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Jacksonville mayor plans to unveil $20-30 million in city-specific financial aid for small businesses

The grants, loans and interest payments will be designed to help small businesses stay open and assist with employee retention.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry hosted a virtual meeting Tuesday morning with members of the City Council at which he announced plans to introduce legislation to help small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Curry said the city has formed a partnership with VyStar Credit Union to provide between $20-30 million in grants, loans and interest payments designed to help small businesses stay open and assist with employee retention. 

"We will submit legislation for council to consider in the very near future," he said. "Stress levels are peaking for many families in many households."

In response to a question from Councilmember LeAnna Cumber complaining about "shoulder to shoulder" crowds at Riverfront Park, watching the sunset. Curry said any crowds of a size that is concerning should be reported to the police. 

Curry announced Monday that he asked his team to look into the stay-at-home orders issued in some South Florida counties to see "if it would be good for Jacksonville."

The order was applied to Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties through the middle of May.

Curry also said he signed an executive order that will prohibit all hotels, motels and other commercial lodgings from accepting or extending reservations for those who are not considered as "essential lodgers." 

This order will be in effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The mayor also acknowledged that 500 rapid tests, which determine if a patient has the coronavirus in 45 minutes, will be coming to Jacksonville.

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