Tallahassee, Leon County commissioners approve $1 million in funds for nonprofits

Posted at 6:33 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 09:47:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(WTXL) — Nonprofits and small businesses can look forward to supplemental funds from local government to help see them through the COVID-19 crisis.

City and county commissioners unanimously approved $1 million to go towards helping the not-for-profit organizations that serve our communities.

They call it a bridge to a bridge. Local funds the organizations can use while they wait on more help from the federal government.

"We know that many of our businesses and organizations have taken a financial hit," said Curtis Richardson, City of Tallahassee commissioner. "And so we're trying to do whatever we can as a city to support them and get them through these times."

Business owners had to apply for those funds and be deemed eligible.

Some, like K Lennorris Barber, want to make the funds for not-for-profit business have fewer restrictions.

"I'd like to see it go to nonprofits, but without some of the strings that were attached to the business program," said Barber, an executive consultant for Community Business Service. "The business program you had to have applied for either a state loan or a federal loan program and what that in effect did was create barriers to entry for a lot of businesses that don't have that administrative infrastructure to put together those type of loan packages."

Barber says, in addition to funding larger nonprofit programs like Second Harvest, he hopes to see funds reach some minority organizations, some of which already have plans to distribute PPEs to under-served communities.

Commissioners also want to make sure that the board creates appropriate resources to make business owners aware of these opportunities as well how to take advantage of them.