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Fighting Chance Fund

Applications can be accepted starting Thursday, April 30 and will begin being reviewed starting on Monday, May 4.

To provide relief to small businesses impacted by local COVID-19 orders, the City of St. Petersburg has created the Fighting Chance Fund – an emergency grant for St. Pete’s negatively impacted locally owned and independently operated small businesses.

 The City's goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic.

Who is eligible?

This is a City program that provides grants (not loans) in the form of $5,000 to impacted eligible businesses* and $500 to impacted eligible individuals. Click the below sections to see eligibility for businesses and individuals.

Small Businesses Eligibility+

What makes a business eligible to apply?

  • Local, independent business as defined by the following criteria:
    • Business must be registered in the State of Florida, with the majority of the business' ownership being either held by private individuals or a privately held company (i.e., not publicly traded).
    • Business must make independent decisions regarding its name signage, brand, appearance, purchasing, practices, hiring, and distribution, and must be solely responsible for paying its own rent, marketing, and other business expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters outside of St. Petersburg.
    • Business must have no more than three franchises or outlet (with the same name).
  • Businesses must have been operational for at least six months
  • Business must have had a TOTAL 25 employees or less, both full-time and part-time, including employees managed through PEO
  • Business must occupy a commercial physical establishment (brick and mortar) located in the City of St. Petersburg (Check to see if your business address meets eligibility)
  • Business must demonstrate a loss of income due to COVID-19
  • Business must be able to demonstrate working capital for business operations as of February 29, 2020 (as demonstrated by #2 in Required Attachments)
  • The business must be in one of the following industries (primary NAICS code)

What are the required documents that a business must provide?

  • Copy of “active” state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations
    • Search by “Entity Name” here (use full legal business name), select listing with “Active” Status, and attach most recent filing as a screenshot
    • If not required to register with Florida Division of Corporations, attach documentation showing the business meets all regulatory requirements from Pinellas County.
  • Business Financials
    • Sole Proprietors and individual LLCs
      • 2018 or 2019 Schedule C (Form 1040) [1st page of document is sufficient]
      • If registered as a business for less than a year, provide a Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Statement.
    • C-Corps, S-Corps, corporate Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs)
      • 2018 or 2019 Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120 or 1120S) [1st page of document is sufficient
      • If registered as a business for less than a year, provide a Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Statement.
    • Partnerships
      • 2018 or 2019 Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065) [1st page of document is sufficient]
      • If registered as a business for less than a year, provide a Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Statement.
    • Non-profit organizations (501c3 only)
      • 2018 or 2019Return of Organization Free from Income Tax (Form 990) [1st page of document is sufficient
      • If registered as a business for less than a year, provide a Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Statement.
  • Updated and Current St. Petersburg Business Tax Receipt
  • Copy of Driver’s License or state ID
  • Full employee list (as of January 31, 2020 and March 31, 2020)
  • Copy of most recent St. Petersburg Commercial Utility Bill statement
    If applicant does not pay Utility Bill, provide Certificate of Liability Insurance – ACORD form - or other acceptable form showing current General Liability Insurance Policy at the commercial address.

What are eligible business expenses that the funds may be used for?

  • Commercial Lease payments (March, April, May 2020)
  • Commercial Mortgage payments (March, April, May 2020)
  • Employee Salary and Benefits and funding existing Payroll
  •  Other Sales, General, and Administrative expenses (SGA) deemed critical for business operations
  •  Utilities
  •  New equipment needed to assist the business to a temporary digital transition (e.g. webcams for virtual trainings, software licensing for videoconferencing, etc.)

How is the 25 employee count determined?
The 25 employee count is determined by the total number of employees –which includes full time and part time employees (including employees managed through PEO) for each separate business entity.

I have multiple businesses, is there a cap to what I can receive?
Yes. The cap is $10,000.00, for two eligible businesses.

A scanner is inaccessible during this time. How will I submit my documents to you?
Clearly legible photos of the required documents will be accepted. Mobile applications that perform scanning from your mobile camera is highly recommended. Examples of mobile applications include: Google Drive or Camscanner.

Will my business be eligible to receive funds from the federal CARES program if I receive funds from this program?
Yes. This is a grant program, not a loan or other type of credit that requires repayment by the recipient. While certain federal and state lending programs may have limitations regarding an applicant’s access to credit elsewhere, the City’s Fighting Chance Fund is a grant, not a loan, and you may proceed with applying for other programs. Please see www.stpetegreenhouse.com/prepare for additional resources.  Please consult with your financial advisor or attorney for guidance regarding eligibility for federal or state funding sources.

Can non-profit organizations apply?
The Fighting Chance Fund has not created an eligibility based on tax filing status. Both for- profit and non-profits may apply but must meet program eligibility requirements.

Are homebased businesses eligible to apply?
No. At this time, homebased businesses would not meet the eligibility requirements.

I am my own business with all required documents but lease a space within another business, for example within a co-working space, a salon, massage studio. Will I be able to apply as a business? 
Yes. Applicants that have their own business filing and documents, are not independent contractors, who lease space within another business and meet all other requirements for eligibility can apply as a business. 

What happens if I do not include all of the required documents at the time I submit my application?
Do not submit your application unless you are able to provide the required documents, it will not be eligible. Please collect ALL required documents and submit the application and all documents in entirety.

I received Fighting Chance Funds already, can I apply again? 
No. 

Do I need to reapply if I applied before and was found ineligible but due to changes I am now eligible?
Yes, you must reapply. 

Is the application public record?
The submitted Application, including attachments, is subject to disclosure under Florida’s public records law subject to limited applicable exemptions. For additional information, see Request for Exemption from Public Records. Applicant acknowledges, understands, and agrees that all information in its application and attachments will be disclosed, without any notice to Applicant, if a public records request is made for such information, and the City will not be liable to Applicant for such disclosure.

Social security numbers are collected, maintained and reported by the City to be in compliance with IRS 1099 reporting requirements and are exempt from public records pursuant to Florida Statutes s.119.071.

If Applicant believes that information in its application, including attachments, contains information that is exempt from disclosure, Applicant must include a general description of the information and provide reference to the Florida statute or other law which exempts such designated information from disclosure in the event a public records request. The City does not warrant or guarantee that information designated by Applicant as exempt from disclosure is in fact exempt. The City offers no opinion as to the accuracy of the reference to the Florida statute or other law by Applicant. Please be aware that the designation of information as a exempt may be challenged in court by any person or entity, and Applicant agrees to defend and indemnify the City, its employees, agents and elected and appointed officials (“Indemnified Parties”) against any and all claims, demands and actions (whether or not a lawsuit is commenced) arising out of or in connection with Applicant’s designation and to hold harmless the Indemnified Parties for any award to a plaintiff for damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, and for costs and attorneys’ fees (including those of the City Attorney’s office) incurred by the City by reason of any claim, demand or action arising out of or related to Applicant’s designation of information as exempt from disclosure. There are limited exemptions to Florida’s Public Record Law, please find a document here that summarizes them: http://stpetegreenhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Request-for-Exemption-from-Public-Records-0.pdf

Impacted Individuals Eligibility+

What makes an INDIVIDUAL eligible to apply?

What are the required documents that an individual must provide?

I work for a business as an independent contractor and am not included on their payroll, will I be eligible to apply for the individual grant?
Yes, if all eligibility is met. 

What are eligible expenses that the funds may be used for as an individual?
Any personal expenses as a result of lost income.

I work more than one service-related job in St. Petersburg, may I apply for each job?
The individual program is limited to one application per individual, regardless of how many jobs you were working that were affected.

I do not have a scanner in my home. How will I submit my documents to you?
Clearly legible photos of the required documents will be accepted. Mobile applications that perform scanning from your mobile camera is highly recommended. Examples of mobile applications include: Google Drive or Camscanner.

I voluntarily left employment at an eligible business to take care of an affected family member, am I eligible to apply?
No, not at this time. This program is designed for employees who were terminated, furloughed or experienced 50% or more cut in salary. You may be eligible to apply for Florida’s CONNECT reemployment program. http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits

What happens if I do not include all of the required documents at the time I submit my application?
Do not submit your application unless you are able to provide the required documents, it will not be eligible. Please collect ALL required documents and submit the application and all documents in entirety.

Where can I ask a specific question about my situation?
Please email: info@stpetegreenhouse.com and include Fighting Chance in the subject line.

Is the application public record?
The submitted Application, including attachments, is subject to disclosure under Florida’s public records law subject to limited applicable exemptions. For additional information, see Request for Exemption from Public Records. Applicant acknowledges, understands, and agrees that all information in its application and attachments will be disclosed, without any notice to Applicant, if a public records request is made for such information, and the City will not be liable to Applicant for such disclosure.

Social security numbers are collected, maintained and reported by the City to be in compliance with IRS 1099 reporting requirements and are exempt from public records pursuant to Florida Statutes s.119.071. 

If Applicant believes that information in its application, including attachments, contains information that is exempt from disclosure, Applicant must include a general description of the information and provide reference to the Florida statute or other law which exempts such designated information from disclosure in the event a public records request. The City does not warrant or guarantee that information designated by Applicant as exempt from disclosure is in fact exempt. The City offers no opinion as to the accuracy of the reference to the Florida statute or other law by Applicant.   Please be aware that the designation of information as a exempt may be challenged in court by any person or entity, and Applicant agrees to defend and indemnify the City, its employees, agents and elected and appointed officials (“Indemnified Parties”) against any and all claims, demands and actions (whether or not a lawsuit is commenced) arising out of or in connection with Applicant’s designation and to hold harmless the Indemnified Parties for any award to a plaintiff for damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, and for costs and attorneys’ fees (including those of the City Attorney’s office) incurred by the City by reason of any claim, demand or action arising out of or related to Applicant’s designation of information as exempt from disclosure. There are limited exemptions to Florida’s Public Record Law, please find a document here that summarizes them: http://stpetegreenhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Request-for-Exemption-from-Public-Records-0.pdf

The businesses and individuals who have been approved for the fund are shown below.

Approved Businesses    Approved Individuals

Updated as of May 7, 2020


How do I apply?

There are limited funds that will be distributed on a first-submitted and correctly completed application basis.

There is no deadline to apply. The City has allocated $6.8 million for this fund and applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted.

Small Business Application

Impacted Individuals Application


Donate to this Fund

If you are interested in supporting this fund, please visit Pinellas Community Foundation's page for Fighting Chance Fund. 

Donate Now

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