PALM BEACH COUNTY CARES FOR BUSINESS

(Restart Business Grants)

 

Frequently Asked Questions (rev 7/13/2020)


What is the purpose of the Palm Beach County CARES for Business Program and the Restart Business Grant?

The COVID-19 crisis forced the Palm Beach County business community to confront immense challenges. Palm Beach County CARES for Business Program helps Palm Beach County businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  Small business owners in particular are facing highly difficult circumstances.  Restart Business Grants focus on small businesses with $5 million or less in total gross sales or receipts.  

Which businesses qualify for this funding?

Small businesses in Palm Beach County that have suffered significant, temporary loss of revenue or job losses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly businesses that have been directly affected by state and local business closure orders, are eligible.  Business must have $5 million or less in total gross sales or receipts.  Please also see Question 6 and Question 9 for additional information on eligible businesses.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

Businesses are ELIGIBLE to apply for a one-time Restart Business Grant if it:

  • Has been operating since October 1, 2019 and was still operating on February 29, 2020

  • Is located in Palm Beach County

  • Is not a publicly traded company

  • Is not a non-profit organization

  • Has an Active Status and a Date Filed on or before October 1, 2019 as shown on SunBiz, the Florida Division of Corporations website.

  • Has an Active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt or is Exempt from filing a Business Tax Receipt with the Palm Beach County Tax Collector

    • You can renew your Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt on line if it is not currently Active.

    • If you do not have a Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt, please contact the Palm Beach County Tax Collector at 561-355-2264.

  • Has filed IRS Income Tax Returns for 2019 or 2018

  • Has payroll forms submitted to the IRS for 2019 (if applicable)

  • Does not exceed $5 million in total gross receipts or sales

  • Has not received any COVID-19 relief funds in the form of a grant or forgivable loan exceeding $25,000.

What is Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt?  How do I know if I am exempt from filing one?

It is your license from the Palm Beach County Tax Collector to operate a business in Palm Beach County.  You may know it as your "Business License". If you do not have a Business Tax Receipt, you are not properly operating a business in Palm Beach County, which makes ineligible for the grant. Information on exemptions is available on the Palm Beach County Tax Collector website. 

You can renew your Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt on line if it is not currently Active.  If you do not have a Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt, please contact the Palm Beach County Tax Collector at 561-355-2264.

Will a business tax receipt from a municipality/town/city meet the Business Tax Receipt criteria?

No. One of the required documents is an active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt.

Do you want the date I filed to start my business or when it was effective?

Please use the Date Filed for your business as indicated on SunBiz.

What are the Eligible Businesses?

  • Agriculture

  • Child Care Centers, Adult Day Care Centers

  • Gyms & Fitness Studios

  • Hair Salons, Nail Salons, Barber Shops

  • Health Care Services & Medical Offices

  • Restaurants, Caterers, Bakeries
  • Retail – Physical Brick/Mortar Store

  • If the business in not included on the above categories, or permitted based on Executive Orders (see staff on specific orders being used), they are NOT eligible to apply.

What are the Eligible Applicants?

An applicant business must be one of the following to be eligible:

  • Sole Proprietor – Self Employed, Individual/Single-Owner Limited Liability Company

  • Corporation – C-Corp, S-Corp, Limited Liability Company

  • Partnership

Can my business apply if it meets some, but not all, of the Eligibility Requirements?

No, the business must meet ALL Eligibility Requirements to be eligible to apply.

If I received funds PPP or other grants or forgivable loans, will I be eligible for the Restart Business grant?

You cannot apply if your business received more than $25,000 of COVID-19 relief funds in the form of a grant or forgivable loan from a federal, state and/or local government program. IF your business is eligible for a Restart Business Grant, we will deduct any amount received from another government led COVID-19 relief fund in the form of a grant or forgivable loan from your Restart Business Grant award.   ALL applicants are required to attest to their receipt or non-receipt of previous grant awards, which is subject to verification.  Failure to disclose pertinent information will result in fraudulent charges.

I am an Independent Contractor (also known as a 1099 employee).  Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, if your business meets ALL other Eligibility Requirements.

What if I own my own business, but have no employees can I apply?

Yes if your business meets ALL other Eligibility Requirements.

If I am a business that was not forced to close or limit operations, am I still eligible for the CARES grant provided by Palm Beach County?

No. The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners gave approval for individual grants up to $25,000 to help Palm Beach County businesses forced to close or limit operations and are now planning to "restart" based on the county's phased opening process.

How can my business use grant funds?

Grant funds can be used for employee wages/salaries; inventories; commercial lease, mortgage or rent payments; utilities; and other expenses incurred due to new safety provision.  

How much funding is available for Restart Business Grants?

Palm Beach County allocated $60 million to the Restart Business Grant Program.  Eligible small businesses may receive a one-time grant of up to $25,000. 

Will I have to repay my Restart Business Grant if my business receives one?

No, these are not loans.  There is no repayment. 

If approved, how quickly will my business receive its grant award payment?

We will review completed applications with all required documentation on a first-come, first-served basis.

Palm Beach County is committed to helping our small businesses in need of aid as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic to our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests.

What is the application deadline?

The County's online grant portal will begin accepting applications on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. The application period will close on June 12, 2020.  

I own more than one business in Palm Beach County. Can I apply for more than one grant?

Yes, you can qualify for a grant for each legal business entity. You must keep separate books, file taxes separately and have different taxpayer ID numbers for each business.  Each business entity must meet the Eligibility Requirements as detailed above.

If my application is not complete, can I submit it in order to hold my place in line?

No. The application portal will not accept incomplete applications. The application must be fully completed before it can be submitted.

How does the application and approval process work?

The application portal will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.  You will need to register.  Once registered, you will take an Eligibility Quiz.  You can only access the application if you pass the Eligibility Quiz.  The Application requires general information on your business and has fields to upload required documents.  You will be able to save your work and return to the application at any time.  You can only submit an application that is fully completed.  You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application once submitted.  Applications will be reviewed; the application reviewer MAY reach out to you to request additional documentation.  The reviewer will reach out by phone AND you will receive an email request IF we need additional documentation.  You will be emailed regarding your application's final determination (if it is approved or if it is declined).  For approved applications, the business owner will receive a check via U.S. mail to the mailing address provided in the application.

How do I apply?

Applicants complete and submit an online application. Click button to access APPLICATION   Apply Restart Business Grant Program        

Will my business be required to report how I spent any awarded grant funds?

The County reserves the right to request such information. Your business also may be required to provide access to such records as may be necessary to prevent fraud or ensure compliance with federal requirements.  Finally, the Internal Revenue Service may consider grant funds as taxable income.

Anything else to keep in mind?

  • Don't rush to submit – the fastest way to get declined is to submit an inaccurate application or an application without the required documentation

  • Save all your required documents as PDF or JPEG files so they are ready to upload into your application.

  • Save your work often.

  • Review your application before you submit.

  • You cannot edit a submitted application.  Make sure you answer each question accurately and provide all required documentation.  

  

The application portal will not allow me to submit my application.  What can I do?

Please make sure all required fields are completed.  You cannot submit an incomplete application.  Also, make sure you read all prompts on the screen.  These prompts will direct you to unanswered questions or identify responses to questions that disqualify you from the Restart Business Grant program.

How is a business activity or type determined?

The business activity is determined by reviewing the information provided by the applicant in the applicable application fields as well as the Business Tax Receipt (BTR), Tax Returns, and if necessary, information provided on the business' website or other resources.

How are the eligible and ineligible businesses determined for the Restart Business Grant?

Eligible businesses are those who were not permitted to open or told to limit their services based on Governor DeSantis's Executive Order (EO) 20-72 or Palm Beach County's Executive Order (EO) 20-002a.  Ineligible businesses are those who were permitted to remain open as a result of EO 20-72 and/or 20-002a.

How are the Restart Business grant award amounts determined?

Companies must submit their most recently filed and signed tax return (not older than 2018).   A business can receive up to 50% of their eligible expenses (not to exceed $25,000).  Eligible expenses does not include items such as depreciation, amortization, etc.  Additionally, any PPP or other COVID-related assistance (in the form of a grant or forgivable loan) is deducted from the calculated Restart Business Grant award amount.  If the amount of PPP or other COVID-related assistance received exceeds the calculated Restart Business Grant award amount, the application will be denied. 

Must be business be domiciled in PBC in order to qualify for this grant?

Yes, the primary address for the business must show the business is located in Palm Beach County in order to be eligible.   A company doing business in Palm Beach County, while the businesses primary address is located outside of the County will be deemed ineligible.

How long must I maintain documentation used to obtain the Restart Business grant?

Businesses must maintain all documentation used for the Restart Business grant for a period of five (5) years.

I still have questions

Please reach out to the Palm Beach County Department of Housing & Economic Sustainability via phone at 561-233-3600 or email at HESCARES4Business@pbcgov.org or the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Business Opportunity via phone at 561-616-6840 or email at oebo@pbcgov.org

Important!  Please do not email your application.  Applications must be submitted through the Application Portal.
Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic on our local community, the County anticipates a high volume of questions.  We provide a significant amount of information on line – please make sure you read all available materials before reaching out directly.