Orange County Launches “BOOST” Program to Support Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
ARPA Funded Small Business, Home-Based Business and Gig Worker Grants Available July 18, 2023
Orange County, FL – Orange County Government will make new grants for small businesses, home-based businesses, and gig workers available through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding beginning Tuesday, July 18, 2023. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners has dedicated $26 million to provide Business Opportunities in Orange County for Support and Transformation (BOOST) for those impacted by COVID-19.
“We want to give small businesses in our community a BOOST,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “COVID-19 impacted so many and in our second round of small business grants, it was critical that we included our gig workers who earn their living doing short-term work in multiple ‘gigs.’ I am proud of the tireless work staff has done to make this available to our eligible Orange County residents and business owners.”
Through the Orange County Small Business BOOST program small businesses may receive up to a $10,000 grant, home-based businesses may receive up to $3,000, and gig workers may receive up to $1,400. For each of the programs, applicants must provide documented business losses between 2020-2023. The program is designed to help businesses that experienced at least a 25% decline in revenue during the pandemic. The ARPA funds are reserved exclusively for businesses located in Orange County, and gig workers with residency in Orange County.
Applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements and gather required documents ahead of the online portal opening on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Full BOOST grant eligibility requirements and program criteria are available online in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole at ocfl.net/BOOST. Additionally, if residents are unable to access the internet or have a language barrier, they are asked to email BOOST@ocfl.net or call (407) 836-3111 for assistance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE ORANGE COUNTY SMALL BUSINESS BOOST PROGRAM?
The Orange County Small Business BOOST program provides grants to eligible small businesses, home-based businesses and gig workers that were impacted by COVID-19. The grants do not have to be repaid.
While the pandemic may be over, the negative consequences are still being felt. Small businesses, home-based businesses and gig workers that can demonstrate a 25% decline in revenue during the pandemic may apply. The decline in revenue must exceed the total amount of any federal, state, or local grants received by the applicant.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE ORANGE COUNTY SMALL BUSINESS BOOST GRANT?
Small businesses, home-based businesses, and gig workers located in Orange County, Florida, (including municipalities) that can demonstrate a 25% decline in revenue or more during the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for the non-repayable awards.
WHEN DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS BEGIN/END?
The application portal (www.ocfl.net/BOOST) opens on July 18, 2023, and will remain open until funds are depleted. However, information will be available on the website July 11, 2023
HOW MUCH ARE THE GRANT AWARDS?
- Small businesses may apply for a grant of up to $10,000.
- Home-based businesses may apply for a grant of up to $3,000.
- Gig workers may apply for a grant of up to $1,400.
DO I HAVE TO PAY BACK THE GRANT?
No. Recipients do not have to pay back the grant.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN ORANGE COUNTY BOOST GRANT?
Orange County small businesses, home-based businesses, and gig workers may apply to the program by visiting ocfl.net/BOOST and following the link. The application portal opens on July 18, 2023.
AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY IF I RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE CARES ACT OR HAD PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOANS FORGIVEN?
Yes, but your financial documentation must include this information. Duplication of funding across multiple funding sources for the same losses is expressly prohibited.
IS THERE A STIPULATION ON HOW THE GRANT FUNDS CAN BE USED?
The program funding can be used for business expenses related to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic such as employee wages, mortgage, rent, vendor invoices, utility bills, payroll, and other costs.