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Tallahassee, Leon Officials To Consider Loans, Grants For Small Businesses 'Hit The Hardest'

Viktor Talashuk

Tallahassee and Leon County’s intergovernmental agency, Blueprint 2000, is holding a meeting Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. to discuss how local government can help small businesses amid closures brought on by COVID-19. Restaurants, bars and gyms are among the establishments that have been either severely restricted, in the case of restaurants to takeout or delivery only, or outright closing.

County Commission Chair Brian Desloge says officials will consider a relief package during a conference call.

We’re in kind of a unique spot as a community because of the fact that we collected sales dollars and set aside some money for economic development,” Desloge told WFSU. “So, within the economic development pocket, we have the ability, to some degree, to potentially help out some of the businesses hit the hardest in our community, in the short term.”

Topics discussed will include how that money might get distributed to small businesses – which Desloge said local officials could do in different ways.

“We’re going to hopefully take some of this economic development money and figure out – is there a way to either grant or loan that out in small amounts,” Desloge said.

Desloge says he doesn’t expect there will be public comment, because the meeting will be conducted via conference call.

The Blueprint 2000 meeting can be viewed on or on WCOT television, channel 13 for Comcast and Centurylink subscribers.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.