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?
Households who have a total income for all household members at the time of application must be less than $55,000. 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.
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.

Small Business Relaunch Program Questions

What is the purpose of the Lee CARES Small Business Relaunch Grant?

The Lee CARES Small Business Relaunch Grant offers emergency relief to small businesses facing serious financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of these funds is to provide temporary financial relief to those most impacted by the pandemic and resulting business closures.

Which businesses qualify for the business relaunch grant?

Small businesses in Lee County that have suffered significant, temporary loss of revenue or job losses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly businesses that have been directly affected by state business closure orders, are eligible. Please keep reading for specific eligibility criteria. This program is intended to help offset the unintended costs of reopening or relaunching a small business as a result of being determined non-essential per Governor Desantis' Safer at Home Act.

Do non-profit organizations qualify for the business relaunch program?

Yes. Qualifying small businesses and 501(c)(3) organizations with a physical commercial location in Lee County (1-25 full-time employees, or equivalent part-time employees, including the owner).

What can I use these funds to pay for?

Funds can be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.  Grant funding can be used for business expenses, such as employees' wages, mortgage, rent, vendor invoices, utility bills, payroll and other costs, so long as these expenses are not paid for by insurance or another federal assistance program.

These grants aim to provide gap funding to allow businesses to seek additional assistance offered through state and federal programs for other losses not covered by this grant. Visit  https://www.leegov.com/covid-19/businessfor resources. 

How much funding is available for small businesses?

Lee County has set aside $25 million in emergency relief funds for eligible small businesses to each receive a one-time grant of $5,000. This $5,000 is not a loan and does not need to be reimbursed.

My business was not required to close; can I still apply for assistance?

Only those businesses that were deemed non-essential under Governor DeSantis’ “Safer-at-Home” order are eligible for the grants, as long as they meet other criteria.

My business is located in Lee County, but I am not a resident of Lee County, am I eligible?

The business owner must be a resident of Lee County, FL.

Is funding first-come, first-served for the Business Relaunch Program?

Complete applications with all required documentation will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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.