weVENTURE WBC has compiled a directory of Women-Owned Businesses in Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie Counties to help consumers find and support local entrepreneurs. It is free to use and to have your business listed -
Business owners need to take precautions to make their businesses cybersecure and safe from hackers. Criminals have continued to increase their attacks on small business owners. Unlike large corporations that invest millions in securing their data, training employees on protocols, and creating multi-step processes to protect accounting data, SMEs operate much differently – often without any formalized controls or protections. According to the NFIB, most small business owners admit they are woefully underprepared and have little to no understanding of how to prevent cyber-attacks. Here are some helpful links:
COVID-19 Federal Disaster Assistance
The U.S. Small Business Adminstration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Florida small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance and download applications.
The SBA has a significant amount of resources being made available to small businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Also, the Association of Women's Business Centers has partnered with America’s SBDC to launch a consolidation of federal resources related to COVID.
The initial program was signed into law on March 28 and was rolled out beginning April 3. On June 5, Congress passed and the President signed reforms to the terms of the PPP Lending Progam, extending the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement, to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, as well as lowering the percent of a borrower's loan proceeeds that must be used for payroll costs from 75 percent to 60 percent.
The application deadline for that second round PPP ended August 8th, but with the newest relief package passed in December of 2020, this program will again be available in 2021. See below for most recent updates as information is released.
For the PPP program, the SBA is working with approved private lenders (CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) banks and credit unions) to provide further disaster assistance to small businesses. Small businesses may contact their current banking institution to see if they are an authorized lender. Download the PPP application here.
SBA has recently released additional guidance re PPP Forgiveness process:
- SBA Procedural Notice: Procedures for Lender Submission of Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Decisions to SBA and SBA Forgiveness Loan Reviews (Released July 23, 2020)
- The PPP Forgiveness Platform will go live and begin accepting Lender submissions on August 10, 2020, subject to extension if any new legislative amendments to the forgiveness process necessitate changes to the system.
- Frequently Asked Questions For Loan Forgiveness (Released 8/4/20)
UPDATE: In December of 2020, Congress passed a third COVID-19 relief bill.
On January 8th 2021, the SBA announced that PPP will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital for minority and women-owned businesses and smaller businesses who did not quailfy or have access to the first round, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. PPP will open to ALL participating lenders Tuesday January 19th.
Note, the funds for minority and women-owned small businesses via community lenders are "set aside," so business are encouraged to apply until the program closes March 31st. The early access was a perk, but businesses were NOt required to apply only in that short Jan 11-13th window. Known CDFI's in our community are Community Credit Union and the Solar Energy and Loan Fund of St. Lucie , and unfortunately there are no known Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in our region, however you can view a complete list of existing Community lenders (CDFI's) in Florida and searchable database of all community banks that may be eligible to offer PPP loans.
- Interim Final Rule: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as Amended by the Economic Aid Act (01/06/2021)
- Interim Final Rule: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw Loans
- Financial Services
Here are some other resources that may be useful right now as you research what opportunities there are to support your business:
Other Federal Resources
Department of Labor - Posters and Information to Make Available to Your Employees - see the Coronavirus Posters
Business Reboot Resources
State Assistance for Small Businesses
Applications for the Florida Disaster Bridge Loan Program are now available for submission online. Access the application online.
UPDATE: Florida had allocated $50,000,000 for this program and as of April 13, the funds are nearing their end. If you have not yet applied, you will want to pursue the SBA EIDL loan or a PPP loan from your local lender. If you had previously applied, check your application status online. Also, please note: if you received notice that you were granted the FL Bridge loan, you must sign and complete the closing documents within 48 hours or forfeit the funds.
All inquiries to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Hotline 833-832-4494
The following information is from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and outlines services and programs to assist individuals facing unemployment or layoffs. Please note that due to the high volume of applications, the system is running slowly.
County Emergency Resources for Small Businesses
On July 7th, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners authorized the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for operating a short-term economic relief program for small businesses dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is expected to provide those local businesses with the opportunity to apply for a one-time only grant – in an amount not to exceed $10,000 – while program funding exists.
If you are interested in applying for this grant, please go to www.brevardfl.gov, beginning this Monday, July 27th. Once on the landing page at the county’s website, click on the icon labeled “Brevard CARES Resources.”
Applications will only be accepted during a two-week period, beginning July 27th, so you are advised to apply quickly. There is also a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the program and a direct link to the application portal.
St. Lucie County :
Grants of up to $7,500 to be awarded to eligible small businesses
This grant program is designed for small St. Lucie based businesses with under $1 million in revenues to provide a rapid infusion of capital, with the amount of money allocated dependent on the number of business employees:
|NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES||MAXIMUM GRANT AWARD|
|0-3, including sole proprietors||$ 5,000|
These are grants not loans, so they do not have to be repaid. While the grants will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, priority will be given to those applicants that have not yet received any federal, state or local assistance related to COVID-19 impacts.This grant application period will be open from July 30, 2020 and ends August 28, 2020 (or until funds are depleted). Learn more and apply at the following links:
Other Business Resources Related to COVID-19
The Brevard Business Community has been host to informational topics relating to COVID-19.
When starting a business or growing an existing business, it is fundamental to be informed of available resources to help you move forward. It is our goal to share with you information about Florida Tech resources, community resources, and web-based resources that can help you take action and move to the next level in your business.