Small Business Relief Grant Program

Program Description and Guidelines

September 2020

 

On September, 28, 2020, the Atlantic Beach City Commission approved a plan to distribute up to $50,000 in public funds to Atlantic Beach small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The maximum grant amount is $5,000.

The funding approval was preceded by engagement with and feedback from businesses in the community, along with discussion during two City Commission meetings. All small businesses that meet eligibility requirements will be considered. 

Important Dates

  • October 5, 2020: Pre-Application process begins. (Here is the Pre-Application form.)
  • October 21, 2020: 5 p.m.: Pre-Application process is closed.  (Extended from October 19, 2020.)
  • Pre-Applications will be reviewed by staff as they are received. Eligible businesses will be notified via email with Application instructions within five business days of receipt of the Pre-Application.
  • October 28, 2020, by 5 p.m.: Application deadline with all supporting documents. (Extended from October 26, 2020.)
  • Applicants will be notified of grant approval status via email by November 9, 2020.

Introduction

Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy, particularly on small businesses, the City of Atlantic Beach is launching the Small Business Relief Grants Program to assist local businesses that have been adversely impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis.

This program is a gap-financing program in response to the COVID-19 outbreak for businesses classified as non-essential services and mandated to close. The program’s purpose is to support businesses that have reopened or are reopening with reemployment of employees, social distancing requirements, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In addition, this Program also may assist businesses opening new lines of business in response to the crisis, such as manufacturing medical supplies needed to respond to the Coronavirus disease or providing cleaning or in-home health services.

The City of Atlantic Beach has set aside $50,000 to provide grants for businesses with up to twenty-five (25) employees. Eligible businesses can receive up to a maximum of $5,000 in grant funding.

This one-time grant is to provide critical support to help City of Atlantic Beach businesses adversely affected by the Pandemic. The intent of this grant is to support those businesses with low-to-moderate income employees. Only those businesses with low-to-moderate salaries, at or below $19.59/hour, will be eligible. Grant recipients may be subject to an audit, and if grant requirements are not satisfied, grantor will be required to pay funding back.

Applications will be reviewed and scored after all are received. Grants will be approved by the City Manager. 

How Can This Grant Be Used?

To receive funding through this program, each business will be required to clearly articulate a plan for applying City grant funds for an eligible use within the typical operating expenses of the business, including: commercial rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payroll, retention of employees, employee support programs, or investments in materials or equipment necessary for reopening or operating during social distancing mandates.

Funds may not be utilized to pay bonuses, commissions, dividends, or salary increases. This is a grant, not a loan, therefore repayment is not required unless funds are not used for eligible expenses. These grants may be considered taxable income, so please contact your financial advisor for guidance. 

Who is Eligible?

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • City of Atlantic Beach-based and independently operated;
  • Physically established within the City of Atlantic Beach;
  • Home-based businesses are eligible;
  • Operate within the designated eligible business categories;
  • With the exception of restaurants, have a minimum of one employee, other than the owner, and no more than 25 employees* on payroll;
  • Demonstrate a loss of revenue due to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrate working capital for business operations as of February 28, 2020 (as indicated in the Balance Sheet or other documentation deemed acceptable by the City);
  • Demonstrate payment of 2019 city business tax payment and 2018 Federal Income and Property Taxes (if applicable);
  • Be free of outstanding code enforcement and nuisance violations for the last 12 months, and not owe any code enforcement fines.

*Employees is defined as full or part-time direct employees under a W-2. May include employees managed through a Professional Employer Organization, 1099 or independent contractors are not included in the employee count, however, if 50% of the business workers are 1099 independent contractors, the total number of employees including w-2 and 1099 should not exceed 25.

 Eligible Business Categories

  • Restaurant (includes full-service, limited-service, and café establishments)
  • Bar
  • Retail (physical brick-and-mortar establishment selling merchandise)
  • Personal Service
  1. Hair, beauty, and other personal services (salons, barbers, massage parlors, tattoo, spas, etc.)
  2. Personal care services (child, disabled and elderly care services, funeral services, etc.)
  3. Laundry services (dry cleaning, laundromats, garment repairs and alterations, etc.)
  4. Cleaning services
  5. Pet care services
  • Personal and household goods repairs and maintenance
  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Event spaces and services
  • Professional services
  • Contractors
  • Small businesses that meet all eligibility criteria but are not included on this list may apply if proper eligibility documentation is provided.

How Do I Apply?

Please complete the Pre-Application form and, upon receiving a Notification to Proceed, please complete the Application. The purpose of the Pre-Application is to confirm the number of prospective applicants before the Applications are submitted. A representative from the City of Atlantic Beach will respond to Pre-Applications via email within five business days of receiving them. If the Pre-Application is approved, the prospective applicant will be emailed an Application with instructions. If the Pre-Application is rejected, the Applicant will be notified by email, accordingly. Pre-Applications and Applications will be accepted via email, delivery, or U.S. Mail.

Email to:

khogencamp@coab.us

Deliver* or Mail to:

            Small Business Relief Grant Program

Attention: City Manager’s Office

800 Seminole Road

Atlantic Beach, FL 32233

 

(*Deliveries may be made into the City Hall Drop Box)

To consider applications in an equitable manner, a priority scale will be applied, to include:

  • Length of contiguous operation of the business in Atlantic Beach: Priority will be given to businesses that have been in operation longer than newly established businesses;
  • Annual revenues: Priority will be given to businesses that report annual revenues of less than $500,000;
  • Financials: Priority will be given to businesses that can demonstrate the ability to continue to operate for at least three months after receiving the grant;
  • To ensure equity in grant distribution, in the case of multiple small businesses owned by the same proprietor, an award will be given to only one of the applying businesses; and
  • Businesses that have received funding from other state or federal government sources, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA Bridge Loan, are eligible to apply; however priority will be given to businesses that have not received state or federal funding. 

Grant applications must include the following documentation (Do not include these documents with Pre-Application; rather, please wait for instructions on submitting an Application.):

  • State of Florida business registration from the Florida Division of Corporations
  • Current W-9
  • Copy of government or official identification, such as Driver’s License, State ID, school ID (with photo), voter registration, or passport. Name on ID must match owner(s) on the W-9 or business financial documents presented
  • Copy of filed 2018 business tax returns (first two pages only)
  • Current City of Atlantic Beach business tax receipt/business license 
  • Business Financials (one of the following)
  1. Schedule C (Sole Proprietors)
  2. Most recent Annual or Quarterly Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Statement;
  • Documentation of loss of income (may be already specified in business financials provided) and comparison of bank statements (if P&L was not provided);
  • Full employee list (as of January 31, 2020 and as of April 30, 2020). List must include each employee’s name, position, and hourly salary; and
  • If requesting rent/mortgage assistance: Copy of lease (including landlord address and phone number, if applicable) or copy of mortgage statement (if applicable).

Interested in the program but don’t meet the grant program qualifications? Please let us know. We want to hear from you in the event there is a future round of funding for small businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Questions? Need more information? Email khogencamp@coab.us.