

A: Yes, you can apply to receive assistance for each fully licensed, legally registered business entity that meets the program eligibility criteria.

Q: Are businesses with common ownership eligible to apply?

A: Yes, businesses with common ownership and/or a common DBA are eligible to apply but will be treated as a single business.

Q: Are homebased businesses eligible to apply?

A: Yes, if the business meets all the other eligibility requirements.

Q: Will an applicant be able to receive a small business grant if they’ve previously received other coronavirus relief funding?

A: Applicants may still be eligible to receive a small business grant to support eligible business expenses so long as such expenses are not covered or reimbursed by other forms of assistance received (or expected to be received).

Q: Will an applicant be able to receive a small business grant if they were awarded a COVID-19 Economic Disaster Relief (CEDR) Grant from the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality?

A: Yes, applicants can receive a small business grant if previously awarded a CEDR grant. The COVID-19 Economic Disaster Relief (CEDR) Program was intended to serve as small bridge to federal, state and private funding options during the first critical weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep businesses open and employees on payroll. Applicants that previously received CEDR grant awards may still be eligible to receive a small business assistance grant to support eligible business expenses so long as such expenses have not been covered by prior grant funds.

Q: Will I be able to save and come back to my application?

A: Yes. Once you establish your email and password log-in to start a new application, you’ll be able save your application to finish later.

Q: What happens after I submit my application?

A: You will receive email confirmation upon submission of an application. From there, the County’s processing team will review your application  and follow-up via email to receive missing documentations or additional information that may be needed. Once your completed application has been reviewed for eligibility, you will be notified via email if you have been approved or denied.

Q: How can I check on the status of my application?

A: In addition to email updates from the County’s processing team, applicants can check the status of an application through the online portal.

Q: How/when will I receive my grant, if approved?

A: Upon notification that your application has been approved, payments will be disbursed within two weeks through a mailed check to the address provided in the application or Direct Deposit (ACH). Leon County’s preferred payment method is Direct Deposit. Applicants interested in receiving funds through this method are encouraged to submit a voided check as part of their application.

Q: Are there any requirements for applicants that are awarded funds?

A: As part of the application, an applicant must commit to the following list of requirements upon being awarded funds:

  • Commit to cooperate with the County and its agents for grant auditing purposes;
  • Pledge in good faith to make all efforts to remain operational after applicable local and state emergency guidelines are removed;
  • Commit to following the COVID-19 Prevention Measures recommended by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (to practice social distancing, stay home when feeling sick, wear protective face covering, and sanitize and wash hands frequently); and
  • Commit to attending one business recovery learning series event offered by one of the three local chambers of commerce (either virtually or in person) or to watch the Office of Economic Vitality’s Resilient Strategies for Sustainable Business Operations.

Q: I’m ineligible for the Small Business Grant Program, are other resources for assistance available?

A: Additional resources for small businesses in need of non-COVID related financial assistance are available on the Tallahassee-Leon County’s Office of Economic Vitality’s webpage, which can be found here.

Have additional questions?

The Leon CARES FAQs will continue to be updated with new questions and more information throughout the program. Please continue to check back for updates.

In the meantime, the call center is also available to assist small business owners with questions regarding the Leon CARES Small Business Grant Program from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584.

Human Services Grant FAQ


The window to apply for the Human Services Grant has now closed. Please refer to the FAQs on this site for more information about the program. If you have already applied, please visit Manage Existing Applications page to view the status of your application.

Q: How can my agency apply for a Human Services Grant?

A: Beginning August 17, 2020, human services agencies in Leon County can apply for grant funding by submitting an application through the online portal.

Q: How long will the application portal be open?

A: The online application portal will be open until August 28, 2020.

Q: Who can I contact for questions or assistance with the application portal?

A: If you have any questions regarding the online portal or your log-in information, please feel free to reach out to our support team at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For questions regarding your application, please contact Leon County’s Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships at (850) 606-1900 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Q: What agencies are eligible for assistance?

A: Applicants must currently be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization registered with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the State of Florida and provide direct human services to Leon County residents to be eligible for funding.

Q: How much assistance can my agency apply for?

A: Eligible local human services agencies can apply to receive up to $20,000 in assistance to support unanticipated programmatic and operational expenses incurred due to COVID-19.

Q: What expenses can the grant support?

A: Grant funding can be used to support unanticipated programmatic and operational expenses incurred due to COVID-19, so long as such expenses are not covered or reimbursed by other forms of assistance received (or expected to be received). Agencies may apply for eligible expenses incurred since March 1, 2020 and/or anticipated to be incurred.

Eligible expenses may include programmatic enhancements to address an increase in needs of Leon County residents due to COVID-19 including legal services, temporary shelter, and computer and technology equipment. Eligible expenses may also include the purchase and/or reimbursement of PPE, personnel costs, facility retrofit expenditures, and other unanticipated administrative expenses directly related to COVID-19.

Q: What documents will I need to submit with my application?

A: Applying agencies must provide the following documents:

  • Proof of 501(c)(3) status from the U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Proof of registration as an active nonprofit corporation in the State of Florida
  • An itemized list of individual expenses incurred, or to be incurred, included as part of the total funding requests.

Q: How will I submit the required documents?

A: Applicants will be able to submit required documents online as part of their application submission through the online portal. Scans, photos, screen shots or electronic copies of the required documents can be uploaded but must be clear and legible.

Q: How many agencies will receive funding?

A: Leon County has dedicated $2 million to provide up to $20,000 of one-time assistance to approximately 100 local human service agencies.

Q: How will funding be distributed?

A: Consistent with state and federal guidelines, funding will be distributed to applicants on a reimbursement basis.

Q: Will I have to repay my human services grant?

A: No, funds will be awarded as grants, not loans, therefore there is no repayment.

Q: Will an agency be able to receive a grant if they’ve previously received other coronavirus relief funding?

A: Agencies may still be eligible to receive a grant to support eligible unanticipated expenses so long as such expenses are not covered or reimbursed by other forms of assistance received (or expected to be received).

Q: Will an agency be able to receive a grant if they’ve previously received a LEAN grant through the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality?

A: Agencies may still be eligible to receive a grant to support eligible unanticipated expenses so long as such expenses were not covered or reimbursed by other forms of assistance received, including LEAN grant funding.

Q: Can a nonprofit organization that is not a 501c3, however has a fiscal agent, be eligible to apply?

A: No, only 501c3 organization registered with the State of Florida and provide or will provide direct human services to Leon County residents are eligible to apply.

Q: If a nonprofit organization has not traditionally operated as a human service organization, however due to COVID-19 identified a gap in services and has the capacity to meet the need; are they eligible?

A: Yes, your organization would be eligible to apply if all other criterion outlined above is met. In the application, your organization would need to specifically outline the gap in services/need being addressed related to COVID-19 and show collaboration where possible to avoid duplication of services.

Q: What happens after I submit an application?

A: You will receive email notification confirmation upon submission of an application. From there, the County’s processing team will review your application for completion and follow-up to receive missing documentations or additional information that may be needed. Once your completed application has been reviewed for eligibility, you will be notified via email if you have been approved or denied.

Have additional questions?

The Human Services Grant Program FAQs will continue to be updated with new questions and more information throughout the program. Please continue to check back for updates.

In the meantime, applicants can call the Leon County Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships at (850) 606-1900 for questions regarding the Human Services Grant Program. Applicants can also receive FREE technical assistance with their applications by contacting the United Partners for Human Services at Amber@uphsfl.org.