Tallahassee and Leon County’s intergovernmental agency Blueprint 2000 has approved a local stimulus package for small businesses.
Out of a $1 million pot of money, the grant program will be in three tiers:
Businesses with 1-10 employees can get a $1,500 grant,
Businesses with 11- 24 employees, a $2,500 grant,
Businesses with 25-50 employees, a $5,000 grant.
County Administrator Vince Long says that approach could allow for about 200-300 grants. The money is designed to get into the hands of businesses quickly, as fast as a three-day turnaround from application to receipt.
After a four-hour meeting that was tense at times, Mayor John Dailey was happy to see some action taken.
“We’re looking at extremely high unemployment, especially for our community. We’ve got a lot going on. This meeting is an emergency meeting, this is not a regularly scheduled meeting,” Dailey said. “Not everything is going to be pretty with a bow on it. Sometimes it’s going to get messy. But I guess, you know by now that my position is, in this state of emergency – any relief that we can provide, that does make sense, that we can move forward with, whether it’s for businesses, individuals or nonprofits – I’ll be there.”
Dailey also pitched an idea to use an additional $1 million out of the Office of Economic Vitality’s budget to relieve utility bills for individuals and nonprofits. The idea didn’t pass Wednesday, but the Blueprint board expressed interest in revisiting it. The board will meet in about three weeks to discuss that, plus additional ways to help businesses with fewer than 25 employees, and nonprofits.