Florida to start disbursing CARES Act Funds to smaller local counties

More than $1.2 billion to be distributed among counties

Orange County residents can try again to apply for CARES Act assistance

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The State of Florida is expected to disburse up to $1.275 billion in CARES Act funds to what has been deemed smaller county governments.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is legislation intended to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday the federal funds will be distributed to counties that have a population below 500,000 people.

Central Florida counties like Osceola and Sumter would fall under this next wave of disbursement.

Florida Division of Emergency Management has been tasked with distributing the relief funds to the remaining counties, starting with an initial disbursement of a quarter of each county’s allocation, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The U.S. Treasury previously disbursed nearly $2.5 billion to counties whose populations were above 500,000 in Florida.

Central Florida counties that fell with the initial population requirement have already seen and utilized some CARES Act funding.

Orange County, whose population exceeds 500,000, received a $243.1 million cut from federal CARES Act funds. County leaders saying they dedicated about 60% of those funds to the community, creating programs to provide individuals and businesses with personal protective equipment, small business grants and rent relief programs.

Brevard and Volusia counties have also utilized their funds for similar programs.