Hundreds apply for small business funding in St. Johns County

SJC COVID-19 recovery program

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Hundreds of St. Johns County businesses have applied for funding through St. Johns County CARES, a financial assistance program that uses more than $18 million in federal CARES Act funding.

Friday, Sept. 4, is the deadline for small businesses to apply, but there are also opportunities for nonprofits and individuals.

Rachel Miller, who owns Sailor Jane Productions, is one of hundreds of small business owners who have applied.

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“You have this population of musicians and gig workers that were relying on these regular steady gigs, now that has been cut in half and at this point, I’m only able to pay them a fraction of what they’re used to being paid,” said Miller.

Small businesses with 100 employees or fewer are eligible and could receive up to $20,000, depending on the size of their business.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, deputy county administrator Joy Andrews said the county launched its nonprofit assistance program that utilizes a portion of the same funding.

“We are planning to have a deadline for this phase of nonprofit assistance program by the 14th of September and then we’ll evaluate at the end of that,” said Andrews.

The third tier is the resident assistance program, which aims to help individuals pay things like rent and utilities.

“For the residence program we feel like the unmet needs, the gap is huge, so we’re going to leave that out until the end of October,” said Andrews.

Like many other businesses, Miller hopes the money will help her rebound for whenever it’s safe to get back to doing large live music events.

“I have music ready to be put out so I’m going to invest in myself,” said Miller.

To apply for assistance, visit www.sjcfl.us/sjccares/.

St. Johns County has until the end of the year to distribute the $18 million.