I won’t bury the primary message of this column. Here it is head on:
If you, your business or your nonprofit organization has suffered financially from the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for federal relief money being distributed through Sarasota County.
But if you don’t complete an application soon, you won’t receive any of these funds.
The potential sum available to our county is significant—nearly $76 million.
But if the money isn’t distributed on some very tight timelines, our community won’t get the full amount we’re due.
If you think you may be eligible for assistance, feel free to stop reading here and go straight to scgov.net/CARES to learn more and consider applying.
If you’re still with me, here’s some background and context.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is a $2-trillion economic relief package—the largest federal stimulus ever—designed to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. Sarasota County is eligible to potentially receive up to $75.7 million in aid.
Our county government has allocated up to $16 million of this potential funding for assistance to individuals and up to $34 million for small businesses and nonprofits. Households can qualify for up to $5,000 in aid. Business reimbursements for coronavirus-caused losses must be under $50,000. Approved funds are distributed through grants that require no repayment.
You may have heard about—or even experienced—challenges with the initial application process and qualification requirements. As with many multilayered, bureaucratic programs, much was learned upon first implementation. The county has made continued improvements to its Sarasota County CARES program to better meet the needs of those who need this relief.
Read the rest of Mark's column in SRQ Daily