TALLAHASSEE, Fl.a (WTXL) — The Leon County Commission voted Tuesday night to expand the Small Business Grant, but this time they included nonprofits.
Commissioner said helping businesses and nonprofits in our community during this difficult time will ultimately benefit the local economy for the future.
Quartermoon Imports has been a staple on Lake Ella for decades, but the pandemic made it's future uncertain.
Owner Katie Haggerty says she closed her store for a month and half in the spring and since she's reopened the need for money continues to rise.
"It's definitely been a challenge," said Haggerty. "There have been extra expenses added on because of needing PPE and all kinds of other equipment like sanitizing things."
Haggerty is one of 365 business owners that have received money from the Leon County Cares Act.
Elder Care Services officials say being able to receive money as a nonprofit will provide meals to hundreds in need.
"With more money, we would be able to purchase more food to be able to feed more seniors safely in there homes during the pandemic," said Jocelyne Fliger, the CEO of Elder Care ServicesJocelyne Fliger, the CEO of Elder Care Services.
Fliger says the need for meals has increased to more than 20,000 since the pandemic.
With the extension businesses can now receive up to $12,000, depending on the number of employees.
Leon County commissioners also included other hard-hit businesses, like entertainment and gyms up to $10,000.
Haggerty says saving community businesses is what keeps Tallahassee so special.
"Local businesses are what make Tallahassee so unique and interesting and so I don't think anyone in our community wants to lose that vibrancy of what our local businesses offer," Haggerty said.
The assistance can be used for things like employee pay, rent, and utilities.
Haggerty says she hopes to use the money to pay her employees and create a new online curbside service to keep her customers safe.