IMPORTANT ALACHUA COUNTY CARES ACT UPDATES: Higher Amounts Available for Individuals and Businesses

​At a recent meeting, the County Commission made changes to funnel more of the available CARES Act money to individuals and businesses.

The Commission made the following changes:

1. The individual assistance maximum is increased from $2,500 to $5,000 for Covid impacts from March 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020.

  • The extra “catch up” distributions for those grants that were distributed between the start of the program and August 31, 2020, will be made automatically on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Applicants do not need to do anything to get their additional amount if they qualified for more than $2,500.  If their original impact was $2,500 or less, they will not get a second distribution.

2. Exclude the $600 per week supplemental, Federal pandemic unemployment supplement  (and any future federally funded Federal pandemic unemployment payment) from the Covid income loss calculation.

  • The $600/week Federal pandemic unemployment supplement no longer counts as income in your “impact” calculation. Some who did not previously qualify because of this income may now qualify and should apply.

3. While money is available, individuals can apply for up to $1,600 per month to cover expenses for the preceding month.

  • Beginning September 15, 2020, you can apply for Covid related income loss and expenses for the month of August. On October 15, 2020, you can apply for September and so on until the CARES Act money runs out.

4. New applicants can continue to seek grants of up to $5,000 the cover the period of March 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020. They can then apply for the month to month grants beginning on September 15, 2020. To apply, go to the CARES Act website.

5. Small and medium business grants are merging into one grant for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The maximum grant for Covid impacts from March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020, is now $15,000. Beginning on October 1, 2020, businesses can apply for an additional $3,000 per month to cover Covid impacts beginning August 1, 2020, ($3,000 for August and $3,000 for September). Additional grants will continue month to month until the CARES Act money runs out.

Alachua County is currently working hard to process over 5,000 applications to be certain that they meet federal guidelines. If your application has not been approved yet, or if it has been approved but you have not received your money yet, do not be concerned about these changes as many will be applied retroactively.

For more information, go to the CARES Act website.

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