The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners today (May 19) approved legislation to provide stimulus funding to local small businesses and direct assistance to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation, sponsored by Commissioner Levine Cava, authorizes the County to use federal CARES Act dollars to provide direct assistance to local businesses and families. A small business assistance program will provide forgivable loans to businesses with 25 or fewer employees. The loans will be available for the payment of business expenses, including employee payroll costs. Businesses receiving the loans will be required to document job creation and/or retention, with the majority of jobs to be held by individuals with low to moderate income – those less than 80 percent of area median income.
In addition, the legislation provides substantial food and housing assistance for individuals with low to moderate income. Nutritional assistance funds will be available for an estimated 10,000 individuals in public housing that are income eligible and have not already received pandemic relief assistance for groceries. These are likely residents that lost their service sector jobs when COVID-19 caused the shutdown of the tourism and hospitality industry. Funds will also go towards homeless prevention and rapid re-housing activities.
The funding allocations include nearly $8 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and nearly $4 million in Emergency Solutions Grant funds derived from the federal 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
“It is critical that the County be able to act quickly to get needed funding into the community to assist our small businesses – the backbone of our economy – and our most vulnerable populations that have been hit hardest by the pandemic crisis,” said Commissioner Levine Cava.
“This legislation will enable the County to continue working with its community development partners to better meet the needs of our small business owners and our residents whose safety nets have been damaged.”