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Tallahassee businesses surviving due to CARES money

Posted at 6:40 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 18:41:11-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Getting back to business, that's exactly what Leon County restaurants and non-profits are doing once again thanks to Federal Cares Act money.

The dollars helped them pay their employee's wages, and even more, it prevented them from shutting down. Now businesses like Burrito Boarder say they might not be around today if it wasn't for the counties help.

"We're very very pleased. We hope that this kind of money, manna, can rain from heaven again and do even more wondrous work here in Leon County."

Leon County Government, responsible for giving out over $18 million in relief to Tallahassee businesses and non-profits, is seeing their investment pay off.

"We were hitting the end of the year and we were at the point where we don't know if we were going to go on."

For Burrito Border, 2020 was one of their most challenging years in business.

Located next to Florida State University, they rely a lot on college students for business.

When everything was shutting down and it being harder for people to dine in, Burrito Border was unable to save profits from their busy season to help out during their slow season.

"These things kept me up at night saying how are we going to cover this," said owner Dave Turknett. "What are we going to do? It literally came in when we needed it the most."

One year later, Burrito Boarder is enjoying high guest numbers in what would be their slow season, a feat they were able to accomplish with just a little boost.

The restaurant is just one of 900 other businesses and non-profits to receive CARES funding.

Commissioner Bill Proctor explains, he's glad to see Leon County businesses thriving with lower COVID-19 numbers in the county.

"It helped at a time when people were laid off, when businesses were shutting down, when there was extreme panic and anxiety," said Commissioner Proctor.

A lot of that anxiety, no absent.

"It wasn't just us," said Turknett. "There's a lot of people out there with a lot of gratitude for them stepping up and helping out."

Additionally, there was $7.8 million awarded to small minority and women owned businesses in the county