ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Board of County Commissioners met on Tuesday and approved a plan for spending $243.1 million received from the U.S. Treasury through the CARES Act.
The county said 60 percent of the funds will go to the community.
“Individuals in our community -- they need these funds now,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Orange County leaders said the breakdown of the $243 million is as follows:
- 30 percent will go towards small business financial assistance
- 30 percent will go toward social services and community needs
- 20 percent will go to Orange County public safety and health expenditures
- 10 percent will be allocated to municipality and constitutional officer expenditures
- 10 percent will be set aside as a replenishment account
The county said the replenishment account will help fund the other categories, should they need more funding, and said the account will also be used for unexpected needs.
For individuals or households where someone lost their job or was furloughed, residents will soon be able to apply for a one-time $1,000 payment to help pay their bills.
They money would be paid directly to the mortgage company, landlord or utility company.
In terms of the small business financial assistance category, the county discussed using funds for small business grants.
Officials said small businesses are those with 25 employees or less.
The county said the program would offer a one-time $10,000 grant to qualifying businesses.
Orange County officials said they expect to be able to offer grants for up to 6,500 small businesses.
“The goal for me was to create immediate relief to individuals and small businesses or businesses that have needs that have not been met,” Demings said.
The county requires those applying to have business taxes paid up to date. Also, the county said they need to be businesses that are expected to stay in business through December 31, 2020.
County leaders said public safety money was already being spent for improvements to county buildings.
Applications for households and small businesses seeking aid were expected to be posted on the county’s website by June 1.
Inside the Orange County Courthouse, they showed pictures of new sneeze guards put into place.
They also showed thermal imaging cameras they planned to install at the security checkpoints, where people would wait in socially-distanced lines.
Another topic discussed was providing direct assistance to social service agencies, which the county said would include financial help for community child care operations, job retraining, homelessness, mental health, and food pantries.
The county said, in terms of public safety and health expenditures, they plan to continue providing sanitizing agents and personal protective equipment (PPE) to businesses and the community.
Thus far, officials said the county has already committed more than $10 million on PPE and other COVID-19 related health expenditures.