Jacksonville looks at $1,000 relief grants for residents
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry rolled out more coronavirus financial relief Thursday.

jax bold 04.21.17 1
Federal funds will trickle down to locals.

On Thursday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry outlined another in a series of relief proposals for Duval County residents facing “unprecedented financial impact.”

Language is still being finalized, but the program envisions $160 million in federal coronavirus relief funds, including $40 million for citizens to help with mortgage and rent payments, $25 million to offset revenue declines and $35 million for testing.

Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes said getting “cash in the hands of those who need it” would take a week to ten days.

“We have to restrict it to each household,” Hughes said.

Individuals could apply online or over the phone and the city could offer “transportation to a location where the final steps are taken.”

Hughes said the program would offer a $1,000 grant to those earning below $75,000 a year and who can demonstrate a 20% loss of income due to COVID-19.

The grants would not be offered on a sliding scale due to “undue burden” to applicants.

The Mayor’s Office plans to file the legislation Friday, with the Jacksonville City Council expected to take up the measure Monday.

Curry noted a “very positive reaction” from the Council.

“I expect it to pass,” the Mayor said, “and I expect to get dollars into people’s hands.”

The proposal furthers an already unprecedented expansion of local government spending, a sharp break from decades of penny-pinching for local social issues.

Jacksonville has historically been a hotbed of “low tax” Republicans, but the coronavirus crisis rendered topsy-turvy traditional ways of doing business.

Earlier this month, the Mayor’s Office rolled out an emergency loan program for Jacksonville small businesses, a “COVID-19 Small Business Relief & Employee Retention Grant Program.”

The city is initially investing $9 million from sub-funds within the city’s general fund balance, with a “maximum exposure” capped at $26 million over six years to cover interest and principal on loans totaling $50 million from VyStar Credit Union.

That program will be fully funded with federal funds from the relief bill.

The program offers access to capital for businesses with as few as two employees and as many as 100, “providing capital at low cost and doing it very quickly,” as Hughes put it earlier this month.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


5 comments

  • NoGiveAways

    April 23, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    This is what happens when Federal funds are given to cities and states. The Federal funds were intended to keep the governments open, for services like police, fire, garbage, etc.

    Once again, this shows why giving away money with little strings attached, is a very bad idea.

    Once this money runs out, will Cities like Jacksonville be in line for more help?

    • Essential Worker

      April 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Well, I would never qualify. What about us essential workers, that have to go to work everyday. We haven’t had a day off. We have to go to work and call home and make sure our kids are prepared for school because we don’t have a babysitter.
      Why not give something to the Essential Worker based on their level. Of course the medical field would be the top.

    • Ernest

      April 23, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      Will these funds be taking away because back child support ??

  • matt

    April 23, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Do deadbeat moms really need a thousand dollars to whore around while dads in another state takes care of the kids?

  • Mohsine

    May 1, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    The city said there was no problems with website to file I took pictures of the screen for 8 hours try to file every single time it says I had already an appointment on The 17th of May at 12:00 pm meanwhile no confirmation code popped up or received a confirmation email. It’s a total joke.

Comments are closed.


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