Orange County to distribute 1 million masks to small businesses

200,000 bottles of hand sanitizers also ready amid coronavirus outbreak

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County officials are solidifying their plans to distribute 1 million masks and 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer purchases only for small businesses.

The more than $1.5 million purchase came at the recommendation of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. County officials used some of the $243 million granted through the federal Cares Act to make the purchase.

"The money wasn't as much of a concern as the availability to our small businesses," said Danny Banks, Orange County's Director of Public Safety. "We know access is still very, very hard so this is Orange County's effort to really help them reopen."

Inside a warehouse, Orange County already has 26 pallets of boxes where the 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizers have been delivered. They say the 1 million masks are expected to come in Friday which is also the same day the Mayor Jerry Demings is expected to announce the plan of how to distribute the supplies and which businesses will qualify.

“We have designed it to be strategic but as easy as possible for the small business owners,” Banks said, keeping quiet on details.

However, Demings is expected to make his announcement based on the recommendations from the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force’s Business Readiness Group. The group met Thursday morning with more details on how the supplies will be distributed.

“In order to make this fair and run smoothly, this will be eligible for companies of 40 employees or under,” said a member of the task force.

The task force said Demings will announce Friday more details of the distribution but said small businesses will be able to register through an online form and then distribution they hope will begin on Monday.

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