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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Financial Assistance Programs Overview

The “Leon CARES” program provides for the efficient, targeted distribution of $51.2 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds allocated to Leon County under the federal CARES Act (H.R. 748). This plan provides funding for essential public health and safety expenditures related to COVID-19 including enhanced testing and contact tracing, direct assistance to individuals experiencing financial hardship, a variety of human service needs, critical economic relief to the local business community, and direct COVID-related costs incurred by the County, Constitutional and Judicial Offices, and the City of Tallahassee.

To learn more about each financial assistance program, select from the drop-down menu below:

Individual Assistance Program

Overview

The Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program will provide direct assistance to approximately 3,000 households throughout Leon County (including households within the City of Tallahassee) that are experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19. Eligible households may receive up to $5,000 in one-time assistance to support past due rent, mortgage, and utility bills.

Leon County residents can apply for assistance by completing a brief questionnaire form and attaching verifying documentation online through the Leon CARES Portal. Applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Online Portal or the Individual Assistance Program can call the Leon County CARES Support Line at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a full-time Leon County resident for each of the past twelve (12) consecutive months
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Verify loss of income of at least 25% between March and December 2020 due to COVID-19
  • Have worked an average of at least 30 hours per week between March 1, 2020 and the application date, or between March 1, 2020 and the date the applicant was laid off, furloughed, or had work hours reduced due to COVID-19
  • Verify financial difficulty with rent, mortgage, and/or utility payments during the same period
  • 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

Maximum Award & Allowable Expenditures

Eligible applicants may receive up to $5,000 in one-time assistance per household for past-due rent, mortgage, and utility payments. Mortgage assistance may only be provided for homesteaded properties. An applicant may receive financial assistance for both past-due housing and utility payments, so long as the total of past-due payments do not exceed the $5,000 maximum limit. 

Required Documentation

Applicants will be required to provide the following documentation with their application:

Proof of Income and Identity

  • Proof of identity for the applicant
  • For each income earning household member:
    • Self-certification of income form or
    • Proof of current enrollment in SNAP, Medicaid, or with Tallahassee Housing Authority for Section 8 Housing.

Proof of Past-Due Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Payments

  • 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 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

Completed W-9 Form

  • 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. Applicants will be asked to complete and submit a Leon County Substitute W-9 form

Need Help?

Additional information and frequently asked questions regarding program eligibility and required documentation can be found here. The Leon County CARES Support Line is also available to assist applicants with questions between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584 (toll free).

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

Leon County Public Libraries - (850) 606-2665
https://cms.leoncountyfl.gov/Library
Tallahassee Urban League - (850) 251-3025
The Greater Frenchtown Area Revitalization Council - (850) 284-0366
Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO, Inc.) - (850) 224-3246

If ineligible for the Leon CARES Individual Assistance Program, you can receive information regarding additional resources for residents in need of non-COVID related assistance from 2-1-1 Big Bend, by calling 2-1-1 or visiting their website https://www.211bigbend.org

Small Business Grant Program

Overview

The Leon CARES Small Business Grant Program seeks to drive economic recovery and put citizens back to work by investing $7.5 million in the restart, re-launch, and re-opening of local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Small Business Grant Program will provide financial support to approximately 3,100 qualifying small businesses located in Leon County (including businesses within the City of Tallahassee) to cover business expenses directly related to COVD-19.

Beginning on August 17, 2020, eligible small businesses can apply for assistance by completing a brief questionnaire form and attaching verifying documentation online through the Leon CARES Portal. Applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Online Portal or the Small Business Assistance Program can call the Leon CARES Call Center at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for financial assistance, your business must:

  • Fully licensed, legally registered, and not publicly traded, for-profit businesses located in Leon County
  • Have been in operation prior to March 16, 2020
  • Have between 1-100 employees
  • Have been either forced to close or experienced business impacts directly related to COVID-19
  • Provide documentation of business interruption 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 beginning in March 2020

Allowable Expenditures

  1. Business re-launch costs including: payroll, inventory/supplies, rent, mortgage, utilities, signage/marketing to announce re-opening or new hours; and/or
  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).

Base Award Amounts

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 Award Amounts

Supplemental funding awards in additional to the Base Award are also available for "Hardest Hit," MWBE, and "Rebounding" businesses, as described below:

  • "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 MWSBE certification, or application to become certified, with 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 that they hired two or more full-time or part-time employees in the previous 30 days.

Required Documentation

Applicants will be required to provide the following documentation with their application:

  • Post-COVID Profit & Loss Statement for any full calendar month or any full calendar quarter from March, 2020 through the application submission date. Applicants may provide their Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax (DR-15) forms in lieu of a P&L (for revenue only). Effective October 5, 2020: you are not required to provide a P&L statement if your business has 10 or fewer employees and is within one of the following NAICS industry sector codes: 44, 45, 71, 72, 8121, 8123 or 8129.
  • Pre-COVID Profit & Loss Statement for any full calendar month or any full calendar quarter from March, 2019 through March, 2020. Applicants may provide their Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax (DR-15) forms in lieu of a P&L (for revenue only).
  • Signed and dated W-9 Form that includes your business’ Employer Identification Number (EIN), if applicable. If using a DBA, please make sure that it is included on the W-9.
  • Filed 2019 IRS W-3 or a 2020 IRS 941 form or a 2020 State of Florida RT-6 form (for businesses with 2 or more employees); IRS SS4 form or Notice of assigned Employer Identification Number (EIN) (for sole proprietors).
  • If applying for the MWBE supplemental award, 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. 
  • Additional documentation may be requested on a case-by-case basis.

Need Help?

Additional information and frequently asked questions regarding program eligibility and required documentation can be found here. The Leon County CARES Support Line is also available to assist applicants with questions between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584 (toll free).

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

If ineligible for the Leon CARES Small Business Assistance program, 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.

Additional Disclosures

Additional Terms and Conditions for Small Business Grant applications are located here. When you submit an application, you agree to these Terms & Conditions, so please make sure you read them before you apply. Here are some additional details about the funding source for this program:

  • Federal award identification: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • FAIN number: SLT0050
  • Federal award date: April 17, 2020
  • Federal award project description: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund ("the Fund"). Payments must be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) between March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020. Payments must be used to cover costs that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020. Governments otherwise have broad discretion to utilize payments for expenditures ranging from COVID-19 testing to reimbursing small businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
  • Federal awarding agency: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
  • Pass-through entity: Leon County, FL
  • CFDA Number: 21.019
  • CFDA name: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • R&D designation: Non R&D

Small Business Grant Program

Overview

The Leon CARES Small Business Grant Program seeks to drive economic recovery and put citizens back to work by investing $7.5 million in the restart, re-launch, and re-opening of local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Small Business Grant Program will provide financial support to approximately 3,100 qualifying small businesses located in Leon County (including businesses within the City of Tallahassee) to cover business expenses directly related to COVD-19.

Beginning on August 17, 2020, eligible small businesses can apply for assistance by completing a brief questionnaire form and attaching verifying documentation online through the Leon CARES Portal. Applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Online Portal or the Small Business Assistance Program can call the Leon CARES Call Center at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for financial assistance, your business must:

  • Fully licensed, legally registered, and not publicly traded, for-profit businesses located in Leon County
  • Have been in operation prior to March 16, 2020
  • Have between 1-100 employees
  • Have been either forced to close or experienced business impacts directly related to COVID-19
  • Provide documentation of business interruption 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 beginning in March 2020

Allowable Expenditures

  1. Business re-launch costs including: payroll, inventory/supplies, rent, mortgage, utilities, signage/marketing to announce re-opening or new hours; and/or
  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).

Base Award Amounts

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 Award Amounts

Supplemental funding awards in additional to the Base Award are also available for "Hardest Hit," MWBE, and "Rebounding" businesses, as described below:

  • "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, with 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 that they hired two or more full-time or part-time employees in the previous 30 days.

Required Documentation

Applicants will be required to provide the following documentation with their application:

  • Post-COVID Profit & Loss Statement for any full calendar month or any full calendar quarter from March, 2020 through the application submission date. Applicants may provide their Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax (DR-15) forms in lieu of a P&L (for revenue only). Effective October 5, 2020: you are not required to provide a P&L statement if your business has 10 or fewer employees and is within one of the following NAICS industry sector codes: 44, 45, 71, 72, 8121, 8123 or 8129.
  • Pre-COVID Profit & Loss Statement for any full calendar month or any full calendar quarter from March, 2019 through March, 2020. Applicants may provide their Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax (DR-15) forms in lieu of a P&L (for revenue only).
  • Signed and dated W-9 Form that includes your business’ Employer Identification Number (EIN), if applicable. If using a DBA, please make sure that it is included on the W-9.
  • Filed 2019 IRS W-3 or a 2020 IRS 941 form or a 2020 State of Florida RT-6 form (for businesses with 2 or more employees); IRS SS4 form or Notice of assigned Employer Identification Number (EIN) (for sole proprietors).
  • If applying for the MWBE supplemental award, 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. 
  • Additional documentation may be requested on a case-by-case basis.

Need Help?

Additional information and frequently asked questions regarding program eligibility and required documentation can be found here. The Leon County CARES Support Line is also available to assist applicants with questions between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at (855) 203-6584 (toll free).

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

If ineligible for the Leon CARES Small Business Assistance program, 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.

Additional Disclosures

Additional Terms and Conditions for Small Business Grant applications are located here. When you submit an application, you agree to these Terms & Conditions, so please make sure you read them before you apply. Here are some additional details about the funding source for this program:

  • Federal award identification: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • FAIN number: SLT0050
  • Federal award date: April 17, 2020
  • Federal award project description: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund ("the Fund"). Payments must be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) between March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020. Payments must be used to cover costs that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020. Governments otherwise have broad discretion to utilize payments for expenditures ranging from COVID-19 testing to reimbursing small businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
  • Federal awarding agency: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
  • Pass-through entity: Leon County, FL
  • CFDA Number: 21.019
  • CFDA name: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • R&D designation: Non R&D

Human Services Grant Program


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.

Overview

The Leon CARES Human Services Grant Program will provide up to $20,000 of one-time funding assistance to local human services nonprofit organizations serving individuals and communities impacted by COVID-19. The Human Services Grant Program will provide financial support to approximately 100 qualifying human services nonprofit organizations located in Leon County (including businesses within the City of Tallahassee) to cover unanticipated programmatic and operational expenses directly related to COVD-19.

Beginning on August 17, 2020, eligible organizations can apply for assistance by completing a brief questionnaire form and attaching verifying documentation online through the Leon CARES Portal. Applicants with questions regarding the Leon CARES Online Portal can call the Leon County CARES Support Line at (855) 203-6584 (toll free) between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions regarding the Human Services Grant Program, please contact Leon County’s Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships at (850) 606-1900.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Maximum Award and Allowable Expenditures

Eligible organizations may receive up to $20,000 in assistance for the reimbursement of expenses directly related to COVID-19. Expenses covered/reimbursed through an alternative funding source received (or expected to be received) by the applicant organization are not eligible.

An organization may apply to receive reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred since March 1, 2020 and/or be anticipated expenses to be incurred to provide new or enhanced services, as summarized below:

  1. Programmatic enhancements to address an increase in needs of Leon County residents due to COVID-19, such as: legal services, temporary shelter, and computer and technology equipment.
  2. Administrative, operational and safety expenses incurred due to COVID-19, such as: the purchase and/or reimbursement of PPE, personnel costs, facility retrofit expenditures, and other unanticipated administrative expenses directly related to COVID-19.

Required Documentation

Applicants will be required to provide the following documentation with their application:

  • Proof of 501(c)(3) status from the U.S. Departument of Treasury
  • Proof of registration as an active non profit corporation in the State of Florida
  • Itemized list of eligible individual expenses incurred since March 1, 2020 or anticipated to be incurred

Approval and Distribution of Funding

Upon approval of an application for the Human Services Grant Program, Leon County’s Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships will follow-up to execute a funding agreement with the approved organization to receive financial assistance on a reimbursement basis. Once a funding agreement has been finalized, approved organizations will receive information on how to submit requests for reimbursement of eligible expenditures, as proposed and approved in the application. Approved organizations will submit reimbursement requests on a monthly basis through the Leon CARES Portal.

Need Help?

Additional information and frequently asked questions regarding program eligibility and required documentation can be found here. Applicants with questions regarding the Human Services Grant Program can also contact Leon County’s Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships at (850) 606-1900.

Additional Disclosures

Here are some additional details about the funding source for this program:

  • Federal award identification: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • FAIN number: SLT0050
  • Federal award date: April 17, 2020
  • Federal award project description: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund ("the Fund"). Payments must be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) between March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020. Payments must be used to cover costs that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020. Governments otherwise have broad discretion to utilize payments for expenditures ranging from COVID-19 testing to reimbursing small businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
  • Federal awarding agency: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
  • Pass-through entity: Leon County, FL
  • CFDA Number: 21.019
  • CFDA name: Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • R&D designation: Non R&D