ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County will begin distributing its cache of personal protective equipment, including masks and hand sanitizer, for free to small businesses beginning Monday which will help them protect their employees and customers through the coronavirus pandemic.
The county purchased 1 million face masks, 200,000 hand sanitizer bottles with $1.5 million from the federal CARES ACT at the recommendation of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. The county received a $243 million grant from the federal pandemic act.
Mayor Jerry Demings said the county hopes to distribute these supplies among 20,000 small businesses with 40 or less employees.
PPE kits for these businesses will be available through drive-thru locations around the county by appointment only.
In order for small businesses to qualify, they must register by completing an Interest Form at www.ocfl.net/PPE to get a pick-up appointment. Eligible businesses include for-profit, nonprofit but must be incorporated with the majority of their operations in Orange County and includes businesses with 40 or less part-time or full-time employees.
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Distribution will begin May 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will continue until May 15 or until supplies run out.
“We understand there are many new expenses and new rules small businesses are going to have to follow in order to reopen,” Demings said in a news release. “We want to ease their financial burden by providing PPE free of charge to invest in the future of our small businesses.”
There are six pick-up sites located across the County – one in each District within Orange County. For a list of pick-up locations and information to complete an Interest Form based on a location closest to your business, visit www.ocfl.net/PPE.
Small business owners are encouraged to register as soon as possible. The from will come down once all the supplies are spoken for.
“Priority will be given to small businesses that recently reopened or are eligible to open in Phase 1 of Florida State’s Guidelines, as well as those that indicate they have been unable to obtain PPE for their employees due to financial hardship and/or supply-chain scarcities,” the county said in a news release.