Business Resources 

covid-19Resources

UPDATED 5/25/2021

The City of Winter Garden is currently monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak within our community. Businesses are currently following CDC Guidelines.

U.S. Small Business Administration COVID-19 Relief Options

The SBA established a number of programs to help businesses in response to losses incurred from the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs are Paycheck Protection Program, COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Stuttered Venues Grant, and SBA Debt Relief. For further information about each of these programs including eligibility requirements, click here

Visit Cross-Program Eligibility for a reference chart of criteria when considering multiple funding options. 

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) 

On May 6, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will only accept new PPP loan applications from community financial institutions. PPP funding for loans originated by lenders other than community financial institutions has been exhausted. The Economic Aid Act set aside $15 billion for loans originated by community financial institutions. The SBA will continue to accept applications for loans submitted by community financial institutions until MAY 31, 2021, or until remaining funds are exhausted.

For more information and how to apply, visit U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

For more information and to apply, click here

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Museum operators
  • Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
  • Talent representatives

 Other requirements of note:

  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

For more information and to apply for this grant, click here

COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance

Signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, the Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses in low –income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.

Advance funds of up to $10,000 are available to applicants in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding.

Applicants do not need to take any action. SBA is reaching out to those who qualify.

SBA first reached out to EIDL applicants who already received a partial EIDL Advance (between $1,000 - $9,000). Applicants are being contacted directly by SBA via email with instructions to determine eligibility and submit documentation. 

All communication from SBA will be sent from an official government email account ending with @sba.gov. Please do not send sensitive information via email to any address that does not end with @sba.gov.

Applicants may qualify if they:

  1. Are in a low-income community. To help applicants determine if they are in a low-income community as defined in section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, a mapping tool is available at https://sbaeidl.policymap.com/app. The business address must be in a low-income community to qualify so SBA encourages potential applicants to check the map to see if they meet the low-income community eligibility requirement before they apply; and
  2. Can demonstrate more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later. If an applicant meets the low-income community criteria, they will be asked to provide gross monthly revenue (all forms of combined monthly earnings received, such as profits or salaries) to confirm the 30% reduction. 

Next, SBA is reaching out to those who applied for EIDL assistance on or before December 27, 2020, but did not receive an EIDL Advance due to lack of program funding. These applicants will receive an email from SBA with instructions to determine eligibility and submit documentation. Applicants may qualify for a Targeted EIDL Advance if they meet the low-income location and reduction-in-revenue criteria, and:

  1. Have 300 or fewer employees. Business entities normally eligible for the EIDL program are eligible, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and private, nonprofit organizations. Agricultural enterprises are not eligible. 

For more information about this program and eligibility, click here.

SBA Debt Relief

SBA offers debt relief to existing SBA loan borrowers whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. For a list of qualifying SBA loans, visit SBA Debt Relief.

Governor’s Executive Eliminates all COVID-19 Restrictions and Mandates

On May 3, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis, issued Executive Order 21-102 eliminating all local COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on individuals and businesses, effective immediately. This Executive Order supersedes any existing emergency order or ordinance issued by a county or municipality that imposes restrictions or mandates upon businesses or individuals due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Governor's Executive Order opens all Businesses to 100% Capacity

The Governor signed a executive order on September 252020, lifting all previous executive orders he had signed allowing all businesses to operate at capacity.

Workplace Health & Safety

The City of Winter Garden recommends that all businesses and employees continue to follow the CDC Guidelines for Workplaces and Businesses to keep staff and customers safe.

Florida’s Plan for Recovery

The Governor’s State Plan for reopening the state can be found here. Florida began Phase 3 on September 25, 2020.  All businesses are currently operating at 100% capacity.

Florida Updates and Plan for Recovery 

COVID-19 Vaccinations

For information on Orange County's Vaccine Distribution Locations visit ocfl.net/vaccine.

OC Vaccination Info


Outdoor Dining and Curbside Program

The City of Winter Garden implemented a Curbside and Outdoor Dining Program for Downtown Winter Garden in April 2020. This program has been very well received. Since implementing the Downtown Program, the City of Winter Garden has worked with restaurants outside of Downtown to establish outdoor dining areas.

The month of May has been declared by the City Commission as Outdoor Dining Month and will be promoted as a safe way for our community to support local restaurants.

LOVE LOCAL Winter Garden Campaign Enters Phase Two

Love Local 2 Activities March-July 2021

The Love Local campaign, launched by the City of Winter Garden last fall, continues in 2021 with a line-up of programs and activities to help small businesses recover from financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of the Love Local campaign is to build awareness of the importance of financially supporting small businesses and community organizations that are vital to the city. This includes loving ALL of the local community – businesses, non-profits, artists, the farmers market as well as locally produced food.  

From now through the summer, the campaign will include monthly activities and initiatives that support local businesses and community organizations. The campaign fittingly launches in the month of love with Valentine’s weekend activities as well as a plea to share the love with local nonprofits. Additional initiatives will include Shop, Dine & Stroll on March 27 in honor of National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day; Arts in April with a daylong celebration on April 17 to support the local arts and artists; the proclamation of May as Outdoor Dining Month; a Winter Garden Farmers Market 13th Birthday celebration on June 5; as well as Downtown decked out Americana-style from May-July.

The City has also partnered with a national company, HOWND, to promote local businesses and increase sales through their effortless foot traffic utilizing their mobile app and other tools. To learn more, please read about the partnership below.

For more information about the Love Local Campaign, please visit https://www.cwgdn.com/35/Business.

Business Promotion Partnership with HOWND

The City is teaming up with Hownd®, a customer foot traffic and revenue-generation platform for local brick and mortar businesses that has generated nearly $3 million in immediate revenue for merchants throughout the country during the pandemic. The City is partnering West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the Orange Observer and Winter Garden Village to help promote the program to local businesses. The Hownd partnership is part of the city’s “Love Local” program designed to support its businesses during the pandemic by stimulating awareness and increasing customer foot traffic.

Winter Garden-based brick and mortar businesses can sign up for Hownd with zero risk since the city is paying this fee and because Hownd does not charge a set-up fee or require a monthly subscription. To learn more, please go to this link. Open here

Other Business Resources

City’s Business Promotion Program with HOWND - Click here

West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Click here 

Orlando Economic Partnership - Click here for regional business resources

Should you need assistance, please call Tanja Gerhartz 407.947.1720

Please be safe and stay strong Winter Garden!