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Since its launch in August, the Sarasota County CARES program has pumped millions of federal dollars into the local economy to bring financial relief during the pandemic, helping to support small businesses, arts and culture centers, individual households and nonprofits.

More than $2.3 million in individual assistance has been paid to 757 local households and $23.1 million to 550 small businesses. The program is on track to distribute $49 million to small businesses and $7.5 million to struggling individuals. Applications for funding are no longer being accepted.

All CARES funds are distributed and approved by the Sarasota County Commission. Other distributions include $4 million for human services like water, food and shelter and $6 million for other health and nonprofit needs. The funding was approved as part of Congress' $2 trillion coronavirus relief act passed in March.

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