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Pinellas County leaders approve on expanding CARES financial assistance programs

Posted at 6:13 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 23:19:35-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Commissioners approve expanding the Pinellas CARES Business Program. They also extended the State of Local Emergency.

Officials say the expansion is necessary to address the growing needs in the community.

The new Pinellas CARES programs will immediately broaden eligibility for individuals and families who need help with overdue rent, mortgage or utility bills.

Anyone who has lost a job or significant income due to COVID-19 can now apply for a maximum of $5,000 in assistance per household during the period starting March 1, 2020.

To qualify, applicants now only need to sign an attestation form affirming their loss of income was directly related to COVID-19 and provide documentation of their residency in the county and United States.

Those who did not previously qualify for the program, or who already got help but need more assistance, can reapply by texting COVIDCARES to 898211.

Also approved was a large portion of funding that will be committed to helping more businesses that did not qualify for the first round of Small Business Grants. This can now go for daycare providers, home-based businesses, professional artists and other business types.

For more information and how to apply for the small business program, click here.

For more information on how to apply for the individual program, click here.


With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the state and Pinellas County, the board voted to extend the State of Local Emergency Declaration to Friday, July 17. There was no changes to the declaration.

The extension allows for more time needed to ensure public safety such as replenishing personal protection equipment supplies.

For more information on the Pinellas CARES program, click here.