Help Us Ask For Grant Qualification Adjustments!
Alachua County has $47 million available to use on COVID relief for local businesses and individuals which it will begin giving away in a few weeks. High Dive has been closed for 4 months and counting due to the pandemic with no income except for generous donations from our community, and high fixed costs when we closed.
You would think we would be a perfect candidate to receive these funds, but according to the County’s rules we would receive nothing! We think the Commission is well intentioned but doesn’t understand the plight of the most affected businesses.
To qualify for these funds 1) you must not have received any other assistance 2) have kept your furloughed staff on payroll the whole time you are closed. Also to receive the highest amount of funds you must have at least 25 employees. High Dive has some received federal funds but it is not nearly enough due to our long closure. We tried to keep our core staff on payroll for several weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, but quickly realized that unemployment was a better solution. The majority of our staff are event workers and there is no work for them to do while we are closed. Furthermore, while we have less than 25 official employees, we do employ many independent contractors.
We are asking the Commission to please let common sense rule and adjust the qualifications so we may qualify for these grants. If we get these funds it will keep us going a few more months while we wait to reopen, and closer to our goal to bringing Gainesville 9 more years of live music and events!
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