Press Release (July 10, 2020) – As Hillsborough County’s small businesses redesign their spaces and even redefine their business models to confront the disruption caused by COVID-19, Hillsborough is offering financial relief to help business owners restart their business.

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Small business owners throughout Hillsborough County who were forced to close by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will be able to apply for more than $100 million in relief money on Monday, July 13, as the County’s Rapid Response Recovery Program (R3) enters application Phase 2.

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Hillsborough County’s R3 program is designed to maximize the impact of the federal CARES Act funding. The initiative has created programs to quickly inject strategic funding that can do the most economic good in the fastest timeframe, target communities in the greatest need, and simplify the application process for businesses.

During Phase 2 of the program, business can qualify for funding from one of three different programs:

  • Kickstart Small Business – up to $10,000 in working capital, for businesses with up to $1 million in annual revenue
  • Back to Work – up to $2,000 per employee in payroll incentives to hire or rehire workers, for businesses with up to $5 million in annual revenue
  • Safe at Work – up to $10,000 matching reimbursement for the cost of qualifying workplace improvements directly related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, for businesses with up to $5 million in annual revenue
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Businesses applying for the program must have reopened in some form to apply. Phase 2 of the program focuses on:

  • Businesses located anywhere in Hillsborough County
  • Businesses deemed non-essential or forced to close by COVID-19 government orders
  • Reopened small businesses
  • Businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue for the Kickstart Small Business and less than $5 million in annual revenue for the Back to Work and Safe at Work programs

Business owners can only receive funds from one of the three programs. Information is available on the County’s website at www.hcflgov.net/r3Biz to help business owners decide which program would be best for them. Residents also can call Hillsborough County Economic Recovery Financial Assistance Support Line at (888) 393-7509 weekdays between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A video about the program can be found here.

The first phase of applications for businesses in economically distressed areas opened on June 30. Money is set aside for businesses in each phase of the R3 rollout, so businesses outside of these areas will still have an opportunity to apply.

The third phase will begin in about two weeks. The Kickstart Small Business program will be available to all qualifying Hillsborough County businesses with revenue under $3 million. Businesses applying for the Back to Work and Safe at Work money with annual revenue of less than $20 million can apply.

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