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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

City council designates $600,000 for local non-profit businesses impacted by COVID-19

The Ocala City Council has designated funds to assist local non-profits in need of financial assistance.

In a recent unanimous decision by the council members, a portion of the funds received by the city through the first disbursement of the American Rescue Plan Act will help benefit non-profit businesses.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed by President Joe Biden on March 11. The act provides specific funding allocations directly to state, local, and municipal government agencies.

The city expects to receive more than $12 million from the ARPA in two installments. Ten percent of the first installment, in the amount of $600,000, will be placed into non-profit grants.

A provision in the ARPA states that government agencies may use the funds to “address negative economic impacts caused by the (COVID-19) public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, non-profits, impacted industries, and the public sector.”

In a survey of 50 non-profit businesses conducted by the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County, more than $9.5 million had been reported as lost revenue by those businesses since the previous year.

Ocala non-profit businesses will be eligible to apply for assistance through a grant application at the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County application website.

Applications will be accepted through November 30.