Millions In COVID-19 Relief Funds Allocated For Cities And Non-Profit Organizations In Volusia County

Non-profit organizations play a vital role in the community by providing critical services to people in need. But in the age of COVID-19, non-profit organizations need help themselves to be able to continue their mission. On Tuesday, May 26, the Volusia County Council approved a $2.5 million grant program to assist non-profit agencies in the county that have sustained financial impacts from the coronavirus crisis.

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Also Tuesday, the County Council agreed to allocate $15 million to distribute to Volusia’s 16 cities to assist them with their COVID-19 expenses. The county hasn’t decided yet on the formula for divvying up the money.

The grants approved on Tuesday are for 501(c)(3) non-profit or not-for-profit organizations. It’s similar to a small business assistance grant program that the county launched two weeks ago. Non-profits with up to 25 fulltime employees or the part-time equivalent that meet the eligibility criteria can qualify for a one-time grant of $3,000 and eligible non-profits with 26 or more fulltime employees or the part-time equivalent can qualify for a one-time grant of $5,000.

“It will assist with the negative fiscal or financial consequences resulting from COVID-19,” Volusia County Community Services Director Dona Butler told council members Tuesday morning.

The county is financing the grants with coronavirus relief funds it has received from the federal government as part of the CARES Act. In addition to the $15 million for local cities and $2.5 million for non-profit organizations, the County Council has allocated $10 million for small businesses assistance grants, $5 million for mortgage and rent assistance and $3 million in food aid. The council also agreed Tuesday to consider expanding its small business grant program to allow local businesses that don’t operate out of a brick-and-mortar, fixed location to also qualify.

It’s all part of Relaunch Volusia, the county’s plan for resuming full county services, programs and facilities and helping the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-profit organizations that receive a county grant would be required to use the money to either offset negative financial impacts to their agency caused by the pandemic or costs incurred while reopening.

To qualify for the grants approved on Tuesday, non-profits must:

•           operate out of a physical, brick-and-mortar facility located in Volusia County.

•           be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

•           be licensed to operate in Volusia County or the municipality within Volusia County in which it’s located, if such licensure is required.

•           have an active state business registration from Florida Division of Corporations.

•           have been operational and actively conducting business in Volusia County on or before Dec. 1, 2019.

The county is planning to contract with the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties to administer the grant program for non-profit organizations. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Source: Volusia County

Volunteers Needed For Beach And River Cleanups

Volusia County residents can participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s 35th annual International Coastal Cleanup anywhere along the beach, Halifax River or Indian River Lagoon on Sept. 18, 19 and 20.

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