Don’t Panic (yet): Financial & other resources for artists, arts organizations, and small businesses

Dasic Fernandez

There’s financial and other help available.

It won’t fix everything, but you might qualify for help. Local arts councils and arts organizations are posting a lot of helpful resources. You can keep up with options through the Hillsborough Arts Council, St. Pete Arts Alliance, Creative Pinellas (that links to the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund), and more.


  • The city of St. Petersburg has the Fighting Chance Fund, applications are available as of April 9, for residents of the city: The Fighting Chance Fund provides $5,000 grants to impacted eligible businesses and $500 to impacted eligible individuals.
  • The city of Tampa’s business resource page is here. Please remember that artists, musicians, authors, poets and other creatives are small businesses! Everyone’s tax dollars has gone in to fund this stuff. There are also resources for people who work in the service industry, and all sorts of businesses. 
  • Many of the other smaller cities in the area are linking to the same resources as St. Pete and Tampa.

    Pelican King by Steven Kenny
    Pelican King by Steven Kenny

State of Florida

The Florida SBDC (Small Business Development Center) has many of the same services listed above, with applications, deadlines, and a helpful video on how to apply. There is

I couldn’t find any other state help, but if you know of something, please do email me and I will add it ([email protected]).

National help

Creative Capital has an excellent list of resources. These stand out: 

The esteemed CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) has been helping artists for decades. They are assisting artists diagnosed with COVID 19 and in intensive care. 

Here is some information from Americans for the Arts about money in the Stimulus package for the arts. The money funds amount to about 10% of the economic losses for the arts, $300 million for $3 billion. As an initial investment, it is solid. If that’s all there is, it is inadequate.

Here is a link to information about how to apply to non-profit relief funds. 

If you are not in need of help, please consider donating to these funds to help artists. Thank you, with all my heart.

Diorama - by Kym O'Donnell
Diorama – by Kym O’Donnell

Might as well talk about taxes

It’s not like taxes are going to go away, but tax day is extended to July 15, 2020. There will be some changes in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. The IRS has a FAQ page about federal income taxes. 

Shop local!

Here is a list of St. Pete businesses that have online shopping (thanks to Keep St. Pete Local!).

*Stay in touch!

This is a time full of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. BUT, it is also a time filled with big and small acts of kindness, and a transformative chance to retool how we live and take care of each other. If you know of some opportunities and resources not listed here, please do share them, at [email protected]. There is also information posted on the Art in Your Ear Facebook page.

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