The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Hernando County Government will provide a grant program to further enhance the recovery of small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Phase 3 of the small business grant program will provide grants of $3,500 to brick-and-mortar small businesses and nonprofits to stimulate the local economy.
Applications will be accepted via an on-line portal administered by the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce and managed by the Hernando County Office of Economic Development. Applications will be accepted February 23 through March 5, or when 714 applications are received.
Please visit the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce website at https://www.hernandochamber.com for detailed information on the requirements and application website to apply.
-- Business must be located and operational in Hernando County as of January 1, 2021.
-- Business must own or lease space exclusively for their business operation.
-- Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors and Non-Profit businesses are eligible if they own,
lease or sub-lease space exclusively for their business.
-- Franchise businesses are eligible if they are independently owned.
-- Business must demonstrate they have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
-- Business is currently operational and expects to remain operational.
-- Businesses engaged in any illegal activity as defined by Federal guidelines.
-- Businesses that derive more than one-third of gross annual revenue from legal gambling
-- Publicly traded companies
-- Home-based businesses
-- Businesses that present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or
indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or
the presentation of any depictions or displays, o a prurient sexual nature.
Eligible Grant Uses
This is a grant program, so no payback is required; however funds may only be used for the approved eligible uses listed below. These funds may be considered taxable income, please contact your financial advisor for guidance. The funds must be used to cover any of the eligible expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
-- Mortgage • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
-- Utilities • Miscellaneous expenses as a result of COVID-19
-- Hernando County registered business in operation as of January 1, 2021
-- Must own or lease space exclusively for the u e of their business
-- Must have been and continue to be negative! affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic (e.g.,
considered non-essential business and required to temporarily close, reduce occupancy,
reduce hours, incurred loss of revenues, furlough employees, incurred PPE expenses, etc.)
Applicant must provide one or more of the following as applicable:
-- State of Florida active business registration from he Florida Division of Corporations showing
the business is registered in Hernando County effective January
-- Certification or professional license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional
Regulation or Department of Health; or
-- A copy of your State of Florida business filing or DBA/ fictitious name registration (if
applicable). http://dos.sunbiz.org/ficinam.html or
-- Other acceptable proof of business as determined by the program administrator (e.g., copy of
commercial lease/mortgage, 2019/2020 tax documentation that indicates a commercial business
-- Copy of Driver's License, state ID, or passport
-- Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors mu t complete the appropriate Certification
o Sole Proprietor Certification Form
o independent Contractor Certification For
-- A completed and signed IRS W-9 form.
-- A completed and signed ACH Authorization form for electronic funds transfer.
-- Applications will be submitted using a digital online portal. Applicants are required to digitally sign the application and attest, under penalty of perjury, that all information submitted is truthful.
The Hernando County Small Business Recovery Grant has allotted $2,500,000 for Phase 3 of the program. Funds will be distributed on a first-submitted eligible application basis. Please submit your application online in its entirety. It may be determined that additional information is necessary to process a grant request and the applicant will be contacted by email for additional documentation. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide this information as requested. Incomplete applications may result in forfeiture of funds. Applicants will be notified by email when their application has been received and again once approved. Upon approval, the electronic transfer of funds will be initiated. Processing and payment timeframe will depend upon the number of applications and may take several weeks to receive payment. It is imperative that the applicant verify all account information, email addresses, etc. for accuracy. Failure to provide the information as required may result in forfeiture of grant funds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have multiple businesses, is there a cap to what I can receive?
A: There is no cap to what owners who have multiple businesses can receive; however, individual application and documentation is required for each business. Each business must have separate tax documentation and a separate bank account.
Q: How do I find my active business registration?
A: Search by "Entity Name" here on SunBiz.org (use full legal business name), select listing with "Active" Status, and attach the most recent filing as a screenshot. If not required to register with Florida Division of Corporations, attach documentation showing the business meets all regulatory requirements from Hernando County.
Q: Are other forms of proof of business acceptable?
A: Yes, applicants may provide a combination of documentation such as lease, mortgage, professional license, tax forms, etc. that indicate the commercial business address.
Q: How will I submit my documents to you?
A: Clear legible scans, photos, and screenshots of the required documents can be uploaded.
Q: I already received CARES funds from the County, is my business still eligible?
Q: Will my business be eligible to receive funds from the Federal CARES program if I receive funds from this program?
Q: Can non-profit organizations apply?
A: Yes, non-profit entities with a commercial business location are eligible to apply.
Q: Are home-based businesses eligible to apply?
A: Home-based businesses are not eligible for this phase of a program.
Q: What if my business operates in Hernando County, but is foreign owned?
A: Foreign-owned companies can apply provided they meet all other qualifications. Must not be on the scrutinized list of prohibited companies.
Q: I operate a franchise, am I eligible to apply?
A: Provided the franchise is independently owned, is not publicly traded, and meets all other qualifications, you would be eligible for the program.
Q: What happens if I do not include all of the required documents when I submit my application?
A: Only submit your application when you are able to provide the required documents. Applications will only be considered when they are submitted in their entirety. Funds will not be reserved for incomplete applications. Failure to provide information may result in forfeiture of funding.
Q: Can I apply in person or by mail?
A: No. The application must be completed online. Submit only once you are able to provide all of the required documents.
Q: What happens if my company is awarded this grant?
A: You will receive a notice of award by email and funds will be transferred electronically to the bank account provided within the application.
Q: What if I have questions?
A: Due to anticipated high call volume please email your questions to [email protected]
For direct access on mobile devices, scan the image attached with your QR Reader.