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Blueprint Approves Another $1M In Local Aid, This Time For Nonprofits

Ryan Dailey

A second round of local stimulus money has been approved by Tallahassee-Leon County’s intergovernmental agency, Blueprint 2000, and this time it’s targeted at helping local nonprofits.

Local officials on the Blueprint board want the money to go toward assisting nonprofits that provide a service in the area. Ben Pingree, director of PLACE for the Office of Economic Vitality, gave a rundown of what nonprofits can qualify.

“The definition of nonprofit will not include churches directly, however, those that perform a service could qualify. No to statewide associations, no to foundations,” Pingree told the board. “Yes to federally designated (nonprofits) – or, we’ll look into the SunBiz designations … Arts, cultural, historical, human and social services – properly governmentally-designated nonprofits.”

Ultimately $1 million was earmarked for nonprofits. The money is being taken from two development projects that were slated to start this year. The Lake Lafayette and St. Marks Regional Park Project, and Adams Street-Monroe Street Corridor projects will be delayed.

The first $1 million in local aid was for small businesses. The Office of Economic Vitality reports it was distributed in less than two weeks to 489 businesses.

An additional 71 businesses applied within the deadline, but after the initial $1 million was distributed. The Blueprint board approved grants for those businesses during the meeting, at a price tag of more than $100,000.

Unlike the small business relief package, aid for nonprofits will be given out as one flat amount.

As the city and county look to help businesses and nonprofits, the pots of money that can be pulled from are shrinking. Local officials are projecting a more than $3.7 million, or 16.5% , shortfall in sales tax revenue “due to COVID-19 impacts on local spending.”

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.