St. Johns County Cornavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Updates

Business Assistance Information

September 4, 2020

Flagler Hospital COVID-19 Testing Site Closed September 7

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the COVID-19 testing site at Flagler Hospital will be closed Monday, September 7. The site will reopen on Tuesday, September 8. The free COVID-19 testing site is available from 7 to 11 a.m. each weekday in Parking Lot B at Flagler Hospital, 400 Health Park Blvd. For more information, please visit www.sjcfl.us or call 904.824.5550.


September 3, 2020

St. Johns County Launches SJC CARES Nonprofit Grant Recovery Program

St. Johns County launched the SJC CARES Nonprofit Grant Recovery Program on September 3, 2020, to help eligible nonprofit agencies respond to and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. St. Johns County 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations may be eligible for a grant of up to $20,000, and funds may be used for expenses related to mortgage or rent, utilities, payroll, PPE equipment, facility hardening, sanitizing/cleaning supplies, and other COVID-19-related costs. For eligibility information or to apply, please visit www.sjcfl.us/sjccares, call 904.209.6050, or email sjccares@sjcfl.us.


August 17, 2020

St. Johns County CARES Program Launches August 20

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is launching St. Johns County CARES, a program to help local businesses, residents, and nonprofit organizations respond to and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. Applications for small businesses and residents will be available at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 20. Applications for nonprofit organizations will be available in the coming weeks. A financial assistance program utilizing more than $18 million in federal CARES Act funding, St. Johns County CARES provides grants to eligible applicants who suffered loss of revenue or income, or incurred unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses may qualify for up to $20,000 in grant funding and residential households may qualify for up to $5,000 in grant funding. Qualification criteria and level of assistance to nonprofit organizations are still under development and will be available by the end of August. For more information, please visit www.sjcfl.us/sjccares, call 904.209.6050, or email sjccares@sjcfl.us.


June 25, 2020

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Encourages Businesses to Require Masks

The St. Johns Board of County Commissioners strongly encourages local businesses to mandate that employees and customers wear masks while inside their establishments in order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. The recommendation is made in conjunction with Pledge St. Johns County, a program that offers businesses the opportunity to pledge to adhere to CDC guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting protocols, group size limitations, social distancing recommendations, and enhanced employee protocols and training. Businesses that take the Pledge are eligible to receive a limited mask allotment for distribution to their customers and employees. Business owners or managers who would like to take the Pledge, or patrons who would like to support "Pledge St. Johns County" businesses, may do so by visiting www.pledgesjc.com. For additional information regarding mask allotments for businesses that take the Pledge, please call 904.824.5550 or email pledgesjc@sjcfl.us.


June 12, 2020

New "Pledge St. Johns County" Program Encourages Business Commitment to CDC Health Guidelines

A new "Pledge St. Johns County" program offers businesses the opportunity to commit to CDC guidelines and ensure St. Johns County residents, visitors, and employees are safe and comfortable in their establishments. Created in partnership with the City of St. Augustine, the City of St. Augustine Beach, the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, and the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, "Pledge St. Johns County" features a pledge in which businesses vow to adhere to guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting protocols, group size limitations, social distancing recommendations, and enhanced employee protocols and training. In addition, they pledge to encourage the use of face coverings by staff and customers. Organizations that take the Pledge will receive a toolkit of printable display materials to let employees and customers know they are a "Pledge St. Johns County" business. Pledged businesses will also be recognized on the "Pledge St. Johns County" website directory. Business owners or managers who would like to take the Pledge, or patrons who would like to support "Pledge St. Johns County" businesses, may do so by visiting www.pledgesjc.com.


June 10, 2020

Updated St. Johns County Short-Term Vacation Rental Reopening Plan

St. Johns County submitted an updated Short-Term Vacation Rental Reopening Plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on June 9, 2020. The amended plan was approved and became effective June 10, 2020. The new plan addresses a variety of factors including time between rentals, cleaning and sanitization requirements, and visitors from states listed in the Governor's Executive orders. Please review the updated St. Johns County Short-Term Vacation Rental Reopening Plan or call 904.824.0550 for additional information.


St. Johns County Back to Business Grant Program

The Back to Business Grant Application period closed at 5 PM on June 1, 2020. All applicants will be informed of the status of their application, as soon as funding decisions have been finalized. We apologize for the delay. If further assistance is needed, you may send an email to: btb@sjcfl.us.  

St. Johns County Small Business Recovery Kits
In an effort to assist with economic recovery, St. Johns County is distributing Small Business Recovery kits to support local employers in providing a safe and healthy environment for employees and customers upon reopening. To receive a personal protection equipment kit, applicants must own a St. Johns County business, be able to open to the public in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-112, have five to 50 employees, and not be a home-based business. Businesses that do not already have personal protection equipment may sign up by emailing ppe@sjcfl.us with the following information:

  • Owner Name
  • Company Name
  • Business Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Number of Employees
  • Copy of Business License

Each kit contains one box of 50 gloves, one box of 50 disposable masks, and one bottle of hand sanitizer. Initial supplies are limited, and priority will be given to the restaurant, health care, hospitality, tourism, and retail industries. Businesses must be registered to receive a kit and are limited to one kit per business. For more information or for other business recovery and assistance questions, please call the St. Johns County Business Assistance Hotline at 904.209.6050 or email ppe@sjcfl.us.


State Resources

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program (EBL)
Activated by Governor Ron DeSantis and managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), this program provides short term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experience economic injury from COVID-19. Florida small businesses, those with two to 100 employees, impacted by COVID-19 may receive a loan up to $50,000. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. For more information and to apply, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. Additional information is available at 833.832.4494 or floridabusinessloanfund@deo.myflorida.com.

Small Business Microfinance Guarantee Program
This program, managed by Enterprise Florida, offers small businesses and entrepreneurs in Florida with greater access to credit by providing targeted guarantees to loans. To assist local businesses impacted by COVID-19, Enterprise Florida has suspended the initial 2% fees. Contact a local lender to apply. To learn more, visit Small Business Microfinance Guarantee Program.

Short-Time Compensation Program for Employers
Provided by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, this program for employers encourages work sharing instead of layoffs during times of temporary slowdowns. For more information, visit Short Time Compensation Program for Employers

Florida Disaster Business Damage Assessment Survey
Businesses within St. Johns County are highly encouraged to fill out the Florida Disaster Business Damage Assessment Survey to help county officials and staff have a better understanding of the economic damage experienced from COVID-19. To take the survey, visit Florida Disaster Business Damage Assessment Survey.

Federal Resources

USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response
USDA Rural Development has taken actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide relief to our customers, partners, and stakeholders: USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response (PDF)

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
This program, through the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides eligible entities with a working capital loan up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue from COVID-19. Also, an Economic Injury Disaster Advance is available for up to $10,000 and can be provided approximately three days after the application is complete and approved. The advance does not have to be repaid. For more information and to apply, visit SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). Additional information is available at 800.877.8339 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Employee Retention Credit
Part of the CARES Act, the purpose of this refundable tax credit for eligible employers through the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service is to keep employees on the payroll, despite economic hardship caused by COVID-19. The tax credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to an employee, with the maximum credit being $5,000 per employee. For more information, visit CARES ACT Employee Retention Credit.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
This program, created through the CARES Act and managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides loans up to $10 million to assist with job retention and is available for small businesses and other eligible organizations, as well as those who are self-employed and independent contractors. A portion of the loan may be forgiven if it is used to retain jobs. The application period runs through June 30, 2020, and the program can be applied for through lenders approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, visit CARES ACT Paycheck Protection Program. Additional information is available at 800.877.8339 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

As of April 3, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended all documentary stamp taxes for any small business loans made related to Title 1 of the CARES Act Payment Protection Program.

Participating Lending Insitutions in St. Johns County

This is a working list of participating lending institutions in St. Johns County for the Paycheck Protection Program. Additional lending institutions are approved daily. It is recommended for business owners to begin the process by contacting their current bank.

Ameris Bank  |  Bank of America  |  BBVA
CenterState Bank  |  Chase Bank  |  Community First Credit Union
Fifth Third Bank  |  First Citizens Bank  |  Iberia Bank
Regions Bank  |  TD Bank  |  Truist (BB&T and SunTrust) Valley Bank
VyStar Credit Union  |  Wells Fargo

Resources

State of Florida

St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce links & resources:

More Business Resources

 

SJC COVID-19 Assistance Hotlines

Shop & Dine St. Johns County

Resources

Emergency Proclamations

Contacts