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Overwhelming response demonstrates need to help workers sacrificing to slow the spread of COVID-19

DETROIT-More than 2,400 Wayne County residents have applied for the Wayne County Cares program in just one day. The program helps restaurant, fitness, and entertainment venue workers affected by the state's public health orders. Eligible residents will receive a $500 one-time, no-strings bonus delivered on a cash card.

"I'm not surprised, frankly, by this response because we know people are hurting," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "The public health orders are critical to keep our communities safe during this pandemic, but affected workers shouldn't have to bear this burden alone. We are working hard to use our limited resources to provide the most help to those most in need."

The Wayne County Economic Development Department has budgeted $4 million for Wayne County Cares to provide up to 8,000 cash cards to qualified workers. Applicants must be Wayne County residents and can apply online at The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Evans also called on Congress to pass a second relief bill before the end of the year to further assist workers and communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Wayne County Cares response proves people need more help to survive this once-in-a-century public health crisis. As public servants, we can't let them down," said Evans. "Negotiations in Washington produced bipartisan plans. It's long past time Congress stops dithering and votes on a relief bill. Every day they waste means more financial hardship for working Americans struggling to get by and stay safe."

In addition to the Wayne County Cares program, the Evans Administration has devoted resources to supporting local small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and helping them reopen safely to protect jobs and serve our communities, including:

· $70 million in grants to local small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

· Grants to more than 2,500 minority-owned businesses.

· Awards to nearly 2,000 women-owned businesses.

· Support to 137 veteran-owned businesses.

The County has delivered 4,000 personal protection equipment kits to small businesses to ensure a safer environment for workers and customers. The County also reduced the cost of its HealthChoice insurance program for small businesses, so more workers and their families have access to affordable health care.