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Boynton Beach CRA steps in to help small businesses

"We saw 65% of our business drop from the same period last year."
Posted at 10:25 PM, May 06, 2020

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — All it takes is one scoop from the Boardwalk Italian Ice and Creamery in Boynton Beach to put a smile on a face.

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Owner Joseph Hurtuk said the coronavirus pandemic has tested their metal.

"We saw 65% of our business drop from the same period last year," he said.

The Boardwalk Italian Ice Cream and Creamery and a number of small businesses have gotten a lifeline during these tough times from the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Association.

"The first program was a reimbursement to help maintain your employees, to be able to pay your vendors to supply us our goods, and keep the business open. The second program is the rent reimbursement," Hurtuk said.

Eighty-eight local businesses have been helped by the Boynton Beach CRA's Covid-19 Financial Assistance programs. The first program created was their Small Business Disaster Relief Forgivable Loan Program. $500,000 was allocated with $10,000 for each business. Businesses must have 50 or fewer employees. The loan is to be used for payroll, utilities, or inventory expenses.

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"Approved all 50 of the first applications that we received and we cut checks on Wednesday and people picked up their money on Thursday," Executive Director Michael Simon said.

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The other project is the Rent Abatement Program which is specifically for Boynton Harbor Marina tenants.
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"So we provided them with 6 months of rent abatement so they don't have to pay rent to the CRA for six months," Simon said.

The CRA even added a six-month extension to its rent reimbursement program.

Hurtuk is grateful to the CRA for looking out for the mom and pop shops in town.

"This is a big community effort, everybody's got to standby and everybody's got to get in to help," he said.