WHAT IS THE FRLA DISASTER RELIEF FUND?

The FRLA Disaster Relief Fund is an initiative of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation. This initiative strives to provide economic relief for Florida’s independent restaurants, independent lodging establishments[1], and employees of these organizations who are financially needy or distressed from the impact of Hurricane Ian.

 The FRLA Disaster Relief Fund provides immediate financial support in the form of grants valued at up to $10,000 per independently owned restaurant or lodging location. A minimum of 1/3 (33%) of the support provided must be earmarked to support employees in financial need.

For the absence of doubt, an independent restaurant or lodging establishment is defined as a restaurant or lodging establishments owned by a corporation, limited liability partnership, general partnerships, or sole proprietorship. Franchisees of national chains are eligible, but only if the owner owns no more than three (3) franchised locations. Independent restaurant and lodging chains do qualify for this grant. Only one application is required for all multi-unit operators. 

Through the FRLA Educational Foundation (FRLAEF), funds will be distributed as they become available in response to complete grant applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Membership in the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) has no bearing on selection. Grants will be awarded to help restaurants and lodging establishments to recover, repair, and re-open and to support employees who are financially needy or distressed from the impacts of the storm.

[1] Defined as a lodging establishment licensed as a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast as defined in 509.242. Florida Statutes. 

  • Provide independent restaurants and lodging establishments with critically needed financial support as soon as possible
  • Financially support independent restaurants and lodging establishments and their employees as their establishments recover and re-open; and
  • Provide a reputable source through which to financially support Florida’s hospitality industry and its employees impacted by Hurricane Ian and future declared disasters.

All independent restaurants and lodging establishments are eligible to apply for the FRLA Disaster Relief Fund initiative grants. The business must be physically located in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, or Sarasota Counties.  The business must be open or actively planning to re-open. Individual employees are not permitted to apply. Businesses who are awarded grants will provide relief support to their employees consistent with the requirements of the grant.

For the absence of doubt, an independent restaurant or lodging establishment is defined as a restaurant or lodging establishments[1] owned by a corporation, limited liability partnership, general partnerships, or sole proprietorship. Franchisees of national chains are eligible, but only if the owner owns no more than three (3) franchised locations. Independent restaurant and lodging chains do qualify  for this grant. Only one application is required for all multi-unit operators.

[1] Defined as a lodging establishment licensed as a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast as defined in 509.242. Florida Statutes

Grant application information required for submission includes the following:

  • General Company and Ownership Information, including EIN number,
  • Business demographic information, such as number of FT/PT employees and locations;
  • Copy of payroll register (may be redacted of sensitive personal information) listing staff;
  • Corporate Bank Account information (optional) to ACH grant awards;
  • A detailed description of financial need or distress for an owner or employee;
  • A detailed description for improvements to the property, NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE, or improvements to property to combat community deterioration or lessen the burden for government; and
  • Signed Acknowledgment Statement regarding funds use and reporting requirements.

FRLA Disaster Relief Fund initiative grant awards will be distributed to complete and approved applicants as funds become available on a first-come, first-served basis. Independent restaurants and hotels applying for grants will be evaluated by the FRLAEF staff based on the following criteria:

  • All application documentation and acknowledgment statements have been submitted;
  • The business is currently operating or actively planning to re-open;
  • The business has been physically or economically impacted by Hurricane Ian and is located in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, or Sarasota counties;
  • Ownership has been confirmed as independently owned or for a franchisee of a chain, owns no more than three franchised locations; and
  • An assessment of applicant’s need based on the documentation and details submitted

For owners or employees in financial need, disaster relief funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • Assistance with rent, mortgage payments, or car loan payments;
  • Assistance with school tuition and higher education costs to permit a child to attend school;
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence (rented or owned); or
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or replacement of the contents of a personal residence due to Hurricane Ian.

The IRS does NOT allow disaster relief payments for the following purposes:

  • Payments for expenses otherwise paid for by insurance or other reimbursements; or
  • Income replacement payments, such as payments of lost wages, lost business income, or unemployment compensation.

For business property, grant dollars may be used for the following purposes:

  • To combat community deterioration (rehabilitating property in a storm devasted area); and
  • To lessen the burdens of government (replacing infrastructure owned by the government, such as a sidewalk or road).

Donations to the FRLA Disaster Relief Fund initiative of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) are tax-exempt to the extent the law and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines allow. To ensure that recipients do not incur a negative tax impact from these grants, recipients will be required to revert back to the FRLAEF data and information regarding how the funds are used, how many employees were positively impacted, and when they plan to re-open their business.

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DISCLAIMERS

REGISTRATION#: CH70008

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435- 7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Since the organization does not provide any good or services in whole or partial consideration for contributions, the full amount of your donation to the Educational Foundation is tax-deductible, subject to applicable laws and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.