In a letter sent on Friday, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to swiftly request SBA Disaster Loans for small businesses in Florida impacted by coronavirus.
This new form of assistance was established through legislation supported by Murphy that passed Congress and was signed by President Donald Trump earlier in the month.
Murphy’s letter can be found below:
Dear Governor Desantis
On March 6, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-123) became law. The law defines coronavirus as a “disaster” under the Small Business Act and provides funding to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of coronavirus and that need financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the impact of coronavirus. Yesterday, the SBA published guidance on its website about the new coronavirus disaster loan program.
Under the law, in order for small businesses and non-profit organizations in Florida to access these low-interest disaster loans, you in your capacity as governor must submit to SBA a formal request for assistance. Given that Florida has already experienced significant economic disruption due to coronavirus, and is likely to confront even greater challenges going forward, I respectfully urge you to submit a specific and detailed request as soon as possible, whereupon SBA can issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
It is my hope that we can target immediate assistance to those geographic areas and business sectors in the state that are suffering the greatest economic harm from coronavirus. This should include small businesses in central Florida that are reliant on tourism, travel, and international trade. Swift economic assistance will be critical for the survival of these businesses and their workers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and for everything you are doing in response to this threat to public health and economic security. My office and I stand ready to assist in any way possible.