CARES Act Funding

Monroe County CARES Act Allocation Plan

Allocation Plan for CARES Act funding to Monroe County per funding agreement Y2287 with the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The Allocation Plan is attached.  It includes funds for a Rent/Mortgage Assistance Program and a Business Assistance Grant Program and the applications/ information for these programs are also included.  

In March, Congress passed the CARES Act providing over $150 billion in direct federal assistance to states and eligible local governments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020 Governor DeSantis announced that the $1.275 billion of the $3.747 billion reserved for direct assistance to eligible Florida local governments would be distributed to Florida counties having a population less than 500,000 through a funding agreement with the Division of Emergency Management (DEM.)

Pursuant to the CARES Act funding agreement between the County and DEM, the proposed Monroe County CARES Act Allocation Plan was developed. Key points:

  • The State is requiring that each County accepting CARES Act funds determine how they will use their CARES Act funding. The State has directed Counties to take into account the public safety and health expenses incurred local government entities within the County, specifically including municipalities and constitutional officers. 
  • In addition to covering expenses incurred by local government entities, Treasury guidance allows funds to be utilized for economic relief to residents and businesses.  
  • All programs and costs identified must strictly adhere to the CARES Act criteria and the US Treasury’s most recent guidance on allowable activities and costs, and the requirements in the Funding Agreement between DEM and Monroe County.  
  • The US Treasury advised that local governments receiving CARES Act funds will be audited and that costs deemed unallowable will be subject to recoupment by the US Treasury. 
  • Counties were further advised by the State that their state revenue sharing payments would be reduced by the amount of any costs deemed unallowable by the federal or state auditing entity. 
  • Monroe County’s current funding agreement with DEM is for the amount of an initial 25% advance payment of $3,250,835 (“Phase 1”).  Thus, the proposed allocation plan reflects that amount:
    •  Allocation toward the Public health/safety expenditures by Constitutionals $1,300,000
    •  Allocation toward the Public health/safety expenditures by County and Cities $680,000
    •  Allocation for Small Business Assistance Grants, up to $1,000,000
    •  Allocation for Residential Rent/Mortgage Assistance, up to $200,000, this is augmented with $638,000 in FHFC funding for rent/mortgage/utility assistance.

While Monroe County’s CARES Act total allocation from the State is projected to be $13,003,340, the current agreement makes no reference to the County’s full allocation amount. Per the terms and conditions of the executed agreement with the State, the remaining 75 percent of the County’s allocation ($9,752,505) will be available on a cost-reimbursement basis. A cost reimbursement-based process will require Monroe County to expend its own funds first, and then request and wait for reimbursement of the expenditures made.  

South Florida Regional Planning Council Assistance

The South Florida Regional Planning Council currently has two programs readily available that can help small/medium-sized business owners in need of financial assistance.

The EDA CARES ACT Revolving Loan Fund exists to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic, the council secured $5.9 million in funding. For more information, contact Steve Foreman at

The Traditional Revolving Loan Fund Program, which the council has maintained for more than 15 years. For more information, contact Alisha Lopez at

The COVID Economic Recovery Assistance Program - contact Eralda Agolli at

Small/medium-sized business owners online survey

Funding Availability

Monroe County offered three assistance programs. All three have since closed. 

  • Monroe County CARES Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance Program
  • Monroe County CARES Business Assistance Program
  • Monroe County CARES Nonprofit Assistance Program

Business Assistance Program Details

Infographic of Round 1 and 2 of the Business Cares Act funding grant allocations

Round Two Funding Announced for 268 Small Businesses

Monroe County has released all $1 million allocated in the second round of the CARES Act Small Business Grant Program funding to 268 local small businesses with COVID-19 impacts. This is in addition to the 259 businesses that were funded in round 1. Businesses received grants based on completed applications submitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. 359 total applications were received. Of the 268 funded applications, 159 sole proprietors received $2,500, 86 2-10 employee businesses received $5,000, and 23 11-25 employee businesses received $7,500. Funded businesses ranged from retail, food, galleries, charter fishing, and salons to photographers, property management, and fitness centers, among others.

There are 3 reasons why someone didn’t get funded:

  1. Incomplete application.
  2. Weren’t eligible (too many employees, multiple business applications with the same owner or same employees) *Businesses or business owners that were funded in the first round were not eligible for a second grant or additional funding for any other business they may own as the county would like to help as many affected businesses as possible. 
  3. App submitted after money was allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Additional Resources