Individuals, families and small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for emergency financial assistance through the County with the new Pinellas CARES fund.
Emergency assistance for individuals & families
Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance supports eligible individuals and families who have lost their jobs or significant income due to COVID-19 with one-time assistance paying overdue rent, mortgage and utility bills. Payments will be disbursed directly to the utility, mortgage or other eligible agency to which the individual bills are due.
Do you qualify?
You qualify if you answer yes to all four questions:
- Did you lose your job or a portion of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic? (For example, your workplace shut down under state or local orders.) You will be required to provide documentation. Examples: pay stubs, a letter from employer, proof of employer business closure.
- Right now (the month when you apply), does your household income qualify? Click here for qualifications or see chart below.
3. Do you have less than $4000 in liquid assets? (cash, savings and checking).
4. Are you a legal Pinellas County resident? Proof of citizenship or legal residency and Pinellas County residency required.
You can only apply for assistance to cover COVID-19-related costs that have not already been paid for by insurance or by another federal program.
If you meet all the qualifications, text COVIDCARES to 898211 to begin your application. If you cannot send text messages, call 2-1-1 to speak with someone who can assist you.
Small Business Grants
Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants will assist local businesses that had to close or significantly reduce operations due to the pandemic and the resulting statewide orders to curb the spread of the virus. Grants are limited to businesses with a commercial location in the county. This program will offer $5,000 grants to small businesses to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and mortgage or rent costs. This program is strictly limited to businesses physically located in Pinellas County.
- $5,000 for qualifying small businesses with a physical location in Pinellas County (1-25 full-time employees, or equivalent part-time employees, including the owner)
- Restaurants, bars, short-term lodging and other non-essential businesses impacted by the local or state safer-at-home orders are eligible
- Larger businesses, non-profits and home-based businesses are not eligible
- Funds can be used to pay employee wages, vendors, rent or other business expenses
- No reimbursement is required
- Businesses can only apply for this one-time assistance program to cover COVID-19 related costs that have not already been paid for by insurance or by another federal program.
Those interested in participating in this program are encouraged to review all qualifications before applying to expedite the process
For full program details, please go to: