HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Millions of dollars worth of economic relief money is now available for Hillsborough County businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Beginning June 30, 2020, Hillsborough County businesses injured by COVID-19 can apply to receive economic recovery financial assistance. Lindsey Kimball, Director of the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department, says $125 million is available for small businesses across Hillsborough County.
“We want to make sure our businesses can get back on their feet,” Kimball said. “So we are starting with the smallest of the small businesses in distressed areas first.”
Here’s the criteria business owners must meet in order to apply for the recovery funds:
- Must have been injured by COVID-19
- Must be a Hillsborough county based business (unincorporated areas are included)
- Must be in operation since March 1, 2019
- Must be open for business in some capacity
- Be a for-profit business
- Cannot be a publicly traded business
June 30 is the beginning of Phase 1, which has a deep focus on small businesses in distressed areas.
“It’s very important to us that we fill the gaps that were left by those federal and state programs that didn’t address the needs of the minority communities, didn’t address the needs of the smallest of the small businesses , which is why we are starting with those businesses and allowing early access,” Kimball said.
The county split the phases up by need and by funds. A certain amount of money has been dedicated to each phase to ensure that everyone can obtain funds.
- Phase 1: Open to businesses in distressed areas and $33 million has been dedicated to this phase
- Phase 2: Open to all businesses across Hillsborough County. Another $33 million has been dedicated to this phase
- Phase 3: It’s still open to all businesses, but they increased the revenue where some larger small business can get access to the relief money. About $40 million has been dedicated to this phase
Phase 2 has a tentative start date of June 14 and Phase 3 has a tentative start date of June 27. Kimball says if the money in the prior phase runs out before the tentative start date, the county will move into the next phase immediately thereafter.
There are also three different programs the recovery program has to offer.
- Kickstart Business: This program is designed to offer immediate financial relief for small businesses within Hillsborough County
- Back to Work: This program is way to help businesses hire employees
- Safe at Work: This program is a way to help businesses with protective equipment to ensure customer and employee safety
To apply and for more details on the economic recovery relief for Hillsborough County businesses, click here.
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