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Fort Lauderdale CRA offers relief for small businesses affected by pandemic

The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Enhancement and Compliance Division  conducted unscheduled compliance checks of businesses throughout the weekend.
The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Enhancement and Compliance Division conducted unscheduled compliance checks of businesses throughout the weekend. (WPLG)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency is offering emergency relief to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the city announced Wednesday in a news release.

The Emergency Business Investment Program will provide forgivable financing to eligible small businesses that are located in the city’s Northwest Progresso Flagler Heights Community Redevelopment Area (NPFCRA), as well as the Central City CRA.

City officials said businesses in low and moderate-income areas may apply to receive up to $10,000 in forgivable loans. The loans may be used toward rent or mortgage payments, employee payroll or utilities.

The city has allocated a total of $1.34 million to fund the emergency relief program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and many are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said in a statement. “We have created an Emergency Business Investment Program to help support them in these difficult times. The assistance can help pay bills and stabilize operations. As a city, we need to do all we can to assist in the long-term economic recovery.”

City officials are hoping the program will bring “stability to the local economy, reduce commercial vacancy rates and help balance rents in the two CRA areas and the community-at-large.”

“The initiative is targeted to business entities that are less likely to be served by the Small Business Administration, including those owned by minorities and women, those that have changed their business models to retain hourly workers, and those that are vital anchors in the Fort Lauderdale community,” the news release stated.

Below are a list of requirements to apply for the emergency relief program:

· Businesses must be located in the NPFCRA or the Central City CRA or an eligible low-and moderate-income community (as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

· Businesses must have been in operation for at least six months.

· Eligible applicants may employ up to 10 people and earn up to $1 million in annual revenue.

· Applicants should also have a current Business Tax Receipt (BTR) and have not received federal or state COVID-19 assistance or relief at the time of the application.

Click here to apply for the Emergency Business Investment Program.

Applications will be accepted through Friday.

According to city officials, the loans will have zero interest for 24 months, but may be forgiven if all conditions are met. If the loan is not forgiven, it must be repaid at the end of that term.

Click here for more information or call 954-828-4617.


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