A second round of grants from the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida (UWF) will be available for eligible businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to an additional $300,000 from Gulf Power through its economic development fund. The Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program assists for-profit businesses in Northwest Florida with their immediate cash flow needs as a result of a demonstrated economic impact due to COVID-19.

“Once again we are grateful for Gulf Power’s support to continue this grant program that will benefit small businesses,” said Kelly Massey, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at UWF. “We know that many businesses across Northwest Florida continue to suffer, and a grant program like this can help a local small business make it through these challenging times.”

Gulf Power initially contributed $250,000 earlier this spring, which provided 50 local businesses with grants of up to $5,000. The application period for the second round of grants opens next week.

“We are honored to be able to provide additional assistance to our local businesses as we continue to navigate this pandemic together,” said Gulf Power President Marlene Santos. “Gulf Power is dedicated to continuing to find innovative ways to support our customers and our communities during these unprecedented times.”

The application period for the second round of grants will be open from 8 a.m. Monday, June 8, to 5 p.m. Friday, June 12. Additional eligibility requirements for a maximum grant of $5,000 include:

  • A for-profit, privately held small businesses established on or before Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Must maintain a place of business, including a physical location, within eligible Northwest Florida counties (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun and Bay).
  • Must have 11 to 29 employees.
  • Must have a demonstrated reduction in sales revenues of 25% or more due to the loss of business income related to COVID-19.

The Florida SBDC at UWF will assist eligible for-profit businesses with applying for the grant and a third-party review board has been created to review applications, determine eligibility, and approve the award of grant funding to each applicant on a case-by-case basis. The UWF Foundation will distribute the appropriate funds to businesses who have been awarded grant funds.

Grant information is now available via the SBDC website:  https://sbdc.uwf.edu/. For more information about the program or assistance with completing the grant application, contact the Florida SBDC at UWF via email at (nwfcovidgrant@gmail.com).