Businesses in Sanford that have not received federal assistance in response to the Covid-19 mandated shut-downs may be able to qualify for help from the city of Sanford.
The Sanford City Commission on Monday night approved spending $245,000 for economic sustainability programs. Businesses that qualify would receive up to $15,000, and in most cases have up to 90 days to spend the money to help them reopen or ramp up operations.
The commission will assess the program at its June 8 to see if the programs need more money.
Mayor Jeff Triplett said after the meeting that although the city will face budget constraints because of declining sales tax receipts for the last 8 weeks, the city commission thought it was important to help small business.
“It’s not a lot of money, but it can help some of those truly mom-and-pop businesses that couldn’t access the federal funds that the big guys got,” Mayor Jeff Triplett said after the meeting. “
Economic Development Project Manager Sonia Fonseca said she expects to have the applications available at City Hall this week. In addition, City Manager Norton Bonaparte must create a staff committee that will review the applications to determine which businesses qualify.
There will be 3 grant programs that businesses may qualify for, but no business will receive more than $15,000 total. Businesses will only need to submit one application to apply for all 3 programs.
“We want to make it simple for the businesses, so they can submit one application, and the review committee will put them in the program that fits best for them,” Fonseca said.
The 3 grants include:
- Reemployment program, which is specifically for tourism/hospitality businesses to rehire employees.
- Emergency Business Assistance program, which can be used for a wide range of expenses, including rent, utilities, Covid-related building modifications, personal protective equipment, inventory, etc.
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program which is designed specifically for businesses whose workforce is made up of at least 50% low to moderate income.
To qualify for all 3 programs, businesses can NOT have received money from the Payroll Protection Program or other federal assistance and must be:
- Classified as a non-essential business that was mandated to close or modify operations during the stay-at-home orders issued by federal, state or local governments.
- Reopening under Phase 1 executive orders issued by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
- Rehiring at least 3 employees, which can include the owner.
- Compliant with all city codes, including up-to-date licenses and permits.
- Current on all state and local taxes.
- Located within the city limits.
For more information about the city of Sanford’s economic sustainability programs, call the Economic Development department at 407-562-2820 or 407-688-5007.