ERGO Program Overview & FAQ

 

Equestrian Recovery Grant Opportunity (ERGO) Program

Within the horse world, COVID-19 has had a disproportionately detrimental financial impact on equestrian professionals and industry service providers. As small business owners and independent contractors who occupy a unique niche in the workforce, many members of the equestrian community have been critically underserved by unemployment or overlooked for SBA/PPP loans. The ERGO program intends to help equestrian professionals who are facing financial catastrophe directly related to the pandemic to regain their stability and wellbeing.

                                                                                                         

 

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who qualifies for this funding?

Funding is available to equestrian professionals and industry service providers who reside in Palm Beach County, earn the majority of their income through the equestrian industry, and who have faced a critical loss of income as a direct result of the pandemic.


Why are grants only available to residents of Palm Beach County?

EAF’s ERGO Program has been made possible through the generosity of the 2021 Great Charity Challenge. As mandated by the Great Charity Challenge, funding must be disbursed within Palm Beach County.


What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to be eligible for ERGO funds:

    • Applicants must earn the majority of their income through their work within the equestrian industry
    • Applicants must prove that they have been domiciled in Palm Beach County since Jan. 1, 2020. (Any person or entity doing business in Palm Beach County with a primary business or residential address outside of PBC will be deemed ineligible.)
    • Applicants must demonstrate a critical loss of income that affects their wellbeing or that of the horses upon which they depend to make a living

 

 Who are the eligible applicants?

Examples include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following PBC residents:

    • Braiders
    • Freelance grooms
    • Judges and stewards
    • Horse show staff
    • Equine bodyworkers
    • Lesson barn operators 
    • Other small business owners and independent contractors who primarily and directly serve the equestrian community


I spend part of the year in Palm Beach County. Am I eligible?

Priority will be given to applicants who are full-time residents, as determined by tax obligations to the county’s local municipalities; home ownership or long-term rental agreements; and so forth. However, we realize that many independent contractors within the equestrian community do not own property and/or are transient for much of the year. If you fall into this category or have a question regarding your eligibility, please email us at info@equestrianaid.org prior to submitting your application.

 

If during the past year I have already received an EAF COVID Emergency Relief grant, another grant, unemployment, or a forgivable loan, will I be eligible for an EAF Relief Recovery Grant?

Yes; however, grants will be awarded on the basis of greatest need. EAF reserves the right to prioritize those entities who have heretofore not received outside funding.


How can I use grant funds?

Grant funds can be used to cover the following:

    • Essential living and healthcare expenses
    • Mortgage or rent
    • Utility payments
    • Routine maintenance and care of horses upon which the applicant depends to make a living (e.g., school horses)—feed/forage, vaccinations, essential medication, dentistry, and so forth


How much funding is available through ERGO grants?

Eligible applicants may receive a one-time grant of up to $2,500.


What is the application deadline?

The application window opens on April 5, 2021, at 8 a.m. and closes on May 3, 2021, at 5 p.m.

 

How does the application and approval process work? How are grant amounts determined?

The application window will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 5, 2021. The application will be available on the EAF website. Completed applications (along with supporting documentation) can be submitted online, via email, or post before 5 p.m. on Monday, May 3. 2021.

Applications received during the grant window will be screened for completeness but will not be reviewed for grant determination. All applications will be reviewed by committee during the month of May. A representative of EAF may reach out to you after your application has been submitted to request additional information or clarification on your application materials. The applicant review committee will take into consideration available funding together with areas of greatest need in determining final grant amounts.

You will be notified by June 1, 2021, regarding your application’s final determination. Checks will be mailed in the first week of June.


Will I be required to report how I spent any awarded grant funds?

EAF’s grant from the Great Charity Challenge, which has made the ERGO Program possible, is contingent upon our submission of funds use reports to the GCC on a quarterly basis during 2021. These reports include information on the number of individuals we have helped with GCC grant monies, together with photos and narratives from grant recipients. EAF will call upon ERGO grant recipients for help in completing this requirement.


Will I have to repay my ERGO grant?

No. However, failure to comply with EAF’s funds use reporting request may result in forfeiture of ERGO funding.


I still have questions.

Please contact the Equestrian Aid Foundation at info@equestrianaidfoundation.org or 800-792-6068.