On Monday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), urging the agency to issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration for the state of Florida to help businesses receive SBA EIDL loans that are suffering from economic injury due to the coronavirus.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Administrator Carranza:
I write in full support of Governor Ron DeSantis’ request for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration for all 67 counties in Florida due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Florida businesses across the state are suffering substantial economic harm because of the pandemic outbreak. I urge you to approve Governor DeSantis’ request in order to get federal assistance in the hands of impacted small businesses as soon as possible.
In Florida, COVID-19 has affected 112 residents across 24 countries. However, the economic severity and uncertainty of this unprecedented pandemic has reached beyond geographic regions and is heavily and negatively influencing business owners and employees state-wide. In order to protect the safety and health of our nation from the spread of COVID-19, events and areas which draw large crowds of people have been cancelled or shuttered. In Florida this includes, but is not limited to: the closure of Walt Disney World Parks and Universal Studios; and the cancellation of Ultra Music Festival; Calle Ocho Festival; National Hockey League and National Basketball Association seasons; and the Global Health Conference and Exhibition. As you can imagine, this is devastating for all employers, small businesses, and workers in a tourism-driven state like Florida which relies on hundreds of millions of visitors annually.
In passing the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, earlier this month, Congress intended for eligible entities that have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19 across the nation to have access to low-interest working capital loans. Now, it is time for the agency to approve the Governor’s request in order to provide access to this critical funding for firms struggling during this evolving public health emergency.
In line with President Trump’s comments earlier this week, and disaster assistance as one of your top priorities, I urge the agency to act swiftly to approve this request to ensure impacted businesses in Florida have access to resources Congress has made available.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.