Just a day after Mayor Jane Castor announced that the Buccaneers would be one of the three major sports franchises to donate $100,000 to the city's new One Tampa: Relief Now, Rise Together fund, the Glazer Family is pledging another $100,000 to the City of St. Petersburg on behalf of the Bucs through the Fighting Chance Fund, which is similarly focused on small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of St. Petersburg has become known for its bustling restaurant and entertainment industry, which is among those hit hardest by social distancing measures that are crucial to containing the virus. The Fighting Chance Fund is expected to provide critical support to about 1,000 restaurant, bar, retail and service-based businesses, along with their more than 3,000 eligible employees. It will provide up to $5,000 in assistance for qualified businesses and $500 to qualified individuals. The grants prioritize businesses established in St. Pete that have 25 employees or less.
"During these difficult days, there are many needs that require immediate action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of so many throughout our region," said Buccaneers Co-Owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. "Mayor Kriseman's Fighting Chance Fund provides the critical resources that so many small business owners in the area need at a time like this. We are committed to helping communities throughout Tampa Bay get through these difficult times by providing support and hope for better days to come."
The Fund was launched on April 3 and works as a grant, not as a loan. Beneficiaries will not have to pay the city back for any assistance received. With this donation, the Glazer Family and the Buccaneers want to demonstrate their commitment to the entire Tampa Bay region and expand their reach in the community during this unprecedented time.
It follows a $100,000 donation the organization made to the One Tampa fund that provides direct payments to mortgage servicers, landlords or electric companies for qualified businesses and individuals within the City of Tampa. It was created with the intent to help bridge the gap while those affected by work stoppage or loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic wait for state and federal funds to become available. The One Tampa fund provides up to $4,000 in rent or mortgage assistance and $500 in utility assistance for small businesses and up to $1,000 and $250 for individuals.