Local Financial Assistance Programs

Industry News,

Due to the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, the state, and local governments have developed many assistance programs for those affected by the virus. In an effort to assist residents, we have provided a brief overview of some state, and local programs aimed to assist residents who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Please scroll down to find various local government assistance programs. 

State Assistance

Reemployment Assistance

Reemployment Assistance provides financial assistance and reemployment services to those unemployed in the State of Florida. Please click here to learn more about Reemployment Assistance. To apply for Florida’s Reemployment Assistance, please click here.*

*Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has reported issues with filing initial claims because the agency's online system keeps crashing and the call center is overloaded. In response to these issues, the DEO has allowed residents to download the application from the agency's site and mail it in. Residents can also go to CareerSource locations, which provide the applications and assist them with submitting it. To find your local CareerSource Center, please click here. FedEx is also offering free printing and mailing of the forms at more than 100 storefronts across the state

Note: The Governor issued Executive Order 20-104 on April 16th, which suspended the biweekly reporting of "actively seeking work" requirement for claimants of unemployment benefits. Those who have obtained unemployment benefits from the State of Florida to do not have to fullfill the traditional requirement of reporting their search for employment to the state until the expiration of Executive Order 20-52. 

Short Time Compensation

Short-Time Compensation (STC) permits pro-rated Reemployment Assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a STC plan to avoid total layoff of some employees. Please click here to learn more. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

On April 30, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Children and Families announced that the SNAP recipients' maximum monthly allotment will be increased. The increase in maximum monthly allotment has been extended through July, and will likely be extended again for the month of August. Please click here to learn more or to apply for SNAP benefits.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation

On June 25th, the Governor announced that he will allocate $250 million in CARES Act funds for housing relief. Administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), $120 million will be provided in short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio. FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month. The rental assistance will be available to help pay a household’s rent for eligible months from July through December 2020. The household may be eligible for assistance to pay rent arrearages accrued during the months of April, May and June 2020.

  • FHFC property managers and owners seeking assistance for their residents must apply for these funds. To learn more about receiving these funds, please click on the link below.

Funds for FHFC Properties 

A separate pool of $120 million will be released to counties based on a county’s reemployment assistance rate for the determined disbursement period. These funds would be used for rental and homeowner assistance programs such as new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing cost assistance, emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19. The allocation also includes $200,000 for technical assistance to local governments. On July 17th, the Governor announced an inital $75 million would be released. The state will determine if more is needed at a later date.

  • For a list of the intial $75 million released to local governments to be used for rent/mortgage relief, please click on the link below. It is important to note that these funds may replenish a local relief fund that had previously exhuasted its funds.

Allocated funds to local municipalities 

Local Government Assistance Programs In NCFAA

Alachua County CARES Individual Assistance Program

  • The county recently designated $21.1 million for Individual Assistance Grants. This money can go towards rent, mortgage, utility, internet, phone and car payment assistance. Eligibility requirements include showing proof of difficulty making payments for basic living expenses. Applicants will need to provide a documented issue related to COVID-19 (i.e. furloughed / laid off). Applicant's income may not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income. Maximum assistance can be up to $5,000. The first-round of grants will be up to $2,500 with the possibility of up to an additional $2,500 in the future as funding allows. Please click here to learn more. 

Note: Applications opened on August 4th. 

Alachua County CARES Individual Assistance FAQ

Alachua County CARES Business Assistance Programs

  • Alachua County has designated $7.5 million for Small Business Relief Grants – 25 employees and less. Alachua County has designated an additional $7.5 million for Medium Business Relief Grants – 25 to 50 employees. Applicants must provide documented lost profit from required closure. Applicants must also provide proof of documented employees (non-owner/family) remaining on payroll while on required closure. Maximum grants may be up to $10,000 total. Please click here to learn more.

Note: Applications open on August 10th. 

Gainesville GNVCARES About Neighbors Program

  • This program is designed to assist households who are in the extremely-low, very-low, low, and moderate income categories that were financially impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic with temporary rent/mortgage and utility payments for up to 6 months, not to exceed $2,500. Please click here to learn more.

Note: Applications closed on May 17th. 

Gainesville GNVCARES About Businesses Program

  • This program aims to assist small businesses experiencing disruption and/or losses due to the COVID-19 crisis with a $5,000 working capital grant to cover payroll, rent and utilities. Please click here to learn more.

Note: Applications closed on May 20th.

Coronavirus Relief Fund Utility Assistance Program

  • The program is designed to provide temporary financial assistance to Gainesville residents in extremely low-, very low- and low-and-moderate-income households through utility payments for energy, water, cable, phone (landline and cell) and/or internet services. The new program is estimated to receive about $350,000 and expected to assist more than 250 Gainesville households. Please click here to learn more. 

Note: Applications opened on Sept. 15th. The online application process will remain open until Dec. 15, 2020, or until all funds have been depleted

Gainesville Catholic Charities

  • A number of low income programs are offered to families in a crisis situation. Main office 1701 NE Ninth Street
    Gainesville, Florida 32609. Number for rent & utility assistance is (352) 224-6444. A second office is at 15 SE 1st Avenue, High Springs, Florida 32655, dial (352) 372-0294.

Marion County Community Services Rent Assistance

  • Marion County Community Services is providing rental and mortgage payment assistance to residents financially impacted by COVID-19. May provide temporary future rent payments for up to three months for tenants financially impacted by COVID-19. Maximum assistance amount is $5,000 per applicant. Please click here to learn more.

Note: Applications for individual assistance are now closed. 

Marion County Community Services Microenterprise Program

  • This program is designed to assist Marion County’s microenterprises located outside of the limits of the city of Ocala which have been in business for at least 12 months prior to application date to retain employees and mitigate the loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The program can provide assistance of up to $25,000 to cover up to 6 months of operational expenses. Please click here to learn more. 

Ocala COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Program

  • The City of Ocala has implemented a program to assist extremely-low, very-low and low- to moderate-income residents who have experienced financial disruption and loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible residents will be assisted with temporary rent/mortgage and utility payments for up to three months, not to exceed $4,680 per eligible household. This program is funded with $200,000, therefore we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Please click here to learn more. 

Note: The application period begins on August 10, 2020 and ends October 31, 2020 or until all funds have been exhausted for this program strategy.

National Non-profits

Another Round Another Rally

  • Another Round Another rally provides grants to chefs, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, sommeliers, managers or someone who holds any other type of hospitality role, they may be able to help. Another Round Another Rally is offering $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or had their hours slashed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. To apply for a grant, please click here.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

  • The Bartender Emergency Assistance Program provides relief to bartenders and others in the service industry who have been affected by COVID-19. To learn more, please click here

Feeding America

  • Feeding America is providing emergency food banks for people affected by COVID-19. To find your local distribution center please click here

Golden Rule Charity

  • The Golden Rule Charity provides grants to hospitality workers in need. To learn more, please click here

Resident Relief Foundation

  • The Resident Relief Foundation provides rental assistance for residents who are facing eviction for the first time. Please click here for more information. 

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

  • The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund helps restaurant industry employees who are experiencing hardship as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, whether it was through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. If you would like to donate to this fund or learn more about it, please click here

United Way Fund

  • United Way assists local organizations in helping those affected by COVID-19. United Way has local organizations with local funds that assist families in need of financial relief all across the state. 
  • Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Fund. The ALICE Fund provides rent, mortgage and utility assistance to help prevent eviction and homelessness.