Year in review: Tampa Bay received billions in federal grants, PPP loans
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Funds supported everything from small business bailouts to community services.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced Wednesday that her office secured $1.5 billion in federal grants and $2.7 billion in paycheck protection program assistance for Tampa Bay in 2020. 

According to Castor’s office, in a year filled with job loss amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Bay area also received $1.4 million directed to veterans, small businesses, and families through constituent services. The office handled more than 1,800 individual cases this year.

“My team tackles complex cases and works diligently with agencies and nonprofit partners to serve all of our neighbors,” Castor said in a news release. “Tampa families are facing unique and time-sensitive issues due to the coronavirus, and my team’s top priority remains serving our neighbors with respect and care.”

Tampa and Hillsborough County received 727 federal grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion in the 2020 fiscal year.

The grants also include $257 million in federal aid Hillsborough County received from the CARES Act, which dedicated $150 billion to the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund. Those resources went to more than 6,000 local businesses, rental assistance for more than 5,500 Hillsborough County families, workforce training, and public health support for contact tracing. The city of Tampa received $30 million from the grants, and the funds also supported the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries and other local organizations.

Also among the federal grants, Castor secured nearly $50 million for the Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants split between Tampa and Hillsborough County. The Tampa Bay Women’s Centre also received a $420,000 Small Business Administration grant to help female entrepreneurs and business owners with training, education and counseling.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development grants allocated $10 million in April to help Tampa and Hillsborough county support nonprofit partners, housing and homeless prevention. 

“I worked alongside county commissioners and the county administrator while they developed the plan to ensure that the emergency aid was consistent with the needs of our neighbors and the Congressional intent for use of these funds,” Castor said in a news release. “With the passage of a fifth coronavirus aid package, I will continue to partner with our local front-line agencies as we work toward rebuilding a local economy that leaves nobody behind and also prioritizes the health and well-being of our neighbors.”

Tampa Bay was also the recipient of $2.7 billion in PPP loans, established by the CARES Act. The program has provided more than 19,000 loans in the district — 16,681 were small businesses that received less than $150,000, totaling nearly $500 million. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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