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Commissioner Eileen Higgins Brings Retail Relief

Small businesses deemed non-essential can now apply for the Retail Relief Program that provides a $1,000 grant to help with the rent or mortgage of their commercial space

The District 5 Retail Relief Program was designed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the community in many unprecedented ways. Many small businesses were forced to shut down their operations, and retail stores were deemed nonessential and had to close due to emergency orders issued by local and state governments.

Since businesses are now reopening, the County is aiming to support them in the transition into what is now the "New Normal". To do this, the County expanded the eligibility requirements for Phase II of the reopening, which now includes nonessential retail businesses and restaurants.

Part of phase II is the District 5 Retail Relief Program which aims to provide $1,000 grants for businesses to pay their rent or mortgage payments. Businesses will be required to provide proof of the rent or mortgage payment that was made in order to be reimbursed for $1,000. Taking away the stress of paying rent allows business owners to focus on other funding, like payroll, staffing, and reopening costs.

Eligible businesses must be located in District 5 and must have been deemed nonessential by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez following emergency orders issued on March 19. Some of these businesses include art supply stores, craft supply stores, barber shops, beauty salons, bookstores, restaurants located in District 5, and many others.

In addition, businesses must have at least two and no more than ten employees as of the date of closure. They must also be a for-profit businesses that has been in operation for at least one year and operates in a rented or owner commercial space.

Nonessential businesses include home-based businesses, businesses that were deemed essential and therefore allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, independent contractors, businesses outside of District 5, and national chains.

Applicants should apply by email and can expect to be notified through email of the results within 10 days of submission. Submissions should be sent to

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