Time is running out for Brevard County to spend the federal money it received through the federal CARES Act, even as advocates urge the county to increase the dollars aimed at helping individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations and to ease restrictions on getting that aid distributed.
In all, Brevard County received $105.03 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, with much of it designated to help pay for various COVID-19-related expenses by the county, Brevard’s cities and towns, public-safety agencies and other government entities. The County Commission also set aside $21 million for “future unanticipated public health and safety expenses,” such as for emergency sheltering during a hurricane.
The Brevard County Commission allocated $21.15 million of the $105.03 million — just more than 20% — to five programs targeted for individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations hurt by the pandemic.
So far, more than $13.91 million of the $21.15 million has been allocated to help families, businesses and nonprofits. According to most recent data, that money has, among other things:
- Provided help to 1,046 families having trouble paying their mortgage, rent, or utility or security deposits.
- Provided a total of $7.93 million to more than 1,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations to help cover losses and expenses stemming from the pandemic.
- Put 70 unemployed people back to work though payroll subsidies.
- Provided 243,283 meals at food banks and food pantries, and in a program focusing on providing weekend meals for children.
- Provided 11,702 families with $50 food vouchers for use at farmers’ markets.
- Provided more than 2,000 personal protective equipment kits to small businesses and nonprofits.
If the county doesn’t allocate the money before the end of the year, it will go back to the U.S. Treasury Department.
United Way of Brevard President Rob Rains said he is concerned about the potential of the county returning some of its CARES Act money to Washington. And he fears the need in Brevard is only going to increase with the end of other federal assistance programs.
“I would like to see that $105 million be maximized, and help people in need and for that money to stay in our county and in our economy,” Rains said, rather than the county potentially sending tens of millions of dollars back.
Here is a rundown of what’s still available:
Individual Assistance Program
On May 5, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners approved $4.4 million for a Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, Utility and Security Deposit Program, and a Food Stability Program.
For a Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, Utility and Security Deposit Program, and a Food Stability Program.
Please note that failure to provide all required documentation will result in the denial of assistance.
Applications will be accepted at the following locations:
- At all County Libraries.
- By mail or hand delivered to:
Housing and Human Services Department
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, B-103
Viera, Florida 32940.
- By email at BrevardCaresAct2020@brevardfl.gov
On June 30, 2020 the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners allocated $4 million for a Food Stability Program.
- Backfilling traditional food pantries and food banks and supporting popup pantries
- Weekend meals supporting current food programs at multiple locations throughout the County.
- Expanding access at Farmer’s Markets.
Provide Brevard County residents that have been impacted from the COVID-19 through food stability program that offer:
- expansion of traditional food pantries and food banks along with popup food pantries
- provision of weekend meals to children
- access to Farmer’s Markets for fresh fruits and vegetables
- support of the local agricultural industry
Small Business Economic Relief Program
The Brevard County Small Business Economic Relief Program was approved by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners on July 7, 2020 to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations with a grant up to $10,000 for recovery and stabilization of business operations.
The small business must be physically located in Brevard County
- The small business must have had 50 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020
- The small business must have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 public health emergency
- The small business must be enrolled in the US Department of Homeland Security E-Verify program
- Applicant’s revenue losses or expenses utilized to establish program eligibility and grant amount must not have been reimbursed through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Small Business Administration (SBA) Debt Relief Program or other similar federal and state programs.
An online application will be available on July 27, 2020
On July 7, 2020 the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners allocated $10 million through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund for local government the (CARES Act) to a Small Business Economic Relief Program. CARES Act funding will be made available to small businesses and nonprofit organization that meet specific requirement established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners for Brevard’s Small Business Economic Relief Program and specific priorities intended to advance economic development in Brevard County.
Small Business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program
On June 30, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners allocated $500,000 to a Small Business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program.
Small retail businesses and restaurants can apply for County-provided Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The PPE kit distribution was approved by the Board of County Commissioners to support small businesses, retailers and restaurants with supplies to sustain operations during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.
PPE kits provided by the County will contain 200 procedure masks, 25 reusable cloth masks, 2 boxes of gloves and 2 bottles of hand sanitizer. Applications are available online beginning Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 16. Distribution will begin on Monday, Oct. 12. Applications for free PPE are available at www.brevardfl.gov/BrevardCARES. When filling out an application, businesses will be able to choose a preferred location and time to pick up free PPE once distribution begins on Monday, Oct. 12. Small businesses, retailers and restaurants that have collected free PPE from the County during previous distributions are still eligible for PPE. but must apply.
Workforce Recovery Program
The Board of County Commissioners partnered with CareerSource Brevard for a Small Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations Workforce Recovery Program and allocated $2,250,000 to the Program.
The Workforce Recovery Program is offered in partnership with Brevard County Board of County Commissioners and CareerSource Brevard to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations that had to layoff or furlough employees due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on their services, by assisting small businesses and nonprofit organizations with staffing support.