Members of the Florida delegation sent a letter to leaders of both chambers of Congress calling for additional financial additional financial relief to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) through interest-free loans. These loans under the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program can be used to cover payroll, rent, paid family leave, paid medical leave and more during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., led the letter which was signed by more than 20 other members of Congress including U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., Ross Spano, R-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.
“Small businesses are struggling to deal with the financial consequences of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and it is costing many people their livelihoods,” Mast said on Thursday. “We need to do everything we can to help people keep their jobs, help business owners pay their employees and prevent a further downward economic spiral. The federal government should follow Florida’s lead by making their small business loans interest free as we navigate this uncharted territory together as a nation.”
Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump signed the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act” into law, which authorized an estimated $7 billion in loans for small businesses impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, the Small Business Administration is currently offering loans of up to $2 million with 3.75 percent interest.
Florida small business owners with two to 100 employees are also eligible for short-term, interest-free loans up to $50,000 through the state of Florida.
As part of the $1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal backed by Republicans in charge of the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, is backing $300 billion to be set aside for small businesses.