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Palm Beach County ready to distribute CARES Act money

$60 million is set aside to help businesses
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Posted at 9:39 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 11:17:19-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — In Palm Beach County, tens of millions of dollars are allocated to small and large businesses in need. The application process to get the money starts Friday.

Maria Christodoulou sat at one of the tables in her restaurant, The Greek Cousin, while she worked on the book. She said the
COVID -19 pandemic cut her business by 55%.

"You could see as this whole COVID-19 thing was on the news. People were starting to feel afraid and wanted to stay home so that impacted small businesses like us," Christodoulou said.

Christodoulou struggled for months to keep customers. She said she didn't initially see a boost when Phase One called for just 25% capacity.

"But I have seen a difference from yesterday when we were allowed 50%," she said.

On Tuesday, county commissioners talked about CARES Act funding. $60 million is set aside to help businesses through the CARES Restart Business Grants Program. Each business can get up to $25,000.

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"If you received PPP money, you are eligible to the extent that you'll get a dollar for dollar set off. So, if you received over $25,000 in PPP funds, you would not be eligible for this county grant," Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner said.

Kerner said a small business by the county's metrics is 25 employees or less.

"There are some minor modifications to that depending on revenues of that nature but generally speaking $50 million of the $60 million have been allocated for small businesses," Kerner said.

Kerner added the turnaround from applying to receiving money should be in days.

Christodoulou said any assistance is welcomed.

"Just a sense of relief that there is help out there and that it will help us get through these tough times," Christodoulou said.

Required documents will include a fully executed application from the county’s online portal, certifications, affirmations and acknowledgements, tax returns, payroll reports, an active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt, and an active registration on SunBiz. These documents will be required to be uploaded into the system by the applicant.

Interested businesses are encouraged to prepare for the Restart Program Application as they will be processed on a first come, first eligible basis. The online application is expected to launch on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and will be accessible through the Palm Beach County website.

To learn more about the grants, click here.