Eligible Businesses

Each applicant must be a minority-owned small business or minority person entrepreneur of a for-profit, new or relocating business, which intends to locate in the City of Cocoa.

Any eating and drinking establishments may be eligible for funding as long as the business derives at least 51% of its gross revenue from the sale of food and/or non-alcoholic drink for consumption on the premises, whether or not the food is cooked on the premises. This may include restaurants, mobile vending, and refreshment stands selling prepared foods for immediate consumption.

The types of businesses that are not eligible for funding under this Program include: social service providers, non-profit agencies, gun shops, agricultural services, liquor stores, medical marijuana and CBD shops, shops that sell drug paraphernalia, pawn shops, bailbond services, tattoo/body piercing parlors, check cashing facilities, adult entertainment facilities, thrift shops, nightclubs and bars, and any business or service deemed illegal or in violation of the City Code.

Existing businesses in the City of Cocoa are not eligible for funding. However, minority business owners of existing businesses within the City of Cocoa seeking to start an additional business shall be considered eligible, except as further provided herein. The applicant shall not be eligible for the Upstart Cocoa Program if he/she has received Upstart Cocoa Funding, or other business assistance funding from the CRA or the City of Cocoa within the last three (3) years from the date of the current submittal, except for façade improvement programs. If the applicant has received Upstart Cocoa funding more than three years prior to the date of the current submittal, applicant must have successfully completed the Upstart Cocoa Program and not defaulted in order to be eligible for funding assistance for a second and final time. Completion of the Upstart Cocoa Program means complying with the terms of the Upstart Cocoa agreement during the three-year time period of the agreement (“Program Period”). Applicants who have defaulted on a previous Upstart Cocoa agreement are no longer eligible for the Upstart Cocoa Program. If, after review, an application is administratively rejected by staff or has been denied funding by the review committee, the applicant shall not be eligible to reapply for the Upstart Cocoa Program for one year from the date of the original submittal.

Each applicant may be entitled to Upstart Cocoa funding for one business during the three-year Program Period. If the applicant is a corporate entity or principal that owns more than one business, the corporate entity or principal shall submit an application for only one business. For example, if a corporate entity owns business A and B, an application can only be submitted for either business A or B, but not both. If the corporate entity is granted funding for business A and successfully completes the Upstart Cocoa Program for the business, the corporate entity may then apply for funding for business B after the three-year Program Period has elapsed. In addition, use of the Upstart Cocoa funds cannot be transferred to another business owned by the corporate entity or principal for which an application was not submitted. For example, if a corporate entity owns businesses A and B and submitted and application for business A, any funding assistance granted for business A cannot be given to or used for business B.