Manatee County announces $17.5 million plan to assist citizens, businesses, non-profits impacted by COVID-19

Manatee County announces $17.5 million plan to assist citizens, businesses, non-profits impacted by COVID-19
Posted on 06/23/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (June 23, 2020) – More help is on the way for Manatee County residents, business owners who have experienced financial setbacks and for non-profits and governments involved in the public response to COVID-19.

Manatee County Commissioners today approved the outline for a plan to provide financial recovery assistance of $17.5 million that will go to help those hit hardest by the coronavirus. The funding is the first phase of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal funding arriving through the State of Florida.

Deputy County Administrator Karen Stewart, delivering an update on the plan to County Commissioners today, said Manatee County's plan distributes funding into four categories: Public Health/Safety (30 percent), Economic Recovery (30 percent), Community Health and Wellbeing (30 percent), and Government and Community Facilities (10 percent).

The County will hold virtual information sessions for each funding category July 9 and 10 with more details on the funding and to explain how to apply for assistance. Details for those meetings will be announced in early July.

Roughly $5.25 million will be designated for services that promote and improve public health and safety of citizens, such as vehicles and equipment specifically for COVID-19/infectious disease transport, temporary non-congregate sheltering for COVID-19 impacted persons, and temperature scanners and disinfecting equipment.

Another $5.25 million will be dedicated to restoring the economy, maintaining the workforce and assisting individual households recover from the effects of COVID-19. The funding will allow the County to expand the Manatee CARES Housing Assistance Program (HAP), providing assistance to Manatee County residents for mortgage, rent or utility payments, and the Recover Manatee Safety First – Small Business Grant Program, expected to launch in early July.

"Manatee CARES funding allows us to expand the HAP program to others in Manatee County who can show they’ve been impacted by the pandemic," Stewart told Commissioners today. "The CARES act money opens up the ability for a broader number of residents to receive funding under this program."

An additional $5.25 million will go to efforts to enhance community health and wellbeing, including PPE, effective disinfecting and sanitizing practices, and expanded COVID-19 testing.

The final $1.75 million is designated for community health response activities provided by the County, Constitutional Officers and all municipalities for costs incurred to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds are available with certain restrictions and can only be used for expenses that are necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19 between March 1 and December 30, 2020, that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020.

During the afternoon portion of this afternoon's land use meeting, County Commissioners had an extended conversation over the next steps the County will take to help flatten the curve in Manatee County. No formal vote was taken, but Commissioners are expected to take a position endorsing many of the recommendations laid out in the Surgeon General's Public Health Advisory issued on June 20.

View the latest on Manatee County's community-wide effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by visiting or text ManateeReady to 888-777. For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.