Business Resources 


UPDATED 2/9/2021

The City of Winter Garden is currently monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak within our community. Businesses are currently operating at 100% and following safety protocols.


Applications for PPP2 Loan Expire March 31, 2021

Over $248 billion is available for new loans, thanks to the new stimulus bill legislation, the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) that was signed into law on December 27, 2020.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that in order to promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP loans on Wednesday, January 13. PPP is expected to open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.

Eligibility for Second Round PPP Loans (PPP2)

  • Available to first-time qualified borrowers
  • Available to borrowers that previously received a PPP loan and will or has used full amount for authorized uses
  • Second-time borrowers must have 300 or fewer employees, and before applying for forgiveness, borrowers must prove that they saw at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

Use of PPP Funds 

Congress expanded the types of expenses for which PPP loans can be used, which applies to existing PPP loans (except in the event forgiveness has already been obtained) and new loans. In order for PPP2 loan fund to be forgiven, they must be used within 8-24 weeks of receiving the loan. Also, at least 60% of the funds must be used for payroll costs, and up to 40% may be spent on operating costs such as rent, covered mortgage interest and utilities, as well as newly approved expenses:

  • Covered Operations Expenditures
  • Covered Property Damage Costs
  • Covered Supplier Costs
  • Covered Worker Protection Expenditures

PPP Forgiveness 

As a reminder, PPP loans are designed to be 100% forgivable if the proceeds are spent in accordance with program rules. Additional Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 highlights and immediate information can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

How To Apply

Click here for the form required to apply for PPP with an eligible lender

As during the initial round of PPP loans in 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will not accept PPP applications directly from small businesses during the current 2021 round — you must apply through a participating financial institution. The program is expected to close to all borrowers on March 31, 2021.

Maximum Loan Amount

The maximum loan amount in the second round is $2 million. Borrowers have an option to calculate the maximum loan amount by multiplying the borrower's average total monthly payroll by 2.5x. One of the following must be used when calculating the maximum loan amount:

  • The one-year period prior to the date on which the loan is made, OR
  • Calendar year 2019

Maximum Loan Amounts for the Hospitality Industry 

Borrowers that have NAICS Code 72 (typically restaurants and hotels) are permitted to use a 3.5x multiplier of their average monthly payroll costs to calculate their maximum loan amount, subject to the $2 million cap. 

For more information, visit U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program


The new federal recovery law includes more funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance grants. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has indicated the EIDL grant application will be available by January 17, 2021. 


The EIDL grant is a form of small business relief providing $10,000 dollars in grants, i.e., completely free and non-repayable money, to select small businesses. The grant program was part of the initial CARES Act in 2020, but funds were exhausted within months. In December, Congress allocated additional funds for the program.

Who is Eligible: 

  • Business was in operation prior to January 31, 2020, 
  • Business has less than 300 employees, 
  • Business is located in a low-income community,* and 
  • Business suffered at least a 30% reduction in gross receipts during any 8-week period between March 2, 2020 – December 31, 2021 compared to a comparable 8-week period before March 2 or in 2019.

* What is a low-income community? This article explains how to determine if you live in a low-income community.

When to Apply: 

Authorized through December 31, 2021, but applications close when funds run out – so if eligible, apply fast. SBA hopes to be accepting applications on or around January 17, 2021. 

How to Apply: 

The SBA Application portal should be ready by January 17, 2021. Small businesses should monitor the SBA website daily for more information. 

Additional Details: 

  • EIDL advance grants are not counted as gross income for tax purposes. 
  • Once you apply, the SBA is required to make a determination on application approval within 21 days.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

For information on Orange County's Vaccine Distribution Locations visit

OC Vaccination Info

Governor's Latest Executive Order opens all Businesses to 100% Capacity

The Governor signed a new executive order on September 25th lifting all previous executive orders he had signed allowing all businesses to operate at capacity.

The executive order does not address safety protocols.  The City of Winter Garden recommends that all businesses and employees continue to provide the necessary health protocols to keep employees and customers safe.

The executive order can be found here

Florida’s Plan for Recovery

The Governor’s State Plan for reopening the state can be found here.  Florida began Phase 3 on September 25, 2020.  All businesses are currently operating at 100% capacity.

Florida Updates and Plan for Recovery

How to open and run your business safely during COVID 19

Orange County issues Executive Order requiring Face Covering when in Public 

 Please read the Executive Order below.

Orange County Executive Order

Orange County opens up the Business Assistance $10,000 Grant Program 

Orange County has opened the program and you can apply by going here.

Outdoor Dining and Curbside Program

The City of Winter Garden implemented a Curbside and Outdoor Dining Program for Downtown Winter Garden in April 2020. This program has been very well received. Since implementing the Downtown Program, the City of Winter Garden has worked with restaurants outside of Downtown to establish outdoor dining areas.

The month of May will be declared by the City Commission as Outdoor Dining Month and will be promoted as a safe way for our community to support local restaurants.

LOVE LOCAL Winter Garden Campaign Enters Phase Two

Love Local 2 Activities March-July 2021

The Love Local campaign, launched by the City of Winter Garden last fall, continues in 2021 with a line-up of programs and activities to help small businesses recover from financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of the Love Local campaign is to build awareness of the importance of financially supporting small businesses and community organizations that are vital to the city. This includes loving ALL of the local community – businesses, non-profits, artists, the farmers market as well as locally produced food.  

From now through the summer, the campaign will include monthly activities and initiatives that support local businesses and community organizations. The campaign fittingly launches in the month of love with Valentine’s weekend activities as well as a plea to share the love with local nonprofits. Additional initiatives will include Shop, Dine & Stroll on March 27 in honor of National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day; Arts in April with a daylong celebration on April 17 to support the local arts and artists; the proclamation of May as Outdoor Dining Month; a Winter Garden Farmers Market 13th Birthday celebration on June 5; as well as Downtown decked out America-style from May-July.

The City has also partnered with a national company, HOWND, to promote local businesses and increase sales through their effortless foot traffic utilizing their mobile app and other tools. To learn more, please read about the partnership below.

For more information about the Love Local Campaign, please visit

Business Promotion Partnership with HOWND

The City is teaming up with Hownd®, a customer foot traffic and revenue-generation platform for local brick and mortar businesses that has generated nearly $3 million in immediate revenue for merchants throughout the country during the pandemic. The City is partnering West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the Orange Observer and Winter Garden Village to help promote the program to local businesses. The Hownd partnership is part of the city’s “Love Local” program designed to support its businesses during the pandemic by stimulating awareness and increasing customer foot traffic.

Winter Garden-based brick and mortar businesses can sign up for Hownd with zero risk since the city is paying this fee and because Hownd does not charge a set-up fee or require a monthly subscription. To learn more, please go to this link. Open here

Orange County CARES PPE Program

Orange County has closed some of their business assistance programs but Personal Protective Equipment is still available. To learn more about the County CARES Program please click here.

Other programs available through the Orange County CARES program can be found here:  CARES Program

CareerSource Help is Here Program

The Help is Here Program provides needed services to help dislocated workers gain the skills needed to stay competitive and marketable in the current job market. CareerSource Helper is Here offers the following:

Individualized Career Consultation | Job Search Preparation | Effective Interview Skills | Resume Assistance | Training Opportunities | Internships | Apprenticeships | Job Placement

To learn more, click here.

Florida Reemployment (Unemployment) Assistance Program

The Reemployment Assistance program provides temporary and partial wage replacement for qualified workers who have become unemployed, through no fault of their own, during this public health emergency. You can apply online for Reemployment Assistance (formerly known as unemployment compensation) if you were working in Florida and are now:

  1. temporarily unable to work due to positive COVID-19 test result

  2. quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency

  3. laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period because of COVID-19

  4. caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with COVID-19

Learn more about Reemployment Assistance and how to apply.

Please click here to apply.

Duke Energy Payment Plan

Customers still facing financial challenges can request an extended payment arrangement quickly and easily:

Please click here to learn more

Other Business Resources

City’s Business Promotion Program with HOWND - Click here

West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Click here 

Orlando Economic Partnership - Click here for regional business resources

Should you need assistance, please call Tanja Gerhartz 407.947.1720

Please be safe and stay strong Winter Garden!