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Polk Cares 2020 NEW INFORMATION 

Polk Cares 2020 NEW INFORMATION 

Polk Cares 2020 NEW INFORMATIONSmall Business Funding –

Funds Still Available! You can now apply for the Polk Cares 2020 Grants even if you received PPP or EIDL loans. Apply today! https://www.polk-county.net/ polk-cares-2020

Polk County has also increased the grant levels. Businesses that were previously approved or received a check at a prior grant funding amount will automatically receive a second check to make up for the difference. 

Small businesses that can show they were impacted by COVID-19 include funding levels of:

  • $2,000 for those who are self-employed
  • $5,000 for businesses with 2 – 9 employees
  • $10,000 for businesses with 10 – 25 employees.

Small business applicants must attest they:

  • Were negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Have the authority to apply for this grant on behalf of the business
  • Will use the grant funds for authorized business expenses only
  • Will apply for a Polk County Business Tax Receipt if not registered with the Polk County Tax Collector
  • Plan to resume normal operations after emergency guidelines are lifted
  • Shall cooperate with Polk County or appropriate officials for grant auditing purposes

Required Business Documents

  • Completed and signed W-9
  • Valid state issued photo ID
  • Copy of active state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations or a Polk County Business Tax Receipt or a city issued business tax receipt
  • For businesses with 2 to 25 employees, W3 Summary or IRS Form 941 prior to Feb. 15, 2020
  • Information to estimate your company’s average monthly business expenses before Feb. 15, 2020

Apply Today! https://www.polk-county.net/ polk-cares-2020

Polk Cares Business FAQs

Funds will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocation is gone. The county has until Dec. 30, 2020 to use this grant. The allocated funds to both small businesses do not have to be paid back.

Open enrollment for fall 2020 starts June 1 at Polk State College

Open enrollment for fall 2020 starts June 1 at Polk State College

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 — Registration continues to take place for the second six-week summer session that will start on June 22 and the fall semester that will start on August 17. Currently enrolled students can register for fall classes now. Open enrollment for fall will begin on June 1.

Students currently enrolled at Polk State may register for classes through their Passport accounts. Dual enrollment students should email DEregistration@polk.edu for assistance with registration.

Prospective students must submit a free online application to the College at www.polk.edu. More information about the application, orientation, and registration processes are available online at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps.

Although the College’s campuses and centers remain closed to students and prospective students until further notice due to COVID-19, advisors are ready to remotely serve them with setting their academic goals, accessing information and services, and making responsible decisions consistent with their goals and degree requirements. Students and prospective students may email registrar@polk.edu or call 863.297.1000 for assistance with registration and advising.

Please note that the Registrar’s phone line is operating Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students may leave voicemails to receive assistance from employees working remotely outside of these hours. Please allow 48 business hours for a response to voicemail and email.

Students are also encouraged to begin the financial aid process as soon as possible. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may email financialaid@polk.edu, call 863.297.1004, or view the College’s online FAFSA tutorial at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid for assistance with financial aid.

Polk State continues to maintain full operations remotely with faculty and staff prepared to assist students by email, phone, and the College’s learning management system, Canvas. The College understands that some students may experience barriers to accessing the online learning environment and continues to provide resources on www.polk.edu.

Throughout the application, registration, and financial aid processes, students are encouraged to monitor their Polk State emails and accounts for important updates. Students should also visit www.polk.edu and the College’s social media for the latest news and additional resources as they become available.

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.

Applications for Polk Cares 2020 funds available May 19

Applications for Polk Cares 2020 funds available May 19

Bartow, Fla. (May 18, 2020) — Beginning Tuesday, May 19, Polk County individuals and small business owners may apply online for financial assistance meant to provide relief to those affected by cutbacks and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In late April, the county received $126 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant meant to provide relief to small businesses and residents who were either furloughed or laid off from their jobs. The Board of County Commissioners allocated $40 million for small business economic development needs and $30 million for health and human service needs. The remaining $56 million will be used for community healthcare related to the coronavirus and county and local government’s costs and services in dealing with COVID-19.

Both funds will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis until the allocation is gone. Funds allocated by Polk County from the federal government’s CARES Act to both small businesses and individuals do not have to be paid back.

The online application process will require residents and business owners to fill out a form and attach verifying documentation with the application. Residents who do not have technology access to complete the online process may contact United Way of Central Florida at 2-1-1 to apply for assistance from Polk County.

A call center to assist residents with questions regarding Polk County’s CARES Act financial assistance will open on Tuesday, May 19. Call center help will be available from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday. Assistance will be provided in English and Spanish by calling (863) 298-7500. The call center will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25.

The online applications for both households and small businesses are available on the Polk County website at www.polk-county.net/polk-cares-2020. You may print the application and required documentation and either mail it or deliver it; however, applications submitted electronically will be reviewed much quicker. Printed applications may be delivered or sent to the Communications Division, Board of County Commissioners, 330 W. Church St., Bartow, FL 33830.

Individuals/Households

Individuals and/or households may apply for rent, mortgage and utility assistance. Individuals who have lost their job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reside in a household with combined income of less than $75,000 will be eligible for $2,000 assistance.

On your application, you must confirm that you have not received other COVID-19 assistance for rent, mortgage or utility payments.

Required documents include:

  • Valid Florida ID or Florida Driver License
  • 2019 Income Tax return, or your 2018 tax return and the most recent paystubs for the past 60 days
  • Proof of loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to loss of employment (furlough, lay-off letter from employer, unemployment statement, etc.)
  • Utility invoice, and mortgage or rent bill

Small Business

Small businesses that can show they were impacted by COVID-19 include funding levels of $1,000 for those who are self-employed, $2,500 for businesses with 2 – 9 employees, and $5,000 for businesses with 10 – 25 employees.

Small business applicants must attest they:

  • Were negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Have the authority to apply for this grant on behalf of the business
  • Have not received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL); or benefited from the SBA Debt Relief Program as provided under the CARES Act
  • Will use the grant funds for authorized business expenses only
  • Will apply for a Polk County Business Tax Receipt if not registered with the Polk County Tax Collector
  • Plan to resume normal operations after emergency guidelines are lifted
  • Shall cooperate with Polk County or appropriate officials for grant auditing purposes

Required business documents include:

  • W-9, DBA, Employer ID Number, or Social Security number for sole proprietors
  • Valid photo ID
  • Copy of active state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations
  • W3 Summary or IRS Form 941 prior to February 15, 2020 (businesses with 2-25 employees only)
  • Information to estimate your company’s average monthly expenses for wages, business utilities, and commercial lease (or mortgage interest), and other business expenses before February 15, 2020.

For more information, visit the county’s website at www.polk-county.net or the call center at (863) 298-7500 on or after Tuesday, May 19.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Launch of Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Launch of Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced $20 million is now available to local governments through the Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program. The Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program is designed to provide funding opportunities for local governments, educational institutions, state agencies and non-profits to develop or update state, regional or local plans which will enable the state of Florida to withstand future disasters.

The funds are allocated through HUD’s newly created Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program formed in response to the 2016 to 2017 presidentially declared disasters.

Local governments, educational institutions, state agencies and non-profits may apply individually for funding to propose projects that meet program requirements, including benefiting low-to-moderate income (LMI) populations.

The deadline to complete an application is July 31, 2020, and DEO staff will be available to provide technical assistance to communities during the application process. For more information about the program, including how to complete an application, visit the Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program’s webpage.

To provide local governments, state agencies and educational institutions with more information about the Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program, DEO will host a webinar at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Click here to register.

According to the guidelines set by the Federal Register, at least 50 percent of CDBG-MIT funds must be spent in HUD-designated Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas, with the remaining funds spent in state-designated MID areas. The CDBG-MIT funding is available for use in 51 Florida counties.

Last month, DEO launched the Rebuild Florida Critical Facility Hardening Program with $75 million in funding for local governments and state agencies to increase the resilience of critical facilities that serve a public safety purpose for local communities.

Rebuild Florida is a partnership of DEO and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Launched in September 2018, Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term disaster recovery efforts. For more information, visit RebuildFlorida.gov.

About DEO
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visiwww.floridajobs.org.

Polk State College District Board of Trustees Considering Changes in Fees for 2020-21

Polk State College District Board of Trustees Considering Changes in Fees for 2020-21

Winter Haven, May 13, 2020 – The Polk State College District Board of Trustees (DBOT) will consider changes in lab fees for college credit, Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, and Educator Preparation Institute courses offered at the College at the June 22, 2020 Board Meeting. Each year the College evaluates all fees to ensure that charges accurately reflect any changes in the cost of instructional materials or supplemental items required for courses. Polk State has a total of 228 lab fees for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. One hundred fifty-two fees are unchanged from 2019-2020. Thirty-two lab fees are decreasing due to reductions in the cost of supplies. Twenty-eight fees are increasing due to increases in the cost of supplies and instruction. Sixteen fees are being added to serve new courses or new course requirements. Details of the fee changes, read more here.

Polk CARES 2020

Polk CARES 2020

For more information visit, https://www.polk-county.net/polk-cares-2020

Small businesses designated by the number of employees would receive the following
amounts: Self-employed: $1,000 | 2 to 9 employees: $2,500 |10 to 25 employees: $5,000.

There may be additional requirements, but these we know to be accurate.

It is important you apply immediately when the application opens beginning Tuesday, May 19 if you feel your business will qualify.

Business Entity Requirements:
– Must substantiate negative impact by the COVID-19 emergency.
– Have not been approved or received funds from PPP or EIDL or received SBA Debt Relief
– Must be headquartered and located physically in Polk County, Florida.
– Has to be legally established and in good standing in Polk County and the State of Florida prior to February 15, 2020.
– Expects to resume normal operations after emergency guidelines are lifted.

Ineligible Businesses:
– Has more than 25 employees.
– May not be a subsidiary or partially owned by a publicly traded company or hedge fund.
– Companies with legal actions against or from the County, including code enforcement liens.

Benefit:
– Funds will be offered on a first come, first served basis until the allocation is exhausted.
– The funding amounts are $1000, $2500 and $5000 determined by the size of the company applying.
– The funds are disbursed as a grant to qualified businesses.
– Allocated funds do not have to be repaid
– The funding to be used to help offset business expenses including, but not limited to commercial mortgage, lease, business utilities and payroll.

Application Process:
– Online applications accessed through Polk County website and a paper application process is being discussed
– Secure documentation will be uploaded via the application system.
– Applicant will digitally sign and certify information.

Required Documentation:
– Statement of need
– IRS Form 941 (for businesses with more than two employees).
– Copy of active Sunbiz business registration dated prior to February 15, 2020.

For more information visit, https://www.polk-county.net/polk-cares-2020