Eligibility criteria for businesses to obtain funding from the $16 million Lake CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program was expanded Sept. 8 as the program moves into Phase II. The relief programs are funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In addition to accepting applications from qualifying for-profit businesses deemed non-essential, qualifying non-profit organizations and Chambers of Commerce in Lake County, applications will begin being accepted from qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19 that were deemed essential.

Awards will range from $2,000 to $10,000. Applications for Phase II will be accepted through Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. Current eligibility requirements are at https://www.elevatelake.com/reopen#cares.

Applications for CARES funding allocated to assist individuals and families with past due rental, mortgage and utility assistance are no longer being accepted, as of Sept. 11.  Lake County received more than 1,000 applications for the program. Applicants not receiving an award before the program’s funding is depleted will remain on file for processing if the program receives additional funds.

The CARES Act program helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 352-268-9299.