The CEP is partnering with the City of Ocala to make available a strategic program to assist businesses in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The available program can be found below.
City of Ocala MicroEnterprise Loan
The CEP has partnered with the City of Ocala to offer a microenterprise loan program. This program is for businesses who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses can borrow up to $25,000 at 0% interest over 48 months and no payments for the first year. The loan may be forgiven if the business meets all requirements after the first 12 months. Each loan applicant will be required to receive 3 hours of pre-loan technical assistance and all loan recipients will receive 7 hours of post-loan technical assistance.
Applications Closed - Thank You
Bridge to Recovery Program
The Small Business Assistance Program seeks to assist businesses with 25 or fewer employees who have been experiencing continuing negative impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The business will need to submit an online application demonstrating the negative impact of COVID-19 and will be able to receive up to $15,000. The business will be expected to maintain the same number of employees.
Moving Forward Program
The Business Assistance Program seeks to assist businesses with 26-100 employees who have been experiencing continuing negative impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The business will need to submit an online application demonstrating the negative impact of COVID-19 and will be able to receive up to $40,000. The business will be expected to maintain the same number of employees.
Testing Capacity Enhancement Reimbursement Grant
Private labs, clinics, and physician offices can apply to be reimbursed for the purchase of equipment, testing supplies, additional space, etc. to expand their testing capabilities.
Project Operating Safely (PPE Reimbursement Program)
Project Operating Safely will provide up to $3,000 in reimbursements to local businesses with fewer than 100 employees and up to $10,000 for businesses with more than 100 employees for the purchase of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health and safety-related items and services. Businesses may apply once for a reimbursement and funds will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
Moving Biz Forward Training Programs
Training for a safer, more efficient business during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can non-profit businesses apply for the City of Ocala MicroEnterprise Loan program?
These programs are only for for-profit businesses. However, the Community Foundation will be offering similar programs for local non-profits.
What if the business is NOT located within the limits of the City of Ocala?
Currently, this program is limited to businesses that are physically located within the city limits of Ocala. This program is being provided by the City of Ocala to its local business partners at this time. The Marion County council has not launched a similar MicroEnterprise program for 2021 at this time.
What if the business is located within the City of Ocala, but the owner does not?
You are still eligible to apply for the City of Ocala 2021 MicroEnterprise Loan program
I just started my business, am I eligible for this program?
In order to be eligible, businesses must have been in operation for at least one (1) year prior to applying to this program.
I received financial support from the Marion County MicroEnterprise Loan program in 2020, am I eligible for this program?
If you successfully received the Marion County MicroEnterprise Loan from 2020, which was funded for business located in Marion County but NOT located within the city limits of Ocala, then you would NOT QUALIFY for the City of Ocala MicroEnterprise Loan program at this time.
I received PPP, EIDL or CARES ACT funds for my businesses COVID-19 support, am I still eligible for this program?
Yes you are still eligible, assuming you meet the other main criteria. Having received PPP, EIDL or CARES ACT funds does NOT disqualify you from this program on its own.
What is the Technical Assistance that I have to complete in order to participate?
The Technical Assistance (TA) is a series of meetings where you’ll be expected to discuss your business – your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your overall success – and where CEP staff will work through action steps, planning processes, etc. that will help you achieve your desired recovery & growth. TA meetings are done in person, over the phone or video call where appropriate.
What if I spend these funds on non-qualified expenses?
Any program funds that are determined to have been spent on unqualified expenses may be required to be paid back in part or in full, depending on program application status and loan grantor determinations