Relief HotSpot

Welcome to … a collaboration between the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce and Englewood Community Services, Inc.

The purpose of this site is to provide relief information in an easy to understand format.

Additional resources are continuously being added so you are encouraged to check back often.

Disclaimer: Neither the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce or Englewood Community Services, Inc. claim to be the authorities of these programs.  These programs are included here for informational purposes only.  For specific questions or concerns, it is recommended that you contact your accounting or legal professional.


The gray tabs below are expandable. Click on them to reveal their content.

9/16/2020 | SCGov CARES Act Application

Sarasota County is now accepting applications from local Sarasota County businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. You are eligible to access Sarasota County’s Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations of $18.9 million.

The monies, which will help to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19, are available to businesses, individuals and non-profit agencies in the following categories:

  • Health and Medical
  • Food, Water and Housing
  • Economic Recovery

Head to to learn more and apply!

8/13/2020 |Charlotte County Recovery Grant Program for Businesses

The Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners approved the Recovery Grant Program to accelerate and assist the reopening efforts of businesses hardest hit by COVID-19. STAGE 2 applications are being accepted On Thursday, August 13th.

Full Details

8/10/2020 |Have you been financially affected by COVID-19?

COAD (Community Organizations Active in a Disaster) works to help Charlotte County residents during times of hardship.

Click here for COVID-19 related financial help.

8/6/2020 |Is you Charlotte County business required to make customers wear a mask?

Charlotte County Resolution 2020-100
Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Must my business use the county designed sign that says: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Mask, No Service?

Answer: No. The county has made the sign available to the business community with the suggestion to use it as a tool to encourage customers to wear a mask.

Question 2: What is the penalty for not posting the county designed sign?

Answer: Directly from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s office: “This is not an ordinance but merely the strong opinion by the Board of County Commissioners. It is not an enforceable order.”

Question 3: Even if I choose not to use the county’s No Mask-No Service Sign, am I required to make my customers wear a mask?

Answer: No. The county wants to encourage people to wear a mask. However, it is not mandatory or required. As a business owner, you have the option to request customers to wear a mask and to deny service to anyone who will not do so.

Question 4: What can I do if a customer refuses to wear a mask?

Answer: If your business requires a mask and an unmasked person enters your business, you can request the person to put on a mask or to leave. If they refuse to obey your request, they could be charged with trespassing.

7/29/2020 |The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program

The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts. Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis.

See the Program Details

7/28/2020 |Charlotte County Recovery Grant Program

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Charlotte County business community to confront immense challenges. As a result, on July 14, 2020 the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners approved the Recovery Grant Program to accelerate and assist the reopening efforts of businesses hardest hit by COVID-19. The application process for funding from the RECOVERY GRANT PROGRAM begins on August 3rd.

See the Program Details

5/20/2020 |Charlotte County Safety Plan to Reopen Short-Term Vacation Rentals

PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (May 20, 2020) – On May 20, the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations approved Charlotte County’s safety plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals.

Submitted on May 18, the plan outlines guidelines for reservations, health and safety of guests and cleanliness of the properties.

The Charlotte County economy has suffered greatly over the last few months, with many vacation rental owners having had no income coming in since the short-term rental ban was enacted on March 28. With restrictions on short term approvals now lifted, vacation rental owners are looking optimistically ahead.

“We appreciate the efforts put forth by the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitors Bureau, Charlotte County Commission and Gov. DeSantis to move us forward into the next phase of reopening, very vital to the tourism industry” said Rebecca Centeno, vice president of PG Hospitality. “We are ready to welcome guests to experience our newly remodeled vacation villas at Fishermen’s Village Resort. Our location on Charlotte Harbor celebrates the true flavor of Punta Gorda, the perfect setting for couples and families alike to get away, relax, play and make new memories with us.”

Vacation rentals will now be permitted to take bookings over the Memorial Day weekend, allowing some to begin to recover from the financial hardships endured as a result of COVID-19.

A few guidelines from Charlotte County’s safety plan include:

  • Vacation rentals reservations and stays will be allowed from all U.S. states with COVID-19 case rate less than 700 cases/100,000 residents
  • Reservations from areas identified by Florida’s governor as COVID-19 hot spots through executive orders are to be avoided for the next 45 days
  • Reservations from international travelers will not be accepted

“We are thrilled to have vacation rentals reopen,” said Keith Farlow, co-owner of Farlow’s On The Water. “Having visitors able to stay in our short-term rentals is the next level of economic recovery for our area. As a restaurant owner, we see and appreciate that dining out is part of the vacation experience.”

For a complete overview of what Charlotte County’s safety plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals entails, visit

For information, contact the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau at 941-743-1900.

5/15/2020 |PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Available

SBA and Treasury Release Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

WASHINGTON—Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The documents released today will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans.

View Application and Instructions

5/15/2020 | “FULL Phase 1” plan for the re-opening of Florida businesses is effective on Monday – May 18th. What’s included?

Flyer for Phase 1 reopening

Effective Monday, May 18, 2020
State of Florida
RESTAURANTS & FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS May increase indoor capacity to 50% with proper social distancing ,/ Outdoor seating encouraged
RETAIL May operate up to 50% capacity indoors
MUSEUMS & LIBRARIES ./ May operate up to 50% capacity if permitted by local governments
GYMS & FITNESS CENTERS May operate up 0,50% capacity Self-sanitize machines and surfaces after use
AMUSEMENT PARKS May submit re-opening plan to the State
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS VENUES v Professional sports teams are welcome in Florida Professional sports venues may open and operate for games, events and training
VACATION RENTALS Counties may seek approval to operate vacation rentals by submitting a wriften request and county vacation rental safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
ELECTIVE SURGERIES Elective surgeries may continue if a facility has adequate PPE, hospital bed surge capacity and works with the local community to prevent and/or contain outbreaks in long-term care facilities
BARBER SHOPS & SALONS Barber shops, hair salons and nail salons may operate while adhering to safety protocols effective May 11
SCHOOLS ./ Students continue with distance learning
LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES Visitation in long-term facilities prohibited for COVID-19 Hospitals required to test all individuals before discharge to long-term care facilities s/ Long-term care facilities required transfer COVID-19 positive residents if the facility is not equipped for appropriate care
Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.

5/7/2020 | The Englewood Area Fire Control District is providing information, to the RETAIL BUSINESSES, regarding the permitted opening of 25% capacity of your occupant load.

5/5/2020 | How Can I Reopen My Small Business?

As Phase I of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Reopening of Florida’s Economy begins on Monday, May 4, the Florida Chamber Small Business Council has put together a video for small businesses getting ready to reopen. This video will help small businesses answer their questions.

Watch Video

5/4/2020 | Are you confused by recently announced Social Distancing Requirements of Restaurants?

4/23/2020 | Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Program

Has your Sarasota Business been active for at least 3 years? Does your business have 50 employees or less? Did you file a PPP application? Would your business benefit from a loan of up to $25,000 … with $5,000 of that loan possibly being “forgiven”?

Get Program Details

4/20/2020 | The Greg Hill Foundation and Samuel Adams have teamed up to support those from the restaurant industry across the country who have been impacted by the Covid-19 closures.

4/13/2020 | Everyone is invited to take this short 3-question survey. “What’s missing?” Is there something that the Chamber can do to help you, your family and/or your business?

4/10/2020 | Are you unsure of the difference between the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)?

Here’s a simple to read comparison of the two programs.

Paycheck Protection Program vs Economic Injury Disaster Loan visual comparison, powered by SBA

4/8/2020 | Attention Sarasota County Business Owners. The Sarasota County Commissioners approved a relief plan put forth by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Sarasota County. Business are eligible for a 12 month INTEREST FREE loan up to $25,000.

4/7/2020 | Are you a business owner who could use some help to estimate your potential loan amount under the CARES Act (COVID-19 relief package) ?

4/3/2020 | Are you a Charlotte County resident who could use some help to pay: Rent / Mortgage, Utilities or other bills?

4/2/2020 | Every business owner (with less than 500 employees) should consider applying for the Paycheck Protection Program. Funds received from the program can be used for expenses other than just payroll.

3/31/2020 | If you are a restaurant worker whose wages have decreased, you may be eligible to receive a $500.00 grant. Applications are on a first-come / first-serve basis so you don’t want to put this off.

Who Should Apply To Receive Funds?

Funds will be available for restaurant employees who can demonstrate that they:

  • Worked on a part- or full-time basis in the restaurant industry for at least 90 days in the past year; and
  • Have had a primary source of income in the restaurant industry for the last year; and
  • Have experienced a decrease in wages or loss of job on or after March 10, 2020; and
  • Live in the United States, an overseas U.S. military base, or any U.S. territory; and
  • Are over the age of legal majority in their U.S. state or territory.

Individuals related to employees or board members of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation or National Restaurant Association are not eligible for grants from this Fund.

The one-time grants are intended to help offset short-term COVID-19 related financial hardships, such as paying any of the following expenses:

  • Home rent or mortgage
  • Car payments or transportation costs
  • Utility bills
  • Student loan payments
  • Child care
  • Groceries
  • Medical bills

Apply Here

3/30/2020 | The Englewood Sun (Sun Coast Media Group) is providing advertising assistance to small and medium-sized businesses

3/30/2020 | Florida Weekly has created a state-wide community resource site for businesses that are still operating. Businesses can post information regarding their current operations. This is FREE of charge as a public service.