After website troubles, thousands of Jacksonville small businesses apply for stimulus relief

City apologizes for delay caused by technical issue with software

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting Monday morning, Jacksonville business owners whose operations were impacted by the coronavirus closures were able apply for a grant to help them get back on their feet.

It didn’t start off smoothly but 4,500 people were finally able to apply.

About $9 million is available for the grant program, which is funded by the federal government’s CARES Act.

Eligible businesses can receive a maximum of $2,000, but awarded amounts are distributed on the dollar per capita for business operation. The money also is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those that were able to apply, the relief is welcomed.

The link to apply for Jacksonville’s small business relief program wasn’t available until 9 a.m., but many small business owners like Darnell Bogins weren’t taking any chances so they logged on early.

But as soon as the link went live, the system crashed. The city almost instantly started tweeting out updates.

Around 10:30 a.m. the system was up and running, but in that hour and a half period where the application was down News4Jax received dozens of messages from small business owners worried they weren’t going to be able to apply, including Bogins.

“I think after that last time I texted you, it finally let me on but once it did it took me maybe two minutes tops," Bogins said.

Some of the requirements for eligibility include:

Businesses must be based in Duval County and have been in business for at least one year before Feb. 29, 2020. A business cannot have had more than 100 people employed, and business owners must be able to prove a loss of at least 25% in total revenue from the COVID-19 crisis in order to be eligible for grant money.

Bogins owns a pressure washing company that services many restaurants and when the restaurants closed, he also lost business, which is why any help is welcomed.

To apply for the program, you will need to have an active account on the site. If you already have an account, validate that you can log in. The money will be a one-time payment.

If you need an account, create one here.

Although the city reached the maximum amount of applications, officials still encourage people to apply in case others don’t qualify.

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