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 4/3/20:  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.  The State of Florida has released the “Safer-at-Home” order that will take effect Friday, April 3, at 12:01 AM. Please see all the latest resources related to business impacts from state, county and local below.  

The State issued a new Safer-at-home Executive Order that goes into affect Friday, April 3rd at 12:01 AM and end on April 30th.  The order requires “all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions” to essential services or activities for the next 30 days. The state will follow the guidelines outlined by the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to which workers and businesses are considered essential and non-essential.  

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 keith.glasgow@stpete.org

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.

Permitting Operations:
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.

Visit stpete.org/emergency for all city related real-time updates. Q

Business Impact Surveys

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

COMPLETE SURVEY

Organizational Status Survey

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.

COMPLETE SURVEY

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. 

COMPLETE SURVEY

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. 

Financial Assistance Programs

Currently, there is the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs that are specific to COVID-19 assistance for businesses in our area. We will continue to monitor programs as they become available. 

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 $5,000 to impacted eligible businesses* and $500 to impacted eligible individuals. 

Learn More

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is ACTIVE.

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.

These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

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

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. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Learn More

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.

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:

  • Professional artists are those working in visual arts including, painting, sculpture, murals, photography, etc.; performing arts including theatre, music and dance etc.; literary arts; performance, multimedia, and social justice art; and who are making a significant portion of their income through production/performance/sale of their artwork.
  • Arts organizations are 501(c)(3) organizations with the primary mission of providing arts and or cultural experiences to the public.
  • Small creative businesses are retail businesses run by artists or in support of artists (such as galleries, art curators/installers, etc.) whose primary source of income is arts related, and whose primary business focus is business-to-consumer or direct/artistic services to artists or arts organizations.

Learn More

Greenhouse Connects: A Virtual Meetup for St. Pete Small Businesses

The Greenhouse invites you to join us every Friday at 12:00 PM to check-in, receive important updates related to small business COVID-19 impact and discuss ways the St. Pete business community can continue to connect to help move forward.

Next meetup: Friday, April 10, 12 PM REGISTER TO JOIN 

Previous Meetups:

COVID-19 workforce RESOURCEs

Financial Assistance Programs

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 $5,000 to impacted eligible businesses* and $500 to impacted eligible individuals. 

Learn More

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 procide quality services supporting workforce opportunities in our community.  

 

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