BY MARCY SHORTUSE- Last week Lee County announced they would be allocating millions of dollars in financial relief to people and businesses who are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 quarantine and subsequent shutdown. The county received $57 million from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, a law intended to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
The Lee County Board of County Commissioners made a statement, acknowledging the struggle that small business owners are going through right now, and in an attempt to head off as many permanent closures as possible, have enacted this piece of legislation.
The money comes from a small piece of the $2 trillion federal CARES Act, which is the same well the stimulus checks were drawn from. Our county was one of 12, as well as the city of Jacksonville, that received a total of $135 million from the Act.
Programs for individuals are available as well, that will cover expenses such as mortgage and utilities (up to $2,000) and childcare, and more. Payments will be made directly to the landlord, mortgage company or utility company through the program.
You will need a social security card, photo identification and copies of all overdue bills to quality. You must be able to show your job was affected by the Safer at Home order, and your household must make less than $55,000 at the time of application.
A total of $3 million has also been set aside for food assistance for people who live in Lee County.
LeeCares began accepting applications on Tuesday. You can apply online by going to leeflcares.com or by calling (239) 533-CARE.