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25 local businesses awarded emergency relief after activation of $1M Blueprint Grant

Leon County
Posted at 9:21 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 09:26:38-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla.(WTXL) — Less than 24 hours after activating the COVID-19 Emergency Disaster Relief Grant Program, the County and City awarded critical grant dollars to 25 local businesses in urgent need.

According to a County officials, Earley’s Kitchen and Hair on Earth are among the first 25 businesses to receive grant funding.

“I am pleased that my colleagues from the IA Board recognized the need to economically support local business during this time and approved this program,” Leon County Commission Chairman and Chairman of the IA Board Bryan Desloge said. “The program is a quick tool to fill the gap to help businesses remain open.”

On Wednesday, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board, comprised of the County and City Commissions, approved allocating $1 million locally to leverage and align with up to $800 million federal dollars to assist local small businesses.

“We are pleased that this grant opportunity is helping our small businesses in Tallahassee-Leon County as a bridge to federal, state and private funding options during these first critical weeks,” said City Commissioner Elaine Bryant, vice chair of the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency.

Administered by the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality, the $1 million grant program provides an initial lifeline to local businesses to keep employees employed, thereby supporting continuity of operations as they weather the economic hardships during the first critical days and weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are so grateful for the support of our local leaders during this critical time,” said Jay Morrell, owner and chef of Earley’s Kitchen. “These funds help keep our employees paid and our doors open.”

The distribution of the grant funds will be based on the number of employees. Once applied, businesses with one to 10 employees will be awarded $1,500, businesses with 11 to 24 employees will be awarded $2,500, and businesses with 25 to 50 employees will be granted $5,000.

“The support small businesses, like mine, have received from the Office of Economic Vitality and our local community has been so inspiring,” said Hair on Earth Owner Holly Galotti.“ Everyone is rallying to support each other, and that has meant the world to us local business owners. We are so happy to receive funding so we can keep moving forward, which is the most important concern right now.”

Along with the activation of the grant program, the OEV has released a Business Resource Guide for businesses and employers that can be accessed on their website.

In addition, to assist local restaurants, the OEV has the "Open for Takeout" interactive map available to the public and accepting updates from local businesses.

“Since the activation of this grant program, our team has been working diligently and expeditiously to review over 50 applications thus far,” OEV Director Cristina Paredes said. “We are pleased to offer support to our small businesses during this time.”

To apply for the CEDR Grant Program, click here.

For questions regarding the CEDR Grant Program, contact the OEV at info@OEVforBusiness.org.