After asking the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration to help businesses dealing with toxic algae earlier in the week, Gov. Rick Scott asked for another declaration to help Florida businesses dealing with red tide.
Scott’s office sent out a released on Tuesday afternoon about the new request to the SBA for a Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration.
“Governor Scott requested the federal Small Business Administration issue an additional Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for red tide in Lee, Manatee and Sarasota counties,” the governor’s office noted. “This declaration will provide small businesses with low-interest loans so they can recover from the harm caused by red tide. Once the SBA has approved these counties, the state will quickly work to include other areas that have been impacted.”
“The Office of Disaster Assistance’s mission is to provide low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster,” the SBA states on its website.
Scott issued an emergency order on red tide last week.
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., backed Scott’s request to the SBA declaration for Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
“Red tide off Florida’s west coast has had a devastating impact on small businesses in my congressional district, many of which rely on tourism,” said Buchanan. “The stench of dead fish and respiratory problems caused by the current outbreak have caused people to cancel or change travel plans to some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions and driven local residents inland, away from coastal businesses.”
Buchanan wrote Scott last week on the matter, urging him to reach out to the SBA.
“Small businesses are vital to our economy,” Buchanan wrote Scott. “When they do well, the Suncoast does well.”
“EIDLs provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” Buchanan’s office noted.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.