Local businesses struggled applying for the CARES Act funding

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:01 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Bay County Commission brought in The Integrity Group to handle the application and selection process for the Bay County CARES Act funding.

“We had a full-time team of six people, the deadline by the state was December 30th to have the money obligated or spent,” Senior Partner with The Integrity Group Gary Yates said. “So, our charge was to have everything done by the 30th of December.”

Out of the 500 applicants, only about 250 small businesses were selected to get the money.

“We wish that we could’ve approved every application, however, there were a lot of U.S. Treasury and state guidelines that had to be strictly followed,” Yates said.

Unfortunately for one local small business, it was not selected because of those guidelines, like providing the correct documentation.

“I got an email that said they needed a copy of DR-15′s and my ID,” Owner of Gypsybeach Treasured Kreations Kathie Patterson said. “Then I got an email that said disregard the last two emails because they were sent to you in error.”

Lack of those documents were why this business did not get the money.

“Then I looked it up and it said not qualified due to documentation,” Patterson said. “Finally got an answer the other day and what they needed was my DR-15′s and my ID.”

$1.5 million out of the original $5 million was put towards those selected small businesses.

Bay County officials tell us the remaining $3.5 million was allocated before the deadline to other eligible expenses. Officials say those eligible expenses range from COVID-19 testing sites, which cost $1 million a month alone, personal protective equipment, and temperature scanning equipment for public facilities.

Officials with The Integrity Group say a bill has just passed that would allow the Small Business Administration to support PPP loans which could help those businesses that were not selected for the CARES Act funding.

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