Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
8:30 am EST
Friday, November 27, 2020

Eligible residents, businesses may benefit from $64 million CARES funding

Lake County is set to receive a total of $64 million dollars in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding, according to a news release from county officials.

A direct allocation of 25% ($16 million) is slated to be made available up front, and the remaining 75% ($48 million) will be accessible as a reimbursement after the initial $16 million direct allocation has been spent.

The State of Florida’s distribution of up to $1.275 billion is intended to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last month that the federal funds will be distributed to counties that have a population below 500,000 people.

All Cares Act funds information and the application, once available, will be shared on in the near future.


The Florida Housing Finance Corporation will provide an additional $1,366,903 from CARES Act funds through the State of Florida Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) program. CRF program funds can be used to assist eligible residents with a variety of activities including the following:

      • Rental assistance including utilities
      • Mortgage payments and buy-downs
      • Emergency home repairs
      • Insurance deductibles
      • Housing re-entry assistance including deposits and temporary storage of household furnishings
      • Eviction prevention including rent and fees


The Lake County Board of County Commissioners has recommended that the full $16 million direct allocation of Lake County CARES Act funds be devoted to a business assistance program, with up to $500 thousand of that allocation being eligible for administrative costs associated with the program.

Under the proposed program, separate funding will be available for for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations. The for-profit business award amounts will be based on initial eligibility for the program and the number of employees (determined by full-time equivalents (FTE’s)) that a business has, ranging from 1-25.

Business Type  Grant Amount 
Sole proprietor $2,000
Business (2-9 FTE’s) $5,000
Business (10-25 FTE’s) $7,500
501(c)(3) $5,000
Chambers of Commerce $5,000

The eligibility requirements and funding parameters for both programs will be continuously monitored by Lake County and the established Working Group and may be revised as funding allows.

Commissioner Sean Parks, along with the Agency of Economic Prosperity, hosted two Lake County CARES Act Working Group meetings virtually last week to discuss the small business assistance program details. These meetings included representatives from local municipalities, business and non-profit support organizations, financial institutions, local small business owners and Lake County staff. The Working Group meetings topics included proposed eligibility requirements, grant award amounts, application processing logistics and community collaboration needed to successfully bring the program to fruition. Comments and suggestions were discussed and considered to formulate the final program aspects that were presented to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners at their July 21st regularly scheduled meeting.

To sign up for emergency mobile notifications regarding COVID-19, text COVIDUPDATE to 888777 and follow Emergency Management at and For the latest information, residents can call the Citizens Information Line at 352-253-999 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.