Pinellas CARES fund available for individuals & businesses

Posted on April 29, 2020

Individuals, families and small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic can now get emergency financial assistance through the County with the new Pinellas CARES fund.

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the Pinellas CARES financial relief programs, which are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance for Individuals 
This fund provides one-time financial assistance to individuals and families who have lost jobs or significant income due to COVID-19 to help pay for overdue rent, mortgage and utility bills. Residents can text COVIDCARES to 898211 to apply for assistance.

Eligibility for Individuals 
Documentation of the following will be required for all requests:
Job or income loss directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. your workplace shut down under state or local orders): You will be required to provide documentation. Examples: paystubs, a letter from employer, proof of employer business closure.
•Income restrictions apply: For example, income for a 1-person household cannot exceed $2,127 (or $4,367 for a 4-person household) during the month in which the assistance is applied for, with no more than $4,000 in liquid assets (cash, savings and checking).
•Pinellas County residency: proof may include driver’s license or utility bill with current address.
•Legal Status: proof of U.S. Citizenship, including naturalized citizens, or other legal residency status (i.e. permanent residents).
Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance will be managed by 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares and Pinellas County. Learn more at this website.

Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants 
Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants will assist local businesses that had to close or significantly reduce operations due to the pandemic and the resulting statewide orders to curb the spread of the virus. Grants are limited to businesses with a commercial location in the county.

This program will offer $5,000 grants to small businesses to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and mortgage or rent costs.

This program is strictly limited to businesses physically located in Pinellas County.

Eligibility Overview 
•$5,000 for qualifying small businesses with a physical location in Pinellas County (1-25 full-time employees, or equivalent part-time employees, including the owner)
•Restaurants, bars, short-term lodging and other non-essential businesses impacted by the local or state safer-at-home orders are eligible
•Larger businesses, non-profits and home-based businesses are not eligible
•Funds can be used to pay employee wages, vendors, rent or other business expenses
•No reimbursement is required
•Businesses can only apply for this one-time assistance program to cover COVID-19 related costs that have not already been paid for by insurance or by another federal program.

Starting Monday, May 4, eligible small businesses will be able to apply online. Those interested in participating this program are encouraged to review all qualifications before applying to expedite the process.

Updates about both programs, including the grant application, will be available this week at: www.PinellasCounty.org/Covid19.

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