UPDATED 7/16/20: The City of St. Petersburg Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and is working with County and State agencies.
Please see all the latest resources related to business impacts from state, county and local below.
On Friday, June 26, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued Executive Order 2020-09 which prohibits bars, pubs and night clubs (deriving 50% or less of their income from food sales) from serving alcohol for consumption on premises. These establishments are allowed to engage in sales of sealed containers for off premises consumption. Restaurants may continue to operate at 50% indoor capacity and are still allowed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption onsite so long as patrons are being served while seated at tables.
On Wednesday, June 3, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-139. Effective Friday, June 5, the state will move to Phase 2 of its re-opening plan which allows:
Retail establishments can operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization practices.
Restaurants maintain operations at 50% capacity but may begin to allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing.
Gyms and fitness centers can operate at full capacity using appropriate social distancing and safety measures, including sanitizing equipment.
The number of individuals allowed at social gatherings increases from 10 to 50.
Movie theaters, bowling alleys and other entertainment-based businesses can operate at 50% capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization practices.
Personal service businesses, including tattoo parlors, acupuncture, tanning salons and massage establishments may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.
Latest Pinellas County COVID-19 news: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/
On June 23, 2020, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners passed an emergency ordinance requiring face coverings in most indoor public places. The county is distributing a limited number of face masks to residents who need them.
Visit restartstpete.com for the latest City of St. Petersburg updates.
Restart St. Pete Toolkits
In late April, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced that it was time to prepare to Restart St. Pete in a thoughtful and gradual manner, and with respect to federal guidelines and state and county orders. Visit restartstpete.com for the latest updates.
Fighting Chance Fund
To provide relief to small businesses impacted by local COVID-19 orders, the City of St. Petersburg has created the Fighting Chance Fund – an emergency grant for St. Pete’s negatively impacted locally owned and independently operated small businesses.
The fund is expected to provide critical support to about 1,000 restaurant, bar, retail, and service-based businesses and their more than 3,000 eligible employees. The City’s goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic.
This is a City program that provides grants (not loans) in the form of $5,000 to impacted eligible businesses* and $500 to impacted eligible individuals.
Visit www.stpete.org/fightingchancefund to learn more
Loading Zones for businesses that offer delivery or carry-out:
Upon request, two additional 15 min “Loading Zones” may be temporarily added on each side of any downtown block where metered or time-limited parking exists. Any business that serves food, that does not already have a dedicated parking lot, and wishes to take advantage of this program, please contact Keith Glasgow, Parking Division Manager at email@example.com
Suspended in-person City Services:
Effective Monday, March 30, in-person City services are suspended at the Municipal Services Center and Sanitation Administrative & Operations Buildings. During the closure, online/phone services are available to serve your needs. Quick reference guide for contact information.
The City’s Planning and Development Services Department has transitioned most services to electronic and virtual formats in an effort to reduce person-to-person interactions.
While in-person services will be limited, the City Planning and Development team will strive to provide the same level of service to our customers through email, phone and virtual options.
All meetings will be handled as conference calls. All plans must be submitted utilizing electronic applications, and all “while you wait” services will be suspended. Please review the PDS Covid-19 Emergency Operation Procedures for details.
If you are a business that has been impacted due to mitigation efforts related to preventing the spread of COVID-19, there are several organizations collecting data to help determine needs for financial assistance programs at the state and local levels. We highly encourage your business to submit each of the following surveys and share with your business community:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local businesses, including those in Pinellas County. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement economic relief programs for businesses can begin. Note: This is not an application for financial assistance, but a preliminary assessment to report on local impact
Growsmarter St. Petersburg, in partnership with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and The Greenhouse asks businesses to please consider taking a moment to answer a few questions to help our local organizations understand the impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on your business. Your responses will help us provide the best support that we can as we navigate this uncertain time together. All responses will be anonymous unless you choose to provide your name and contact information at the end of the poll.
ONE Community, along with Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (TBBIC), is in the process of pulling information on resources available for business owners impacted by the Covid19 virus’s spread. Please complete the following impact survey to help determine need for local programs during this time.
There are several programs available to Small Businesses related to COVID-19 impact that The Greenhouse will continute to monitor and keep up-to-date. The program availability is constantly evolving. For technical assistance or questions relating to any of the following programs, please reach out to our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amount: Up to $4,000
Deadline: Until funds are exhausted
To provide relief to small businesses impacted by local COVID-19 orders, the City of St. Petersburg has created the Fighting Chance Fund – an emergency grant for St. Pete’s negatively impacted locally owned and independently operated small businesses. The fund is expected to provide critical support to about 1,000 restaurant, bar, retail, and service-based businesses and their more than 3,000 eligible employees. The City’s goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic.
Who is eligible?
This is a City program that provides grants (not loans) in the form of $4,000 to impacted eligible brick and mortar businesses and $2,000 to eligible home-based businesses.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: June 30, 2020
Update: The Board of County Commissioners has approved additional funding to develop new business assistance programs. Details and the application launch date will be announced in the coming weeks after the program is finalized. The upcoming program will accept applications from businesses that do not have a commercial location and others that did not qualify for the initial Small Business Grants, such as daycare providers, home-based businesses, professional artists and other business types most impacted by COVID-19.
CLOSED JUNE 30th: Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants assisted 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.
•$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: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/
Deadline: Until Funds are exhausted
The #FamilyCare Microgrant program is exclusively for licensed home-based childcare providers hard hit by the COVID crisis, who live and operate their businesses within the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). See the CRA map here.
The Program offers grants of up to $2,000 and business development support services to help home-based childcare providers to recover from COVID-related shutdowns, while becoming stronger for the long-run.
TYPE: Grant and Support
Deadline: Until funds are exhausted
The #InThisTogether initiative by the One Community Plan team at Pinellas County Urban League will provide microgrants, free technology and one-to-one help to business owners struggling as a result of the COVID crisis. Microgrants are made possible by the funding support of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the City of St. Petersburg, the Grow Smarter initiative, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, the Power Broker Media Group, The 2020 Fund, and dozens of grassroots community contributions.
#InThisTogether supports three microgrant programs.
The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund is open to artists residing in Pinellas County, arts organizations and small creative businesses located in Pinellas County, who face an immediate and urgent financial need, directly caused by an emergency or disaster situation.
For this Fund:
Amount: Current and new SBA loan payments
As part of SBA’s debt relief efforts,
Amount: Up to $10M
The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
The Short Time Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. If an employer establishes a Short Time Compensation Plan and an employee meets the qualifications to file a re-employment assistance claim in the state of Florida, the employee will receive a partial re-employment check to supplement their reduced paycheck.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.
CLOSED AS OF APRIL 15, 2020
Amount: Up to $2M and up to $10,000 emergency advance within 3 days
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2020
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is currently ACTIVE.
The SBA will provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. LEARN MORE
NOTE: The Greenhouse offers a Disaster Prep & Recovery for Small Business Owners workshop. Next date for this training is forthcoming.
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.
Individuals who have been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of COVID-19 may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.
Individuals who may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance may include:
ST. PETE WORKS!
St. Pete Works! is a collaborative project of community-based organizations, working together with employers and local agencies to procide quality services supporting workforce opportunities in our community.