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Ocala City Council Approves Small Business Disaster Assistance Program

Post Date:05/06/2020 5:14 PM

OCALA, Fla. (May 6, 2020) – The Ocala City Council approved the creation of a Small Business Disaster Assistance Program (SBDAP) to assist Ocala businesses that may, or may not, qualify for other assistance programs.  The newly created SBDAP will serve businesses not eligible under the City’s Economic Investment Program (EIP) or Small Business Investment Program (SBIP). The budgeted amount for this program is $100,000, which provides one-time grants of up to $2,500 for operational expenses.  Applications will be accepted on a first come, first qualified basis. The program will be suspended after current allocations have been awarded. 
 
The program will be managed by the City’s Community Development Services department.  Interested businesses will be required to provide proof of eligible costs.  If awarded, grant funds cannot be used for any payroll purposes including, but not limited to salaries, bonuses, retirement contributions or payments, or severance pay and must be used to pay for operational or other expenses not covered by other Federal, State or Local programs.  The operational expenses may include the payment of mortgages, leases and/or utility payments. 
 
Businesses applying for the program must meet the following criteria as of March 1, 2020: 
 
• Must be a locally owned business; non-chain 

• Business must be located within the city limits or the Ocala Electric Utility service territory

• Small business is defined as having 25 or fewer individuals on payroll

• Business must have been current with lease/mortgage payments, taxes and utility payments as of March 1, 2020

• Business cannot have any liens, warrants or judgments against the owner or the business

• Business cannot have any outstanding code violations at the time of application

• Non-profits and home-based businesses are ineligible 
 
Beginning May 18, 2020, applications may be made only at ocalacitygrants.org. For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Economic Development division at citygrants@ocalafl.org.