Fort Myers, FL, June 10, 2020 – Lee County Government will close its current application window for its LeeCARES Small Business Relaunch Assistance Program at 5 p.m. Friday.
County staff will continue to assess and process the nearly 2,200 applications received since the program launched May 26. The county has trained and allotted employees to work nights and weekends to assist residents and quickly infuse the federal funds into the community.
The county anticipates reopening the application process on June 22, subject to availability of funds.
Lee County Commissioners have dedicated $25 million to the Business Relaunch Assistance Program; payments began being dispersed June 2, and thus far more than $3,840,000 in assistance has been approved.
Under the program, assistance is available to businesses with one to 25 employees as of March 1 that were closed by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order. The one-time, $5,000 relaunch grants are to help offset the unintended costs of reopening or relaunching a small business, such as sanitation, signage or marketing. Funds can only be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by the required closures that are not covered by insurance or another federal program. Business owners must be Lee County residents.
The Business Relaunch program is one of five that commissioners approved for using funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Lee County currently is investing $57.5 million in Human & Business Services to provide immediate assistance for individuals, families and businesses. A dashboard that shows assistance statistics is available at www.LeeFLcares/transparency.
Visit www.LeeFLcares.com for additional information. Application instructions also are available in Spanish by calling 239-533-2273 (or 239-LEE-CARES); applicants without internet access can also call the number. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Updates about the county’s response to coronavirus can be found at www.leegov.com/COVID-19.