Orange County closes fourth round of CARES Act grant applications for individuals, families

Portal overwhelmed with applicants in previous weeks

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Individuals and families in Orange County had another opportunity Monday to apply for federal CARES Act funding to help pay for bills or rent due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus.

At 8 a.m., residents were able to apply for funding through the CARES Act portal, and the program will allow 20,000 users into that portal before it is closed for application processing.

As of about 9:15 a.m., the portal was closed as applications for the day reached capacity, about 75 minutes after opening to residents.

Officials said in a tweet that a future date for another round of applications would be announced soon, but an exact date was not provided.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings held a news conference Monday and discussed the latest application numbers for CARES Act funding within the county.

“So far today it appears that over 11,000 applications were submitted. There are still many applications in process so that number will grow,” Demings said. “Today, the cumulative number of individual applications submitted is around 30,200, that’s since we opened up the portals a week or so ago, we now have cumulative applications for individual and family assistance of 30,200.”

Demings said his staff is processing applications as they come in and will continue to do so as future filing dates are announced.

“As for CARES Act funding for businesses, a little over $9 million has been approved to process for those small businesses, those with again 25 employees or fewer who have applied, that process is ongoing,” Demings said. “Businesses can apply by going to our website at OCFL.net/orangeCARES. That is an ongoing process, unlike the process for individuals and families where we open (the application portal) and shut it down, with businesses that’s an ongoing process.”

The grant money is highly sought after due to the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, more than 2.2 million people have filed for unemployment in Florida alone.

“We’ve got a long way to go, fortunately, we have $72.9 million that ultimately we want to get in the hands of families and individuals,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said. “So we’re asking our community to be patient with us while we help you.”

Demings acknowledge the county is still working to smooth out wrinkles in the application process.

“We’re perfecting those processes to be able to process payments to get money in the hands of people quickly as quickly as we can and so this week has been instructive for us we’ve learned some things, and I’m very confident that next week, with some of the things that we will put in place, we will be able to pick up speed we’re processing the payments to individuals or individuals, families will get $1,000,” Demings said. “It’s gonna take some time for us to get all of the and spend and all of that $72.9 million for families and individuals.”

Anyone interested in applying is asked to go to to ocfl.net/OrangeCARES so they can see the list of required documents and get those in order before the portal reopens Monday.

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