Notice: Paycheck Protection Program has reopened
The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020, at 9:00 AM EDT in response to President signing the program's extension legislation. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020.
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 employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.
Federal Reserve Resources for Small Businesses
Federal resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19. You can view relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business Advisor near you. Learn More
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that eligible employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The maximum amount of qualified wages taken into account with respect to each employee for all calendar quarters is $10,000, so that the maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000. Click here for more information about the ERTC.
Spectrum Reach has partnered with Waymark to offer free videos you can make on your own and use wherever you need. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Other Pinellas County Programs
Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund, application
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(Even if you did not qualify before, you may qualify now.)
Unemployment Benefits Assistance at FloridaJobs.org: The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides unemployment benefits to those that may not otherwise be eligible under Florida’s state Reemployment Assistance program, including independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed. Individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19 and believe they may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, can visit www.FloridaJobs.organd select "File a Claim" to apply and be considered for PUA.
The Federal Reserve Board Main Street Lending Program allows small and medium-sized businesses to be able to receive support.
Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund. For more information please call 833-832-4494 or email FloridaBusinessLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com.
SBA Accepting New Applications for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Learn more and apply at https://www.sba.gov/disaster.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the attached updated guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. The EPA has also publicized a list of more than 300 approved disinfectant products for safely fighting against COVID-19. EPA and CDC say this guidance will allow people to continue taking precautionary measures to stay healthy and safe.
Small Business Resources
The city of Clearwater Economic Development Division and Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development are prepared to assist business owners during this challenging time. You are not alone! Below are resources available to you.
- Review the regional FSBDC COVID-19 landing page: https://sbdctampabay.com/coronavirus/
- Connect with Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development by visiting PCED.org/SBDChelp to complete a form for a response by phone or email.
- Complete a Business Damage Assessment survey at floridadisaster.biz.
- Visit myclearwater.com/ed and click on ‘Connect With Us’ to e-mail our team or schedule a phone call with our staff for business consulting services.
Florida’s Microfinance Guarantee Program allows access to credit for small businesses by providing targeted loan guarantees to lenders. The program guarantees up to 50% on loans of $250,000 or less. Businesses must apply through a local lender. For further information, contact your lender or visit Enterprise Florida (EFI) at www.enterpriseflorida.com/small-business/microfinance-guarantee-program/. EFI has suspended initial fees for its Microfinance Guarantee program.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION'S DEBT RELIEF
SBA Debt Relief is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Administration's bridge loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis 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.
Clearwater businesses are requested to complete the COVID-19 Business Damage Assessment to report economic losses at: PCED.org/damage
Alert Florida – Florida’s Alert Notification Initiative. Individuals and businesses can learn how to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications directly from their local jurisdictions.https://apps.floridadisaster.org/alertflorida/
The CareerSource Florida Network is providing career and business services remotely to minimize the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic to customers and employees. Recruiting, hiring and training services are available via phone, online and email, or by appointment in some locations. Please call the appropriate number listed here, or visit your local career center’s website for details.
City of Clearwater Economic Development Division
City of Clearwater Economic Development & Housing Department has suspended business visits and face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future.
Please visit to www.myclearwater.com/ed and click on ‘Connect With Us’ to schedule a phone call or email with our staff for business consulting services. We hope to resume our in-person services very soon. Thank you for your understanding.
Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
SBA Disaster Assistance: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Businesses can apply for loans online through a 3-step loan process. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
U.S. Small Business Administration: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources – Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread outbreaks of COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
U.S. Department of Labor: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19: This guidance is intended for planning purposes. Employers and workers should use this planning guidance to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts, becomes available at osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
Small Business Recovery Expanded Guide: When a disaster occurs, businesses must take care of employees’ needs, communicate impact, address financial matters (e.g., insurance, disaster assistance), restore operations, and organize recovery. Here are resources to help reopen your business and make long-term recovery progress. uschamberfoundation.org/node/43168
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Coronavirus Response Toolkit: The U.S. Chamber has compiled CDC’s coronavirus recommendations for businesses and workers across the country. We continue to encourage American businesses to follow data-based guidance from the CDC and state and local officials. Below, you’ll find a sharable graphics based on the CDC’s latest guidance for businesses and employees. We encourage you to share these assets on social media, websites, and other channels, and send them to your employees. uschamber.com/coronavirus-response-toolkit
Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus: The coronavirus is causing financial difficulties for businesses across the U.S. Here are five resources that can help you navigate this difficult situation. uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus
Pinellas: Vacation rentals permitted to reopen with restrictions
State approves County’s COVID-19 safety plan for short-term rentals
Pinellas County has received approval from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for short-term rentals to resume accepting reservations and check-ins for vacation rentals, effective immediately. View Pinellas County’s Short-Term Rentals Re-Opening Plan here.
In a letter to DBPR, County Administrator Barry A. Burton pointed out that tourism supported more than 100,000 jobs and contributed more than $9 billion to the local economy in 2019, and the diversity of lodging is important to bringing back employment and visitors.
Property owners and managers will receive a copy of the plan outlining safety and sanitation measures that must be followed to reopen. Reservations from areas identified by Gov. DeSantis as high risk must be for periods longer than the required quarantine period. Guests must be advised to practice CDC-recommended social distancing, and public seating must be situated, and common areas marked, to facilitate separation.
There are numerous other requirements listed under the categories Guest Safety/Health, Employee Safety/Hygiene, Property Cleanliness, Pools & Beaches and more.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government. The effective date of both programs is April 1, and they expire on December 31, 2020.
Both programs are in addition to any leave a company already offers. The key numbers to remember with these paid leave programs are 500 and 50.
- If you have fewer than 500 employees, your business is required to provide paid leave under both programs
- If you have under 50 employees, though, you may be exempted from the requirement to provide leave under both programs (download guide to learn more)