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How will Palm Beach County use $261M from CARES Act?

Letter requests funds be 'disbursed as soon as possible'
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Posted at 2:00 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 18:30:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — State and local governments across the U.S. are receiving billions of dollars through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March to help navigate the financial impact of the virus.

But how much of that cash is Palm Beach County receiving? And what will it go toward?

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According to the county agenda, they received more than $261 million April 23 through the federal stimulus program.

Two weeks later, a proposed breakdown of funds was presented to Palm Beach County commissioners.

The plan includes using $50 million to help small businesses that have 25 employees or less and $10 million to help businesses that have more than 25 employees.

The county said they will use $40 million to help individuals and families in need of housing assistance pay their rent and mortgage.

Another big chunk of cash, $35 million, is going toward “general government expenses” like personal protective equipment, COVID-19 expenses and staffing.

WPTV asked Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth when the funds will be allocated.

"A lot of people would look at this and say that this money is more important than the discussion on the beaches. It depends where you stand. A lot of our residents are looking at the beaches reopening as a way of getting back to some normalcy," said Weinroth.

On Wednesday, State Rep. Emily Slosberg and Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson sent a letter to Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner asking that the money be distributed as soon as possible.

"With each day that goes by, more businesses fail and more jobs are lost, so the deployment of the small business portion of these funds should be prioritized," the letter states.

Weinroth said it is all about getting help to those who need it the most.

"We really have to invest in the future. Our businesses have to be helped. A lot are hurting," said Weinroth.

Weinroth says commissioners will discuss the $261 million in federal fund on Friday.

They could decide to start distributing the money right away.

Below is a full breakdown of how the county said they will use the CARES Act money:

Below is the full letter sent by Slosberg and Thomson to Kerner: