ARCADIA — Some emergency financial relief is now available in DeSoto County for residents, small businesses and other organizations after months of coronavirus setbacks and losses.

“Our small businesses are still suffering financially from COVID-19, and our residents, many of whom were forced out of work, are behind on their bills. We are hoping this money will offer emergency relief,” said County Administrator Mandy Hines.

The DeSoto County commissioners recently approved the COVID-19 Relief Program, providing up to $6.6 million in immediate assistance to support for those hardest hit during coronavirus.

Funding is available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act.

Online applications are being accepted through 5 p.m. Aug. 28.

“In order to speed up the process, we have added additional staff to review the applications,” Hines said. “Our goal is to get these funds into the local hands with financial hardships directly related to the virus as quickly as possible.”

The grants available include:

Individual assistance — a one-time grant up to $2,000 to help cover qualifying household living expenses.

Those expenses include rent, mortgage or utilities, car and insurance payments as well as daycare expenses for individuals faced with an unexpected loss of income due to layoffs, furloughs or due to a significant reduction of work hours.

Only one application can be submitted per household.

Small Business Assistance — a one-time grant ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent employees to assist businesses negatively impacted by coronavirus.

Businesses forced to close during the governor’s “safer at home” order will receive priority.

Grants will cover expenses such employee wages, personal protective equipment (PPE), vendor bills and mortgage/rent costs.

Food Security Assistance — a one-time grant up to $5,000 for not-for-profits and religious organizations providing food to residents in DeSoto County who are self-quarantined, under a quarantine order, or to persons caring for family members with coronavirus.

Funds can be used to cover expenses related to food preparation, packaging, delivery, distribution and storage.

Community Partner Mitigation Assistance — a one-time grant up to $10,000 for local nonprofits or organization providing critical services to the community with expenses related to telework capability, PPE, or physical modifications to your facility to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The funds available will have restrictions and can only be used toward expenses and hardships incurred during the pandemic between March 1 and Dec. 30.

HOW TO APPLY

Go to DeSotoBOCC.com/cares.

For questions related to the program, applicants are encouraged to review the frequently asked questions as well as the application program guide.

For additional questions, email CARESfunding@desotobocc.com.

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