COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES

The Greenhouse recognizes the public health and potential economic impact of the COVID-19 virus on area businesses. We will be updating this page with pertinent information, resources and assistance with the goal of helping small business owners, managers and employees during this rapidly changing situation. 
We want you to know that being of assistance and serving you, our businesses, is our priority – as is your safety. Our team is committed to continuing services, though our delivery of that service may come in different vehicles, including the use of technology-based learning and convening.
 
We will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health Officials and the City’s Office of Emergency Management. We are committed to communicating regularly so you have an understanding of what to expect.
 
Please reach out to info@stpetegreenhouse.com with questions or concerns. We are also interested in hearing any suggestions you have on how we can serve you during this fluid situation.
 
For employers or individuals seeking resources on workforce assistance programs, click here

Overview

UPDATED 4/8/21:  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. 

Phase 1 of the Plan for Florida’s Recovery took effect May 4, 2020 and was updated May 11, 14 and 15, 2020.

Phase 2 of the Plan for Florida’s Recovery took effect June 5, 2020 for all Florida counties except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

Phase 3 of the Plan for Florida’s Recovery took effect September 25, 2020 for all Florida counties.

Local governments may adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter than the state. Report a business that violates these orders to local law enforcement.

Effective Monday, April 5, 2021 all Florida residents shall be eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons 16 and up. The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines are authorized for persons age 18 and up.

 

Latest Pinellas County COVID-19 news: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/

Face covering ordinance in effect

Pinellas County remains under a face covering ordinance. The county is distributing a limited number of face masks to residents who need them.
Face Covering Frequently Asked Questions

 

City of St. Pete has announced the “Race to Safe” campaign to help lead St. Pete to be the “Florida’s Most COVID Safe Community.” The campaign is aimed at slowing the spread of the virus now to avoid restrictions in the future.

City of St. Petersburg COVID resouces: stpete.org/racetosafe

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.

  1. Economic Recovery Plan Toolkit       
  2. Restart St. Pete Toolkit

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 keith.glasgow@stpete.org

Financial Assistance Programs

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 info@stpetegreenhouse.com

Type: LOAN (may be eligible for forgiveness)
Deadline: May 31, 2020

Under the PPP, small businesses can borrow money from private lenders without collateral, personal guarantees or fees. The loans may be eligible for forgiveness if funds are used to cover certain expenses, and they provide an important lifeline to businesses that are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

This round of funding is authorized up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through May 31, 2021, and allows certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
 
Upcoming Q&A and Live Webinars:

 

Type: Reimbursement
Amount: Varies on fund use

PPP loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).

Upcoming Q&A and Live Webinars:
 

Frequently Asked Questions about PPP Loan Forgiveness 

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

•    Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
•    Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the 24-week period after receiving their PPP loan
•    Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
•    Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
•    Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

For loans GREATER than $50,000:

Announced 10/9/2020 – SBA releases simpler application and process for businesses that received $50,000 or less in funds. Apply using the 3508S Form:

Type: LOAN
Amount: Up to 6 months of working capital

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. 

Upcoming Q&A and Live Webinars:

LEARN MORE

Type: GRANT – Opens April 8, 2021

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

LEARN MORE  

The Small Business Administration has set a target for May to begin taking applications for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants, Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Capital Access confirmed in a Small Business Committee senate hearing.

Sign up to receive notification of updates to funding at stpetegreenhouse.com/incentives

Type: GRANT 
Amount: UP TO $1,000
Deadline: APRIL 30

In 2016, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs established the Individual Artist Grant Program. These 15 grants are intended to provide financial assistance to the City of St. Petersburg resident artists for specific projects. The program is designed to support the public engagement of individual work/projects in the Visual Arts, Craft Arts, Dance, Music, Theater, or Literature.

Applicants must show commitment to the art form through education, training, or professional experience, and must show evidence of exhibition, public performance, or being published during the past two years.

LEARN MORE

Type: LOAN
Amount: Current and new SBA loan payments
Deadline: N/A

As part of SBA’s debt relief efforts,

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • Partnership between Pinellas County and Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF)
  • $29.7 million for nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County
  • Application: www.pinellascf.org/CARES

This fund supports nonprofit organizations to cover increased demand for supplies and programs from the impacts of COVID-19. The program will focus on nonprofit agencies that provide community services in the areas of food, homelessness, behavioral health, and legal aid for housing. Grant approvals will be overseen by local committees including representatives from Pinellas County, PCF Board of Governors and other local partners. Eligible nonprofits can apply at www.pinellascf.org/CARES, starting Friday, August 7.

The Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund follows a similar program established in March by partners including PCF, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast. To date, the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund has distributed nearly $1.3 million in private funding to the community.

TYPE: Grant
Amount: $2,000
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.

Learn More

TYPE: Grant and Support
Amount: Varies
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.

  • #PayItForward (currently closed) – The beauty industry is one of the largest sectors in the black community economy. Social distancing guidelines caused a near-total shutdown of hair salons, barber shops and nail shops. #PayItForward  supports them with microgrants of $1,500 (shop/salon owners) and $1,000 (non-owner stylists, barbers and techs).
  • #4StPeteCreatives (OPEN)– South St. Pete’s creative community is struggling with the cancellation of events where many earn the bulk of their revenue. #4StPeteCreatives will invest in 25 creatives to provide $1,250 microgrants that include coverage of up to $750 in technology and tools to help them migrate to e-commerce. Participants will include graphic & web designers, digital artists, painters, screen printers, fashion designers, and other creatives.
  • #StrongerTogether (currently closed)– This project will help diverse “hard hit” business owners with microgrants of $1,500 combined with marketing support.

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.

  • Employers:
    To apply for the Short Time Compensation Program (required for employees to submit a re-employment claim), please follow this link to the Employer Login page of CONNECT.
    • As an employer, you must complete a Short-Time Compensation Plan application. A Short-Time Compensation Plan lasts for one year but can be renewed if your employees have returned to full-time work during the plan year.
    • At least 10% (not less than 2) of your employees in your total staff or in a particular department must work reduced hours.
    • Employers must name the employee participating in the program and must provide the Department of Economic Opportunity with the employee’s normal weekly hours (excluding overtime).
    • Employers must certify that they will reduce the employee’s normal number of weekly work hours by at least 10%, but no more than 40%.
      The situation must be temporary rather than a temporary layoff.
  • Employees:
    • You must be a full-time employee, (not part-time or seasonal) with a standard number of hours worked each week (excluding overtime).
    • You must meet all of the normal requirements to establish a Florida reemployment claim and you must provide the Department of Economic Opportunity with any necessary information or documentation.
    • While on the Short-Time Compensation program you must work and/or receive paid leave for ALL of the hours that your employer has you scheduled to work in order to receive Short-Time Compensation Benefits for a week.
    • Every two weeks you will be required to report your hours worked, plus any hours of paid leave from your Short-Time Compensation employer and if you have a part-time job, earnings from that part-time job.

Public Health Resources

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health, safety, and security threats.

On this website you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates.

Additional Resources

Business Resources

The Greenhouse encourages preparedness prep for business owners. Please find some helpful links below. If you don’t have a continuity and prep plan, now is a good time to get started.

NOTE: The Greenhouse offers a Disaster Prep & Recovery for Small Business Owners workshop. Next date for this training is forthcoming. 

COVID-19 workforce RESOURCEs

Financial Assistance Programs

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:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Apply for Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

Job Opportunities

Local workforce community organizations

ST. PETE WORKS!
St. Pete Works! is a collaborative project of community-based organizations, working together with employers and local agencies to provide quality services supporting workforce opportunities in our community.  

BECOME ST. PETE
“Find your dream job in St. Pete.” A local job board directory and resources how to work, live and play in St. Pete.