COCOA, Fla. — As the City of Cocoa continues to bounce back from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is working to try to make sure small businesses survive and are able to thrive.

During Tuesday evening's city council meeting, officials introduced an initiative called the Upstart Cocoa Minority and Small Business Program.

What You Need To Know

  • Cocoa to provide two grants to help local minority businesses

  • Applicants must be located in Cocoa or move there

  • One of the recipients must be in Diamond Square neighborhood

  • The grant provides $10,000 to help with a major expense

It has two goals, to offer $10,000 in financial backing to “minority small businesses and minority small business entrepreneurs desiring to relocate existing business to the City of Cocoa or to start a new business within the City of Cocoa."

The program will start with two $10,000 grants, one of which has to go to a business situated in the historic Diamond Square neighborhood. The recipient also has to pay back 25 percent of the loan through a community investment. The city will accept applications from May 17 through May 31.

The resolution by the city council would create a three- to five-member committee overseen by the city manager to oversee the process.

The program will also partner with weVENTURE Women's Business Center at Florida Tech. One member from weVENTURE will sit on the committee and will help with the education side of the program for entrepreneurs.