Small Business Rental Assistance Program

overview

The Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Area Plan (DTOutlook) calls on the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to stimulate economic growth in the Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Area (Area) by encouraging the retention and continued operation of existing businesses. Many small businesses in the Area have suffered economic injury because of COVID-19. The purpose of the Small Business Rental Assistance Program (SBRAP) is to provide relief for these businesses in order to retain such businesses within the Area and prevent blight conditions from occurring within the Area as a potential significant increase in vacancy rates. The SBRAP allows eligible small businesses in the Area to apply, within a 30-day window once the application period opens, for a rent subsidy for up to $5,000 per month for a maximum of $30,000 per business.

Each eligible applicant may receive a rent subsidy of up to $5,000 per month for a period up to six (6) months, not to exceed total funding of $30,000 per applicant. The monthly rent subsidy is determined based on a “1:1 match equal to the amount of the abatement, reduction, or deferral of base rent provided by applicant’s landlord.” As an example, an applicant whose regular monthly rent expenses are equal to $15,000 but are receiving a deduction of $5,000 per month from a landlord would be eligible for funding of up to $5,000 per month for six months, for a total of $30,000, under this program. For purposes of this program, rent expenses only include the base rent as specified in an existing lease agreement. Funds will be provided on a first-come, first served basis based on approved applicants, and application to the program does not guarantee funding. All Grant funds shall be issued to the grantee on a reimbursement basis only.

Watch video to learn more about the application process and eligibility for the Small Business Rental Assistance Program.

Application Process

STEP 1: Check for Eligibility

To qualify for the rent subsidy, a small business must meet the following criteria:

• Physically located and operating within the boundaries of the downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Area.

• Be a retail or consumer service business.

• Businesses must have been in operation for at least one year as of March 17, 2020, in a physical commercial location with sales of goods or services within the Area (online-only and home-based businesses are not eligible).

• Businesses must be current on all rent payments made through the date which is 45 days prior to the date of application.

• Businesses must be a for-profit business.

• Businesses must be operating with all required permits and licenses and in accordance with all applicable laws.

• Businesses must be a small business defined as having 1-50 FTE employees or workers as of March 17, 2020.

• Businesses must have applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, or Paycheck Protection Program, or Orange County’s Small Business Assistance Program, or another federal/state/local program that is available.

• A business defined as an owner-user, i.e. the business is operated in a building owned by the business owner, may receive a subsidy if it receives an abatement, reduction, or deferral of mortgage payment from its lender.

The following documents are required with your application to be considered:

• Current City of Orlando Business Tax Receipt

• Required permits and licenses

Form W-9 (Rev. October 2018) from Internal Revenue Service

• Executed Lease Agreement, with a remaining term of at least one year at the time of application (or Mortgage Loan Documents)

• Letter or lease (or mortgage) amendment reflecting an abatement or reduction in rent (or mortgage) for a minimum of six (6) months

• Evidence of rent payments made through the date which is 45 days prior to the date of application

• Evidence of applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, or Paycheck Protection Program, or Orange County’s Small Business Assistance Program or any other available federal/state programs

• Financial Statements – Including: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, or Cash Flow Statement for a period of one (1) year or three (3) consecutive quarters

STEP 2: Complete the Application

Complete the online application form through the portal linked below. Applicants are required to affirm and upload relevant business documents to be considered for this program.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

STEP 3: Application Review

Applications received under this program will be reviewed and evaluated for compliance with eligibility requirements by the Orlando Economic Partnership. Only applicants that submit complete applications and meet all the eligibility requirements will be considered for funding. The Orlando Economic Partnership will submit a list of approved applications to CRA for review and final approval.

STEP 4: Notice to Applicant

Applicants will receive an email notifying them as to whether their online application has been accepted or denied.

STEP 5: Processing and Distribution

Applicants receiving final approval for funding will be notified following such approval and will be required to sign a funding agreement with the CRA. Funding will be treated as a one-year deferred loan. Funding will be disbursed only on a reimbursement basis and following the CRA’s receipt of acceptable documentation of payment of rent expenses for such month. The loan will be forgiven in its entirety at the end of the one-year period provided that the grantee complies with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Questions?

For additional questions, contact us at smallbusiness@orlando.org.