Guidelines for Emergency Small Business Reimbursement Grant

  1. Overview
The City of Miami Beach Emergency Small Business Grant Program will reimburse participating small businesses up to $20,000 in relief from the economic distress caused by COVID-19. Pursuant to the CARES Act, the Community Development Block Grant-Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) program funding is intended to “avoid job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing, by providing short-term working capital assistance to small businesses, to enable retention of jobs held by low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons.” The goal of the Program is to support and promote business longevity by retaining or creating jobs.
  1. Purpose and intent
  • These guidelines are intended to facilitate the efficient, effective, and consistent implementation of the Miami Beach Emergency Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program.
  1. Eligible businesses
Category A Criteria: Microenterprise
  • Microenterprise located within the City of Miami Beach.
  • Business must have 5 employees or less - a microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.
  • Owner of the microenterprise business earns at or below 80% AMI.
  • Owner does not need to be paid as an employee or be included in the payroll register.
---- OR ----
Category B Criteria: Job Creation/Retention
  • Small Business located within the City of Miami Beach.
  • Small Business must have 10 employees or less – a small business is defined as a commercial enterprise that has ten or fewer employees.
  • Ability to retain/create one fulltime job, for a minimum of 12 months, for an employee that resides in a Miami Beach household earning no more than 80% area median income (AMI).
  • The retained or created fulltime job may be a combination of multiple part-time jobs.
*Please see Program Terms below for explanation of 80% AMI.
-Before applying under Category A - Microenterprise, the business owner MUST verify that the business owner meets the income requirement.
-Before applying under Category B - Job Creation/Retention, the business owner MUST verify that it has an employee, or is reasonably able to hire an employee, whose household meets this income requirement.
  • Demonstrated Need: Applicants are required to describe the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the business (including employees laid off, reduction of employee hours, business revenue/loss, etc.).
  1. Ineligible businesses
  • Category A - Businesses with more than 5 employees
  • Category B - Businesses with more than 10 employees
  • Businesses with outstanding code violation(s)
  1. Requirements
  • Applicable City of Miami Beach/Miami-Dade County/State of Florida licenses must be up to date
  • Miami Beach 2021 Business Tax Receipt must be in paid status (with consideration of the new BTR payment options)
  • Applicant must be a business that was or became operational prior to October 1, 2019 (as evidenced by a 2020 City of Miami Beach Certificate of Use or Business Tax Receipt).
  • Business owner/operator/applicant shall have no outstanding code liens, fines or violations, pending litigation with the City of Miami Beach or any unpaid ad valorem property taxes (if owner of the property).
  • Regardless of reimbursement amount being requested (up to $20,000), only one grant application per business is allowed.
  • Grant application must be signed by the president/general manager/majority owner of the business.
  • Applicants may not submit multiple applications using different partners, family members or other persons.
  • An applicant (including the applicant’s spouse, parents or children) may only submit one application for a single business for which the applicant (including his or her spouse, parent or children) holds a “controlling interest.” The term “controlling interest” shall mean either (i) the power to direct the management and decisions (both major decisions and day-to-day operational decisions) of any business, whether the business is held through a corporation, partnership, trust or any other type of entity, or (ii) a majority ownership of the outstanding capital stock of any such entity.
  • Accordingly, if an applicant (including his or her spouse, parent or children) holds a controlling interest in more than one eligible business, only one of those businesses may apply for and receive funding through the Program, even if the business has more than one owner.
  • To be considered, applications must be completed in full, signed and submitted via the designated online platform. Applications may not be hand-delivered by the applicant.
  • To receive the reimbursement payment, the business must be “open and in business” as determined by the City of Miami Beach, in its sole discretion.
  1. Additional Requirements and Documents
  • Business federal income tax return for the most recent fiscal year. If business has filed an IRS extension request for the current year, applicant must submit the most recent year’s filed tax return and evidence of filing extension request
  1. Duplication of Benefits
  • The Program is intended to assist businesses in need. Businesses which have received or are anticipated to receive other federal assistance must demonstrate additional need beyond the federal funding received
  • The applicant must report all federal assistance received and show proof that federal assistance has been expended for eligible costs incurred.
  • If total expenses do not exceed amount of federal funding assistance received, the applicant is ineligible for the Emergency Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program.
  1. Program Terms
  1. Upon selection as a grantee, businesses may request reimbursement for “qualified business expenses” in amounts up to $20,000, by submitting detailed expense records and the required documentation. Each selected business will be required to sign a grant agreement with the City of Miami Beach. 
  2. Participants may submit multiple receipts for reimbursement, up to an amount of $20,000 for Qualified business expenses including any operational costs such as payroll, utilities, rents, mortgage, or mortgage interest (for business accounts in existence prior to October 1, 2020), etc. and/or COVID-related expenditures.
  3. Upon verification that the business is qualified, and the expenses are eligible for reimbursement, the City will issue payment to the business. Program participants may continue to submit receipts for reimbursement, up to an amount of $20,000.
  4. In exchange for the grant award:
  • Under Category A – Microenterprise, the business MUST, for a period of 12 months, maintain a qualified business owner (owner of the microenterprise business earning at or under 80% AMI).
  • Under Category B - Job Creation/Retention, the business MUST, for a period of 12 months, retain or create one (1) “qualified employee”:
Qualified employee: an employee that (a) resides in Miami Beach and (b) whose household earns at or under 80% AMI.
“Employee” is considered a full-time equivalent position retained at 40 hours per week, or any combination of part-time positions combining for 40 hours per week. Independent Contractors (1099) are not considered employees.
Maximum Household Income for Qualified Employee (AMI)
Household Size 1-Person 2-Person 3-Person 4-Person 5-Person 6-Person 7-Person 8-Person
(80%) AMI $51,200 $58,500 $65,800 $73,100 $78,950 $84,800 $90,650 $96,500
  1. If the business (under Category B) already employs a qualified employee at the time of expense reimbursement, the business must submit required employee documentation with the request for reimbursement. Otherwise, within three (3) months following reimbursement, the business must create a job for a qualified employee and submit the required employee documentation. The 12-month period begins only upon the City’s verification of employment of the qualified employee.
  2. On a quarterly basis the business must re-submit payroll documentation to verify the qualified employee’s employment throughout the previous 3 months. For those businesses that hire a qualified employee within three months of expense reimbursement, the 12-month period commences only upon verification by the City that a qualified employee was hired.
  3. After grant award, the grantee must submit the following documents for the qualified owner or employee(s):
Category A – Microenterprise
  • Owner Income Certification Form
Category B – Job Creation and Retention
  • Employee Income Certification Form (for eligible Miami Beach resident employee created or retained)
  • Proof of Miami Beach residency, e.g. driver’s license or lease agreement
       h. If the business fails to demonstrate that it created or retained one qualified employee for 12 months, then the reimbursement amounts paid to the business must be refunded to the City.
  1. Eligible expenses for reimbursement
  • Grant recipients may be reimbursed for eligible expenses as expenses are incurred and documentation is submitted. The maximum total reimbursement per grantee is $20,000.
  • The grant may reimburse the following expenses incurred between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020:
    • Rent/Lease
    • Mortgage
    • Equipment Lease
    • The grant may reimburse the following expenses incurred beginning on January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
    • Rent/Lease
    • Mortgage
    • Equipment Lease
    • Payroll
    • Utilities
    • Licenses and Insurance
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • COVID-19 related cleaning and sanitation equipment and services
    • Operating supplies and equipment
  1. Proof of payment for reimbursement - to be reimbursed, businesses must provide the following:
Appropriate invoice(s), bank statements and proof of payment with back-up documentation acceptable to the City of Miami Beach.
  • A copy of the paid invoice and a receipt which should clearly identify the business, the business address and a description of the services that were obtained by the business with a statement or stamp that says PAID.
  • A copy of the method of payment:
  • If paid by check, a copy of both sides of the cancelled check.
  • If paid by credit card, a copy of the credit card receipt to confirm payment for the invoice was made to the vendor/service provider; credit card statement showing the cost incurred; and cancelled check(s) or other proof of payment of the credit card bill.
  • If paid by cash, a copy of the cash receipt which must note CASH paid in full with the signature of the vendor/service provider.
  1. Grant application window
  • Application available for viewing on Monday, December 28, 2020 at 9:00 AM.
  • Applications may be submitted beginning on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 9:00 AM.
  • To apply, visit to review program guidelines and login or create a new profile to submit the application.
  • Applications evaluated and processed on a first-come, first-qualified, first-served basis.
  • Application open until funds are exhausted.
- Interested parties may contact the City of Miami Beach Economic Development Department via for more information or clarification related to the Miami Beach Emergency Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program.
- Applicant should thoroughly review application guidelines to ensure eligibility. Eligibility will be determined by city staff.
- The City of Miami Beach reserves the right to deny any submitted application if it is determined such application does not meet the intent, criteria or requirements of the program.