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A Chance to Help Our Small Businesses

The COVID-19 virus crisis has upended all of our lives. We worry about our health, our families, our jobs, and our futures. But, we cannot succumb to our fears. As with prior crises, this too shall pass and I am confident that we will emerge stronger and more united than ever.

As Miami-Dade’s State Attorney, I am constantly looking for ways to keep our community safe and help you. Drawing on our decades of experience, intimate knowledge of the criminal justice system’s innerworkings, and longstanding relationships with key stakeholders, we have virtually reinvented the way we work together, manage cases, and protect the community.

We remain focused on preventing crime and providing necessary services to victims. However, as I scan the news, I particularly concerned about the damage the pandemic is causing to small businesses. While large corporations dominate the labor market everywhere else, in our community the 80,000 plus small businesses employ over 50% of the workforce according to a 2018 report by the Florida International University Metropolitan Center. In real terms, these businesses put food on the table for over 900,000 workers.
Many small business owners and employees are afraid of what the immediate future holds. A recent conversation with a small business owner carried a prospect of hope that I wanted to share that with other small business owners.

This business owner described how he had received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for $10,000, three days after he applied. The advance functions like a grant, since it does not have to be repaid. This obviously was a tremendous boost to his business, to his family, and to his present emotional state.

While he did not promise any miracles, he said that the process was relatively easy for an existing business owner. He applied for EIDL on the SBA website, providing simple information, like the business tax I.D. number, information about gross sales (and probably documentation) and cost of goods sold (and probably documentation).

There appears to be no downside to exploring this option for small businesses, as the funding may preserve a family’s dream and preserve local jobs. We should not let these trying times steal our hopes and aspirations. We can get through this together, just as we always have.


Katherine Fernandez Rundle

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