MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved a second round of $1 million in CARES Act assistance for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Monroe County CARES Business Assistance Program consists of a one-time fixed amount grant to qualifying Monroe County-based small businesses with up to 25 employees to aid in their recovery from COVID-19 interruptions.
The application period will be announced pending potential further guidance from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) regarding the CARES Act funding regulations, which is expected to be announced in the next week. The County will keep those interested in the program updated as more is learned. In the meantime, should a business wish to pre-prepare required documents, unless guidance from FDEM changes, the requirements can be viewed at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/bizcares.
Business grant amounts will be based on the number of the applicant’s employees as of Feb. 29, 2020. They are as follows:
1)Self-Employed, Sole Proprietors (1 employee): $2,500
2) 2-10 employees: $5,000
3) 11-25 employees: $7,500
Small businesses throughout Monroe County, unincorporated and throughout the cities, are eligible.
Applications will be accepted and funded based on when a fully completed application is received until the funds are expended on a first-come, first-serve basis. As noted above, the application period will be made live after receiving FDEM guidance. Round 2 will done completely with an online application. Business or business owners funded in the first round are not eligible for a second grant or additional funding for any other business they may own as the county would like to help as many affected businesses as possible. Businesses that applied but were not funded in the first round can reapply in the second round.
“We cannot stress enough how important it is to read the Frequently Asked Questions document and to turn in a fully completed application,” said Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson, citing the many applications that had missing required documents and were not funded in Round 1. Local chambers of commerce also offered to help any local businesses in their area with application questions, even if they are not members. Contact your local chamber for any additional help after reading the guidance and frequently asked questions document.
In the first round, Monroe County released all $1 million funding to 259 small local businesses that were affected by COVID-19. Businesses received grants based on completed applications submitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The application period was open from Sept. 5-21 with 577 total applications. Funded businesses ranged from retail, food, galleries, charter fishing, and salons to photographers, pool service, and fitness centers, among others. The commissioners also approved a grant program for COVID-19-impacted 501c3 nonprofits that will be announced later this month pending guidance for the FDEM. To be eligible, local nonprofits must be located and serve in Monroe County, and have been in continuous service, excluding any COVID-19-related closures, in the Florida Keys since at least March 1, 2018. More details to follow as they become available.
Monroe County CARES Act funding has also earmarked $315,000 for food assistance programs and pantries throughout the Keys for:
1) Star of the Sea Foundation
2) Metropolitan Community Church
3) Florida Keys Outreach Coalition
4) Burton Memorial United Methodist Church
5) Healthy Start Coalition (baby food and nursing supplies)
Editor's Note Kristen attached a file "Guidance & Frequently Askeed Questions Document; Please go to their website for possible Reprint.
KEY LARGO COMMUNITY PARK BASEBALL FIELDS TO CLOSE THROUGH MID-DECEMBER FOR REFURBISHMENT
KEY LARGO – Both baseball fields located at Key Largo Community Park, 500 St. Croix Place, will be closed from Monday, October 26, 2020 through mid-December while Monroe County Facilities Maintenance refurbish the fields and replace the sod. The County will provide a reopening date when the work is completed and the sod is established on the fields. The intention is to have both ballfields reopened by January so there are no delays to the beginning of t-ball and baseball season.
Mary Moeller, MCFR Public Information Officer Assistant