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COVID relief: Following Miami’s lead, Coral Gables also announces small business grant program

The City of Coral Gables has announced a grant program for small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 crisis.

The new Small Business Recovery Grants Program is available to Coral Gables-based enterprises with up to 30 employees. The maximum grant award is $50,000.

Coral Gables’ announcement follows one by the City of Miami.  On Thursday, the Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced a small business grant program awarding up to $20,000. Find more information here.

Funds for Coral Gables program must be used on resources to aid the businesses during the pandemic, including rent or mortgage payments not covered by a PPP loan or another relief loan, utility payments, technology, marketing. PPE and cleaning supplies.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and critical to creating employment opportunities,” said Julian Perez, the city’s director of economic development, in a statement. “Coral Gables businesses not only keep our economy moving, but they give our city a unique character and we think it’s important to support them during this difficult time.”

Coral Gables budgeted $750,000 for the program, and funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are due before Dec. 28.

The grant, which does not need to be repaid, differs from Miami-Dade County’s $25 million RISE Miami-Dade Fund. Rise Miami-Dade is a revolving loan program designed to assist local businesses impacted by the COVID crisis. Qualifying businesses can receive a three-year term loan that is interest-free for the first three months, and then rises to 3.25%. Funds are still available in RISE: About $6 million has been dispersed to businesses since June, the county said.

As the economic fallout from the pandemic crisis continues to mount, businesses closures are on the rise, according to Yelp.  Nearly 4,000 South Florida businesses have shuttered this year, the eighth-highest amount among the metropolitan areas analyzed.

For more grant and loan opportunities in South Florida, go here.

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