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Polk CARES funding on its way to help small businesses

Small business owners plea for more help
Posted at 6:43 AM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 06:43:17-04

Help is on the way for small businesses in Polk County, as the first checks for the Polk CARES 2020 funding were mailed out Friday.

“The Board wants to get this money to the businesses and residents who need relief in a responsible and expedited manner,” said Polk County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Bill Braswell. “This is what our community needs to help preserve our local economy and allow our most vulnerable residents the ability to provide for their families.”

The Polk County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller’s office printed the 84 checks, which totaled $121,500, and mailed them Friday in an effort to expedite the process. Additional checks for individuals are expected to be mailed in the coming days.

“The CARES Act funds are providing important relief to our small businesses and residents who have been deeply impacted by this pandemic,” said Clerk Stacy Butterfield, Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller. “The processing and disbursement of these federal funds is a big undertaking, and it is our top priority to make this happen as quickly as possible. The Board of County Commissioners and I have pulled together staff members from our offices to facilitate this project. We have a dedicated call center as well as processing and disbursement teams working rapidly to get the relief in the hands of our businesses and residents.

”Through Thursday evening, the county had received 3,760 applications from individuals and 1,013 applications from small businesses, which will account for about $1.5 million in funding once approved.

Funds are offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocation is gone. Funds allocated by Polk County from the federal government’s CARES Act to both small businesses and individuals do not have to be paid back.

The online application process requires residents and business owners to fill out a form and attach verifying documentation with the application. Residents who do not have technology access to complete the online process may contact United Way of Central Florida at 2-1-1 to apply for assistance from Polk County.

The online applications for both households and small businesses are available on the Polk County website here.