Cizmic Supports Local Community through Broward County CARES ACT Grant Program
News Release | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | Jan 2021
Cizmic has completed several rounds of Technical Advisory on behalf of the Broward County local government in Florida, USA in an effort to assist with their local COVID-19 grant funding program. The program, whose aim was to deliver millions in CARES Act funding, was launched in October 2020 and remained open into December allowing thousands of businesses to submit their applications for consideration. With applications under review, the local economy is poised to receive a much needed financial boost as recipients receive up to $15k each.
Similar to other counties across the US, Broward County has witnessed the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ensuing lockdowns and restrictions. Businesses have responded to the crisis in a variety of ways – balancing the need to prioritize the safety of their customers and employees with the desire to sustain profitability. As a result, some have taken measures such as reducing hours, cutting staff, limiting customers, and retrofitting stores with protective equipment. For many, the outcome of these measures has been a noted decline in business revenues all while faced with ongoing operating expenses such as utilities and rent which still need to be paid.
Taking into consideration the significant role that small businesses play in the US economy , the county has designed the program specifically targeting enterprises under 21 employees. Whereas some large multinational enterprises have been able to more easily weather the headwinds by ramping up online activity and pivoting to work-from-home policies, many non-essential small businesses have faced a bleaker reality as the bulk of their sales depend upon maintaining a retail presence or sustaining close person-to-person interaction.
To combat these devastating economic effects, the county has contracted a team of qualified firms such as Cizmic, to join forces with county staff in educating local businesses on grant eligibility and application requirements. Advisors worked one-on-one with individual non-profit and for-profit business owners over the phone via live video conference sessions. Applicants were allowed to schedule up to 90 minutes of consultation with technical assistants where we provided customized help suited to their unique situations. Cizmic has been a proud partner to the County during this period and a key player enabling the program’s administrative success. We look forward to the positive impact that this program will continue to make as the South Florida community recovers from the crisis in 2021.
 The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the percentage share of small business activity contributing to the US private, non-farm GDP stood at 43.5% in 2014 amounting to $5.9T. (Note: The study considers small business as those with fewer than 500 employees.)