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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ “The Alachua County CARES Act online Business Grants are now available to submit,” said County Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton. Individual assistance grants applications continue to be open for residents needing assistance.

At a special Alachua County Commission meeting Aug. 3, the County Commission approved the Alachua County CARES Act process for distributing federal dollars. Alachua County will receive an approximately $46.9 million allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). These funds may be used for necessary expenditures incurred for the COVID-19 emergency response. This program is for Alachua County residents and businesses only.

“Many individuals and businesses in our community are in dire straits," Alachua County Commission Chair Robert Hutchinson said. "As our community continues to come together to do what is needed to battle this insidious virus, the County is doing everything we can to get this money into the hands of those who need it most. We want to ensure that people can pay towards their rent, mortgage, utilities and other expenses."

The website and application form are mobile phone friendly. “We highly recommend reading the Frequently Asked Questions page before filling out your applications,” said Sexton. The site features application instructions, a frequently asked questions section and a link to the application. Anyone wishing to apply may go to https://info.alachuacounty.us/2020/cares-act/.

The application process will be available in phases, said Sexton. The individual assistance grants opened on Aug. 4 with $21.1 million available. Small and medium business grant applications became available Aug. 10 with $15 million available. Inter-government organization grants will open on Aug. 17 with $8.3 million available.

Anyone needing assistance, especially if they are uncomfortable with applying online, may use a live chat feature on the website and a CARES Act helpline at 352-309-2505. The live chat and the helpline are open from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday – Friday.

“Initially, we expect very high call volume and ask for citizens to be patient if the line is busy,” said Sexton.

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