The eligibility criteria for businesses to obtain funding from the $16 million Lake CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program will be expanded on Sept. 8th as the program moves into Phase II. In addition to accepting applications from qualifying for-profit businesses deemed “non-essential,” qualifying non-profit organizations and Chambers of Commerce in Lake County, applications will begin being accepted from qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19 that were deemed “essential.” The expanded criteria will include the following:

• Eligible businesses and organizations: essential and non-essential for-profit businesses, non-profit (501c3) organizations and Chambers of Commerce.
• Awards to qualified businesses and organizations will range from $2,000 to $10,000 as follows:
o Self-employed / sole proprietor: $2,000
o Businesses with 2-9 employees: $5,000
o Businesses with 10-50 employees: $7,500
o Businesses with more than 50 employees: $10,000
o Non-profit’s and Chambers of Commerce (no employee requirement): $5,000

Applications for Phase II will be accepted from Sept. 8 to Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. Current eligibility requirements are at https://www.elevatelake.com/reopen#cares.

The County is preparing the plan on how to most effectively allocate an additional $48 million in CARES Act funding allocated to Lake County to reach as many segments of the community as possible within the Federal and State parameters. The focus is on assisting more businesses and residents, while also potentially providing workforce and education assistance, enhancing EMS communications infrastructure and assisting local governments.

Step-by-step instructions, frequently asked questions, and eligibility criteria are available at http://www.reopenlake.com to help guide applicants through the process. Additionally, the CARES Act program helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (352) 268-9299. (Note: Closed this Monday due to Labor Day holiday) Applicants may also email grant@elevatelake.com with questions about the program and someone from the Grant Administrative Team will respond in a timely manner.

If our team can assist you in any other way, please call (352) 343-9647 or email us at info@elevatelake.com or visitlake@lakecountyfl.gov.

Stay safe and healthy,
Your Elevate Lake & Visit Lake Team

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