COVID-19 Update #22
City of Fort Pierce
July 30, 2020, 5:00 PM
FREE DRIVE-THRU FOOD DISTRIBUTION
The City of Fort Pierce will host a free drive-thru food distribution event in partnership with St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church, tomorrow, July 31 at 10AM at Ilous Ellis Park (1211 Avenue M).
ST LUCIE COUNTY GRANT PROGRAM
With the goal of providing some economic relief to smaller businesses that were hardest hit in St. Lucie County due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council (EDC) is spearheading a new program that offers grants to local businesses. Businesses with up to 3 employees will be eligible for grants up to $5,000 and businesses with 4 to 10 employees will be eligible for grants up to $7,500. The application process will launch on Monday, August 3.
The grants, which do not have to be repaid, will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying businesses with 10 or fewer employees and total revenue of less than $1 million. Grants may be used to cover expenses during a forced closure and incurred to safely reopen. Grant funds will not be approved to replace lost revenue. Funding is available to businesses economically injured due to the pandemic and businesses mandated to close or curtail operations due to COVID-19. They include small businesses in hardest hit industries such as hospitality, retail, entertainment, food and beverage, and personal services.
The application process will be conducted in phases, with priority given to businesses that did not receive any funding through other federal, state or local programs related to COVID-19. Other eligibility requirements also apply and should be reviewed carefully before spending time submitting an application. Grant funds can be used to cover mortgage, rent, utilities, reopening costs and new operational expenses needed to ensure safety measures are in place.
“We anticipate high demand for these grants and encourage all eligible small businesses to apply. We’ve made the process as simple as possible, with a web portal www.recoverstlucie.org that contains guidelines and eligibility requirements, as well as a checklist of documents needed before completing the online application,” said Cathy Townsend, Chair of the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners and Chair of the St. Lucie County Tourist Development Council. “I encourage everyone to make sure they continue to be safe and healthy.”
If all necessary documentation is pulled together in advance it can take as little as 30 minutes to complete the application. Incomplete or inaccurate information could lead to a delay in processing or denial.
Assistance will be available to help business owners complete the application. A webinar hosted by the EDC’s Virtual Business Recovery Center on Friday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m. will also help educate business owners on the application process. Click here to register for the webinar: https://fit.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kfuivrTwjHNcxheBhai7-FUz7xkysSsRV
St. Lucie County received $13.8 million from the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are being used to assist residents as well as businesses, with about $4 million allocated specifically for small business assistance grants. The application process is being administered by St. Lucie County in partnership with the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County.
For more detailed small business assistance grant information, including eligibility requirements and the online application, go to www.recoverstlucie.org or call 772.336.6285.
CITY OF FORT PIERCE GRANTS UPDATE
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Fort Pierce City Commission approved the COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Plan which included a series of grants supporting residents, businesses, and community-based efforts. The grants aimed to provide immediate assistance to residents and businesses directly impacted by COVID-19. The City’s goal was to help offset the loss of income or revenue during this pandemic. For residents, the City of Fort Pierce offered mortgage and rental assistance of 2 months’ rent/mortgage up to $3,000. For businesses, the City offered two small business relief grants. Businesses with 25 employees or less were eligible for a one-time grant of $3,000 and businesses with 26 to 100 employees were eligible for a one-time grant for $7,500. The program officially launched on Monday, May 4, 2020 and at the close of business Wednesday, May 6, 2020, received over 1,400 prescreening/ applications. The City closed the prescreening and application process on Friday, May 8, at noon to process the applications that were received. The City of Fort Pierce approved 36 recipients for mortgage and rental assistance totaling $62,687.96 and 36 recipients for small businesses totaling $108,000.00, overall providing $170,687.96 in assistance through the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Grant Program.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance N. 2020-021 requiring everyone to wear a facial covering when social distancing isn’t possible both for indoor and outdoor settings. Face coverings, which cover both the nose and mouth, must be worn by all individuals at indoor or outdoor public places and businesses including retails stores, offices and restaurants. Those dining, both indoor or outdoor, do not have to wear facial coverings while consuming food or beverages. Subject to certain exemptions. For more information, please visit: www.stlucieco.gov/covid-19
As families prepare for the opening of school on August 24 and the cancellation of many programs that offered free school supplies, the City of Fort Pierce plans to step in and fill the gap by planning a free Back to School supplies distribution on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at the Percy Peek Gymnasium. The goal is to distribute 1,000 preassembled pandemic-readiness backpacks complete with 3 disposable masks, hand sanitizer and a 20-piece school supply kit. More information to come.
FORT PIERCE UTILITIES
At the July 21, 2020, meeting, the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) Board voted to extend the suspension of disconnects for non-payment until September 5th, 2020. This extension will allow FPUA customers additional time to set up payment plans or seek assistance to avoid interruption of their utility service. “We agree with the Board’s decision to give customers additional time to bring their accounts current, take advantage of FPUA payment plans, or seek funding assistance,” said John Tompeck, Director of Utilities. For more information, please visit: https://fpua.com/Home/Communications/News.aspx?NewsId=181
GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS
For a complete list of executive orders issued by Governor DeSantis regarding COVID-19, please visit: https://www.flgov.com/2020-executive-orders/.
CITY HALL ACCESS
City Hall is currently open to the public by appointment only. In addition, temperature checks will be implemented and mandated for all employees, visitors, contractors, and delivery personnel that attempt to enter City Hall.
CITY FACILITY PUBLIC ACCESS
• City Hall – Open by appointment only. Call (772) 467-3000.
• Police Department Main Station and Substation – Open by appointment only. Call (772) 467-6800.
• Sunrise Theatre – Open and practicing social distancing.
• City Marina – Open to the public and practicing social distancing.
• Indian Hills Golf Course – Open to the public and practicing social distancing.
• Beaches – Open.
• Parks – Open.
• Boat Ramps – Open.
St. Lucie County Public Information:
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center:
St. Lucie Public Schools
211 Community Helpline
211 is a community helpline and crisis hotline that provides suicide prevention, crisis intervention, information, assessment, and referral to community services for people of all ages.
State of Florida Emergency Coordinating Officers
Citizens may subscribe to receive email and text messaged updates through the “COVID-19 Information” alert center on the city’s website. Visit https://www.cityoffortpierce.com/856/COVID-19-Information for updated information and community resources regarding COVID-19.