Small business grants available in SLC for economic assistance during pandemic
ST. LUCIE COUNTY — With the goal of providing some economic relief and a rapid infusion of capital to smaller businesses that were hardest hit in St. Lucie County during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new program is being launched that offers grants to local businesses. Business with up to 3 employees will be eligible for grants up to $5,000 and businesses with 4 to 10 employees will be eligible for grants up to $7,500.
The application process launched on Monday, Aug/ 3. These grants, which do not have to be repaid, will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying businesses with 10 or fewer employees and total revenue of less than $1 million. Grants may be used to cover expenses during a forced closure and incurred to safely reopen. Grant funds will not be approved to replace lost revenue.
Funding is available to businesses economically injured due to the pandemic and businesses mandated to close or curtail operations due to COVID-19. They include small businesses in hardest hit industries such as hospitality, retail, entertainment, food and beverage, and personal services.
The application process will be conducted in phases, with priority given to businesses that did not receive any funding through other federal, state or local programs related to COVID-19. Other eligibility requirements also apply and should be reviewed carefully before spending time submitting an application.
Grant funds can be used to cover mortgage, rent, utilities, reopening costs and new operational expenses needed to ensure safety measures are in place.
“We anticipate high demand for these grants and encourage all eligible small businesses to apply. We’ve made the process as simple as possible, with a web portal www.recoverstlucie.org that contains guidelines and eligibility requirements, as well as a checklist of documents needed before completing the online application,” said Cathy Townsend, Chair of the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners. “I encourage everyone to make sure they continue to be safe and healthy.”
If all necessary documentation is pulled together in advance it can take as little as 30 minutes to complete the application. Incomplete or inaccurate information could lead to a delay in processing or denial. Technical assistance is also available to help business owners complete the application.
“We want this critical infusion of capital in the hands of small business owners who need it the most. Beyond this grant funding, we also have many other support programs for small business owners through our Virtual Business Recovery Center as well as counseling, workforce development and training services through the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College and CareerSource Research Coast,” said Pete Tesch, President of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC).
Workforce training and development programs provided through CareerSource Research Coast help qualifying St. Lucie County for-profit businesses not only avert layoffs but also train new and/or existing employees to meet new market demands. These programs also provide area residents with short-term training opportunities designed to prepare them to re-enter the workforce. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $10,000.
St. Lucie County received $13.8 million from the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are being used to assist residents as well as businesses, with about $4 million allocated specifically for small business assistance grants. The application process is being administered by St. Lucie County in partnership with the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County.
For more detailed small business assistance grant information, including eligibility requirements and the online application, go to www.recoverstlucie.org or call 772.336.6285.
Businesses need to be prepared for hurricane season
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College urges small businesses to prepare for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
According to a June 4 updated forecast by Colorado State University, the season is predicted to be above normal with 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major ones.
In 2019, Florida faced multiple threats and one close catastrophe with Hurricane Dorian, but no official landfalls impacted the state.
The development center encourages businesses to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season by developing... Read more >>
Vero Beach State Farm agent makes donation to Gifford Youth Orchestra
David Hedges, StateFarm Agent in Vero Beach, made a $500 donation to the Gifford Youth Orchestra, stating that he had watched the organization over the last few years and his staff went to the March Crystal Gazing fundraiser and were so impressed with the work being done with the young musicians that he wanted to help.
Program direct Iva Powell-Perry and board member Jim Parks were on hand to receive the check.
• Your profile or ad will appear in the Port St. Lucie Medical Section of the fall issue of Port St. Lucie Magazine. You can choose between a traditional ad or a biography that will appear in our Medical Profiles Section. Participation includes a free listing in our Port St. Lucie Medical directory.
Thank You Section for First Responders, Front Liners and Veterans
• Your ad will appear in our special Thank You Section for First Responders, Front Liners & Veterans in the fall issue of Port St. Lucie Magazine, a full-color, glossy magazine highlighting the best Port St. Lucie offers. Take this opportunity to thank First Responders, Front Liners and Veterans with a special message and/or special discount/promotion for all they have done for our community.
For more information about the Annual Port St. Lucie Medical Report, click here
For more information about the Thank You Section for First Responders, Front Liners and Veterans, click here
Bike sale to be held at Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy
Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy will host a bike sale on Saturday, August 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and will happen at the Youth Guidance facility, located across from Vero Beach City Hall at 1028 20th Street.
Used adult and children’s bikes will be sold at an affordable cost. Customers will receive 10% off their purchases by completing the online safety course at BikeWalkIRC.org. All proceeds from the sale will benefit Youth Guidance and Bike Walk Indian River County (BWIRC).
This summer, Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy added bike mechanics to its growing number of vocational programs. The program was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Bike Walk Indian River County (BWIRC) and Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks (OIBK).
Several of the bikes up for sale have been repaired by students in the program with oversight from adult mentors at Bike Walk Indian River County.
“The students and mentors at Bike Walk of Indian River County have worked very hard repairing bikes this summer, and they are ready to see them enjoyed by the community,” said Phil Barnes, Youth Guidance Executive Director.
In addition to the bike mechanic training program, Youth Guidance plans to add gardening, cosmetology, cooking, home economics, plumbing, and boat/auto repair within the next year.
To learn more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy, become a mentor, or make a donation, please call 772-492-3933 or visit www.youthguidanceprogram.org.
To learn more about Bike Walk Indian River County, become a volunteer, or make a donation, please call 804-690-9720 or visit www.bikewalkIRC.org.
Three years in a row, PSL wins awards from the Building Officials Association of Florida
Building upon the City’s strategic goal of being a high-performing government organization, the City of Port St. Lucie is grinning at winning, for the third year in a row, an award from the Building Officials Association of Florida.
PSL Construction Inspector John Wolf was named 2020 Building Inspector of the Year by the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF). He has served as an on-site inspector for many large projects over the years, including Torrey Pines Institute, Tamco, Clover Park, Riverside Shopping Center and Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital. John will accept the award at the virtual 2020 BOAF Conference in late September. The BOAF annual awards program is presented each year and celebrates individuals who have exemplified outstanding performance in their category.
In 2018, Inspector Condane Rolle was named Building Inspector of the Year by the Building Officials Association of Florida. In 2019, two Port St. Lucie Building Department employees were named among the top in their fields in Florida. PSL Building Administrator Joel Dramis was named Building Official of the Year and Building Construction Plans Examiner/Inspector Louis Hatten was named Plans Examiner of the Year.
“John consistently demonstrates the qualities of integrity, professionalism and dedication in his service,” Dramis stated. “John represents the spirit of public service to the enforcement of codes and standards in the interest of our City’s public safety. He has received many accolades from those directly involved in the project, stating they have benefited from having his guidance as the project progressed. Our department motto is ‘It Starts with a Good Foundation,’ John and the other recipients are not only building a better department for today but forming a foundation for the future. We build champions!”
The Building Official of the Year award is presented to a member whose contribution to the code enforcement profession is meritorious and worthy of recognition. Winners of this award have demonstrated professional abilities; are recognizable as an example for all members of the code enforcement profession; and have furthered the cause of safety in the built environment within their jurisdiction and state.
Remember Treasure Coast nonprofits
If you are in a position, consider a gift to a Treasure Coast nonprofit affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Find the needs of many area nonprofits and how to give at treasurecoastnonprofits.com
Let’s stay open St. Lucie!
As Florida continues to experience daily growth in Covid-19 cases, the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce would like to remind you how important it is to continue the reopening process. Double digit unemployment is not sustainable and contradictory to a healthy economy.
Our nation is facing formidable obstacles in the fight against this global pandemic. Risky behavior could result in a backslide of restrictions. With so much at stake, we want to encourage you to maintain minimum safety standards and are asking for cooperation of courtesy. Let’s err on the side of caution. Social distance, wash your hands, sanitize, and wear a mask. In a time where many of us are feeling helpless, there is something you can do. Protect yourself, your family, your friends, and your co-workers. It doesn’t matter what you believe, or what you are fighting for, you’re doing it for others, not for yourself! Let’s stay open St. Lucie!
Disposable masks, cloth masks and sanitizer are in stock and available through the chamber. Click here.
As a service to readers and restaurants on the Treasure Coast, Indian River Magazine Inc. has created a website directory of restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries in St. Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties. The site includes hours of operation, if carryout/delivery is available, as well as popular dishes. See the site at treasurecoastrestaurants.com
Does your business have news of a reopening or change in operations due to COVID-19 that you would like us to share with readers of this newsletter?
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• In Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie contact Lisa Crawford at [email protected] or 516.721.0848.
• In Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound contact Marsha Lange at [email protected]