Editor’s Note: Originally, we reported that Damien Gilliams did not receive a second business grant of $5,000. However, we learned this morning that he did receive the second grant, claiming losses with Airbnb. We have updated the article.
Sebastian City Councilman Damien Gilliams applied and received a second business grant of $5,000 from the city for a real estate company that his wife runs. Gilliams claims he lost money on Airbnb. We are now investigating the Airbnbs, which had to be registered last year, not this year.
The grant is only for businesses that were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Real estate companies did not get shut down, but Airbnbs were.
On the grant application, Gilliams claims 25% loss of income as the reason to collect the $5,000 grant. The real estate office is called Mid-Florida Rentals Inc., located at 1623 U.S. Highway 1 Suite A-5 in Sebastian.
Gilliams also received $5,000 for the No Name Bar that he owns in Sebastian.
Sebastian Daily received calls from other nearby tenants accusing Gilliams of allowing a person to live in the real estate office. Since it’s a commercial property, this is a violation of local code.
Mid-Florida Rentals, Inc. includes Damien H. Gilliam, who runs the business.
Here’s the application:
Earlier this week, we reported that Sebastian City Councilwoman Pamela Parris also tried to apply for a grant while working real estate from home. Parris’ application was also denied.
Gilliams already faced public scrutiny and complaints from local businesses after he was the first to apply for a business grant for his No Name Bar before the public knew about the program.
Last week, the Sebastian City Council voted to file an ethics complaint against Gilliams, accusing him of violating at least three Florida Ethics Laws.