MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Small businesses struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic have been able to receive federal and state funds to continue paying employees and keep their doors open.

Even small grants can make a huge difference like Miami-Dade County’s annual Mom and Pop Small Business Grant funds which is now accepting applications in certain Miami-Dade County districts.

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“We got a 90% revenue drop since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Sebastian Cobas.

Cobas, of Hola Inc., used to produce graphics and branding for cruise lines but since cruise lines aren’t sailing, Cobas shifted gears.

Looking to the future, the company is now developing a scanner that cruise lines can use to scan passengers for temperatures and they claim it will sanitize as they arrive on board.

“We had those things from the outside we could not control and we had help from the outside to help us get strong in the inside you know,” said Cobas.

The County Mom and Pop grants have been around for years but the money is needed now more than ever.

Business owners like Brian Hart, who owns an insurance company, will apply and use the money for advertising.

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“We need exposure to keep our business alive. People have to know that we are still here. Still open,” said Hart.

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Applicants may be eligible to receive between $1,000 to $2,500 to help their business.

The money can be used to buy equipment, supplies and inventory or go toward advertising/marketing, building liability insurance, security systems or to make minor renovations.

Mom and Pop Grants are administered in collaboration with the county commission district office where the business is located.

Currently, Districts 2, 4 and 6 are accepting applications.

  • Eligibility requirements include:
  • All businesses must be located in the specified county commission district
  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Must not be part of a national chain
  • A physical address is required
  • Home-based businesses can apply

“A lot of these small businesses, especially here in Miami, are the innovators that are coming up with new trends, products, services, so they are like the drivers of our local economy,” said Brian Van Hook of FIU’s Florida Small Business Development Center.

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If you have a small business and are interested in applying, click here for more information and to download applications in your eligible district.