Communication Builds Our Community

Polk CARES 2020 Funding - Get Your Documents Ready!

Polk County's Board of County Commissioners has approved a plan that will help residents and small business owners left struggling financially from COVID-19 pandemic layoffs and business closures.

In late April, the county received $126 million from the federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant meant to provide relief to small businesses and residents who were either furloughed or laid off from their jobs. Assistance will help pay for utilities, rent and mortgages, and help small businesses to remain open or reopen. The Board allocated $40 million for small business economic development needs, $30 million for health and human service needs, $30 million for community healthcare related to the coronavirus, and $26 million for county and local government's costs and services dealing with COVID-19.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, individuals and small business owners may apply online. The online application process will require residents and business owners to fill out a form, and attach verifying documentation with the application.

A call center to assist residents with questions regarding Polk County's CARES Act financial assistance will also open on Tuesday, May 19. Call center staff will be available from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday - Saturday. The call center telephone number will be published when it opens.


Individuals and/or households may apply for rent, mortgage and utility assistance. Individuals who have lost their job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reside in a household with combined income of less that $75,000 will be eligible for up to $2,000 assistance.

On your application, you must confirm that you:

• Have not received other COVID-19 assistance for rent, mortgage or utility payments

Required Documents:

• Valid Florida ID or Florida Driver License

• 2019 Income Tax return or the most recent tax return pay stubs for the past 60 days

• Proof of loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to health and employment (furlough, lay-off letter from employer, unemployment statement, etc.)

• Utility invoice, and/or mortgage or rent bills


Small businesses that can show they were impacted by COVID-19 include funding levels of $1,000 for those who are self-employed, $2,500 for businesses with 2 – 9 employees, and $5,000 for businesses with 10 – 25 employees.

Small business applicants must attest they:

• Were negatively impacted by COVID-19

• Have the authority to apply for this grant on behalf of the business

• Have not received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL); or benefited from the SBA Debt Relief Program as provided under the CARES Act

• Will use the grant funds for authorized business expenses only

• Will apply for a Polk County Business Tax Receipt if not registered with the Polk County Tax Collector

• Plan to resume normal operations after emergency guidelines are lifted

• Shall cooperate with Polk County or appropriate officials for grant auditing purposes

Required Documents:

• W-9, DBA, Employer ID Number, or Social Security number for sole proprietors

• Valid photo ID

• Copy of active state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations

• W3 Summary or IRS Form 941 prior to February 15, 2020

• Information to estimate your company's average monthly expenses for wages, business utilities, and commercial lease (or mortgage interest) before February 15, 2020

Both funds will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis until the allocation is gone. The county has until December 30, 2020 to use this grant. The allocated funds to both small businesses and individuals do not have to be paid back.

Applications available online on May 19


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