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BOCC Approves Hernando CARES Small Business Recovery Grant

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on June 24, 2020

At the June 23, 2020 regular Hernando County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Hernando County CARES Small Business Recovery Grant.

To stimulate the local economy, the Hernando CARES Program will provide recovery grants up to $5,000 to eligible small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The intent of the grant is to offset the temporary loss of revenue and assist these businesses in their efforts to recover in the aftermath of this historic global pandemic.

Eligible Businesses and Grant Amounts

Small businesses located in Hernando County since January 2020 with up to 50 employees are eligible to apply. This program provides one-time grants (not loans) as follows:

  • Brick and mortar businesses with 1 – 15 Full-Time Equivalent Employees – $2,500
  • Brick and mortar businesses with 16 – 50 Full-Time Equivalent Employees – $5,000
  • Home-based business – $1,000

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity as defined by Federal guidelines
  • Businesses that derive more than one-third of gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities
  • Publicly traded companies
  • Non-Profit entities
  • Businesses with outstanding liens, code or building code violations
  • Businesses excluded on or on the State of Florida Convicted/Suspended/Discriminatory vendor list –
  • Businesses that present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature

BOCC Approves Hernando CARES Small Business Recovery Grant

Eligible Grant Uses

This is a grant program, so no payback is required. However, funds may only be used for the approved eligible uses listed below. These funds may be considered taxable income, please contact your financial advisor for guidance.

The funds must be used to cover any of the eligible expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Expenditures cannot have been paid for under another federal program.

  • Rent           
  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Payroll
  • Miscellaneous bills as a result of COVID-19

Applicant Criteria

  • Hernando County registered business in operation as of January 1, 2020
  • 1- 50 Full-Time Equivalent Employees (Part-time and 1099 employees must be included)
  • The company may have many more part-time employees provided the total weekly hours does not exceed 600 for 1-15 employees or 2,000 for 16-50 employees
  • Must have been negatively affected by the onset of COVID-19 Pandemic (e.g., non-essential business, reduction of hours, lost revenues, furlough employees, etc.)

Application Process

These are very limited funds that will be distributed on a first-submitted, eligible, and approved application basis. Business owners may submit their complete application online at

The Office of Economic Development will not begin reviewing applications until Monday, June 29, 2020.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. There is no deadline to apply. The Hernando CARES Program has $5,000,000 available; applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted. Applicants will be notified by email of the award.

Visit for a list of application requirements, FAQs and any additional resources on the Hernando CARES Program. Applicants may contact the Hernando County Office of Economic Development at (352) 540-6400 or [email protected] for additional information.


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