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Lee County businesses seeking information about recovery assistance can access a newly launched Business Assistance Portal at www.leegov.com/covid-19/business or by calling the Business Assistance Hotline at 239-533-2273 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The Business Assistance Portal is an online tool meant to provide information to businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The portal and hotline, which the county activated Wednesday, are designed to help people understand how the different programs align to help various aspects of a business’ situation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to address specific business-related questions, such as how to apply for a Florida Small Business Bridge Loan or a Small Business Administration loan. The portal has help on obtaining information on the federal stimulus package, which is commonly called the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Help also is available on how to direct employees to unemployment benefits.

The portal and hotline are a collaborative effort of Lee County departments, including Human & Veteran Services, Economic Development, Visitor & Convention Bureau, GIS, Innovation & Technology, Libraries, Parks & Recreation and Sports Development. Two dozen county employees have been trai