Published On: Tue, May 5th, 2020

The Boynton Beach Cra’s COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs

Boynton Beach, FL – Recognizing the need within the Boynton Beach community, the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (BBCRA) started working on ways to provide immediate relief to small local businesses in the BBCRA Area after Governor DeSantis’s Executive Order 20-91 was issued in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These initiatives needed to be flexible and simple to implement to ensure the timeliness of delivery to the businesses during this unprecedented time where there are daily changes and advisories.  Additionally, the goal was to supplement the SBA’s Paycheck Protection (PPP) and the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Programs as many small businesses in the area do not qualify for these programs or there are limitations to the eligible expenditures.  The result was the development of the BBCRA’s new Small Business Disaster Relief Forgivable Loan Program (SBDRFLP) and a six month extension to the Agency’s existing Commercial Rent Reimbursement Program (CRRP) for previous recipients who have opened their businesses within the last five years to protect the public investment through the history of the program.

The Agency’s quick response time of two weeks – from inception to release of funds, to the crisis is attributed to both the staff’s readiness and BBCRA Board’s authorization of $500,000 to the new SBDRFLP program and $245,000 for the CRRP, at its April 21, 2020 Special Meeting.  Eligible businesses with 50 or fewer employees can apply for a $10,000 interest free business loan to be used towards payroll, utilities, or inventory expenses within one year of the loan date, which provided more flexibility than the PPP. The loan will be forgiven if the business can provide documentation of the eligible expenditures. As of May 1, 2020, 45 businesses have been loan approved and funded through the new SBDRLP.

To further its business retention efforts for the 45 small businesses that have recently opened in the past five years, the BBCRA realized that continued rent assistance is needed through its CRRP. The CRRP is designed to help facilitate the establishment of new businesses and aid in the expansion of existing businesses within the Boynton Beach CRA Area. This Program is designed to provide financial assistance to new and existing businesses in the form of a quarterly reimbursement up to 50% of the rent. The intended goal is to help businesses during the critical first year of operation. This existing program has been revised from 12 to 18 months in response to the COVID-19 crisis with reimbursement to occur on a monthly instead of a quarterly basis. As of May 1, 2020, 43 businesses have been assisted through the changes to the CRRP.

The BBCRA understands the urgency to provide the funds to the local businesses while maintaining fiscal responsibility as a public agency.  The speed and care in which BBCRA has implemented these programs reinforces its commitment to support our local business community during these difficult and uncertain times.

“At Nutrition Cottage Health Foods, we are very pleased, excited, and most appreciative to have been selected as a recipient of the Boynton Beach CRA’s Small Business Disaster Relief Program. Since 1978, we have been a long-time part if the Boynton Beach small business community and we truly feel that the Boynton Beach CRA, not just in words, but in direct action, and at a very critical time, has gone above and beyond in their efforts to support and assist small business in Boynton Beach.” – Mark Stowe, owner of Nutrition Cottage (1815 Federal Hwy #5, Boynton Beach, FL 33435)

“It means so much to know that there are local resources here in Boynton actively reaching out to small businesses asking how they can help. I immediately feel less alone knowing you and the CRA are here to help in any way you can.” – Danielle Tarrant, owner of Bailey’s Blendz (640 E Ocean Ave #16, Boynton Beach, FL 33435)

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