By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Yesterday, June 2nd, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) announced that during the first week of the CARES Restart Business Grants Program, eighty local eligible companies have been issued a total of $1,365,612 to accelerate the reopening of businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
The Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability began accepting online entries on Friday, May 22nd and has received 3,961 applications. CARES Restart Business Grants Program was approved on May 19, 2020 by the BCC to accelerate the reopening process for businesses directly impacted by Executive Orders for COVID-19.
At the time Robert S Weinroth, County Commissioner – District 4, said, “It is critically important for us to offer these grants to our local businesses to support their efforts to rehire furloughed employees and welcome customers back.”
Adding, “our small businesses are a vital part of our economy and, hopefully, these grants will forestall the possibility that many of these businesses would not be able to reopen.”
The $60 million Restart Business Program uses a portion of the county’s $261 million allocation from the Federal CARES Act approved by Congress. The BCC has dedicated $50 million toward businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $10 million toward businesses with greater than 25 employees.
The program guidelines, including eligibility criteria, are currently posted on the County’s website. The BCC gave approval for individual grants up to $25,000 to help Palm Beach County businesses forced to close or limit operations and are now planning to “restart” based on the county’s phased opening process. Currently, there are 24 local businesses that have been issued the full $25,000 grant.
Dennis Grady, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, commented on the importance of the program. “These grants will help businesses as they accelerate their reopening process. The County is very responsive to grant applications and provide guidelines, including eligibility on the County’s website.”
Interested businesses are encouraged to apply for the Restart Business grant as they are processed on a first come, first eligible basis. Applications will be accepted until 8AM on Friday, June 12th.
Required documents 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.