ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The online portal for Orange County residents to apply for federal CARES Act funding will reopen Monday for what could be the last time, according to Mayor Jerry Demings.
The next chance for residents to apply for the funds comes after the county’s four previous application opportunities were met by an overwhelming number of Orange County residents hoping to get help with bills or rent due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
During a news conference Thursday, Demings said the county plans to accept 10,000 applications from individuals and families next week during what he said could be their last chance to apply.
“I want to caution everyone, however, that this may be the last time we reopen the portal due to the overwhelming response that we have received today,” Demings said. “That gives us the ample opportunity to work within the constraints of the available funds that we have through the CARES Act itself.”
Demings said some of the thousands of applications submitted last month are still being reviewed but so far, about 19,000 applications for individuals and families have been reviewed and approved, which he said represents nearly $20 million in financial help to Orange County residents.
Ultimately, the county has about $72.9 million in CARES Act funding it plans to make available to families and individuals, Demings said.
The mayor also said about $18 million in CARES Act small business funding has gone out to small business owners since the portal first began accepting applications.
Because of the demand for financial help, the portal has closed minutes after each time it has opened, with several thousand residents hoping to apply visiting the website at once.
Orange County leaders said in a tweet on Thursday that residents hoping to submit an application during the portal’s next and potentially final opening should get the necessary paperwork in order now.
“It may be the last time it opens, so make sure to have all your documents together,” officials wrote in a tweet.
The next chance for Orange County residents to apply for federal CARES Act funding will be Monday at 8 a.m.
Visit ocfl.net/OrangeCares for a list of documents applicants will need in the process and to access the application portal.