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New site offers financial resources and advice during pandemic

Dozens of businesses in Rock Island have received COVID-19 Emergency Grant funding. In an announcement released on Friday, officials said 48 businesses received $98,975 in funding. (MGN)
Dozens of businesses in Rock Island have received COVID-19 Emergency Grant funding. In an announcement released on Friday, officials said 48 businesses received $98,975 in funding. (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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Three out of four Floridians say they’re feeling more financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic according to a recent survey.

Now credit unions, banks and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer have teamed up and launched a new resource to help guide residents through these turbulent times.

While most Floridians are feeling some financial strain from the pandemic, nearly half say they’re feeling significantly more.

“Job uncertainty has kicked in,” said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

Patronis is touting the launch of MoneyWiseFlorida.com.

“It's a roadmap to try to help people,” said Patronis.

The site offers a multitude of financial resources and advice, many of which are specifically geared towards pandemic relief.

“Getting their PPP loans if they need them or want them. Helping them get other products like the economic impact disaster loans,” said Anthony DiMarco with the Florida Bankers Association.

Suncoast Credit Union CEO Kevin Johnson told us, learning how to create a six-month emergency fund is paramount in these times.

It’s something only three in ten Floridians had going into the pandemic.

“And that number is much higher if you look at the younger generation and minorities,” said Johnson. “And that's where this information that we're producing will really help. It's to be able to help them navigate through this, help them budget their money better.”

The experts we spoke with said the best advice they had to give was to live within your means.

“If you're racking up a lot of credit card debt, then you're probably buying things that you don't absolutely need or that you can find less expensive somewhere,” said Johnson.

But if you are doing well right now you might want to consider making that big purchase.

“With the rates where they are, mortgage rates and the ability to get financing for homes and cars, now is a good time,” said Jared Ross, President of the Florida Credit Union Association.

And the CFO tells us scammers are running rampant right now.

Remember the federal or state government will never contact you directly offering money.

To report a suspected scam, you can go to FraudFreeFlorida.com.

To access the new financial web resource go to MoneyWiseFlorida.com.

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