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Over $100,000 going to Fort Myers low-moderate income households, businesses

Fort Myers City Council unanimously approved more than $100,000 for an “Emergency Assistance Program” to benefit low-moderate income households and businesses in the city Monday. This is in effort to help these groups hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new fund will allocate $112,152 for assistance of households and businesses below $54,960 in annual income (below 80% of area median income) due to hardships brought on by COVID-19.

According to the city recommendation, the re-directed funds will provide temporary residential rental and utility payment assistance (up to $750 per month for three months), foreclosure counseling and emergency business loans (up to $10,000) to micro-enterprises (5 or less employees, one of them being the owner) within the City of Fort Myers. The owner of a micro-enterprise business must be low-moderate income and located within the City of Fort Myers.

It comes at a time when many businesses are closed and severely struggling. The owner of Wise Guys Deli says his business is down about 90%.

“It’s cut down business drastically,” Martin Drexler said. “I have some orders but nowhere near enough to survive in the future.”

But, with the city’s $10,000 loan, Drexler thinks he and other small businesses may be able to hang on a little longer

The “Emergency Assistance Program” pulls $20,987 from the city’s Attainable
Housing funds from Rehabilitation Account, $88,479 from the city’s Mortgage Assistance Account and $2,686 from the city’s Administration Account to total the slated $112,152.

The city says it hopes to have the application live on its website for eligible businesses and households Tuesday.

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Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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