Struggling small business owners in North Miami who are severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak may be able get some help.
The North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA) has created two emergency relief grant programs for North Miami businesses.
In one grant initiative, the city is offering 25 North Miami businesses grants up to $1,000 each for the purchase of supplies to continue operations. This could include buying gas, food, delivery services, and other necessary services or items, according to a press release. The grant is available immediately.
The second grant initiative, “Emergency Relief to Jump Start Businesses,” will allow 120 North Miami small businesses to receive up to $5,000, each. The program will provide businesses with grants for future operational expenses such as rent, payroll, and communications, according to the release. It will go into effect once the disaster declaration has been lifted and the NMCRA’s board approves it. Candidates must have applied for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan and Florida Disaster Loan, according to the release.
North Miami’s grants may be among the first by many from municipal governments across South Florida aimed at helping businesses affected by the health crisis. The counties have ordered all non-essential businesses to be closed in the area, forcing many businesses to lay off employees or close down. Landlords are trying to figure out how to handle the crisis, since tenants are asking for deferrals, but some lenders are still seeking mortgage payments.
Businesses also secured some help from Congress’s $2 trillion stimulus package which has $377 billion set aside to help small businesses through SBA loans, according to the New York Times. Borrowers would not have to repay portions that were spent on paying employees, a mortgage, rent or utilities.
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a unified “safer-at-home” policy for Southeast Florida that will be in effect until mid-April — keeping non-essential businesses closed until then. The order urges residents and visitors to stay home, allowing them to travel to essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies.