General Questions

When can I apply for these programs?

The LeeCares programs will begin accepting applications at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26 2020. You can apply online by visiting this webpage or call (239) 533-CARE for assistance

Where did this funding come from?

These funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Congress designated a portion of funds to go to local governments to meet urgent financial needs within communities.

Can I apply for more than one of the programs?

You may apply to all the programs for which you meet the eligibility criteria.

How long is the application review process?

Businesses can expect to receive grant funds after payment processing and due diligence has been completed.

When will assistance be distributed?

It may take a few weeks from the date of application submission until eligible business owners receive the approved funding.

If my application is denied, can I reapply?

If your application is denied and you met all eligibility criteria, it is most likely your application is not complete and you will be notified to submit the information required for completion.

Individual Assistance Program Questions

What services qualify for individual assistance?

Rent payments, mortgage payments, water utility, and electric utility qualify for assistance payments. 

Who is eligible for assistance?
Household income must be between $55,100 and $72,750/year at time of application, depending on houshold size. The applicant must have experienced an unexpected loss of income due to impacts of COVID-19 including job loss or reduced work hours. The applicant must also be a Lee County Resident.
Income Limits for Household Size
1-4 5 6 7 8
$55,100 $59,550 $63,950 $68,350 $72,750

How does my landlord or mortgage company become a ‘vendor’ to receive payment?
The vendor will be contacted upon application review; applicants are required to provide vendor contact information, including account information. This process may take up to four weeks. 
How will I receive my assistance?
Payments for assistance will be made directly to the vendor. 
Can part-time residents apply for assistance?
Applicant must be a Lee County resident.
What determines the amount of assistance I can receive?
The maximum assistance is $2,000 per household. Individuals will be awarded one-time assistance based on their specific documented needs, such as utility bills or overdue rent, that have accumulated due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be required to provide documentation of these needs.
Is funding first-come, first-served for Individual Assistance?
Funding is allocated to those who meet the eligibility criteria and submit completed documents for approval. Financial assistance will be given to qualified applicants until relief funds are exhausted.

Business Rehire Program Questions

What is the Lee CARES Small Business Rehire Grant?

Provides emergency financial support through the Lee CARES Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (Business Rehire) Grant Program for qualified businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does the grant provide?

This program provides $5,000 in grant funding to local businesses for rehiring a full-time position equivalent (FTE) which was included in the payroll as of March 1, 2020 and is re-established and filled July 6th or afterwards.

What are the grant terms?
  • $5,000 grants per rehire with maximum grants of $10,000 for businesses with 10 or less employees for hiring up to 2 FTEs.
  • $5,000 grants per rehire with maximum grants of $20,000 per business with between 11 and 250 employees for hiring up to 4 FTEs
  • $2,000 of each job grant may be accessed once the FTE position is back on the payroll on July 6th or afterwards. The other $3,000 of each job grant may be accessed once the FTE position has been retained for 60 days
If I rehire/hire part-time employees, will my business be eligible?

Your business is eligible if you rehire/hire two part-time jobs both with a minimum of 20 hours a week per part-time employee, which will be equivalent to ONE full-time employee (FTE)

Note: FTE are W-2 only. Those rehired/hired CANNOT include the business owner, investor or immediate family members.

Is my business eligible if I rehired/hired employees before July 6th, 2020?

No, all employees must be rehired/hired on or after July 6, 2020

Are there wage requirements for the rehired/hired positions?

Yes, for each position, the employee must be receiving a minimum of $10.00/hour; this is not including wait staff.

Can I hire a new employee if the past employee is no longer available?

Yes, a new employee may fill that existing position.

What if my business was not operating before January 1, 2020?

Unfortunately, if your business was not operating prior to the required date, your business is not eligible for this grant. Other funding programs may be available (see below).

Can non- Lee County business owners apply?

No, the owner must reside in Lee County.

Am I eligible if my business has more than 250 employees?

No, businesses must have 250 or fewer full-time, W-2 employees (employees working 35 hours per week or 140 hours per month)

What if our business does not have a current Business Tax Receipt issued by Lee County?

You can visit the Lee County Tax Collector website to fill out an application.

Are home-based businesses eligible?

Yes, a business may be home-based or located in an owned or leased commercial space.

Can my business apply if we have received PPP funds?

All businesses must certify if they have received PPP funds at the time of application submittal. (A business will not be eligible if they took the 24-week option and for those who opted for the 8-week coverage period, the coverage period must have expired)

Are publicly traded businesses eligible?

No, at this time we are not accepting any businesses that are publicly traded companies.

I own more than one business under the same name, are all locations eligible?

No, companies with common ownership and/or common DBA will be treated as a single business.

What are considered ineligible businesses?

Ineligible businesses include Gambling Institutions, Multi-Level Marketing Organizations, Real Estate Investment Firms (REITS), and Adult Entertainment

What can I use these funds to pay for?

Working capital expenses (e.g. rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, inventory); business related professional services (e.g. accounting, marketing, software, legal assistance); employee training.

What can these funds NOT be used for?

Refinance existing debt, down payment for other financing, cannot be used to pay the owner.

When will assistance be distributed?

It may take a few weeks from the date of the application submission until eligible business owners receive the approved funding.

If my application is denied, can I reapply?

If your application is denied and you met all eligibility criteria, you will be able to reapply. It is likely your application is not complete and you will be notified in a denial email of those deficiencies. Please contact the CARES line if you have any further questions. (239) 533- CARES (2273)

What if I am not eligible for this grant? Are there other funding programs available?

Regardless of whether a business is, or is not eligible for this program, it may still qualify for other funding programs. Visit www.leegov.com/covid19 for a list of federal and state programs assisting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPE for Small Businesses Program Questions

What is the purpose of the Lee CARES PPE for Small Businesses Program?

The purpose of the Lee CARES PPE program is to support small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic so they may re-open or re-launch as safely as possible and follow CDC guidance. 

How do I register to pick up PPE for my small business?

Lee County small businesses in certain industry segments can register for PPE by going to www.LeeFLCares.com.  If you are unable to access the Internet or have a language barrier, please call 239-533-2273.

Who is eligible for the Lee CARES PPE for Small Businesses program?

PPE supply kits will be supplied to small businesses in Lee County that employ one (1) to 25 employees, in specific industry segments that are heavily involved with public interaction.  Only the following business segments are eligible to receive PPE supplies:

  • 621111 Offices of Physicians
    • Except Mental Health Specialists
  • 621112 Offices of Physicians, Mental Health Specialists
  • 621210 Offices of Dentists
  • 621310 Offices of Chiropractors
  • 621320 Offices of Optometrists
  • 621330 Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians)
  • 621340 Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists
  • 621391 Offices of Podiatrists
  • 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners
    • Acupuncturists, advanced RN offices, CRNA Offices, Dental Hygienist offices, Denturists, Midwife, Dieticians
  • 6244 Child Day Care Services
  • 7121 Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions
  • 7139 Other Amusement and Recreation Industries
  • 722511 Full-Service Restaurants
  • 722513 Limited-Service Restaurants
  • 812111 Barber Shops
  • 812112 Beauty Salons
  • 812113 Nail Salons
  • 812199 Other Personal Care Services
    • Hair replacement, sun tanning salons, tattoo parlors, hair weaving, day spas, make up salons, hair removal salons, massage parlors, ear piercing services, saunas
What do I need to pick up my PPE Kit?

You will be emailed a confirmation receipt after applying for the Lee CARES PPE for Small Businesses kit. You will need to print out or save the confirmation receipt on your phone to show at pick up. 

What do I get in the PPE Kit?  

PPE kits will be divided into two sizes: one for businesses with 1-10 employees and one for businesses with 11-25 employees.  Each kit will have a predetermined quantity of surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and other PPE while supplies last. 

What if I forget my confirmation receipt?

If you forget your confirmation receipt, either printed or saved on your phone, you will not be able to pick up your PPE kit. You will be asked to return to the drive-up site during the same window of availability, once you have the necessary information to receive your kit.

What if I miss my pick-up time?

During the application process, all small businesses will select a window of time to pick up their PPE kit. If they miss that window, their kit will be returned to the general stock and the order will be canceled. You must re-apply in order to obtain a new schedule to pick up a kit, pending availability.

If we use up the PPE supplies provided, can we reapply to receive more?

No. The PPE program is a one time, free supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for small businesses to assist in reopening or sustaining operation.

Childcare Assistance Program Questions

How do I apply for this assistance?

Households can apply for childcare assistance waivers through a United Way Gold-Seal childcare provider. Contact your childcare provider to inquire about assistance options including the United Way vouchers. Find a participating childcare provider

Who is eligible for childcare assistance?

Households with income that has been impacted by Governor DeSantis’ Safer at Home Act and childcare is a necessary expense to return to work.

Which childcare programs are included in the assistance program?

United Way's network of Gold Seal providers who offer quality childcare programming. The Gold Seal Quality Care program designation is available to providers who gain accreditation for a higher level of care and supervision provided to children.