There’s still time for residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19 to apply for help through Pinellas CARES – but you must submit before November 13.
Pinellas CARES programs include help with rent, mortgage and utilities for residents, and grants for small businesses. According to Pinellas County, the programs have helped more than 11,800 residents and businesses during the pandemic, but the chance to apply for help is coming to a close.
To be considered, completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 13. Apply now at cares.pinellas.gov
According to the county, the November 13 deadline was set so that the county can meet federal guidelines requiring CARES funds to be distributed by December 30, unless Congress extends the deadline.
Help for residents is a little different than help for businesses.
Individuals and families can apply for rent, mortgage and utility assistance up to $5,000 per household for overdue bills since March 1, 2020. You must attest to job or income loss from COVID-19, and prove that you have no more than $10,000 in cash, checking or savings, with supporting documentation.
Folks are encouraged to apply as quickly as possible. The county says the program “is experiencing a high volume of requests. Payments will take several weeks to arrive from the time documents are submitted for review.”
Already received help or had trouble qualifying? You can still apply again, with a maximum of $5,000 per household, if you qualify.
Local business grants up to $10,000 are available for Pinellas-based businesses “most affected by the pandemic,” meaning your business was “required to shut down, or whose customers were required to shut down or stop doing business.”
There are several grant options for businesses:
- Sliding Scale Grants: $2,500 to $10,000 grants for businesses making between $17,000 and $3 million in gross annual revenue.
- Health & Safety Matching Grants: Up to $10,000 to assist Target Industry businesses in implementing COVID-19 upgrades and safety precautions.
- Business Diversity and Arts Microgrants: For businesses that don’t qualify for other grants, this option helps “strengthen their business through direct financial assistance and professional services, including help with post-COVID business planning, record-keeping and preparing documents needed to apply for other types of grant funding.”
Check out a detailed list of business grant qualifications and apply at pced.org/cares.
According to the county, businesses that have already applied for or received funding from local city programs may still be eligible for this program; businesses that apply Pinellas CARES assistance can also apply for current or future city grants.
The county encourages people to “take their time to submit a full application, including all required documentation, for the quickest response.”