JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville City Council has approved two bills to provide more than $7.2 million in COVID-19 relief to local non-profits and small businesses who are negatively impacted by the response measures.
More than 60 businesses and organizations are on the list to receive funding, including North Florida School of Special Education which is expected to get about $272,000.
The school welcomed students back to campus on Tuesday. Sally Hazelip, Head of School, said it has been successful so far for the schools 185 students and 70 postgraduates with intellectual differences.
It’s just one of more than 60 small businesses and nonprofits to receive COVID-19 relief funding.
“We received $272,000 and that will be used for operational expenses as well as some of our PPE and some of the expenses of re-opening a school,” Hazelip said.
Hazelip told News4Jax she applied for the grant after the school lost about $450,000 in revenue when it shut down in March.
City Council approved the two bills for COVID-19 relief this week. More than $3.4 million comes from the federal CARES Act and about $3.7 million from the COVID-19 small business relief grant program.
“I’m just so thankful that this federal money was available in the city had a plan in place to be able to distribute the money,” Hazelip said.
While about 50 families chose the virtual option, the others came back to brick-and-mortar. When school started on Tuesday, Hazelip said students received temperature screenings as they get out of their cars. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the school, social distancing markings are on the floor and plexiglass is in between students in the classroom.
“It’s been so great having the kids back-- just a huge blessing for them and families and our staff have just been real troopers,” Hazelip said.
It’s a new facility that hosts about 100 elementary and middle school students opened in January. The other building hosts high school, transition students, and its post-graduate program.
“We have some of our transition students using this as a volunteer job site and they’re going into classrooms helping wipe down classrooms -- tables and chairs,” Hazelip said.
From academics, culinary classes, cross-fit, art, equestrian lessons in the barn, barkin’ biscuits, and more. Hazelip said this grant an incredible gift as students are happy to be back learning.
Also on the list to receive COVID-29 relief: The Regional Food Bank of Northeast Florida granted $630,000, Jacksonville Jewish Center was granted $237,250, and Northeast Florida women veteran will receive $88,261. Others include youth sports teams and churches.
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp is taking the largest portion of the funding at more than $2.1 million.
This is the second round of funding for nonprofits and small businesses.