For Immediate Release 
September 30, 2008   

Robby Cunningham
(850) 245-7130, (850) 728-3996

Grants Approved to Help Small Business Recovery

~Up to $5,000 for Florida businesses affected by Tropical Storm Fay~

Tallahassee, FL – In a press conference with Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today, the Agency for Workforce Innovation announced it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to begin administering Florida Small Business Recovery Grants.  The Small Business Recovery Grants are designed to help Florida businesses recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Fay.

"The most challenging aspect of a tropical storm or hurricane is often the aftermath, when survivors must recover from the often extensive and expensive damage," said Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp. "The Governor and I are grateful to our partners in federal government for recognizing the needs of Florida’s small businesses. These grants will speed up the recovery for small businesses, whose success is so important to the economy of the Sunshine State."

“I have met many individuals throughout the state whose businesses suffered significant damage due to Tropical Storm Fay,” added Monesia T. Brown, Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation.  “The Agency for Workforce Innovation is committed to helping our state's businesses repair and reopen.  Small Business Recovery Grants will provide up to $5,000 to help pay for costs such as insurance deductibles, damaged equipment, and business training to help with long-term recovery efforts.”

Florida Small Business Recovery Grants are available to small businesses that are unable to maintain operations and support their workers’ continued employment, due to the effects of Tropical Storm Fay. The grants of up to $5,000 are designed to meet costs for which business insurance and loans are not available, as well as support the long-term recovery and continuity of small businesses through targeted business development training.

To be eligible, the business must:

  • Have 25 or fewer employees
  • Have an established unemployment compensation account
  • Have been in existence at least 12 months prior to the natural disaster
  • Be located in or adjacent to a county declared eligible for public and individual assistance
  • Have one or more employees unable to work as a result of Tropical Storm Fay

Allowable costs include:

  • Deductible/Co-Payment for business insurance related to the disaster
  • Replacement of damaged business equipment such as a computer or telephone network
  • Replacement and repair of items such as carpeting, fencing, windows, etc.
  • Cost of training designed to help develop a business recovery and continuity plan

Note: Funding cannot be used to pay for costs covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or business insurance

Where to apply:

Distribution of the Florida Small Business Recovery Grant is being administered by the state's Regional Workforce Boards.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation is working closely with its partners, Workforce Florida and the state's Regional Workforce Boards, along with the economic development community to provide critical workforce services throughout the state. To apply for a Florida Small Business Recovery Grant, contact your local Regional Workforce Board.

Florida’s 52 eligible counties include:

Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Columbia, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla

Other Agency disaster recovery programs:

National Emergency Grant - Funding for the Florida Small Business Recovery Grants will be provided by the $20 million National Emergency Grant applied for by the Agency for Workforce Innovation on August 22. The National Emergency Grant is designed to create temporary jobs to help with clean up activities and provide local humanitarian assistance to those affected by Tropical Storm Fay. Follow this link for more information.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance – Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a federally funded program that assists individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.  Floridians in the following 23 counties are now eligible to receive DUA: Alachua, Baker, Brevard, Collier, Duval, Gadsden, Glades, Hendry, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia and Wakulla. Funding may be requested for additional counties as further damage assessments are made.  Follow this link for more information.

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