Community Assistance Grants/Programs

Through Federal CARES Act funding, Okaloosa County and cities within, have joined together to offer a variety of grants and other programs to help our communities cope with the affects of COVID-19. The assistance includes categories for businesses, non-profits and individuals.

For information on scheduled CARES Grant workshops click HERE.  A help hotline is available at 850-598-7956. To apply online visit okaloosacountycares.comConsidering a paper application? They may be returned to OkaloosaCARES c/o The Integrity Group; 2120 Killarney Way; Tallahassee, FL 32309 or emailed at okaloosacountycares@theintegritygroup.net.


Summary of Grants/Programs

COVID-19 continues to challenge our community and affect our way of life. While we are going through a difficult time now, we know there will be brighter days ahead.  We remain focused on how we can better support our residents, businesses, workers, and the community-at-large.

In order to ensure a successful economic recovery of our area from the virus, we are supplying more than $5.6 million dollars in assistance to businesses and individuals.

It is our expectation that, by fulfilling our role in economic recovery, we will come back from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever before.

We encourage you to apply for and utilize these financial resources and be a part of our successful recovery.

Most Sincerely,

 

Robert A. “Trey” Goodwin III, Chairman

Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners


These strategies are intended to give our local community some much-needed relief from the negative effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.The application portal for the CARES Act grants are now open. Click HERE to visit the application portal. You will find the varying qualifications and deadlines within the portal. Time is of the essence for many of these grants. A hotline has been established for assistance at 850-598-7956. For information on scheduled CARES Grant workshops click HERE. To apply now visit okaloosacountycares.com. A help hotline is available at 850-598-7956. 

  1. Small Business CARES Micro Grant  
  2. Small Business  CARES Relief Grant
  3. Nonprofit CARES Grant
  4. Small Business Retrofit CARES Grant
  5. Individual Medical CARES Grant
  6. Small Business PPE CARES Grant
  7. Housing Assistance CRF Grant 
  8. Reemployment Assistance 

Small Business Micro CARES Grant

Small Business Micro Grant Program Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $2,000 Grant Application Period: (Approx. 4 weeks) October 12-November 9th. Click HERE to apply.

Grant Overview:

  • Individual business grant to pay for small business losses and expenses causally related to the COVID-19 pandemic or its effects. Applicants may submit for a grant amount of up to $2,000.
  • Eligible grantees may be awarded funds in multiple disbursement rounds with an initial funding target of up to $1,000. The maximum amount of funding disbursed with any grant will be dependent on the number of applicants, and the total availability of funds, until such funds are exhausted.
  • At no point will the individual business receive grant funding that exceeds the actual loss amount demonstrated.
  • The grant is designed to assist small businesses and to assist individual contractors such as food truck operators, small LLC’s, at-home businesses, and other non-brick-and-mortar businesses that have experienced losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click HERE for Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Small Business Relief CARES Grant

Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $20,000 Grant Application Period: (2 weeks) October 12-October 26th. Click HERE to apply.

Grant Overview:

  • Individual businesses may receive this grant to offset costs resulting from business interruption due to COVID-19 experienced by the business between March 1, 2020, and October 10, 2020. 
  • Applicants may apply for the maximum $20,000.00 grant. Eligible grantees may be awarded funds in multiple disbursement rounds with an initial funding target of up to $10,000. The maximum amount of funding disbursed with any grant will be dependent on preference/prioritization, the number of applicants, and the total availability of funds, until funds are exhausted. 
  • At no point will the individual business receive grant funding that exceeds the actual loss amount demonstrated. 
  • Must show evidence that applicant business was financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Minimum application amount is $1,000.00. 

Click HERE For Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Nonprofit CARES Grant

Community Non-Profit Program/Service Grant Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $25,000 Grant Application Period: (2 weeks) October 12-October 26th. Click HERE to apply.

Grant Overview:

  • Applicants may apply for grant amounts up to $25,000. Eligible grantees may be awarded funds in multiple disbursement rounds with an initial funding target of up to $10,000. The maximum amount of funding disbursed with any grant will be dependent on preference/prioritization, the number of applicants, and the total availability of funds, until such funds are exhausted
  • Funding is for programs and services offered by non-profit entities that serve families and individuals in Okaloosa County specifically impacted by COVID-19. • Funding is for non-profit programs’ technology changes necessary due to
  • Funding is for non-profit programs’ technology changes necessary due to COVID-19 in order to continue to provide same services in a COVID-19 environment. Information Technology awards for this grant are limited to $2,500 maximum.
  • Grant award preference will be afforded to funding for non-profits' food pantries and medical services serving Okaloosa County Citizens
  • Funding is also for other COVID-19 related programs or services offered or provided by non-profit entity serving Okaloosa County Citizens.
  • Not Eligible for Grant: Daycares and schools.
  • Expenses must have been unplanned and unbudgeted as of the non-profit organization’s most recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020.

Click HERE for Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Small Business Retrofit CARES Grant

Small Business Retrofit/Adaptation Grant Program Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $20,000 Grant Application Period: (2 weeks) October 12-October 26th. Click HERE to apply. 

Grant Overview:

  • Individual business grant to pay for business adaptation and modification expenses related to COVID-19.
  • Applicants may submit for a grant amount of up to $20,000.00. Eligible grantees may be awarded funds in multiple disbursement rounds with an initial funding target of up to $10,000. The maximum amount of funding disbursed with any grant will be dependent on preference/prioritization, the number of applicants, and the total availability of funds, until such funds are exhausted.
  • Examples of eligible expenses include actual or proposed business modification expenses related to physically and/or functionally adapting the applicant business to meet officially required or recommended official guidance related to COVID-19 with the overall goal to make operation of the business safer for employees and/or the public. For prospective applications, amounts are based on reimbursable expenses. All work must be completed with receipts/ fully documented and submitted, prior to close-of-business December 10th. Failure to meet the documentation submittal deadline will result in denial of any reimbursement, regardless of eligibility.
  • Information technology (IT) improvements will be a lower grant award priority and those IT improvements not directly tied to customer contact and service will not be eligible for grant award.
  • COVID-19 related IT improvement reimbursement will be capped at $2,500 to the location/facility.
  • HVAC improvements are not eligible for this grant award.
  • Examples of eligible business adaptations and expenses may include, but are not limited to:
    • Erecting counter separation barriers o Increasing height of restaurant separation booths,
    • Adding a customer drive-thru, mobile device application for paperless menu
    • Restriping/signage for pickup lanes/spaces
    • Social distancing separation staging stickers
    • COVID-19 safety signage o Similar business delivery improvements.
  • Applications for this grant must indicate a minimum $1000 expenditure or planned expenditure of at least that amount. 

Click HERE for Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Individual Medical CARES Grant

Individual Medical Grant Program Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $3,000 per individual Grant Application Period: Open until November 30, 2020. Click HERE to apply

Grant Overview:

  • Will provide up to $1,000 per individual for COVID-19 related medical expenses not involving overnight or inpatient hospitalization. Ex. Testing, Medication, Outpatient Treatments, etc.
  • Will provide up to $2,000 per individual for COVID-19 related medical expenses involving overnight or inpatient hospitalization of at least one (1) night.
  • Will provide up to $3,000 per individual for COVID-19 related medical expenses involving overnight or inpatient hospitalization of at least three (3) nights and/or admittance into the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Applicants may only apply [and receive funding] one time from this grant program.
  • Grant is designed to provide relief for medical expenses including testing, prescription medications, breathing treatments, therapeutics, co-pays, and deductibles related to COVID-19 medical treatment during the covered period between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
  • Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2020, or until available grant funds are depleted, whichever occurs earlier. Awards will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click HERE for Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Small Business PPE CARES Grant

Small Business PPE Grant Program Potential Maximum Grant: Up to $2,000 Grant Application Period: (Approx. 4 weeks) October 12-November 9th. Click HERE to apply.

Grant Overview:

  • Individual business grants to pay for business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) expenses. Applicants may submit for a grant amount of up to $2,000.
  • Eligible grantees may be awarded funds in multiple disbursement rounds with an initial funding target of up to $1,000. The maximum amount of funding disbursed with any grant will be dependent on preference/prioritization, the number of applicants, and the total availability of funds, until such funds are exhausted.
  • For business-related costs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitization supplies related to COVID-19 that directly impacted applicant business’s employees and customers when such cost was not otherwise allocated, sold, or charged to the customer.
  • Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Personal Protection Equipment- Masks, Face Shields, Gowns, booties, and Tyvek suits.
    • Disinfectants and Sanitation Equipment and Supplies- Hand Sanitizer Gel, New Hand Sanitization Stations, and Disinfecting Wipes.
    • Contracted Sterilization and Cleaning- Microbial Cleaning/Sterilization through a third-party contractor. o Wellness Monitoring Temperature Checking Devices, Employee COVID Testing paid for by the business.
    • Social Distancing Mitigation Efforts- floor stickers, posted signage, and Tensabarriers for crowd or customer queuing.

Click HERE for Application, Eligibility and Required Documentation.

Housing Assistance Grant (CRF) 

Coronavirus Relief Fund – CRF Applications will be accepted beginning August 12, 2020 and will end December 1, 2020. In general, the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are being channeled through the County SHIP network in order to get funds out to those households that need assistance as quickly as possible. These funds can be used to pay eligible costs from March 1, 2020 through Dec 31, 2020.

  • Rental and Utility Assistance
  • Mortgage and Utility Assistance
  • Housing Re-Entry Assistance (Can pay security deposit if move is necessary due to COVID-19)

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Reemployment Resources

Covid-19 has created many challenges for our community, affecting our very way of life. While we know we're going through a difficult time, we also know that there will be brighter days. We remain focused on how we can better support our residents, businesses and workers within our community. We have gathered job seeker resources, links and videos from experts, who strive to help provide reemployment assistance.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE