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"South Cape Cares Assistance Program" provides financial support for local businesses

CRA loan program aims to help local businesses
CRA loan program aims to help local businesses
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 18:33:53-04

CAPE CORAL, FL. — The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is helping local businesses through its "South Cape Cares Assistance Program."

Through this program, businesses can now apply for an up to $5,000 loan to pay for rent and mortgages.

The CRA is investing $300,000 in businesses located within the CRA special taxing district that were negatively impacted due to closures and other restrictions as a result of the pandemic.

One of those businesses planning to apply for this loan is Paradise Pizza.

"Even now, after reopening, things aren't as busy as they used to be," said Steve Whitcombe.

Whitcombe took over Paradise Pizza in Downtown Cape Coral nearly a year ago.

Whitcombe says things were running smoothly until the pandemic hit.

"We were able to stay operating selling take out and deliveries, and that helped me to pay the staff, but it still made it difficult," said Whitcombe.

Businesses that qualify for the "South Cape Cares Assistance Program" include restaurants, retail outlets, and other businesses deemed as "non-essential" by Florida's "Safer-At-Home Act."

Businesses that remain open for three years within CRA boundaries could qualify for total loan forgiveness.

"I intend to stay here, build on Paradise Pizza, and grow it. A couple of months of rent would be very, very helpful," said Whitcombe."

Whitcombe says he is moved by the community's support.

"I'm remaining very positive because there are so many great people in Cape Coral that support local businesses, and that's very important," said Whitcombe.

The deadline to apply and any submit required documents is Friday, June 12, at 4 p.m.

Click here to apply.