BREVARD COUNTY - Florida Power & Light began accepting applications for its new Main Street Recovery Credit Program on Jan. 4.

The new program offers credits to qualifying small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Main Street Recovery Credit Program is the latest of several initiatives that FPL has implemented to support customers adversely impacted by the pandemic. In all those initiatives amount to $75 million in relief funding.

Businesses eligible to apply for the Main Street Recovery Credit Program include:

-New small businesses

-Small businesses that were inactive for at least six consecutive months after March 2020

-Existing small businesses operating in federally designated Opportunity Zones in FPL’s service area

Qualifying small businesses may receive a monthly 10% credit based on the previous month’s energy charge portion of their electric bill for the duration of the program. FPL implement the program for qualifying small businesses in January and offer bill credits through the end of 2021.

Florida ranks fourth in the nation for business closures with 5,300 permanent closures and 3,300 temporary closures, according to a Yelp economic report.

A recent survey of more than 4,800 Florida small businesses conducted by the Florida Chamber Foundation found that:

-more than half of businesses either voluntarily closed or were forced to close

-more than 30% suspended operations during the survey

-more than 45% expressed concern about their ability to operate in the future

“We know that COVID-19’s unpredictability and disruptiveness has made life very difficult for all Floridians, so we are continuing to work hard to find innovative ways to help our customers get through this challenging time,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “This new initiative will help alleviate some of the financial pressure facing our small businesses and independent stores that make up the fabric of our communities. We’re committed to helping Florida get back up on her feet and this program is one more way FPL is helping to rebuild our economy and move the state forward.”

Small businesses seeking relief can visit FPL.com/MainStreetRecovery to fill out an application to determine if they qualify for the program.

FPL’s plan to assist small businesses is another example of direct relief that the company is providing customers in response to COVID-19, including those customers significantly behind on their bills.

Last month, FPL donated $15 million to help approximately 55,000 residential customers who receive federal assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP). These customers will receive credits on their monthly electric bill through December 2021.

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