Two Democrats in the Florida delegation signed on a letter as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote U.S. Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza calling on them to make sure affiliation rules are not changed to allow large private equity firms to get funds set aside for small businesses.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in signing the letter. The caucus members pointed to large firms using loopholes from the $2.2 trillion package approved by the White House and Congress at the end of March which included funds which were supposed to be used to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Soto weighed in on the letter on Monday.
“It is not only illogical to allow this funding to be taken advantage of by large private equity firms, but it is also unethical,” said Soto “Small businesses are a crucial part of this country’s economy and the financial repercussions of failing to protect them could be long-lasting and disastrous.”
Soto and his office stressed the importance of minority-owned small businesses.
“We have an obligation to do everything within our means to protect Latino, Black and LGBTQ small business owners and employees as they bear the brunt of difficulties in this time of need,” Soto said.
“Reports have shown that layoffs due to COVID-19 have affected members of minority communities far more than any other, with 61 percent of Latino households and 44 percent of Black households reporting a pay cut or layoff. By protecting the country’s most vulnerable populations during this time, the likelihood of a faster national recovery is significantly increased,” the congressman’s office noted.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.