Through Dec. 11, businesses and nonprofit agencies may apply for a variety of grants of up to $25,000 each at BayCountyCares.com, an online grant application portal. The program aims to administer some $5 million in federal CARES Act funding by the end of the year. Grant applications are first qualified, first-served, and the application portal closes Dec. 11. “We look forward to this opportunity to help small businesses and nonprofits in this county after the sucker punch dealt by the coronavirus pandemic,” Bay County Commission Chairman Philip “Griff,” Griffitts said. “This CARES Act funding provides a way to ease the burden these folks have been managing, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to help.” The county is being assisted in the administration of the program by The Integrity Group, a consulting firm comprised of former law-enforcement officials with a track record of ensuring compliance with guidelines in similar programs throughout the Panhandle. “The Integrity Group is helping counties throughout the Panhandle ensure that their CARES Act funding is disbursed as quickly, yet lawfully and responsibly, as possible to deserving business owners and nonprofit organizations,” Integrity Senior Partner Tim Moore, former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner, said. “We will work hard to get this money delivered to those who need it fast, but applicants will have to provide sufficient documentation and demonstrable losses and expenses.” For more information about the individual grants and the application process, visit www.baycountycares.com. BayCountyCares.com also provides a link to information about how individuals can get assistance with COVID-19-related financial hardships in four areas: rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food, and child/adult care. The Bay County Board of County Commissioners partnered with United Way of Northwest Florida to provide up to $5 million in individual assistance via the CARES Act funding.