Coronavirus in Jacksonville: Helping small businesses financially

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — Several businesses in Duval County have closed temporarily amid the coronavirus pandemic because of orders issued by Mayor Lenny Curry and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Bars, nightclubs, hair and nail salons, barbershops and other businesses not deemed essential are closed in Jacksonville and throughout the state.

The orders were put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help people follow the guidelines of social distancing.

A bar and nightclub in Jacksonville's Five Points area closed permanently because the owner said it couldn't afford to stay closed any longer, following the temporary closure in mid-March.

Other business owners say they are also feeling the effects of the pandemic.

To aid small businesses locally during the pandemic, Mayor Curry and the city of Jacksonville have partnered with VyStar Credit Union, to lend money to businesses.

In a video-conference Monday, Curry stated:

  • The program will provide low-cost loans with less stringent underwriting requirements and flexible repayment terms.
  • It requires interest-only payments for the first year to ensure repayment costs remain low. Loan approval and funding should take place in 3-5 days.
  • To qualify, a business must have between two to 100 employees in addition to business owners.
  • The business must have at least one year in operations and provide the most recent year's filed tax returns.

On Monday afternoon, the Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved the Small Business Relief and Employee Retention Grant Program with VyStar Credit Union.

Also, you DO NOT have to be a VyStar Credit Union member to apply for the loan. Your business just has to be located in Duval County and been in business for at least a year employing 2-100 employees.

If a business owner or nonprofit wishes to apply, click here.


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