BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners unanimously voted June 23 to approve the Hernando County CARES Small Business Recovery Grant.

To stimulate the local economy, the Hernando CARES Program will provide recovery grants up to $5,000 to eligible small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of the grant is to offset the temporary loss of revenue and assist businesses in their efforts to recover.

Small businesses established since January with up to 50 employees are eligible to apply. The program provides one-time grants (not loans) as follows:

• Brick-and-mortar businesses with 1-15 full-time equivalent employees - $2,500

• Brick-and-mortar businesses with 16-50 full-time equivalent employees -$5,000

• Home based business - $1,000

Businesses deemed ineligible include:

• Publicly traded companies

• Nonprofits

• Those with outstanding liens, code or building code violations

Funds may only be used for the approved eligible uses, including rent, mortgage, utilities, payroll, and miscellaneous bills as a result of COVID-19.

Expenditures cannot have been paid for under another federal program.

Application Process

These are limited funds that will be distributed on a first-submitted, eligible and approved application basis. Business owners may submit their complete application online at

There is no deadline to apply. The program has $5 million available and applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted. Applicants will be notified by email of award.

For more information, visit, call the Hernando County Office of Economic Development at 352-540-6400 or email