Retain the remaining Blueprint LEAN Grant funds for the Nonprofit Sector.

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The nonprofit sector significantly contributes to economic impact, community service, neighborhood safety and quality of life, and service area includes every zip code in the county. Demand keeps increasing, especially as both the pandemic and violence against people of color continues to rise. Our sector provides critical services for Tallahassee and Leon County from housing, food, mental health counseling, legal services, bill payments, childcare, disaster relief assistance and more.  The LEAN (Local Emergency Aid for Non-Profits) grants program offered help to front-line nonprofits delivery valuable services during these unprecedented times. Wisely created by our city and county commissions in April and administrated by OEV (Office of Economic Vitality), the program provided $1M of stimulus to select non-profits with an original guideline cycle ending May 15 or until funds ran out. The program successfully awarded just under $600,000 by May 15.

The Council on Culture and Arts (COCA), United Partners for Human Services (UPHS) and the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence (INIE) submitted a letter to the commissioners on May 19th expressing the need to retain the balance of the $1M Lean Grant for the nonprofit sector with some recommendations on adjusting the eligibility requirements.  The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency meeting in May deliberation resulted in a divide between city and county support of this request.  We thank the city commission, Mayor Dailey, and Commissioners Dozier and Proctor for their support for keeping the remaining support of just over $400K but the vote to continue the program failed.

The nonprofit sector represents a vast array of necessary services in the Tallahassee and surrounding communities.  The remaining $400K should remain allocated to support the essential work of nonprofit organizations.