COVID-19 Resources for Lakeland Small Businesses
COVID-19 Resources for Lakeland Small Businesses

March 31, 2020

  To aid the entrepreneurs in the Lakeland area during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled a resource pack, featuring funding streams, productivity tools, and information updates from local, statewide, and national sources.


BREAKING: FL Governor Announces State Shutdown

 Governor DeSantis has issued a “Safer at Home” Executive Order

• Defines essential business as outlined by Dept. of Homeland Security and Miami-Dade County

• In place from 4/3 at 12:01 a.m. through 4/30, subject to extensions

The Lakeland Chamber Virtual Elevator Pitches

 Business owners are invited to create a 15 second video about their business

• Submit the video to this email for a chance to be featured


U.S. Dept of the Treasury: Paycheck Protection Program Update

 Small businesses will be able to apply for a loan under PPP starting Friday, April 3

• Dept. released a top line overview of the program

• Information for borrowers can be found here

Application for borrowers is now available


Disaster Loans for Small Businesses COVID-19 by the SBDC

 Resources around working remote, selling online, funding help, & staying healthy

Updated with new information regularly

 Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

 Clarifies answers to frequently asked questions about emergency loans

 More Coronavirus resources form the US Chamber of Commerce can be found here

State of the Spark Corona Recovery Dashboard

 Resources around working remote, selling online, funding help, & staying healthy

Updated with new information regularly

Paycheck Protection Program FAQ’s by Hillsborough County

 Quick overview of this partially forgivable loan program for small businesses

Loan program established by the CARES Act will distribute $350B

• Covers eligibility and application questions

Lakeland Gift Card Incentive Program

 List of local businesses offering gift cards for purchase

Purchases provide needed sales to sustain businesses during this pandemic

• Submit an addition to the list here


CareerSource Polk: Short Time Compensation Information

 Information, links & examples about this program from the Florida DEO

Helpful clarification for both employers and employees

Center State Bank Emergency Loan Clarification

Clarifies funding options available to small businesses from local bank, Center State

Detailed breakdown of SBA Loan options and Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Good Intents Free Local SEO Updates

Catapult Members Good Intents are offering free changes to Google Business Listings

Update customers on how your operations have been affected by COVID-19

Good Intents has also written an article with tips about remote working as a team 


 State of the Spark Free Website Updates 

Complimentary website updates regarding COVID-19 information

Email with your request


City of Lakeland Cancellations & Closures

List of government offices and closures

Website will be updated as pandemic develops


Lakeland Electric COVID-19 Response

Temporarily suspended service disconnects for non-payment until further notice

Closed lobby and drop-box, but all other payment options remain open

Customer service remains available at or at 863-834-9535


Essential Services: Defined

State by state list of “non essential business” definitions

As of March 23rd, “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders have allowed restaurants to continue to offer takeout and delivery options


Bridge Local Zoom Meetings

Calendar of scheduled Zoom meetings around Lakeland small business support

View recordings of past meetings on their Facebook page

See Facebook post for recap of the CARES Act call with Congressman Spano

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Resource Guide

Includes links to Florida Chamber information + general business tips

List of Lakeland Chamber Restaurant Takeout & Delivery Options




The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses experiencing economic hardship

Small business owners with two to 100 employees can apply 

Up to $50,000 of relief available per business


Embarc Collective Open Source COVID-19 Database

Professional and personal resources for startup operators

Work from home tips, productive tools, collaboration software

Accepting contributions to the database here.


Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County 

Free consulting to help small businesses prepare disaster loan applications. 

Phone or Skype appointments available

Visit to request a phone or Skype appointment.


Business Damage Assessment Survey

Used to collect information about the impacts of COVID-19 on Florida businesses

Governor Ron DeSantis has asked business owners to participate


Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Online applications available for Reemployment Assistance

Reemployment Assistance Hotline available at 1-800-204-2418

Provides a COVID-19 FAQ resource for those filing


Florida Health Department COVID-19 Information

Florida specific resources surrounding the state’s response to COVID-19

Dashboard featuring information about COVID-19 cases in Florida


NYTimes: F.A.Q. on Stimulus Checks, Unemployment and the Coronavirus Bill

 Commonly asked questions regarding new legislation

Includes information around unemployment updates and stimulus checks

Shopify’s Ecommerce Business Blueprint

Resource compiled by Ecommerce platform Shopify

• How to build, launch, and grow a profitable online store

Key tips around shipping costs, online store design, and more


New York Times: Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

Plain language breakdown of unemployment insurance and how to pause federal loans

Who and what the new paid leave law covers

• Other COVID-19 related financial tips + information


CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Interim guidance around preventing workplace exposure

Planning considerations for an infectious disease outbreak response


SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans 

Loans available of up to $2 million in assistance

Long-term repayments available, up to a maximum of 30 years

Apply at


CO.STARTERS Recovery Guide

Broad list of outside links to nationwide resources 

Funding resources and tips for microloans and grants


Facebook for Business Resource Hub

Resources such as toolkits, action guides, and more

Information about upcoming Facebook Small Business Grant Program

Program will provide $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 businesses


United Way COVID-19 Response

Dial 211 to speak to someone about local assistance at any time.

Donate to the United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund


Startup Commons Free Online Innovation Entrepreneurship Course

Offer 100% discounts for online courses 

Modules covering the startup journey, formation, validation, scaling 



Rally for Restaurants

Platform for buying gift cards to independent restaurants 

Use a ZIP Code search to find local favorites link Good Thyme or Mojo Federal

Invite restaurant owners to platform via link


Women in Hospitality United

A crowd sourced Google Sheet around restaurants’ responses to COVID-19

Ideas for how to adjust service during outbreak

Ideas for how to support staff


One Fair Wage

Applications currently open for emergency relief for service workers

Providing emergency cash gifts to applicants

Accepting donations to continue relief efforts 


Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

A national fund for restaurant worker relief

Applications currently open

Accepting donations here


Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

Nationwide fund for displaced restaurant workers

Fund currently under construction 

Email to join waitlist


USBG National Charity Foundation

Launched the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program to aid needs 

Do not need to be a USBG member to apply for a philanthropic grant 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This