New program aims to help Boynton Beach small businesses make it through pandemic

'We're trying to make this an opportunity and not a disaster'
Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 11:06:20-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.  — Many small businesses are dealing with financial concerns in this time of uncertainty. In Boynton Beach, a new program aims to help businesses make it through the pandemic.

Joe Keit watches on as two of his instructors lead a virtual class of martial arts. He said once COVID-19 hit he had to come up with a way to keep the business going.

"We're trying to make this an opportunity and not a disaster," he said.

Since Keit runs a small business, once the federal government's stimulus package passed he applied.

"We applied about three or four weeks ago right when it first came out and we haven't heard anything other than they accepted our application," he said.

David Scott, the Director of Economic Development and Strategy for the city will be overseeing a program called the Boynton Beach COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant Program.

"That provides small businesses with immediate support that being around utilities, rent reimbursement, as well as payroll support," Scott said.

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Scott said every year the city sets aside money for small businesses. Plus, the mayor has money for community programs that are also being included. He said the total amount of cash available is $60,000.

"We're looking to support at least 20 businesses with $3,000 grants. Those businesses that have been impacted submit an application, indicate their need to us, first come first serve and then we will respond accordingly," he said.

Scott said that their target is sole proprietors and small businesses under 50 employees.

"I think it's great," he said. "I really appreciate the city trying to help small businesses because, obviously, we still have to pay rent. We still have to pay electric. We still have to pay our bills."

On Thursday, business owners within city limits can fill out applications online through the CRA's website.