Orange County

Nearly 70% of Orange County businesses awarded CARES money are owned by women, minorities

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Over 13,000 businesses applied for CARES Act funding through Orange County. Of the nearly 6,800 awarded, 70% are businesses owned by either women or minorities.

Ignite Martial Arts School is owned by Sean Cumberbatch, who’s African American, and Patty Collazo, who’s Puerto Rican. A few months ago, they thought the pandemic would rob them of their business.

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The couple applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan in April. When they didn’t hear back, they applied for a small business grant through Orange County in June.

The next day, they got an email saying they’d been approved.

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They said the $10,000 they received not only saved their business, but the community they’ve built together.

In addition to teaching martial arts, they also help kids with homework, host community events and have even organized a weekly food pantry.

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Orange County is looking over its last applications. It says about 50% of the total applicants were typically denied because they didn’t submit a complete application or didn’t fit the grant criteria.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.