PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Pasco County commissioners just approved a new program to help small businesses during the pandemic crisis.
The Emergency Business Grant is for up to $5,000 and is first come, first serve.
The county allocated $2 million from the Penny for Pasco tax, and they hope to be able to help about 400 businesses.
The program is for businesses owned by Pasco County residents with 25 or fewer employees like the Clean Juice location in Trinity, where they had to lay off all their workers.
“When I had to tell them I was crying because they are our family. They become part of our family, and they all love being here," said owner Jen Baker.
“Our goal was to immediately get some cash flow in our local economy, which would help not just the local businesses but our whole Pasco County," said Pasco Economic Development Council President Bill Cronin.
Businesses must also have already applied for the Federal Disaster Loan funding.
The money is intended for things like payroll, rent and utilities.
Because Clean Juice had to lay off all their employees, they did get the Federal Disaster Loan and have been able to bring some of them back, but they say this new grant will be a big help.
“As a family, we’ve been running the whole store by ourselves, and we applied for the PPP loan, and we finally got that so we were able to bring back a few of the juiceristas now to take a little bit of the load off of us from being here open to close," said Baker.
The Pasco Economic Development Council is handling the grant process, and the applications are now available on its website: http://pascoedc.com/?/Pasco-Grant