Update to CARES Act Funding to Assist Lake County Businesses and Residents


The eligibility criteria for businesses to obtain funding from the $16 million Lake CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program will be expanded on Sept. 8 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:
    • Self-employed / sole proprietor: $2,000
    • Businesses with 2-9 employees: $5,000
    • Businesses with 10-50 employees: $7,500
    • Businesses with more than 50 employees: $10,000
    • 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 Coronavirus Relief Fund Housing Assistance Program began accepting applications on Aug. 10 for individuals and families to receive assistance with past due rental, mortgage, and utility bills, utilizing $2 million in state and federal dollars allocated to Lake County. The program provides up to $3,000 per household. Lake County received more than 1,000 applications for the program. The deadline to submit an application at https://lakecountyfl.submittable.com/submit is Sept. 11. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. Applicants not receiving an award before the program’s funding is depleted will remain on file for processing if the program receives additional funds.

                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.